Community outraged after a Rochelle, Illinois Facebook post stated a plan to trap and kill feral cats

City administrators in Rochelle, Illinois are under fire after a Facebook post on Thursday stated a plan to trap and kill feral cats.

feral cat in trap
Rochelle, Illinois posted plan to kill trapped cats (Facebook)
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

The post on Facebook: City of Rochelle, Illinois states (along with the first sentence being updated)

“Update: We appreciate the response to the program. Our staff will research more options immediately to address the issue. We welcome ideas and suggestions from our residents.

Feral cat traps are now available to Rochelle Residents at no charge.

To obtain a trap, visit the Rochelle Police Department. Since the RPD is open 24/7, traps will be available for pickup there as a convenience to residents. Residents are welcome to call 562-2131 to confirm availability. Once the feral cat is trapped, the resident will deliver the trap to the Rochelle Veterinary Clinic for euthanasia (NOTE: Vet clinic states they won’t be a part of this) and return the empty trap to the Police Department.

We appreciate the community’s assistance with this program.”

The Facebook post has already gained 1,700 comments and been shared almost 800 times at the time of this article.

Rochelle city manager Jeff Fiegenschuh says the original post doesn’t mean what it sounds like it means.

“I’m really sorry this got out. I just want to reassure our residents we are not euthanazing animals, but we have an issue with stray cats, and we want to work together to solve it.”

Rochelle map

Rochelle Veterinary Hospital assures the community they won’t be a part of this (I’m not even sure what to call it!) saying

“The Rochelle Veterinary Hospital would like to state that we are Not participating in the program that the City of Rochelle has implemented! We were not even aware that they posted this and are extremely angry that they are linking our good name to such a thing! If you would like to express your feelings please contact the City of Rochelle.”

If the post has been updated and the feral cats are safe (for now), then why not remove the wording from the original Facebook post stating cats will be euthanized when turned in by the public or picked up by officials? It sounds to me like whoever is running that Facebook page needs to be booted off since they’re posting what the city administrator says is false information.

facebook post
screenshot of Facebook post

The City also needs an education, not only in TNR, but on the negative personality traits a feral cat would exhibit if caged in a shelter. While some feral cats can adapt, MOST would be distressed if not plain out dangerous. Their ‘new’ idea for the cats to be taken to the shelter to await adoption can’t possibly be based on knowledge because it just won’t work.

Feral cats need to be returned to where they were taken from or adapted to a barn or business home. To remove cats and not return them for any reason will allow more cats (usually unneutered and unvaccinated) to take their place.

The city website, along with contact information for city officials can be found by clicking here. We need to hit their contact info listings hard and it wouldn’t hurt to leave a comment on their Facebook page here. They’re asking for ideas so let’s give them ideas. To benefit the cats instead of killing them.

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