Update May 29, 2017 petition to save the cats here.
The following is taking place in Mauldin, South Carolina where a colony of feral cats, many of whom have undergone TNR, is in danger of being trapped and “disposed of.” Unfortunately, Mauldin doesn’t have a TNR program currently in place.
I’m cheating a bit on this article since there is a lot of information that needs to be circulated in the Upstate area. The following was posted on cat advocate Andrea Durham’s Facebook page after it was learned a professional trapping company will be brought in to remove the cats.
“ATTN ALL UPSTATE RESCUERS: Tonight, myself, my neighbors, and several rescuers from our community attended a meeting as concerned animal advocates about a cat colony in the Laurel Heights neighborhood in Mauldin, SC. The property manager, who works for NHE Property Management, yelled and kicked our rescue partners out of the meeting before the meeting even began. The neighbors who were allowed to stay tried to offer solutions and help create a community TNR program to save this colony’s life. The HOA board and the property manager could not be swayed to change their mind and create a larger sense of community by saving these cats. Instead they gave a concession of a three week deadline to remove the cats before the trapper is brought in. The HOA board of Laurel Heights has hired Chappell Services to come trap and “dispose” of the colony even if these cats have already been TNR’d. The HOA board has given concerned neighbors a deadline of June 14, 2017, to figure out where to take/put these cats before the trapper begins trapping and disposing of these cats. The HOA board claims they have spoken to Greenville County Animal Care and have told Greenville County Animal Care that they do not want these cats re-released anywhere near the neighborhood again. At one count there were at least 17 cats. Due to the deadline quickly approaching within three weeks, June 14th, we need help NOW sharing and saving these cats’ lives!”
Bill Burton with Concerned Citizens has TNR’d a large number of the cats. Greenville County Animal Care is not going to want to deal with this situation. Their idea of TNR is to return cats to the area they were caught once all have been TNR’d. Since the property manager doesn’t want the cats returned, this means either the shelter would have to release them elsewhere, kill them (which would impact their live-release numbers) or the trapper would simply make the cats “disappear.”
It’s reported the trapper will be watched but trapping in itself isn’t against the law. Unless the trapper does something to harm the cats, he’s just doing the job he’s been hired to do.
Citizens are allowed to trap and return the cats to their colony and maintain the colony. For a trapper or anyone else to kill the cats would be considered animal cruelty. Mauldin, however, doesn’t have a TNR program in place. Any concerns should be directed to Mauldin City Animal Control. Their link is here.
Another suggestion, as a last resort, is to look for ‘barn cat homes’ in the Upstate area. It would be preferable for the cats to go in pairs so they’d have a buddy. Barn cats are invaluable, especially during the summer months when rodents move in to eat grains and crops.
Take a good look at the photos. These cats are healthy and it’s easy to see they’re comfortable in their community. Let’s do everything in our power they don’t lose their home.
Please join the Facebook thread if you have any thoughts or ideas. Also, share this article with friends, especially those who live in this area. Most of the residents of Laurel Heights are clueless this is happening.