Miami Beach, Florida is currently a very bad place to be part of a feral cat colony. Due to construction that’s moving forward as part of the Mid Beach Recreational Corridor, colony caretakers haven’t been given enough time to move their cats to a safe area. This includes one colony that’s home to 120 cats.
Feral cats have a history in Miami Beach that dates back to the early 1900’s when the city’s first mayor imported cats to take care of the massive rat infestation. The rats were soon gone but the cats bred out of control because TNR didn’t exist back then.
Ethel Domiguez lives in a Collins Avenue condo building and has cared for a colony for seven years now. Last week when she went behind her residence she found the vegetation where the cats live being bulldozed. Seven cats are missing from this colony alone.
City spokeswoman Melissa Berthier says the vegetation cleared was actually a mass of Scaevola, a non-native dune plant that smothers native vegetation and exacerbates erosion. When Ethel brought her concerns before city council she was led to believe the vegetation, as well as the cats, would be spared.
A short distance away a managed feral colony of 100+ cats are being displaced from perhaps the only home they have ever known. The city decided to tear down their “home” and habitat to build a boardwalk.
In an effort to save the cats, Hurricane Rescue Pets, Inc. posted the situation asking for help in writing everyone involved
“100 + cats are being displaced of perhaps the only home they have ever known because the city decided to tear down their “home” and habitat to build a boardwalk. As we speak construction is taking place and all vegetation which provides shelter for them from the elements is being bulldozed.
We have been in talks with the city and all we have received has been a bunch of good future plans for the Miami Beach colonies, but nothing, zero solutions and little to effort to remedy the destruction going on now. What the city is hoping for is that while the construction is going on, that these cats will move into nearby dunes or other colonies nearby.
Sadly this construction is going to take months, per what the city said 5 to 6 months, that will mean a year.”
One person involved with Miami Beach government recently Tweeted the cats were being relocated. This could mean anything from they’re being taken from the area and dumped in another colony (which has to be done gradually by an experienced caregiver because feral cats usually won’t allow new cats into the colony) to being taken to the shelter where most will likely be euthanized because they’re considered feral.
Ethel stated in an interview with the Miami New Times
“They (the city) don’t have a plan and they don’t have an answer. And they don’t care.”
You can help by clicking here and contacting government and news media asking for a stop to the construction until a plan can be put in place to safely relocate the cats. A very long list of emails follows the Hurrican Rescue Pets article, which explains in depth what’s going on with this large colony.