A feral colony that volunteers helped to spay/neuter in Elkhart, Indiana last fall are losing their home, thanks to a neighbor complaining. This story highlights the split in attitudes in how to manage stray and feral cat colonies.
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This is a critical situation and there may not be anything that can be done at this point. Feral cat advocates are still going to try.
Elkhart Feral Cat Coalition posted the following Thursday evening on their Facebook page.
“Well, unfortunately, this little colony we helped S/N in Elkhart last fall is now being rounded up and taken to the shelter. Why? Because the neighbor complained they were going under her deck.
We are not allowed to pick them up, only the caretaker can. They charge to pick them up and the caretaker faces a possible fine for having (their) cats “running at large”.
The city of Elkhart continues to ignore and accept that there are feral cats in the city. They do not want them there. All our hard work and effort to help these guys, and now they are gone. They were feral cats, not domesticated so we are pretty sure of their fate.
Another compassionate person, reaching out for help, gets shot down. Not to mention the fact that they loved these cats. But, that simply does not matter.
So when we get a call from someone in the city to help spay/neuter their outdoor cats, I hope they understand why we have to turn them down.
God bless little Wolfie, Gizmo, Kiwi, Pixey, Crissy, Possum, Turtle, and Misha. You will not be forgotten. Shame on everyone who had their hand in destroying these beautiful cats.”
The caregiver loved them dearly and is heartbroken at having the feral family taken away. Please keep tabs on their Facebook page for information on how to proceed. IF the cats are still alive, they can’t go back to the place where they were trapped because the neighbor would most likely complain again.
NOTE ADDED BY MICHAEL:
The reason why Elkhart County Feral Cat Coalition are discussing this story on Facebook is because residents in the area need to be aware, they say, that their officials do not recognise outdoor cats. They don’t recognise outdoor cats whether they are feral or domestic. It is up to the residents to press for change.
Secondly, they say that 2019 is the year during which there will be elections of several new city council members and the mayor. It is an opportunity to talk to them and to let them know that the residents care about the welfare of feral cats and that they want TNR programs instigated in the city.
The story, highlights the need to raise awareness and change the attitude of the authorities towards stray and feral cats in the area. Elkhart County Feral Cat Coalition stress that a change in how the city relates to feral cats is in the hands of voters and that they cannot spend resources on caring for these cats unless the city adopts TNR programs and supports their efforts to humanly manage the city’s stray and feral cat population.
They make the very fair point that it would be irresponsible of them if they continued with their feral cat support programs when they can be “destroyed at the drop of a hat” as is happening in this instance. They say there are millions of other cats that they can help. This organisation is upset that the authorities, “have absolutely NO respect for us or what we do. How ironic that we started a TNR program to help the city and the Humane Society lower their outdoor cat population numbers”.
Here is a similar story:
The Elkhart Feral Cat Coalition, Inc. is a volunteer-driven organization incorporated in March 2009 in Elkhart, Indiana and obtained Federal tax-exempt 501©(3) Non-Profit charitable status in March 2010. The organization has been actively working on the root cause of cat overpopulation through TNR: Trap, Neuter, Return.