Order banning 74-year-old woman from feeding feral cats was rescinded

MIAMI, FLORIDA – NEWS AND VIEWS: this is one of those classic feral cat feeding stories. A 74-year-old resident of North Miami Beach, Arlene Bercun, has been visiting Greynolds Park for about 70 years! About 10 years ago she started feeding feral cats at the park. It all started when a kitten was dumped there and she took her home. After that she kept on seeing hungry cats in the park so she fed them. She put them in carriers and took them to the Humane Society. She dealt with the cats in a kindly manner in finding adopters for those who could be adopted and those that were too feral she had them spayed or neutered and returned to the park where she fed them (TNR).

Ill feral cat being fed in Miami
Ill feral cat being fed in Greynolds Park, Miami. This cat is Smokey and you can see that she has lost weight since Bercun was prevented from feeding the cats. Photo: FB.
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic interfered with what must have been a stable way of life because she was told by a park employee to stop coming into the park. She was told that she was trespassing and therefore she was not allowed to feed the cats any more. She continued secretly. She was warned again not to trespass in the park and then on September 20 her exit from the park was blocked by the Miami Dade police Department. Bercun was served with a warning for violating a county code provision which prohibits people from feeding animals in a county park. This appears to have nothing to do with the coronavirus pandemic unless the law has changed to reflect the Covid-19 crisis.

Thereafter there was a social media discussion which concluded that it was wrong to stop feeding the cat because they were reliant upon Bercun for feeding them and to suddenly stop would starve them which is cruel.

Fortunately, the unwelcome situation came to the notice of the Miami-Dade police Department Maj Thomas Buchanan who rescinded the trespass warning. It was decided by the major that the health of the cats being fed by Bercun was more important than enforcing an order which served little purpose and in my opinion appears to be inherently cruel. That is entirely my opinion and quite possibly the opinion of others. This article is not a strict news article it is opinion about cat news, please note.


Bercun had a success in getting her way which is wonderful because she deserves it and the cats deserve to be fed. They were put there by people and it is the responsibility of people to resolve the problem in a humane manner. Bercun wants it in writing that she has permission to feed the cats without harassment. She also wants the law changed so that residents of the county can feed cats and other parks to save them from starvation. She agrees that it is a countrywide problem i.e. the feeding of feral cats and she maintains that Dade County Parks don’t care about the cats.

Source: Miami New Times.

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