Residential park management get away with poisoning community cats

There are some stray cats on a large, 300 home, residential park in Pensacola, Florida, USA. One of the residents of the park, Angie Hennington, has complained on Facebook (May 30th) that nothing is being done about the trapping and supposed killing of cats on the park. These are outside cats. Outside cats are not permitted in the park but this does not mean that they can be mistreated. That’s obvious. The park management don’t understand this.

Angie says that last summer the management at the park poisoned some cats. Angie buried 11 cats in her general area. With a neighbor she cares for about 10 cats, sometimes more. There are therefore some outside cats at the park although, under the contract between the home owners and management, cats are not allowed to wander around outside.

Having reported the park management to Animal Control, Angie discovered that nothing had been done except that they spoke to the property manager. We have no idea what was discussed.

Residential park management get away with poisoning community cats
Angie’s FB post
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Unbearable

The distressing consequence of Angie’s sympathetic and humane behavior towards the cats is that she now being mistreated by the park management. She says that management has made life unbearable for her including the kitties. Angie produced a photocopy of an advert in a local paper which sets the tone of management at the residential park (see above). Angie believes that everybody hates the cats and that the advertisement hints that the cats are going to be trapped and then euthanized (euphemism for ‘killed’).

Angie has become stressed and heartbroken by the current state of affairs, namely the inhumane way that the cats are being dealt with.

Residential park management get away with poisoning community cats
I believe this is a cell phone post by Angie explaining why the park management’s behavior is wrong.

Crime

As a postscript, nobody should be in any doubt that if the park management are killing the cats after they been trapped then it is highly likely that they have committed a crime under Florida animal welfare laws. The only way that cats can be euthanized is by a veterinarian in the proper manner. To do otherwise exposes the perpetrator to the potential crime of animal cruelty under Florida statute 828.12.

In addition, there has to be a proper identification of the cats to make sure that they do not have an owner. Nobody can go around rounding up and trapping cats willy-nilly because some of them might be owned. To trap and kill someone’s domestic cat is not only a crime under the animal welfare laws of Florida it would also allow the owner to sue the park management under civil law for compensation.

Killing stray cats

There is always some confusion about the killing of feral cats in America. It is quite clear from my reading of the law (and all the states are very similar in this regard) that it would be a crime to inhumanely kill a feral cat which includes shooting. Unless there are some rare exceptions, it is universally accepted in America that you cannot shoot dead a feral cat. One obvious reason is that you don’t know whether you are shooting a feral cat or someone’s pet. Therefore the shooting of feral cats cannot be allowed under the law. Poisoning feral cats is equally bad if not worse.

Let’s be in no doubt that if the management of this park are killing cats of whatever type and doing it by poisoning they have committed a crime under federal and state law. They should be prosecuted in an ideal world. The lack of desire by the authorities to prosecute simply highlights their poor attitude towards animal welfare. It should not be taken as condoning the behavior of park management. Stray cats on the residential park grounds must be dealt with humanely, sensibly and in compliance with the law.

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4 thoughts on “Residential park management get away with poisoning community cats”

  1. When I lived in a mobile home park, there were rules against free roaming cats, owned or strays left behind or ferals born from strays.

    There were residents who ignored this rule. So cats were mating/fighting and defecating in people’s gardens. Owners were given notices, and traps were set. Cats were taken to the local shelter or Forgotten Felines for ferals.

    Sometimes if a cat owner died, the cat was left behind. There were people who fed the strays/ferals, but this was unfavorable, because it flew in the face of the rules. Feeding cats is one thing, but no one was actually taking care of them, beyond this.

    One of my neighbors fed an old cat who seemed to have infected ears, but she couldn’t get too close to him.

    Sometimes cat lovers fail to see the other side of the issue or the consequences of not following common sense rules. Even if there was no rule, I wouldn’t let my cat free roam because of the many dangers to her health and life.

    If you’re dealing with mobile home management that has warned about this several times, you can expect some undesirable responses. Killing the cats shouldn’t be one of them, but trapping and taking to a shelter is the humane solution, even if they end up euthanized.

    Shelters have a limited amount of space, like we all do.

    Reply
    • I agree Sandy. There have to be rules like those mentioned. The issue here as I think you’ll agree is that the management are poisoning the cats which is a straight crime. It has surprised me that the police have not been around. Or perhaps is does not surprise me. When commercial enterprises poison cats the police are not interested.

      Reply
  2. The management company and animal control seem like a rowdy bunch of bullish thugs, trampling over each other to get to kill the cats.

    Someone should tell them that if they worked with the community to solve this matter they would get a lot of very good and very free publicity. Publicity will bring money. Yeah, I know it is a lot to ask, but surely just not butchering cats and not breaking the law should be a bare minimum?

    I feel much empathy for the poor woman who cares for and advocates for the cats. It must be hell knowing how much peril your friends, who you love and care for are in.

    For Angie Hennington I send a shedload more strength and love!

    Advocating for cats is emotionally exhausting in such hostile environments I would guess.

    Reply
    • Yes, I feel for Angie too. It’s partly why I wrote the article. And as usual people don’t really understand animal welfare laws in relation to feral and stray cats. There is a casual attitude towards these cats and the law protecting them that encourages abuse against them.

      Reply

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