Cats plague some neighborhoods

Published 8:33 am Wednesday, November 18, 2009

FRANKLIN—Eva Stith traveled from Washington, D.C. to her family home in Franklin last week to take care of some business. When she got there she was shocked at what she saw.

Cats and their droppings were everywhere outside of the Pine Street home.

“This is ridiculous,” she said. “It’s not even sanitary. You’ve got to be worried about where you walk.”

While it isn’t an epidemic, stray and feral cats are a concern in some neighborhoods, according to Franklin Animal Control Officer Roy Richards.

“There is definitely a problem with stray cats,” he said Tuesday. Particularly problematic areas include Hunterdale, and areas along Broad, Pine and Johnson streets, to name a few.

Richards said the problem usually stems from people not getting their animals spayed or neutered and people who move and leave animals behind.

Stith said that this isn’t the first time she has had a problem with cats on the property. She said animal control had come out before and trapped several cats. She said she called animal control last week, but because of the inclement weather, traps could not be set up immediately.

Richard said residents should be careful no to leave any food outside, because it could attract stray cats, dogs or even other wildlife.

“Once they get a meal, they’re going to keep coming back,” he said.

Any residents who notice stray animals around their home should immediately contact animal control.

“Definitely call me,” Richards said. “Weather permitting, we trap all year long.”

Unfortunately, many of the stray and feral cats trapped eventually require euthanization.

“It’s very hard to rehab a stray or feral cat,” he said, especially if it has been stray for more than eight months.

Stith said she wanted to go public with her situation because there could be others dealing with the same thing and said something needs to be done to hold pet owners responsible.

“If they can’t keep them in the house, then they need to get rid of them,” she said.