Battling with the neighbors over ferals - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-09-2014, 04:01 PM Thread Starter
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Battling with the neighbors over ferals

Feral cats are a big problem in our city but around my home they are especially numerous. I have an older neighbor who feeds them just enough that they can barely scrape by and keep having kittens. He refuses to do more than that for them though. He claims they are his pets but they're all wild. They are all skin and bones and they don't even look like regular feral cats.

About two years ago, after one of them barfed up a pile of round worms in my driveway, diarrheaed next to that, and then came up on my porch where my kids play, I decided I couldn't watch this suffering go on any longer.

I set a live trap and caught a feral cat with the intention of spaying and vaccinating it and then releasing it. My vet and I are very well acquainted so he was kind enough to offer the services at a discount. Sadly though, among the several diseases it carried, that cat had feline aids....as did the next one I trapped...and the next, and several others. In fact, of the 53 cats and kittens trapped and tested in two years only two young kittens were salvageable. (Those were spayed and neutered and adopted out as barn cats. They seem quite happy still)

This afternoon I caught a tom in quite poor shape. His coat was thin and patchy, he was badly emaciated, and he smelled sick like so many others. I called animal control to pick him up because I already know how this would have to end. (Such a sickening waste of such a beautiful creature)

The guilt trip I feel for it is bad enough on its own but as the animal control officer is putting the cat in his truck, my elderly neighbor comes running up, screaming how we are stealing his pets. He tells me I am evil, a detriment to the neighborhood, and several other venom-laced comments.

Do I feel good about any of this? No. But I fail to see how I'm causing the cats to suffer. What I wanted was to catch, neuter, and release but this colony is so diseased I can't release them. They die in our yards, get run over by cars, starve, or worse. ...can some one help me try to understand this man or suggest a way to try to reach a real solution with this conflict? I don't like being at odds with a neighbor. I don't like seeing the cats suffering. I sure as heck don't like having them put to sleep.

Help!

"Ignorance is only bliss to the one not left to suffer its effects"

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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-09-2014, 04:23 PM
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I'd be straight up with him. Tell him that #1) if they ARE his pets, then he is neglecting them (and spell out to him any and all applicable state and/or local laws regarding that). And, #2) you will trap any cat that comes onto your property and turn them over to Animal Control, and if he can't handle that, then he'd better learn to keep his animals contained on his own property. And if HE comes onto your property raising a stink about it, you will proceed to call the police and have him arrested for trespassing.

Some people just need a huge boot up their rearend, and this guy sounds like one of them.

Last edited by AutumnRose74; 01-09-2014 at 04:26 PM.
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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-09-2014, 04:42 PM
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Don't get involved. If they're his 'pets' and are in that condition report him, over and over again if necessary, until AC gets involved on that level. If he IS claiming ownership and is letting them run wild and not providing vet care it's a crime and he should be charged and have them ALL removed.
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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-09-2014, 05:27 PM
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This is so sad. I would suggest you call in an established TNR group to work with you and the authorities. Obviously these elderly people are not thinking rationally. Probably mentally ill.

We were called to help with a hording / domestic violence police scene. The police officer was an animal lover and there were over 40 cats, all in horrific condition. We wanted to save them and move them. But so many of them were so far gone. Terrible terrible condition. We saved some and relocated them. Most were put down and we weren't given the choice to try to save most of them. Only a few made it out of there.

It was situations like that which made me question why I was doing TNR.

You need to get the authorities involved. You cant do this alone.

This has to stop. Make the authorities the bad guys. Your only responsibility was to stop the suffering of these cats.
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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-09-2014, 05:35 PM
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This kind of a situation makes me cry for these poor cats...

M &T is Right! Get the Authorities
involved...!!

Merry, what you went through with that particular situation...Had to have been such a heart wrenching experience...

"A Cat must have three different names:
An everyday family name; A particular name;
And the name but the Cat Himself Knows, and will never confess." T.S. Eliot

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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-09-2014, 05:42 PM
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Oh wow, this is so sad. 51 of 53 cats weren't healthy enough to live?

You're doing an amazing thing - trapping them and working with your vet at your own cost. It is incredibly sad... I'm not sure I could do what you are doing. Thank you for trying to help these poor cats.

I can't add anything more than has already been said.
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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-09-2014, 06:38 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys! The advice is appreciated and will be tried. The tom that I caught today was one of a few who steal fish from my koi pond. Never loved him for that but couldn't really blame him for it either. I'd steal a fish too if I were in his shoes. It wrenches my heart to see them so desperate and thin when my own cats are shiny and chunky.

Right now there are 12 cats that I can identify as regular resident ferals. the numbers rise and fall through the year. Right now some are dying because it's very cold, they're sick, and there's not enough food. Come spring though the numbers will jump again. I'm going to set some extra live traps to catch as many as I can before spring. Keep your fingers crossed I catch something healthy enough to be salvaged. I have a friend with a big warm barn who will take them once they're neutered.

"Ignorance is only bliss to the one not left to suffer its effects"

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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-09-2014, 06:50 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiliqua View Post
Oh wow, this is so sad. 51 of 53 cats weren't healthy enough live?
That's been over a two year period. I keep a loose tally of the cats that die on my short little street. In two years I've had 51 very sick cats put to sleep (or animal control has collected them from me and euthanized), 4 were killed by another neighbors dog, 18 hit by cars, 6 found dead from disease or starvation in the yard, and I honestly can't keep track of all the kittens killed and eaten by other cats (I've actually watched them do this) it's a horror story.

I actually have a little kitten I just took in. He seems too social to be a feral though so I'm glad I found him before things turned really bad for him.

"Ignorance is only bliss to the one not left to suffer its effects"

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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-09-2014, 06:55 PM
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Wow. I'm really, really sorry to hear that and amazed with all that you have done. That is heartbreaking, thank you for trying to help them.

We don't have nearly the feral populations it seems - I would guess that our very cold winters keeps them lower than more temperate areas.

Last edited by marie73; 01-10-2014 at 03:41 PM.
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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-09-2014, 06:56 PM
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OMG Magscat! You are wonderful for doing what you are doing. It be so heart breaking to witness. Thank you for having the decency and compassion to do the right thing.

Jen - owned by ...

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