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Feral, Stray Cats a Problem in Canonsburg, Cecil

Both communities are considering hosting a mobile spay and neuter unit operated by Animal Friends and coordinated by volunteers.

When ’s code enforcement agents go to board up vacant or abandoned homes in the borough, it isn’t rats or raccoons they have to worry about trapping inside: It’s the stray cats.

“We just had one two or three weeks ago,” borough Manager Terry Hazlett confirmed.

And the problem with stray and feral cats roaming free isn’t just a problem in those few houses—it’s a problem throughout the borough.

“We receive calls from residents that there are cats everywhere,” he said. “This has been an ongoing problem since I’ve been here, but it has accelerated over the last two years.”

That’s why a group of volunteers reached out to Hazlett and asked if the community would be willing to host a mobile spay and neuter unit that Animal Friends operates.

The program, which is coordinated by volunteers, allows people to bring in cats to be spayed or neutered at a modest cost of about $35, he said.

And while a date for the program has not yet been set, Hazlett said he hoped to host the mobile clinic once each month from April through the fall—when cats breed.

Canonsburg Animal Control Officer Kym Secreet lauded the program, especially at a time when stray and feral cats are out in force.

The mild weather, she said, has them out of their hiding places and into people’s yards.

“They’re not hiding anymore,” Secreet said. “They are now laying openly on people’s lawn furniture.”

And while it is an issue in Canonsburg, she said stray and feral cats are also problematic in Cecil and Muse, specifically, where

The Board of Supervisors also is considering hosting the program after information was presented on the issue just prior to its meeting last week.

Manager Don Gennuso told the board that feral and stray cats were an ongoing problem in their community, as well, with members of the audience yelling out in agreement.

The board is also mulling an

Editor's Note: Volunteers say the first Fix ur Cat program has been set for April 4 at North Strabane Municipal Building, Public Works Garage. Anyone in the area who would like to volunteer in a project like this one, especially veterinarians and people who have time and experience with trapping should send me an e-mail at mitchbruce@gmail.com. The groups is also happy to receive donations from people who believe in the spay/neuter program and who would be willing to sponsor the spay/neuter of of animals that cannot be covered by their owners or care takers.

Tracey Eakin March 12, 2012 at 11:45 AM
The picture above is not representative of a feral cat. I've been sterilizing/vaccinating feral cats since the mid-90s and the vast majority of them are healthy. Sterilizing feral cats is also very effective at eliminating the nuisance behaviors that intact cats display. The only ordinance that has any hope of reducing the populations of feral cats that exist in every community is a proactive ordinance that encourages and subsidizes not only the humane trapping, sterilizing, vaccinating, and returning of feral cats so that their populations can be eliminated through attrition, but also addresses the offspring that result from indoor/outdoor pets that are not sterilized that are also contributing to the overpopulation. Trap and kill programs are extremely expensive both in terms of money and the labor required to implement them, they don't solve the problem because any two cats left behind will just repopulate the area, and there will always be humane people working against the process. In addition, the conditions that made the existence of feral cats favorable likely cannot be removed and will just encourage nearby cats to immigrate into the area. A stable, sterilized colony will prevent new animals from moving in. I applaud both communities for bringing in the most humane and the most effective solution to address the situation.
Amanda Gillooly March 12, 2012 at 11:51 AM
Tracey - that was stock photo. Let me see if I can find a more suitable picture! I have a feral cat myself and she is the most meticulous of the three who allow me to live with them ;)
Mavis March 14, 2012 at 01:01 AM
I wish this much attention was given to the crack house at the end of my rather nice Canonsburgh Borough street.
Michelle Bruce March 14, 2012 at 05:40 PM
Actually, Spay ur Cat is not just about feral cats. It is also available to people who just need a low cost option to sterilize their own cats. Feral cats don't just pop out of the ground - they are the result of humans being irresponsible.
Tracey Eakin March 15, 2012 at 11:57 AM
Thanks Amanda!

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