April 19, 2014

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Less than 10 attend inaugural citizens advisory committee on feral cat problem

NORTH RIDGEVILLE — The inaugural meeting of a citizens advisory committee being formed to try and reduce numbers of wild and stray cats in the community was a far cry from the summer’s emotionally charged City Council meetings during which dozens of people demanded the firing of a humane officer who shot and killed a number of feral kittens.

Approximately a half-dozen people turned out Tuesday night for the 75-minute session at the North Ridgeville Branch Library and attended by city officials as well as officials of animal rescue groups.

Meeting attendees agreed with Greg Willey, director of the Friendship Animal Protective League, that the worst course of action would be to take no steps to try and resolve the cat issue.

“We have to ask the community to get involved,” Willey said.

While euthanasia is used by the APL in some cases of aggressive cats or other animals, trap-neuter-release efforts are preferred, despite the fact such efforts require “a lot of manpower, time and resources,” Willey said.

The committee is being formed in response to the June 10 shooting of five kittens by Humane Officer Barry Accorti after a resident called for help in ridding her property of the animals.

The incident led to a huge backlash that saw protests outside City Council meetings, threats of legal action by a humane group, as well as demands by thousands of online petition signers for the firing of Accorti, who was not dismissed.

The furor led to Mayor David Gillock announcing the city would no longer send police or humane officers to handle feral cat calls except in extreme cases but would supply traps to residents requesting them.

Gillock and Police Chief Michael Freeman attended the meeting, with Freeman stressing his preference for a broad approach that doesn’t lock the city into one or two options.

“We have to gauge the police approach to this on a case-by-case basis,” Freeman said. “We have to protect residents’ property rights.”

A significant drop in cat populations could be made in three to five years, according to Willey.

“In three years’ time you could see the cat population start to dwindle,” he said.

Stan and Rhonda Boozer, who are caring for five cats taken in from a vacant adjoining property, said they want to see the city’s cat population contained while avoiding widespread euthanasia.

The couple paid $800 to $900 to have a number of cats from the neighboring garage neutered only to see them later euthanized.

One means of handling the city’s cat problem could include taking animals to inexpensive organizations that charge small sums to neuter and release trapped cats, according to Willey.

“North Ridgeville has a very solvable problem,” Willey said, especially when compared to Lorain, where thousands of cats are on the loose.

“Probably 20 of 5,000 feral cat calls we got during the year were from North Ridgeville,” Willey said.

Cats often leave on their own  if people stop putting out food for them, Willey said.

“This can be a very divisive issue, but people often create the problems, and we have to be the ones to solve them,” Willey said.

Committee chairman William Snyder said the group will try and hold monthly meetings to keep efforts and interest going.

Contact Steve Fogarty at 329-7146 or sfogarty@chroniclet.com.

  • WTFnext

    Sounds like a lot of people just wanted their 15 minutes of fame back in June. When it came time to try and resolve the problem in other ways, only 10 people showed up. What happened to everyone who tried to get the humane officer fired? They just wanted to stick their nose in something, but do nothing constructive to help the situation. Just my thoughts. SMH

    • hottamomma

      thats exactly what it was, just people sticking nose in something cause they dont have anything to do

    • Bob Sweatt

      Yeah like I said back in June. They come out of the woodwork ,so-to-speak. It doesn’t surprise me in the least.

      Everyone was all talk and no action.

  • Spec440

    Well well well…..everyone that was screaming and yelling in June just lost their right to say anything else about this, with the exception of the SIX that showed up. Idiots.

    • Bob Sweatt

      I figured it out. This story is no longer national news. So people can’t get their faces on CNN or Fox News. So they don’t care anymore. Well at least the SIX that showed up care. It’s laughable.

  • stop ur whining

    a bunch of animal right dingos in june. i bet 3/4 of those people complaining were the same trailer trash that were contributing to the problem. Feral cats came from house cats that people simply didn’t want anymore amd then these people cry foul when someone takes care of a serious problem. If you love something, take care of it. Bc of people like that i speed up when i see a cat in the road. I also believe in catch and drown more than fixing them and releasing them.

  • WoodsmanOO1

    Here’s a clue for you, THERE IS NOTHING TO DISCUSS.

    Where do cat-lickers get off even beginning to think that they have the right to force others to have dangerous invasive disease-infested vermin cats on everyone’s properties and in their lives? Where is even one iota of respect from sociopathic and psychopathic morons and cretins like that? They deserve ZERO respect in return because they have ZERO respect for anyone else and anything else on the whole planet! Not even for their cats that they are willing to throw under moving cars.

    By their reasoning I could raise pet Black-Mamba vipers and when there were enough excess of them that I didn’t want then FORCE all cat-lickers to let them slither in their backyards and around their children and other pets and animals, claiming I’m doing it to save the snakes’ valuable lives because I love animals so much. Then strip the cat-lickers of every legal right to do something about it. JUST because I formed a “citizen’s advisory committee” and got every last snake-licker on the planet to help me cyber-bully all lawmakers into submission. Is this the method that passes for lawmaking today?

    Do you see just how ludicrous and absurd this “citizen’s advisory committee” is? THERE IS NO REASON FOR THEM TO EVEN EXIST IN THE VERY FIRST PLACE.

    CATS HAVE NO RIGHT TO BE ON ANYONE ELSE’S PROPERTY IF THEY DON’T WANT THEM THERE. IF CATS ARE ON SOMEONE ELSE’S PROPERTY, THAT PROPERTY OWNER HAS EVERY LEGAL RIGHT IN THE WORLD TO DESTROY THAT ANIMAL IN ANY MANNER THAT THEY SEE FIT, SOMEONE’S PET OR NOT.

    End of discussion.

    SSS & TDSS Cat Management Programs (exploding in popularity worldwide, legal on every square foot of this earth); 1 adult-strength acetaminophen; Lilium species plants; .22s; 700-1200fps air-rifles with pointed vermin pellets. Problem solved completely. Perfectly legal too. Just remember, shoot-to-maim is animal cruelty and is punishable by law (and rightly so). Shoot-to-kill is a perfectly legal and humane way to destroy ANY cat (collared or not) on your own property. Outfit your firearm or air-rifle with a good scope and laser-sight, this affords a perfectly humane and LEGAL kill each and every time. The cat MUST die for it to be 100% legal. It worked where I live, where at one time hundreds of vermin cats infested my lands. Now there’s been zero cats for 4 years. Just shop around for cheap ammo if you have a lot of cats that you have to get rid of. Ammo could get expensive for some situations (like the one I had).

    Did you know that stray cats have been listed as a “vermin” species in the USA since the early 1900′s? This is why you can even use poisons on them legally, any animal listed as “vermin” means you can use vermin poisons on them. (Learned about that from a cat-licker. They’re so helpful sometimes, but they don’t realize it. :-) )

  • WoodsmanOO1

    I hope your local politicians have their liability insurance up to date and good lawyers when they find out they’ve violated CDC directives. LOL

    Conclusions on all TNR practices now direct from the CDC — onlinelibrary.wiley D0T com SLASH doi/10.1111/zph.12070/abstract

    Summary

    Domestic cats are an important part of many Americans’ lives, but effective control of the 60-100 million feral cats living throughout the country remains problematic. Although trap-neuter-vaccinate-return (TNVR) programmes are growing in popularity as alternatives to euthanizing feral cats, their ability to adequately address disease threats and population growth within managed cat colonies is dubious. Rabies transmission via feral cats is a particular concern as demonstrated by the significant proportion of rabies post-exposure prophylaxis associated with exposures involving cats. Moreover, TNVR has not been shown to reliably reduce feral cat colony populations because of low implementation rates, inconsistent maintenance, and immigration of unsterilized cats into colonies. For these reasons, TNVR programmes are not effective methods for reducing public health concerns or for controlling feral cat populations. Instead, responsible pet ownership, universal rabies vaccination of pets and removal of strays remain integral components to control rabies and other diseases.

    (end summary, bold emphasis mine)