Insist on treating feral cats humanely

Posted: Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A few years ago, my cat, Sam, escaped and ran away from home. I was devastated. I put up posters around downtown Douglas with his picture and identifying marks, and I also placed an ad in the Juneau Empire. I walked around my neighborhood calling his name. Many people called to alert me to possible sightings. It took five weeks, but Sammy was found in a cat trap and returned to me. That was one of the best days living in Douglas. Thanks again for all your help.

I have since moved to Wrangell, and Sam seems to have learned his lesson. I sometimes let him hang out on the deck to soak up the sun, but usually Sam stays in the house. I figure he did not like fending for himself for so long and I am not THAT bad to live with.

Wrangell has a large feral cat problem. To help solve it, a few of us have teamed up with Dr. Savage to conduct a trap-fix-release program. Wrangell is a small town in hard economic times, but we managed to raise more than $2,000 to fix 35 cats. We are currently working on a grant for additional funding.

Recently, a local business owner who was a part of our program hired a high school student to trap and stomp on the feral cats around her building. The police were called, but he said that she had the right to exterminate the cats. Her actions have killed more than 20 cats, most of which we paid to have fixed and one might have been someone's recently lost cat. I was told that any animal that trespasses on another person's property can be exterminated in this manner.

The people involved in the feral cat program are horrified. We recognize the business owner's right to get rid of cats, but we maintain it should be done in a humane manner - it is the law. Also, what is this person teaching the children of Wrangell? We have tried to get the Wrangell Police Department to enforce the law on cruelty to animals, but so far they have refused.

I am asking you to please help us. Call the Wrangell Police Department (874-3304) and tell them you would like them to enforce the laws of this state. Call our Borough Manager Bob Prunella (874-2381) and tell him that he needs to direct the Wrangell Police Department to enforce our laws. Most of all, thank you, Douglas, for caring for my cat when it escaped.

Denise Wolvin


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