Scottdale deals with feral cats
Many communities are dealing with the problem with feral cats — including Scottdale Borough.
An abandoned house at 200 Park St. has become home to a colony of feral cats.
Monica Eicher, who lives at 212 Park St., said she has seen as many as nine cats in and around the house.
“The cats sprayed (urine), pooped in my yard and destroyed flowers,” Eicher said. She has a dog and had a cat who died in 2011.
She called Scottdale Borough in June and was given the telephone number of the Scottdale-based Friends of Homeless Felines.
She called the number and was told that the group would trap the cats, vaccinate and neuter or spay them, and then return them to the location where they were trapped.
Eicher said the group asked her if she would volunteer to feed the cats, out of her own pocket, when they were returned.
“Why would you do that?” she asked.
Eicher is a single mother and does not have a lot of disposable income to spend on feeding nine cats.
Rob Eby of Friends of Homeless Felines said TNR (trap, neuter and return) is the only real way to reduce and eliminate the feral cat problem.
He said someone near the Park Street site has volunteered to feed and water the cats.
He suggested people, like Eicher, who want to keep the cats away from their property, use a commercial repellent like those sold in pet supply stores. Many of the repellents are made with citrus, something cats avoid.
Eicher said the problems with the spray are the cost ($12 to $15 a bottle) and the fact that spray is washed away whenever it rains.
According to the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals website, the only long-term way to control the populations of feral cats is to trap, neuter and return.
However, TNR does little to immediately eliminate the problems for property owners who may live near the site the colony has picked for a home.
A larger problem is that the colonies exist where there is food and shelter. They may find an abandoned house or structure and forage for food in a nearby dump or in garbage left for pickup in plastic bags.
Scottdale has an ordnance that requires residents to place their garbage, especially table scraps, in closed containers, According to borough Manager Angelo Pallone, residents who do not place their garbage in cans will be cited, if discovered. Pallone said enforcement will begin after residents have at least 30 days to purchase a garbage can and after the borough council gives its approval.
Pallone believes a good way to rid the borough of stray cats and wild animals, like skunks, is to remove the source of food. Once that happens, the invaders will move back out to the country where sources of food are more available.
Supporters of the cats believe the borough is trying to have the feral cats killed.
At September's meeting, Pallone repeatedly stated that the borough was not seeking to kill cats. He said, however, that borough residents have the right to be able to maintain their property without having to deal with the nuisance of cat colonies.
Karl Polacek is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Motorcyclist injured in Sewickley Township
- Red Onion reunion possibly the last for Hempfield coal mining village
- Judge denies former New Alexandria tree trimmer another chance
- Heroin suspect out of Westmoreland County jail on $100K bond
- Kecksburg celebrates its UFO history with annual festival
- Monessen home invasion ‘ringleader’ denied leniency
- Gas meter struck, road temporarily closed near Armbrust Wesleyan Church
- Westmoreland torture-slaying convict Smyrnes says death row isolation too cruel
- Police: Greensburg man had heroin, stolen gun
- Southmoreland School director named
- Hempfield murderer serving life sentence promises restitution when he’s released