Compassion creates 'cat-astrophe'It all started with the best of intentions, a love of animals and hungry little kitty eyes. And then... the phone calls from concerned citizens.
By: Jamie Lund, Pine Journal
It all started with the best of intentions, a love of animals and hungry little kitty eyes. And then... the phone calls from concerned citizens. The phone calls led to an investigation into the complaints and a talk to a compassionate cat lover, and then the animal control officer got to work.
On May 28, the Friends of Animals (FOA) Humane Society began to set live traps to catch the 30 stray cats that were disrupting a quiet neighborhood in a wooded area on outskirts of Cloquet. A big-hearted local resident had fed a stray cat and then it snowballed into feeding 30 or so stray cats, which soon became overwhelming for the resident and a nuisance for neighbors as the males marked territory everywhere.
“As soon as we drove up the driveway, I could smell the urine,” said Loel Seboe, FOA president and one of the trappers.
Once the traps were set in place and baited with cat food, many of the cats walked right in and almost trapped themselves.
“None of the cats were injured during the trapping,” said Seboe.
As a matter of fact, the traps were checked every hour to make sure any trapped cat was promptly removed when they began this ordeal two weeks ago.
“We let the raccoon go...it shows me that we are doing a good job because the wild animals are coming back,” said Seboe.
This is still an ongoing situation as two of the cats are refusing to cooperate and are still at large, running off when FOA staff show up.
The rescued cats are currently in isolation at the animal shelter where they are being assessed for health issues as well as socialization. Few of the cats are believed to have had human interactions before, as many of them object to being handled and will need to be socialized before becoming adoptable.
The cats were all outside, none of them were spayed or neutered, and there are two or three batches of kittens about 12 weeks old who have all been adopted by a loving, friendly female cat. The animals that have been deemed healthy, have been spayed or neutered and are socializing well will be available for adoption around July 1. The cats will not be available for viewing before that time.
The shelter is in need of cash donations to help pay for this influx of cats on top of the 30 that were already in residence. The money will go towards food, spaying and neutering, medications and vet costs. Also desperately needed at this time are donations of bleach, laundry detergent and cat food.
If you suspect a pet is being neglected, abused, does not have access to a shelter, clean food or water, or is a nuisance, contact Animal Control at 218-428-0379. All calls/complaints are kept confidential.
Friends of Animals has two upcoming fundraisers. A spaghetti dinner this Saturday, June 8, from 4-7 p.m. will be held at the Fireside Room of Atkins-Northland Funeral Home, 801 14th St., Cloquet.
A Mutt Strutt in Moose Lake will be held Saturday, June 15, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with the walk starting at 10 a.m. and events taking place throughout the day.
Visit www.foaonline.org for more information.