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Feral cats cause controversy in Southport

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SOUTHPORT, NC (WWAY) -- Folks in Southport say feral cats are a citywide issue. But after one neighborhood raised some concerns about the cats, a resident pushed back.

Barry Amerson is a feral cat advocate. He's been feeding and looking after the stray cats in his neighborhood Cottage Point for years.

"We have spayed and neutered and placed litters of kittens ... I'd say it's 40-45 cats," Amerson said.

This Spring, the home owners association met to resolve the issue. One anonymous resident says most people in the neighborhood just want to leave it in the hands of the board.

"We wanted it to be addressed in a proper fashion and not just by one person, but by a voice for all of us," she said.

Amerson says they just don't understand. "We've not found some of the homeowners in our neighborhood open-minded about other ways of looking at this," Amerson said. "I don't know if it's close-mindedness. I don't know if they just hate cats. It's probably some of all of that."

The anonymous neighbor disagrees.
"Nobody dislikes the cats, wants them to be trapped, killed, whatever ... we just don't want them to be a nuisance."

What really brought this into the light was a cat was caught by a trap a few blocks from the neighborhood. The cat, now named lucky, is being cared for at the Capeside Animal Hospital in Leland. We tried to get an update with lucky but the hospital refused citing doctor-patient confidentiality.

The trap was initially thought to be set illegally, but it was later discovered to have been set by an official with the NC Wildlife Commission.

The homeowners association says that trap is not the kind they were looking into using.

The HOA will hold a meeting to discuss the feral cats on the 28th.

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"doctor-patient confidentiality."

"We tried to get an update with lucky but the hospital refused citing doctor-patient confidentiality."

Is that a joke or is someone being an idiot?

Feral Cats

This would not be a problem if pet owners would just be responsible to begin with. First of all, do not just abandon your cats. If you cannot continue to care for them either find them a new home or surrender them to a rescue group. Left alone to fend for themselves causes the cat population to explode. Secondly, if your cat is an outdoor cat, spay and neuter your pets.

Mr. Amerson and the other

Mr. Amerson and the other feral cat advocates: Why do you insist on trying to force your neighbors to put up with your feral cats when clearly there are many who do not want them? Why should they have to put up with cat feces in their yards and gardens, the stench of cat urine and cat feces wafting over their private property, ruined lawn furniture, and damaged cars, just to allow you your "feel good" activity of feeding cats? If you care for the cats that much, then confine them to your own private property and care for them properly. TNR has failed to make even a slight dent in feral cat populations on any site larger than a college campus. It is not a cat population reduction plan, it is a "keep the cats alive no matter what the cost" plan. TNR may reduce the yowling and spraying somewhat but it does not eliminate it. And it does nothing for the other issues mentioned. It also does nothing to mitigate the terrible toll taken on native wildlife by feral cats. A spayed or neutered cat kills just as frequently and indiscriminately as an intact cat. Stop feeding the cats. Feeding cats simply attracts more cats, and groups of cats simply encourage irresponsible owners to drop their own unwanted cats off there in the mistaken belief that they will be "cared for". Adopt out the adoptable cats (which according to your cat champion Dr. Levy's studies may be nearly 50% of the cats), euthanize the severely sick or disabled (probably another 10 - 15%, per Dr. Levy), and for the remainder either have your cat advocates come up with confined shelters on private property or euthanize them. And please don't try to tell me about the mythical "vacuum effect". If you really believe there is such a thing, then explain to all of us why it only applies to cats that are trapped and removed, and not when TNR cats are adopted out, killed by a dog or a coyote, die of feline leukemia, feline aids, internal parasites, external parasites, or are poisoned lapping up spilled anti-freeze. Just because there are feral cats there now does not mean there have to be feral cats there forever.

Cats Indoors Campaign

MikeIU, please e-mail me. I would like to get further well researched information from your excellent comments. Thank you. Overthelimit28@yahoo.com