Monday 1 November 2021

Sweet American village of 180 don't know how to deal with feral cats and they argue about it

This is a post which is about drilling down to a small community in Lawrence County, Missouri, United States. It is the village of Freistatt. They have a population of 180. The village goes back to 1884. It's a small community and they have feral cats. The feral cat problem is everywhere.

Freistatt. Photo: Google Maps. A beautiful place.

At a council meeting they argued about how to deal with feral cats. They tried to figure out who was responsible for them. One council member, Richard Knight, told a resident that her complaint about feral cats should be taken to the housing authority because it is not the responsibility of the village council. The recipient of that information, Shannon Jones, disagreed and said that it was the responsibility of the village as a whole as did Debbie Schoen. They are correct.

The Board President, Elmer Conway, said that the village had tried to contract with an animal control organisation. They reached out to try and hire an animal control officer at the city of Mt. Vernon and the city of Monett but they weren't interested.

Board members Holly Hughlett and Larry Howard said that it was impossible to identify a stray or feral cat from a domestic cat. If you're going to catch and control feral cats how can you distinguish them from owned cats? On that basis Mr Howard said he doesn't know how the village can control them. And he said that most cats don't have collars.

Another problem they discussed was the fact that some people at Freistatt Housing fed feral cats. There were two colonies of feral cats living under a shed on the Freistatt housing property. A resident at Freistatt Housing, Schoen, said that she would tell people not to feed feral cats.

It all sounds a bit confused and confusing. And it is a very typical conversation between the managers of the community and the citizens regarding feral cats.

Comment: as there are people who are feeding feral cats, I would have thought it might be possible for those people to be trained on TNR work. They could be volunteers doing trap, neuter and release work on the feral colonies mentioned. This includes feeding them. What I'm suggesting is that they add to the feeding of the feral cats the neutering and spaying of them. This could be paid for by the community.

As part of that process, the cats' left ear flaps are tipped i.e. the top of them are cut off so that people then can identify feral cats from domestic cats. If that process were carried out for 10 years in such a confined are relatively small area as Freistatt, I would hope that the feral cat numbers would go down gradually to the point where they were no longer a subject of discussion in council meetings.

Note: Freistatt, as you can tell from the map, is an isolated village. This would be ideal territory to practice successful TNR because it is an island community. They're just going to need a veterinarian who can provide the spaying and neutering services at a discount. There would appear to be enough volunteers to do the TNR work. The council could pay their expenses. I'm sure the residents of this village would approved because they see that there is a feral cat problem which they want to resolve. A small contribution shouldn't trouble them.

Note 2: Freistatt seems to have been named after a German town.

Source: The Monett Times.

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