Arma Makes Moves to Curb Growing Cat Population

Arma Makes Moves to Curb Growing Cat Population
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It first started with only a couple cats meowing at Shelly Burns’s doorstep, then as the cats began talking to their feline friends it turned into over a dozen.

Burns is among several cat owners doing their part to shelter Arma’s feral cats, but being that she lives across the street from the Elementary school their presence has become a nuisance to the community.

“The problem has become where the cats come over into the school yard, the playground, etc., and they use the bathroom. And of course it becomes kind of a health hazard and a health issue,” says NE Schools Superintendent Greg Gorman.

To deal with the problem the council discussed having an ordinance to limit the amount of cats a resident can keep to five.

Burns lost her voice so she gave me this written statement:

“I don’t feel the ordinance is fair. I have called the Humane Society many times at first and they wouldn’t take them. I had numerous ones fixed out of my own pocket. I would love it if they had good homes to go to.”

Burns says she’s just trying to give the cats to a good home, but since the Humane Society considers them to be wild, they were unable to help her.

Although the South East Kansas Humane Society won’t be able to adopt the cats out, volunteers have helped to spay and neuter fourteen of her cats over the last year.

“And for people like shelly where the cats are afraid some of the volunteers we will try to come out and we work this into our daily or evening lives. We’re out there with traps and headlamps in the middle of the night trying to trap these animals,” says SEK Humane Society volunteer Elizabeth Kutz.

The mayor says it may not be the right move.

“Having an ordinance and being able to enforce an ordinance is two different things. If we can’t enforce an ordinance then why should we have it if we can’t enforce it. So we have to look for something that’s workable,” says Buddy Bualle.

After the SEK’s presentation, the council decided to throw out the limit idea out and will work with the shelter on their Pawprints on the Heartland program by providing $20 to spay and neuter the feral cats.

The Southeast Kansas Humane Society provides spay and neuter services free of charge, a procedure that generally costs anywhere from $25-$35.

The Humane Society runs entirely on donations, and says the council’s support will help a lot.

In Arma, Diane Gerstenfeld KOAM News.