Trap-neuter-release efforts spark animal-control debate.
Thursday, August 21, 2003
By COLLEEN DISKIN, STAFF WRITER
North Jersey Media Group, NJ
Lawsuit against Lenoir SPCA dismissed.
By Sandy Wall, Staff Writer
Kinston Free Press, NC
When nature calls Jennie Gates answers.
By Tim Murphy / Correspondent
Wednesday, August 20, 2003
Medfield Press, MA
From FIREPAW's Animal News 8/19/03:
Group steps in to help solve stray-cat spat.
Evanston felines will be neutered.
By Brian Cox
Special to the Tribune
Published August 19, 2003
Copyright © 2003, Chicago Tribune
IL-An animal humane group in Downers Grove has come to the assistance of an elderly Evanston woman whose habit of feeding stray cats has upset city officials and neighbors.
Cherie Travis, president of People and Animals in Community Together, said volunteers plan to start catching, neutering and vaccinating stray cats near Eva Rokossowski's home in the 1900 block of Grant Street.
Evanston animal-control officers euthanized at least 14 cats trapped around Rokossowski's home in recent months after neighbors complained that the cats were smelly and noisy.
"I was really disappointed to hear that Evanston is killing stray cats," Travis said. "There are much better and more humane solutions."
Rokossowski said she was thrilled by the offer.
"I'm very happy about this," she said. "After all, I don't want these cats to breed. I would appreciate this if it means the cats will not be killed."
Rokossowski, 72, has fed and housed stray cats in her back yard for 20 years. She said the cats have eliminated a rat and mouse problem in the area. But her neighbors complained to city officials that the cats have created a public health problem.
In response, the city has taken steps to shut down Rokossowski's feline refuge. City inspectors went through her back yard a few weeks ago and issued seven citations for public health and property standard violations.
She could be fined anywhere from $10 to $750 when she appears for an administrative hearing at the Evanston Civic Center on Sept. 4, city officials said.
Rokossowski said she plans to continue feeding the cats if they come to her yard.
"I don't think I did anything wrong," she said. "These are poor homeless cats that are not harming anyone. They run away from people. Can you blame them?
"Some of those cats were with me for 10 years. I still cannot get over it."
Travis said wild cats are a problem in communities across Illinois, and the humane solution is to trap, neuter, vaccinate and release them.
"After that, the majority of the cat's nuisance behavior stops," Travis said. "I was very saddened to think Mrs. Rokossowski is facing charges from the city because she tried to do a kindly act. She just needs some help."
Ald. Elizabeth Tisdahl (7th) said she has secured a $1,000 donation for Travis' organization to trap, vaccinate and neuter the stray cats.
"I think it's very sad to kill the cats, but people have complained about the strays," Tisdahl said. "I think this is a much better solution."