Randolph Iowa cats update
Iowa town ready to catch cats
Chicago Tribune Illinois
By MELANIE S. WELTE Associated Press Writer
1:53 PM CDT, March 21, 2008
DES MOINES, Iowa - After causing a stir with plans for a $5 bounty on wild cats, the tiny town of Randolph is ready for Plan B.
The City Council on Thursday signed an agreement with animal rescue groups on a catch, neuter and release program.
"We are full steam ahead," said Sherry Haftings of Feline Friendz, based in Omaha, Neb.
Mayor Vance Trively, who suggested the $5 bounty, said he's satisfied with the plan.
"I think we've got the problem solved. It will be good for the community as well as taking care of the cats," he said.
Haftings said her group hoped to start moving equipment to Randolph this weekend because they want cats to begin going to the vet next week.
She expected the program to take several weeks, if not months. Pet cats are also included.
"Everybody will get spayed and neutered," she said.
Haftings said some cats will return to town, while others will be put up for adoption.
Trively said farmers are interested, too.
"We've got guys who will take them. There's feedlots around here and other places that need cats because they have a mice and rat problem," he said.
Haftings estimated the cat count, including pets, strays and feral ones, at about 150.
"That could go up because we're in the middle of kitten season. Each day this is delayed, kittens are being born. We want to get in there next week and start surgery," Haftings said.
The City Council approved the $5 bounty after receiving numerous complaints about dozens of feral cats in the southwest Iowa town of 200 people. Under the initial policy, which went into effect March 1, stray cats without collars would be taken to a veterinarian, and if they weren't claimed, they'd be euthanized.
That caused an uproar. The city scratched the idea on March 13 and agreed to work with animal rescue groups on a catch, neuter and release program.
Haftings said the first stage targets female cats, preferably pregnant ones.
Pet cats are included for a reason, she said.
"If we only went in and spayed and neutered the stray and feral cats and did not include people's pets, the problem is going to reoccur because these pets are being allowed outside," she said. "We have to hit this from every angle."
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Best Friends March 21 updates are here:
Bye, bye bounty!
March 21, 2008 : 4:18 PM ET
Officials and Feral Advocates Rally for Randolph
March 21, 2008 : 7:16 PM
See original Feral Cat Blog! post of March 14:
Randolph Iowa cats