Tuesday, Jun 19, 2018
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Rossford says city inundated by felines

Mayor to humanely address the problem

Rossford officials are to meet this week with representatives of a spay-and-neuter clinic to come up with a solution to the city’s feral cat population.

Mayor Neil MacKinnon said he has received complaints about the stray cats since taking office more than 2½ years ago, but the number has increased recently.

“For some reason, we’ve been getting more complaints, so we’re looking at our options,” he explained. “We don’t want to kill any animals. We want to address the problem in the most humane way possible.”

That means catching the animals in live traps, neutering them, and releasing them back to their Rossford neighborhood. To that end, he and Rossford Administrator Ed Ciecka plan to meet this week with Humane Ohio, a well-known nonprofit Toledo spay-neuter clinic that fixes about 5,000 cats a year.

Mayor MacKinnon said the feral cats are concentrated in the northeast part of Rossford in the so-called “tree streets” such as Oak, Elm, and Beech.

“There’s some vacant industrial land and railroad tracks there that provides shelter, and a decent food source,” he explained. “One neighbor hates them and the next neighbor feeds them. It pits neighbor against neighbor. I’m trying to find a solution where everybody wins.”

Additionally, he said, he was told by neighbors that a former resident of Oak who has since died kept about 100 felines in his home, and many escaped and reproduced. His house had to be condemned and demolished.

Mr. Ciecka noted that Rossford did not have an animal control officer and was too small to afford one.

Aimee St. Arnaud, director and founder of Humane Ohio, said she looks forward to meeting Rossford officials, although a time and date have not been set.

“We’re seeing this problem in our area. In Ohio, there is no state agency that deals with these strays. Euthanasia is not the solution, because a lot of people like to feed the cats,” she explained. “We’re looking forward to working with Rossford and see how we can set this up.”

Her group provides live traps and neutering for $25 per cat. Using grant money, it currently was working in the 43609, 43605, and 43615 ZIP Codes to catch and neuter cats and reduce the intake at the Toledo Area Humane Society shelter.

She said her group and Rossford could possibly qualify for a grant. “We can do a large trapping in a few days,” she said. “Once we see the scope of the problem, we can design a solution.”

Contact Carl Ryan at: carlryan@theblade.com or 419-724-6095.

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