George has trapped nearly 200 stray cats in 2 years
Joe Shons, public works director for the City of George, is seeing an increase in stray cats around town.
“In the last year we caught a huge amount,” Shons said. “We caught about the same amount the year before.”
Traps were set near East Montmorency Boulevard and just off of Frontage Road, near the old water tower. More than 40 wild cats were caught at each location in a year’s time.
Although attempts have been made to trap the cats, the efforts to control the population seem fruitless to the disheartened Shons. The year prior, he removed nearly 90 feral cats, relocating them to local farms where they can live out the rest of their lives, he said.
“The idea is to be humane,” Shons said. “I don’t have the heart to put them to sleep. We would rather give them a chance to survive on a farm than die out here. They become coyote bait.”
Shons believes it would be beneficial to do some outreach with local residents to let them know it is not humane to let their cats continuously reproduce.
The city ordinance states that George residents are allowed only three pets in the home. These can be any combination of cats or dogs. People who own too many pets, or allow them to run loose, may be ticketed $30. Pet owners also can be ticketed for not having a pet’s rabies shot up to date. On the first offence, a pet owner is given a warning and a copy of the ordinance.
“We encourage anybody with animals to pick up a copy of the ordinance,” Shons said.
Shons spoke of the kitty conundrum at last week’s George City Council meeting. At the meeting, the city also approved the purchase of a portable radar sign that reads the speed of passing vehicles and collects traffic data. The new sign cost $3,100.
“You can move the unit around,” Shons said. “It has a data logger that will keep track of speeds and traffic. It would give us an idea of where our high traffic areas are and at what time of day.”
— By Tammara Green, QVPR contributor