ARCANUM — The Village of Arcanum is taking steps to advise residents about a growing feral cat problem.
During Tuesday night’s Village Council meeting, Village Administrator Bill Kessler said the village has developed a new pamphlet for village residents, informing them of the problem and of ways they can help stop it.
“What I’ve been doing for people who have obviously been feeding these cats is dropping of some American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) information, letting them know this is how feral cats become, and if you feed these animals, they become your animals,” he said. “In this document, there are all kinds of resources we’ve found to help residents deal with the cat population.”
Kessler said there have been fewer feral cat sightings at Water Street but more toward the area of the library.
“I’ve received a few more complaints about cats this year than I did last year,” Kessler said, adding the village currently is not funding a Trap, Neuter and Release program, as the City of Greenville does in association with the Darke County Humane Society.
Kessler also warned against cruelty toward the animals.
“You cannot shoot the cats,” he said.
As well, Mayor Judy Foureman addressed the issue in her monthly newsletter, which states feral cats are primarily the result of abandonment or failure to spay or neuter, which allows them to breed uncontrolled.
“These animals are causing a huge PROBLEM in our village,” she wrote. “They damage property, spread disease and create a mess and odor. One SOLUTION is not allowing your cat to roam unless spayed or neutered. Do not feed stray cats. This creates a safe place for feral cats to congregate. Once you feed them, the cat belongs to you, and you are responsible for their actions.
“The village is not staffed or equipped to address this problem. The cat is to be trapped and taken to a facility that will assist with spay or neuter. You can get informational assistance from the Darke County Humane Society at 937-548-1009. A donation of traps to the village would be a great help to the Humane Society due to a shortage, and would always be available for use in our village.”