The City of Blue Ridge is seeking to curtail its feral cat problem. During the city council workshop Tuesday, Mayor Donna Whitener said she has been receiving numerous calls regarding feral cats in the city, saying that she receives weekly calls about the problem. The mayor, Council Members Rodney Kendall, Harold Herndon, and City Administrator Bill Sowers brainstormed on how to remedy the problem Tuesday.
According to Humanesociety.org, feral cats are the offspring of either lost or abandoned pet cats, or, perhaps, other feral cats that are not spayed or neutered. The website goes on to say that ferals are not accustomed to human interaction and are typically either too fearful or wild to be handled. During the discussion, Sowers noted part of the challenge in remedying the situation, commenting that few organizations will collect the cats. Whitener said, though, people are usually willing to help. When the city previously had a problem with ferals, Operator of Tri-State Animal Rescue Jan Eaton and the Humane Society helped the city with the problem. “Jan actually organized a mobile unit,” she said, “And I think that was very successful.” The mayor went on to say that the process did not cost the city a dime and did not disrupt business. Whitener suggested arranging a reprise of the mobile units.
The mayor also said that previously when the city had the feral problem local farmers and residents would take home feral cats from the mobile units. The reason, Whitener said, was to use the cats as outdoor cats, to keep rodents and pests away. Additionally, she said the city recently purchased two traps. The traps, she said, are cages that contain the cats.
Looking ahead, the mayor and council members agreed to contact Eaton and the Humane Society to help to take care of the feral cat problem in the city. Whitener said she wants to re-establish the mobile unit system and have cat adoptions quarterly.
“We’re just not making enough of an impact ourselves,”
“so we’re going to have to get some help with that.”