Phoenix neighborhood plagued by feral cat population - New York News

Phoenix neighborhood plagued by feral cat population

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PHOENIX -

A nice Phoenix neighborhood is dealing with a feral cat population, and those cats appear to be attracting coyotes. A concerned resident has turned to organizations like the Humane Society and Animal Care and Control, but they can't help.

Mutilated cats, half of their bodies left behind. It's not the work of a serial cat killer. It's coyotes, making them their prey.

"Everybody that saw the photo told me that they believed it was a coyote kill, and yeah the coyotes know there is a food source in the neighborhood because there is a cat population in the neighborhood."

Andy Hirschman says he constantly sees feral cats roaming around his neighborhood near 32nd Street and Camelback.

"Daily. They are all over the neighborhood," says Hirschman. "I see them walking through my yard. I see them up on the roof. I see them everywhere."

He's written his city councilman, called the humane society and the county, but has gotten no help.

"If there were packs of wild dogs roaming the neighborhood believe me, the city would be up in arms."

Taking care of feral cats apparently is not a high priority or a legal requirement.

"There are no laws or ordinances within Maricopa County like there are for dogs. Dogs, we are mandated to control the population but for cats there are no laws regarding them," says Melissa Gable, Maricopa County Animal Care and Control.

Trapping the cats and turning them in may not be the best idea either.

"We do charge $96 per cat and that is basically because we are not mandated to take in cats, so that is the money that it costs us to care for the animal while it is on hold for 3 days," says Gable.

"In the case of feral cats they are not really friendly, they are not very adoptable so chances are those animals will be euthanized."

Hirschman is concerned that if feral cats keep being fed and stick around, his own pets could end as coyote prey.

"If my dog has to be licensed, which it does, if my dog has to be vaccinated, which it does, I don't understand why cats don't," says Hirschman.

There are some organizations that do spay and release programs for small fee of about $25. But those typically require you to trap the cats yourself, not something everyone is willing to do.

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