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Residents Work to Manage Growing Feral Cat Community

A feral cat community on Bristol Street has led a group of residents to organize in an effort to spay and return the animals to their habitat.

A growing community of feral cats can become a nuisance over time. What's more, the cats can pose the potential to cause harm to nearby residents or their pets.

Such a problem has led residents on Bristol Street to join forces with Windsor Animal Control Officer Brian Davis, Friends of Windsor Animal Care & Control and Our Companions of Bloomfield in an effort to control a growing community of feral cats in the Wilson neighborhood.

The problem with having them in the neighborhood, Davis says, is that the felines are wild, likely not vaccinated, unapproachable, and could bite local animals or residents and infect them with a disease they may be carrying.

It's likely they are not spayed or neutered as well, which has contributed to the Bristol Street community of cats' growth in numbers.

In accordance, Davis and the local animal-rights organizations plan to begin a series of trapping, vaccinating, spaying and freeing the animals on Sun., March 18.

With the help of Our Companions, the initiative will not only benefit the health and safety of the wild cats and local residents, but it will be financially sound, as well, Davis says.

"If the town were to do this on its own, neutering and spaying and vaccinating would be very expensive," says Davis. "But Our Companions (a Bloomfield-based domestic animal sanctuary) has given us vouchers."

The vouchers will defray the cost of ensuring the animals are disease free and will be unable to reproduce.

What's contributed to the problem on Bristol Street is that many residents were feeding the wild cats, according to Davis.

So, Sunday's initiative will begin with the setting up of feeding stations with the help of a few Bristol Street residents who have volunteered to help out.

The cats must develop a routine of coming to the feeding stations over the next few days.

Eventually, humane traps will be placed at the feeding stations, and the cats will be captured, one-by-one, and taken for vaccination and neutering or spaying.

Feral cat communities are a "regular problem throughout town," according to Davis, who received the help of Our Companions a couple of years ago to control a wild cat community on Capen Street.

In every situation, the cats are returned to the neighborhood in which they were trapped after vaccination and spaying or neutering.

Their ears are also clipped, Davis says, so one is able to tell if a cat wandering around the neighborhood has been vaccinated or not.

The hope is that, over time, the population will decrease, and the nuisance and potential danger will no longer exist.

Betty S March 18, 2012 at 06:04 PM
Great article!! We need to educate the public about the problerm of feral cats, mostly caused by being abandoned by their humans. Many feral cats are not born wild, but became mistrustful of humans because they were left when their owners moved. They suffer out there. Abandonment laws should be enforced. Windsor is lucky to have a caring Animal Control Officer. Most will not do anything with cats because there are no facilities.
Nancy Bridge March 18, 2012 at 06:34 PM
So glad we have Officer Davis looking out for the cats. We need to support him in all his efforts. N. Bridge
jan newcomb March 18, 2012 at 08:44 PM
Great to see folks coming together to improve the situation for both the cats & the neighborhood. These poor cats and kittens have a tough time of it, there are so many dangers that they face on a daily basis. KUDOS to all involved ! Jan Newcomb
Betty S March 18, 2012 at 09:00 PM
Yes, if only more ACOs were like him!!!!
Donna E. Ploss March 18, 2012 at 09:09 PM
Feral cats are that way BECAUSE of humans. THAT is a fact. Until the laws change, holding pet owners responsible for dumping/abandoning them, things will stay the same, as rescuers like us will continue to help them, as they go on their merry way as if nothing ever happened. It's sickening. People like Clark P, who have NO idea what they're talking about, need to read up and do their homework. Not all rescuers are hoarders, as he implies. Brian Davis is a GOD send to the town of Windsor. He cares about every single animal he comes in contact with. ROCK ON BRIAN!!! And a big THANK YOU to all my fellow rescuers.
Abby March 18, 2012 at 09:38 PM
@Clark P re: "clipped-eared cats must be trapped and euthanized or destroyed on-site -- the only affordable and sane solution for everyone." You are totally inane and know very little about TNR!
Betty S March 18, 2012 at 11:37 PM
In my vast circle of rescue friends, I know of no one who would tip an ear of an unvetted cat. We all want to stop the breeding, stop all the kittens from being born and dying out there. TNR does work. I have huge feral colonies reduced to just one or two cats now thanks to TNR.
Donna E. Ploss March 18, 2012 at 11:52 PM
THANK YOU Abby!!! It's idiots like Clark P that give rescue a bad name. He's probably one of those who poisons cats because they bother his birds. I'd like to see him walk a mile in OUR shoes!! I'm sure he would sing a different tune. Cat Plague???? Oh PUHLEEZE!!! Maybe back in the 1920's. Oh yeah, and it's ear TIPPED, not CLIPPED you asshat!!!
Betty S March 19, 2012 at 12:03 AM
Many thanks to Our Companions for their help!! They do a lot to help feral cats.
Stacey S March 19, 2012 at 03:06 AM
Clearly Clark P has totally missed the point of THIS article; this article is about a small colony of feral cats and what our ACO is doing about it. It’s about Windsor not NYC it’s also not about cat-hoarders or “TNR On-A-Budget” as Clark mentioned. It’s about our wonderful ACO and his efforts along with Our Companions in Bloomfield and a community of volunteers all coming together to help these cats, to ensure they are all spay or neutered, vaccinated and then returned to their colony. It’s about Windsor people caring and doing the right thing for these animals.
Jennifer Coe March 19, 2012 at 11:43 AM
We have feral cats in our neighborhood and they do cause problems. We have trapped a couple, even kittens, over the years, but really don't know what to do for them. ??
Donna E. Ploss March 19, 2012 at 11:54 AM
Clearly, ClarkP is a troll who likes to stir up the pot. Ignore this ignoramous. It IS about the wonderful Windsor ACO that takes his job seriously and is willing to go the extra mile for the poor cats who didn't asked to be dumped in the first place. I only WISH ClarkP was a feral cat out there, so he could see exactly what it's like to live day to day not knowing when your next meal will be, or where you're going to find shelter during a terrible storm. Then maybe he'd pull his head out of his butt and understand. Until then, he'll continue to spew the misinformation, as he's done here. Way to go Brian Davis!!!
Nancy Bridge March 19, 2012 at 04:51 PM
If the Town of Windsor relocates the Windsor dog pound (as they are considering), and thus Officer Davis, he will not have the time to spend on other animals, such as cats, goats, squirrels, etc in trouble. The citizens of Windsor truly need to support him and his efforts for ALL the animals.

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