Town to Hire Firm to Move Feral Cats

The feral cats of Brookhaven, N.Y., will be trapped and moved to help protect the endangered piping plover.

Posted: April 12 2008 2 a.m. EDT

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Town to Hire Firm to Move Feral Cats
Feral cats in Brookhaven, N.Y., will be trapped, altered, then placed with animal welfare groups. 
Tuesday night, the Brookhaven, N.Y., Town Board voted 5-2 to hire professional trappers to remove a colony of about 30 feral cats from Cedar Beach. The decision was motivated by concerns from the Fish and Wildlife Service that the cats threaten the endangered piping plover, which nests on the beach. The federal agency had warned the town to remove the feral cats or it would face a fine of $15,000 per day, Newsday reports.

By approving the motion to hire the trappers, the town board agreed to pay Long Island firm Nuisance Wildlife Control $650 per day, up to $10,000, to humanely trap the feral cats. Once caught, the cats will be spayed or neutered, then handed over to local animal welfare groups for relocation.

Fish and Wildlife officials now say that the town’s efforts to remove the cats have been sufficient to prevent the need for the fine. The agency hopes that the cats’ relocation will protect a pair of piping plovers that nest at Cedar Beach. The two birds are the only nesting pair of piping plovers that has been spotted on this beach since 2001, according to the New York Department of Environmental Conservation.

Local residents and animal welfare professionals have successfully removed 90 cats over the past six years, according to Charlie McGinley, director of the Brookhaven Town Animal Shelter. The shelter had worked with local animal welfare groups to trap, neuter and relocate the cats. Earlier this year, the partnership dissolved when town workers found shelters and food set up on the beach, McGinley said.

Some animal welfare groups say other steps should be taken to control the feral cat population. Dawn Reilly, president of Animal Alliance of Long Island, said the town should make a stronger effort to prosecute pet owners who abandon their cats on the beach.

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Reader Comments

peggy    coram, NY

10/1/2008 9:06:17 AM

Cat hoarders placed the cats in a cat ranch in endangered bird species habitat. The cat group put the cats in the sanctuary to " hoard without walls".
Cat group claimed cats were released there by the fictitious animal abandoners... propaganda. What a mess they made. Forty unvaccinated diseased cats in a wildlife santuary and childrens nature walk.

KatieBelle    nb, NJ

4/13/2008 10:19:33 PM

im glad the town will be seeing the cats go to placements and not death. at least that is the way i read the article. No cat should have to live in the wild in the cold of winter and at the mercy of wild animals who would prey on them or people who have no hearts and would do them harm. I think the town is doing the best they can for these cats in having them trapped and neutered and allowing animal welfare groups to take charge of the cats wellbeing. I know it takes more money to trap and save the cats and less to poison and kill them so i commend the town council for taking a stand and making a decent humane decission to help these cats!!!!! bravo to Cedar beach a humane and caring town that anyone should be proud to call their home!!!!!

cyan    boulder, CO

4/13/2008 9:12:04 PM

good article

Nicole    Edina, MN

4/13/2008 5:48:53 PM

I'm glad an effort is being made to neuter the cats, and relocate them to shelters. The animals will find homes, the birds will be able to nest.

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