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Feral Cats in College Park – What You Can Do?

Recently, I’ve been asked what can be done to contain feral cats in the neighborhood. There are at least 4 feral “colonies” in North College Park.

There are a couple of options residents have with feral cat complaints:

(1) To loan a trap that the resident would be responsible for monitoring and baiting and contacting City or County Animal Control when a cat is captured. Any cats that are trapped will be immediately assessed and transported to PGAMG for euthanasia if deemed feral WITHOUT an eartip. There is a county law in place that does protect eartipped feral cats and they cannot be removed without a formal complaint filed with the County Animal Control Commission. There is nothing against feeding feral cats in either the City Code or the County Ordinance. If the caretaker takes ownership of the cats, they can be issued a municipal infraction, but there is no cause for removal based on the City Code unless the animal is creating a nuisance on public property (section 102.10). The complainant does have the right to claim that the animals are a nuisance as defined in section 102.1, but this complaint must be heard by the County Commission for Animal Control, as there is no resolution for such a nuisance complaint in the City Code. These nuisance related items were once heard by the now disbanded City Animal Control Board.

(2) Funds for a TNR project. More about TNR is here: http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/Trap-Neuter-Return . A TNR project would have to be initiated with the caretaker. A TNR project would also need to be manned with volunteers as a City employee (Animal Control Officer – ACO) cannot trap the cats in question for TNR.

(3) In addition to these options, humane harassment techniques are also recommended, but feral cat aversion is more difficult than wildlife aversion. There is an item on the market that Laurel Cats recommends and loans to Laurel residents called “Catscram”.

(4) Alley Cat Allies’ web site also offers a variety of nuisance solutions: https://www.alleycat.org/resources/how-to-live-with-cats-in-your-neighborhood/ .

If you have feral cats issue in your neighborhood, please let me know how you want to proceed. I’ll be happy to put you in touch with our ACO, who will help you in taking the next steps.

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