Iowa Town Rescinds $5 Cat Bounty
RANDOLPH, Iowa. – In a turn of events, Randolph, the tiny southwestern Iowa town that made headlines by placing a $5 bounty on its feral cats, has rescinded the order.
After meeting with various animal rescue groups, the city voted to end the bounty late last week and is slated to start a catch, neuter and release program.
“We’ve told them to get it lined up to do it,” said Vince Trively, mayor of the 200-person town.
Originally, the City Council had approved the mayor’s incentive of $5 for each un-collared, feral cat turned into the city. The city had planned for the animals to be euthanized after a week, if the felines were not adopted.
Now, a task force has been formed with three organizations: Maryland-based Alley Cat Allies, Best Friends Animal Society of Utah and Feline Friends in Nebraska.
“We’re keenly interested in helping this community,” said Barbara Williamson of the Best Friends group. “The mayor is reaching out for help.”
On Thursday, the City Council will meet again to go over the plan devised by the task force, said Elizabeth Parowski, spokeswoman for Alley Cat Allies.
“What will happen is the cats that are truly feral will return to the outdoors and the cats that are strays that are actually socialized will be adopted into homes,” said Parowski.
While several veterinarians are lined up to help, Sherry Haftings of Feline Friendz said a lot more needs to be done.
“There’s going to be shelters that need to be built, cat food needs to be donated, traps that we need, towels that we need,” she said. “There’s a lot of who’s going to coordinate which end of it.”
Regardless of logistics, one thing is certain, the mayor does not want to see the return of the felines.
“How would you like it if a dozen cats come around there every morning as you tried to feed pets, and they gobble up food and chase your pets away, and then left a calling card on your card or walk to step on,” he asked.
Under the bounty, which was initiated March 1 and was in effect for two weeks, two cats were turned in. One of the cats was pregnant, and the other was ill and has since died.
Feline Friendz now has the pregnant feline, who is reportedly doing just fine.
For more information on these catch and release programs being initiated by the three organizations, visit their Web sites at: alleycat.org, bestfriends.org, and felinefriendz.org.
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