Shamokin residents ask for help with strays
SHAMOKIN - Two city residents pleaded with city council Monday to take action in dealing with stray cats.
Tom Makowski, of 403 E. Dewart St., and Susan Kleman, of 525 Bear Valley Ave., approached council separately about their issues with the vagabond felines.
Makowski, a cat owner himself, said he fears letting his grand kids play in his backyard because of the strays, while Kleman said the cats have ruined patio furniture and outside toys, urinated in the vents of her vehicle and caused hair and dander to infiltrate her home.
Some of the cats are people's pets, Makowski said, and the owners should be held responsible. If a dog runs at large, its owner can be cited, and Makowski suggested the same for cat owners.
Kleman, who doesn't own cats, called the issue a health hazard. She said she's spraying her home with flea repellent and that her family is taking over-the-counter allergy medicine because of cat allergies.
Rick Bozza, code officer, previously estimated up to 600 feral cats inhabit Shamokin. He said the borough of Northumberland has had success with its own ordinance requiring licensing. It holds responsible the owners whose cats run at large.
A licensing ordinance wouldn't impact the feral cat population. Councilwoman Barbara Moyer suggested city council explore a "trap, neuter, release" program. She said there are organizations that would undertake the effort, and that it's a humane and effective solution.
Milbrand said city council would discuss a potential ordinance next month. One issue he identified is manpower, questioning who would be able to enforce another ordinance.