It seems like such an innocent practice. But there is a lot more involved. Newnan’s stray and feral cat population continues to grow and the city is asking residents to refrain from feeding the furry animals that tend to congregate behind shopping centers. Those found feeding them could be subject to a citation.
“While it is understandable citizens have concern for these animals it does prohibit us from doing our job to trap and relocate these strays if citizens continue feeding them,” said Newnan Animal Warden Cyndi Hoffman.
The problem is that stray and feral cats continue to increase in number. Citing an example of their increasing presence in recent years, Hoffman as many as two dozen cats can be seen at one time during the nighttime hours behind one of the shopping centers on Bullsboro Drive.
Hoffman said the cats could possibly cause a health issue to the public and must be removed, adding that the city has had an active rabies case almost annually, Hoffman said.
Some of these cats are on the catch/release program but the problem there is they are only given a 1-3 year rabies vaccination at time of the release. If one of these cats were to bite a person, the entire population would have to be put down and possibly be tested, Hoffman added.
Hoffman said persons caught feeding cats at the shopping areas may be issued a citation for interference with the animal control officer. Any person caught releasing an animal in these areas may be issued a citation for abandoning animals.
The city would like to remind people that it is against the law to sell animals in the parking lots of the shopping centers without first obtaining a peddlers’ permit, Hoffman said.
If you would like to help stray animals, Hoffman suggested donating to the local animal shelter and/or rescue organization. They can always use food, towels, laundry detergent, bleach and mostly your time.
For more information contact the Cyndi Hoffman at 770-254-2355.