Feral Cat Coalition
Friends of Feral Cats in 2009with the help of
the town and the SPCA.
Basedon the town’spopulation, thereare
652 stray cats in town.
Area students are among the more than
A “Feral Cat Coalition” is being formed
130 graduates fromUpper Canada District
to attempt to break up the Hawkesbury cat
fight thathasbeenragingsince thesummer
food and shelter,” the SPCA says in a
Elizabeth II Aiming for the Top
and to get a better handle on the estimated
652 felines roaming town streets.
could cost $40,000.
The program rewards students who get
On the advice of the Cornwall chapter of
In addition to funds, public education is
top marks at their high school and have
the SPCA, town council has supported the
also required, notes the SPCA.
graduated to study at Ontario colleges or
creation of the group which will “map feral
Currently, people feed strays at places
cat colonies in Hawkesbury in order to be
that have not been identified by the SPCA,
minister with the Ministry of Training,
able to provide accurate information on
related town clerkChristineGroulx, adding
Colleges and Universities, said in a letter to
Hawkesbury’s feral cat population which
that the municipality has been receiving
can be used to advocate on behalf of feral
complaints about these new colonies.
Students who maintain an 80 per cent
cats and promote their humane care and
The SPCA stresses that people must
average at the post-secondary level can
realize that they must fulfill their
Town council’s decision Monday night
responsibilities if they begin caring for stray
areworthup to$3,500per year forup to four
drewapplause fromsomeof thepeoplewho
cats and wild animals.
years. This year, the provincial government
rose up this summer to oppose a proposed
The coalitionwould also be comprised of
is investing $35 million in the scholarship
representatives of the SPCA, veterinarians,
program, assisting 14,205 students across
feedingwildcreatures andcertain species of
educators and the media.
“pest” birds in town. Feeling authorities
When the proposed by-law was first
In this region, the winners include
were targeting helpless felines, the Friends
presented, property damage and disease
Councillor Michel Beaulne, who will
of Feral Cats group has charged that the
were cited as reasons town council should
Tyler Holmwood, Kenneth McRae and
represent the town on the new Feral Cat
town would in fact be illegally condoning
consider the edict.
Coalition, notes that the town of
cruelty if themunicipalitypreventedpeople
Under the proposal, a fine would be
High School in Alexandria, Nicholas
Hawkesbury has received complaints
from feeding stray animals.
imposed on anyone caught feeding “pest
Brooker, Tori Conway, Nadione Routly,
about people feeding wild animals and
Council members insist they share the
Kelsey Chapman and Megan Léger.
concerns of cat lovers. However, Councillor
The list of “pest birds” includes pigeons,
JohannePortelancenoted that controlswere
doves, seagulls, crows “and the like that if
needed. Councillor Michel Beaulne, who
gathering in numbers, become a nuisance
will represent the town on the coalition,
and may cause damage to properties.”
about people feeding large numbers of cats
foxes, bear, groundhogs, deer and feral cats.
in residential areas. “The cat squabbling has
The law would not apply to birds and
been going on for a year,” he observed.
wild animals feeding on berries, fruits and
Councillor Alain Fraser agreed that a
seeds naturally growing in trees or in soil.
distinction had to be made between “wild
Norwould it apply to the use of bird feeders
animals” and “stray cats.”
that are built to feed small birds such as
cardinals, finches, jaws, martins and
a trap-spay-neuter program initiated by the
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