Feral Cat Coalition

Aiming For

The Top

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

“Therefore, approximately400unaltered

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

the board.

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

by-lawthatwouldhave finedanyonecaught

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

File Photo

were targeting helpless felines, the Friends

presented, property damage and disease

VankleekHillCollegiate Institutegraduates

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.

ParkerMacDonald; fromGlengarryDistrict

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.

stray cats.

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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