Dispute over how to deal with feral cats

Posted: Updated:
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

GLENDALE, Ariz.-- A battle is brewing at a Valley mobile home park over feral cats.

One side says the cats that live in the area of 67th Avenue and Butler in Glendale need to go. The other side says, leave them alone.

"I take care of anywhere from 18 to 20 cats," said Nena Whitten, a resident at Orange Grove Estates. "When I moved here there were cats all over. And I do mean all over. You could see them running down the streets. You could hear them yelling and howling."

Whitten looked into animal control and started trapping the cats for the Trap Neuter Release program. She's had 100 cats neutered and returned them to her neighborhood. Now, she says the howling has stopped.

But a note from the Orange Grove Estate Property Management has her upset. "They don't spray. They don't do any of these things," Whitten said.

Neighbors received the letter from Management saying feral cats are to blame for destroying property and that residents would be subject to a notice of non compliance if they feed the cats.

3TV spoke on the phone with the co-founder of Continental Communities, which owns that park. He says they are getting complaints from both sides and they are stuck in the middle. He says his staff is trapping cats and taking them to the Humane Society, and adds that they're wrong no matter what they do.

And while some neighbors want to keep going with the Trap Neuter Release program, others say the feral cats just need to go. "They get under the trailer and they make noise, sometimes they fight underneath," said Jaime Holguin.

Animal control says if you have feral cats, get all the cats from a colony and take them in for the TNR program. Then release them back to where you got them and continue to feed them. The Animal Defense League of Arizona says TNR is the very best way to reduce the number of stray cats on the streets.