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Citizens of Wellwood, are you missing your cat?

posted Jul 23, 2018, 9:24 AM by Kathy Carr
Wellwood has a cat problem. So does Car­berry and many small towns in the area. The “problem” though, is the people who fail these cats by not spaying or neutering. Dropping them off to be other peoples responsibility or moving away and leaving them behind.  Cats being dependant on people will find shelter where they can and food where they can. Left to fend for them­selves, they will reproduce. 
They have kittens, then the kittens have kittens and we end up in a situation like the one in Wellwood. There is no bylaw regarding cats, no animal control officer, no funding, no plan. Every­one is left to fend for themselves, just like the cats. 
We became aware of the situation in Wellwood last year, and started trapping doing TNR and pulling kittens. We pulled 17 cats, a beginning.  
We have started again this year, but a person or persons decided to take matters into their own hands and hire a trapper.  An approved animal control officer was not hired, but a private individual who decided the way to trap cats was with coyote leg hold traps and snares. This is a direct violation of the Manitoba Animal Care Act.
The Town of Well­wood and the Munici­pality wasn’t notified. We were not notified. Only one of the neighbours who contacted us, was notified. The rescues’ volunteers mobilized and started getting as many cats to safety as possible. One was found in the arena screaming in pain with a leg hold trap attached to its front leg. One was found dead in a dumpster. A nursing mom. Presumed shot. 
The trapped cat was rushed to the vet in Minnedosa where it was humanely euthanized. 
The dead momma cat was sent to Winnipeg for an autopsy.
The arena where these traps were set had an open window, with no glass in it. The very next day young teens were seen climbing in and out of that window. Good thing the traps had been removed. 
 We pulled roughly 38 cats out of the area in a matter of a few days. If you are missing your cat, we might have it or it might be deceased. If this doesn't make you angry, it should.  
It’s time for municipal councils to realize this needs to be addressed and a workable humane solution be found by working with rescue groups and veterinary clinics, to devise a plan other than the outdated one of catch and kill. If it worked, would we still be having this issue?

by Linda Desjardins Director of Cats TNR & Rescue
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