By Dedra Cordle
A tentative truce may have been reached between the village of Urbancrest and wandering felines.
At the May 5 council meeting, Mayor Joseph Barnes Sr. requested that members of the health and safety committee halt their legislative research plans to find a way to control the stray cat population within the community because there is little that can be done to fix the problem.
“I went through the Ohio Revised Code and spoke with people over at (The Franklin County Department of Animal Care and Control) and found out there is really nothing that we can do legislatively about the cats,” he said.
Instead, Barnes said he sent out letters earlier this year to residents asking them not to feed the strays and if they allow their cats to roam the outdoors, to have them sprayed or neutered to help control the pet population.
He said he could already tell that residents have heeded the request because there has been a significant lack of cats and kittens prowling the streets.
While it is not uncommon to see a stray cat or two – or three or four – walking through residential streets, the village of Urbancrest seemed to be inundated with felines throughout the past year.
“Sometimes I would see 22 cats on one street and then 15 more on another,” said councilwoman Veronica Shepherd.
She said it got so bad that at one point she was certain that they were trying to “make their own condos” within the village.
“They’ve just been out there for so long I’m sure some have reached martial status,” she quipped.
Shepherd said that while she is fond of cats, something had to be done to stop the mess they were creating and that included speaking with residents who were known to feed the strays.
She said that she knows they were doing so out of the goodness of their heart, but it needed to be scaled back because the cats were quickly becoming a nuisance in the community.