Dozens pack into Babylon Village public hearing for proposed ban on feeding, harboring feral cats

John DeBacker, an animal advocate, is hoping for a Trap, Neuter and Release (TNR) program.

Thema Ponton

Feb 28, 2024, 10:22 AM

Updated 44 days ago

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The Village of Babylon is considering a plan to stop people from feeding or harboring feral cats.
Mayor Mary Adams said the feral cat situation is dangerous. Adams said a code enforcement officer was injured trying to stop a person who was feeding feral cats.
"The code enforcement officer's foot was run over because they had told her to please leave, you can't keep doing this," said Adams.
The mayor said residents have been complaining about a person feeding feral cats, specifically in Southards Pond Park.
"Plates of food (were left out) and the plates were blowing into Southards and the food is now not just staying on the street, but going into Southards, we've had raccoons come out in the middle of the day, we've had other animals come out," Adams said.
Animal advocates are pushing for the village to implement a TNR or trap, neuter and release program.
"The most humane way to attack the feral cat problem is by offering a low-cost or no-cost TNR program," said advocate John DeBacker.
He also said the ban on feeding feral cats could lead to bigger problems.
"It's not eliminating the cat problem, the cats are still going to be there looking for other sources of food," DeBacker said.
For a more immediate solution, animal advocate Melissa Kase recommended cat feeders create a feeding schedule to curtail the waste issue.
“A feeding program where someone feeds the cats in the morning and leaves it out for 20-minutes, that way other wildlife doesn’t come to pick up that food,” Kase said.
No decision about the proposed ban was made at Tuesday's public hearing, but animal advocates believe their show of solidarity for the felines made an impact.
Mayor Adams said she plans to speak with organizations to come up with a humane way to handle the feral cat population.


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