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Unwanted cats posing a problem in Summit Hill

Published June 08. 2011 05:15PM

Albert Schweitzer once said, "There are two means of refuge from the misery of life - music and cats."

You'll find some residents of Summit Hill who disagree, especially in the White Bear section of the community.

Residents of White Bear said unwanted cats are being dropped off and the feral population is growing.

"We're getting inundated with a lot of cats," one woman complained to the borough council.

Kira Michalik, borough secretary, said unless the owners of the cats are identified, little can be done. If the owner is known and can be proven, then citations could be issued.

"We've been trying to resolve the problem," she added.

She noted that the issue has been even more complex because Carbon County Friends of Animals in Jim Thorpe, where strays are usually taken, has run out of room.

"Cats are big problems wildlife wise, environmental wise," remarked Franklin Klock, environmentalist with the Carbon County Environmental Center. "If you own a cat and don't spay and neuter, and leave it outdoors, it's the same as a person who drops 25 off in the wild."

He said owners tend not to take cats to vets, including for spay and neutering, like they do dogs.

One White Bear resident told the council he's worried about the rabies problem.

Another woman said there are cats that are in a garage and have begun wandering in the area.

Chief of Police Joseph Fittos said he will have officer Lori Leinhard look into the complaints.

"Let's see what our options are," commented Joe Weber, president of the council.

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