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Feral cat problem addressed at borough council meeting

  • SHERI RYAN/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Diane Sharpless, co-founder of Cat's Peek Rescue, speaks to Nesquehoning council members about organizing a successful trap and release program to help combat the problem of feral and stray cats in the borough…
    SHERI RYAN/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Diane Sharpless, co-founder of Cat's Peek Rescue, speaks to Nesquehoning council members about organizing a successful trap and release program to help combat the problem of feral and stray cats in the borough. She was joined by Mark Richards, Coaldale's animal control officer.
Published October 24. 2013 05:00PM

An ongoing feral and stray cat problem was addressed last night during the regular monthly meeting of the Nesquehoning Borough Council.

Mark Richards, Coaldale's animal control officer, and Diane Sharpless, co-founder of Cat's Peek Rescue, were present to offer suggestions as well as assistance in adopting a successful trap and release program to reduce the number of cats roaming the borough.

According to Sharpless, the average life span for a feral cat is two years if it does not have a feeder or caretaker within the colony. If it does, the life span jumps to seven to nine years.

Sharpless explained the difference between feral and stray cats.

"Feral cats are not used to human contact. They cannot be adapted to human contact once they get past 6-8 weeks of age," said Sharpless.

She also said feral cats can reproduce up to four times per year and can have up to 15 kittens per litter, although the average is three to five kittens per litter.

Richards stated that the T&R program has been successful in Coaldale and Tamaqua and that the number of cats is down. A similar program was attempted in Lansford, but was halted due to funding issues.

Under the T&R program, cats are trapped and then taken to a facility to be neutered or spayed.

They are given a rabies shot and once recover from the surgery, they are released back to their original location to live out the rest of their lives.

The cost is roughly $35 per cat and Richards said that he receives funding through grants and fundraising.

Sharpless noted that altered cats will not allow unaltered cats into the colony and eventually, the cats live out their lives and the population is reduced naturally.

Council thanked Richards and Sharpless for the informative presentation.

In other business:

During the hearing of visitors, resident John Barna expressed his concern over a recent incident involving himself and a police officer. Council will look into the matter.

Mayor Tony Walck stated that the recent seminar held on fraud and scams was well attended and provided good information for residents to protect themselves against these types of crimes.

Walck also requested that a resolution and proclamation for Anthony Stianchi of Nesquehoning Troop 744 for his Eagle Scout project, which was a tribute to the Boy Scouts of Nesquehoning and their leadership. Council approved the request.

Walck then commended Kovatch for donating the pond at the Hauto Estates to the Conservation Club and commended the club for its efforts in cleaning up the area.

He also noted that the Jr. Recreation Committee will once again put together goody bags for the senior shut-ins in town.

In other business, there will be no increases in the fees for sewer and sanitation services. The discount offered for sanitation will remain in effect.

Residents are reminded that trash should be put out either the night before or the morning of trash collection days and should not be put out more than 24 hours prior to collection. Residents can be cited for non-compliance.

Councilman Mark Stromelo requested everyone's cooperation to help "keep the town looking good."

The annual Halloween parade held in town by the Panther Valley Elementary School is canceled. Students instead will parade around the school.

Trick or Treat will take place from 6-8 p.m. Oct. 31.

Crossing guards and fire police will be out for the protection of the children.

The Halloween party at the recreation center has been canceled due to lack of interest; however, representatives will be handing out snacks and drinks from 6-8 p.m.

A request was approved for the Storm All-Stars to hold a coin drop in town on Nov. 2, provided that proper safety gear/attire is utilized.

The Nesquehoning Lions Club will hold a social tonight from 6-9 at the borough hall. All are invited to attend to learn more about the Lions and their involvement within the community.

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