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Residents Fight Against Relocation of Cats in Bellmore Park

Town of Hempstead officials plan to move the cat colony in Newbridge Road Park to the further end of the facility starting May 1.

Residents are fighting against the Town of Hempstead's plan to move dozens of feral cats that have a home in Bellmore's Newbridge Road Park, according to an article in Newsday.

Town officials want to move the cats, remove their makeshift shelters and relocate their feeding stations to the end of the park starting May 1.

Dominique Gizelle, a Bellmore resident of 20 years, said that she aganist the relocation.

"These cats have been there for 12 years and there have been no complaints from anyone until one resident complained last year," she said. "They have been there for 12 years with the town's blessing, they don't bother anyone and they are behind a fence. Moving them is a form of abandonment."

The cats' caretakers of about 12 years told Newsday that moving the colony of more than 30 cats could threaten their survival.

"Moving the colonies put the lives of the cats in danger due to possible starvation," said Joyce Christie, 71, of Bellmore, who cares for the cats along with Jennifer Jones, 67, of Merrick . "There is no guarantee that they will follow the feeding stations."

According to Alley Cat Allies, a national advocacy organization that is dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of cats, the felines should only be moved if their lives are in eminent danger. The organization also said that since the cats are very attached to their territory, they will feel unprotected and try to return to their current location, which can threaten their survival.

Town spokesman Michael Deery told Newsday that the move is necessary since the areas where the feeders are located have begun to erode due to the Whaleneck River. He also said that the Nassau County Health Department is concerned because people have complained about cat droppings near the park's pool deck.

"The move is for the health and safety of the people at the park and for the cats," Deery said.

Chuck May 01, 2012 at 12:29 PM
Not only should the "FERAL CATS" be removed the "FERAL CAT" advocates should be relocated too.
paul May 01, 2012 at 03:23 PM
Cat Colony Relocation Protest: As I look at the picture of protesters against moving a "FERAL CAT COLONY" I wonder if they even know what a feral cat is? I also wonder what they told that young girl in the picture what the difference is between a feral cal and a stray cat. My guess probably not. Sad state of affairs when a group of humans wants a feral cat colony to remain in a park where families and children play and enjoy a park. These protesters should take home a feral cat and care for them. Let your children pet them and let me know how aggressive the feral cat became or even snapped at the hand that fed them or pet them. These feral cats should be spayed, neutered and then there lifespan will be shortened for the better. If not perhaps euthanize now.
Carol Press May 04, 2012 at 11:52 AM
Concerns or comments TOH J. Bentivegna 516-292-9000 ext 201
Carol Press May 04, 2012 at 11:54 AM
contact TOH-J Bentivegna 516-292-9000 ext 201 for concerns or comments on this issue
Robin August 18, 2012 at 09:45 PM
Please google... "The Magic Rabies Shot?" and "Undiagnosed Human Rabies Deaths?" and "Rabies Outbreak in Westchester County and the Connection to Feral Cats"

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