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TOH Places Relocation of Bellmore Cat Colony on Hold

The Town of Hempstead will work with the Humane Society to come up with solutions.

The Town of Hempstead placed the relocation of the Newbridge Road Park cat colony, scheduled for Tuesday, on hold. The town will work with the Humane Society to assess the colony at the park and to explore options concerning the habitat where the cats have settled.

No action will be taken until the Humane Society looks at the situation, consults the town and offers its recommendations.

Town spokesman Mike Deery told Newsday that the town originally wanted the move to take place because 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.

Joyce Christie of Bellmore and Jennifer Jones of Merrick have been taking care of the felines for about 12 years. Both women said that moving the colony of more than 30 cats could threaten their survival.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the town said they want to make sure that both the park users and the cats are safe.

"The goal of the town is to ensure the health and safety of children and adults who use the park in addition to providing for the well-being of the feral cats."

Jones and Christie said that they were thrilled with the decision.

"I am totally relieved," Christie said. "I think that it is a sign that they are going in the right direction."

"This is just awesome," Jones said.

On Tuesday morning, the two women were in the park and doing their daily ritual--feeding the cats. They said that they were told by a park official that the move did not have to take place.

Jones' and Christie's lawyer, Liz Stein of New Hyde Park, said that the town made the right decision.

"I am very happy to hear this because the relocation should be a matter of last resort," Stein said. "They would be removing them from their shelter that they have grown accustomed to their whole lifetime and be exposed to elements and people who don't have their best interests at heart."

Christie and Jones said that they are grateful to all of the people that stood behind their cause and to the individuals that protested against the relocation on Sunday. 

"These people have stood behind us and we are so thankful," Jones said. "I hope this decision is permanent."

An tUasal Airgead May 02, 2012 at 06:50 PM
"Stanley Medical Research Institute (SMRI) " The Stanley Medical Research Institute (SMRI) is a nonprofit organization supporting research on the causes of, and treatments for, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. It is the largest nongovernmental source of funds for research on these diseases in the United States. - -Toxoplasmosis–Schizophrenia Research- Toxoplasma gondii, a protozoan parasite that causes toxoplasmosis and is carried by cats and other felines. Until recently, toxoplasmosis was thought to be a problem only for pregnant women who, if they became infected with T. gondii during their pregnancy, risked having the organism cause damage to the growing fetus. This is why pregnant women are advised to not change the litter in the cat litter box. Infection with T. gondii in other adults and children was thought to be either asymptomatic or to cause an influenza-like or mononucleosis-like syndrome. It now seems possible that T. gondii may be associated with schizophrenia and perhaps other psychiatric syndromes. Schizophrenia is a brain disease that begins in young adults, typically between the ages of 16 and 30, and is characterized by some combination of auditory hallucinations (hearing voices), delusions, flattened affect, disordered thought patterns, bizarre behavior, and social withdrawal. http://www.stanleyresearch.org/dnn/LaboratoryofDevelopmentalNeurovirology/ToxoplasmosisSchizophreniaResearch/tabid/172/Default.aspx
An tUasal Airgead May 02, 2012 at 06:51 PM
Toxoplasmosis is a parasite carried by cats. Toxoplasmosis may be associated with schizophrenia & other psychiatric syndromes. The result - Crazy Cat People!!!
peach is May 02, 2012 at 07:30 PM
Airhead, you're a typical cat-hater. What's the matter, didn't your mommy love you enough when you were a child?
Brad Thomas May 02, 2012 at 07:38 PM
The cats at Newbridge Road Park, as I understand it, are already "fixed."
An tUasal Airgead May 02, 2012 at 07:48 PM
Toxoplasma gondii is a protozoan parasite that infects most species of warm blooded animals, including humans, and can cause the disease toxoplasmosis. The only known definitive hosts for Toxoplasma gondii are members of family Felidae (domestic cats and their relatives). "Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)" http://www.dpd.cdc.gov/dpdx/HTML/Frames/S-Z/Toxoplasmosis/body_Toxoplasmosis_page1.htm
An tUasal Airgead May 02, 2012 at 07:49 PM
In 3 seperate studies, most feral cats (62% to 80%) tested positive for toxoplasmosis. Feral cats are hosts of fleas and ticks that are known carriers of disease that can be transmitted to humans. http://elkhorn.unl.edu/epublic/live/ec1781/build/ec1781.pdf
Neil May 02, 2012 at 09:37 PM
An tUasal Airgead again shows that he or she is unfamiliar with this specific situation. All of the cats in the colony under discussion are fixed. That's 100% and 100% is higher than 71%. These are mostly elderly cats with relatively little life left. When cats are added they are cats that have been removed from residential neighborhoods where they might be a problem and placed in an area where they are segregated from the public. These two ladies are providing the community with a public service at no cost to the community. They should be applauded, indeed, awarded, for what they are doing. An tUasal Airgead keeps writing about conditions that simply do not exist in this case. The controversy is about relocating the colony from a place where they are comfortable and no threat whatsoever to anybody to a location that will put them a risk and could encourage them to roam, something they do not now do.
Neil May 02, 2012 at 09:57 PM
We have a very specific issue here and we need to stick to it. Expanding the dialogue into far less clear areas of controversy dilutes the current focus and should be left for another time. People are working together to get this matter properly settled (and I think that "let well enough alone" is the right approach) and we need to not risk derailing a good thing with other agendas however much some people might consider them related.
Neil May 02, 2012 at 10:06 PM
This kind of hostile rhetoric serves no useful purpose. We live in the Town of Hempstead in the County of Nassau in the State of New York in the United States of America, and, frankly, the Town has the best functioning government of all of those listed. It suffers from the problems that all governments have, but it seems to have less of them than most. Yes, the Town may have been a little slow in properly understanding the details of this specific situation, probably because it was trying to be responsive to a vocal minority, but they are now on track and we should be optimistic that the right thing will be done.
Neil May 02, 2012 at 10:41 PM
The Town made the right decision. They changed their approach as they learned more, just what we should all hope they would do. What An tUasal Airgead needs to do is open his or her mind and try to focus on this very specific situation. He or she should visit the site and try to do so when these two terrific ladies are there doing the good work they do. He or she should see how clean the area is; how this is the best possible life for these animals; and how the animals represent no threat to the public or the environment. He or she should talk to those two ladies who have put so much of their time and money into this effort.
Neil May 02, 2012 at 10:46 PM
Nobody is buying anything. Some people, including attorneys, believe in just causes and are ready to volunteer their time to try to make the right thing happen.
Florence Trunk May 02, 2012 at 10:47 PM
Many thanks to the dedicated ladies who take such care & concern for the feral cats! Had they not persisted (with the help & support of educated readers, legal advisor, caring human beings) the outcome might have been different. For the moment, there's a great sigh of relief. To continue with positive thoughts..I would like to know if there is a way to help fund the feeding & medical care these cats require. Yes, they are out there, but certainly not forgotten! TLC = Tender Loving Care which also = Tender Loving Cats.
Kitty Cat May 02, 2012 at 11:29 PM
The correct decision has been made. These cats are well taken care of and these women and all that support them (which are many!) will not let anything interfere with that.
Carol Press May 03, 2012 at 12:14 PM
who asked the women to start feeding in the first place 12 years ago? those cats are not really feral they are comfortable all around the park they roam free. what about park patrons, all i hear is voices for the cats, is it a cat park or people park? Who will be the voice of the children?
Eleanor T. May 03, 2012 at 12:16 PM
Someone dumped a cat in my neighborhood years ago. I put food down for him and gave him a shelter. Other cats came to eat, and kittens turned up in my backyard. I took the mothers and kittens in and helped raise 14 babies. It was a lot of work, but I found homes for all the kittens. The Last Hope rescue group helped me get all of the cats neutered/spayed, so the population stabilized. I have taken care of all the cats' medical and nutritional needs out of my own pocket. Of the eleven adult cats, only one had fleas, which was taken care of by my vet. Cats keep themselves very clean. In all these years, I have not caught any kind of illness from these cats. What's more, they kill mice on nearly a daily basis and leave them for me as gifts. If you recall, it was mice and rats that carried the bubonic plague that wiped out about a third of the population of Europe in the 1300s. Good sanitation and pest control help prevent plague outbreaks since they need crowded, dirty, rat-infested conditions to really get going. The cats at Woodbridge are well-taken care of and help keep rodent populations under control. Leave them be. Feral colonies that are properly taken care of pose no risk to anyone, not even the people who interact with them daily.
Carol Press May 03, 2012 at 12:21 PM
seems like this was a decision and expense YOU made on your own, no one asked you to begin feeding the feral cats.........so if some park people oppose that is their right........... it is a public park
UKW May 03, 2012 at 01:38 PM
While we're at it, why dont we round up all the squirrels, raccoons, mice, birds, possum, deer and, come to think of it, the ladybugs! Bet you they all pose a serious public health threat and carry disease too!
joe Kay May 03, 2012 at 07:09 PM
Feral cats can potentially transmit over thirty five diseases and parasites to people, the majority of which can be fatal. These diseases include bird flu, rabies, plague, and a host of fevers and other bacterial and viral infections. All of these cats are infected with Toxoplasmosis. This a significant public health hazard. Keep your children out of that park! The Town Board will ignore this public health issue because of ten crazy old cat ladies who put the cats there in the first place.
Carol Press May 03, 2012 at 08:55 PM
we do not round up squirrels, racoons, geese, mice and birds because......... They are not being fed every day by people who have 7,000 bucks to do it
S May 04, 2012 at 02:29 AM
Another one that has NO idea what he is talking about. Great thing to teach your kids - be afraid of cats. People are more of a significant health hazard to each other than these cats are to people. And again, if you knew anything about feral cats, they don't want to be near people. Please get more informed about ferals before you write and embarrass yourself. And by the way, this colony is vaccinated against rabies, and the plague comes from FLEAS, which any warm-blooded mammal, including YOURSELF, can carry into your home. I'd advise you to go live in a bubble b/c you can catch way more diseases person to person than you will EVER catch from a feral cat.
S May 04, 2012 at 02:33 AM
mother jones is a magazine that any freelance writer can submit an article to - it has NO scientific merit at all. And the other you reference, elkhorn, etc was written by grad students in NEBRASKA, again, NOT a scientific study at all. Can you PLEASE stop posting links to these ridiculous sites. You just can't help yourself, can you.
S May 04, 2012 at 02:40 AM
I love these people that are writing about "the children" being affected. They are the biggest bunch of hipocrites on here. They don't give a crap about "the children" unless if furthers their agenda. They post it as a scare tactic to persuade others to follow their flawed beliefs.
S May 04, 2012 at 02:57 AM
Did you even read this article from the stanley research group? Probably not. First off, it is ongoing research and no definitive correlation is made. Second, it says that in autopsy studies of brains of people with schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders, they specifically looked for the genetic make-up of the toxoplasmosis organism (to blame the diseases on toxo), and guess what - there were NO organisms identified in ANY of the brains of these people. You are just a sadly misinformed and probably very unhappy person, using any scare tactic you can to justify your position.
Carol Press May 04, 2012 at 11:44 AM
Call TOH-J. Bentivegna 516-292-9000 ext 201 for concerns or questions
Carol Press May 04, 2012 at 04:31 PM
Call with your concerns TOH- J. Bentivegna 516-292-9000 ext 201
djw May 06, 2012 at 12:40 PM
TOH made the right decision.
Lala May 06, 2012 at 01:14 PM
Eleanor: Of course feral cats pose a threat to someone: rhe wildlife that they eradicate. I see no one mentions this or even cares about the lloss of chipmunks, rabbits, burds and other animals that acrually BELONG outside. These cars could be removed and set up in a nice cat refuge, where all feral cats could be relocated to. This way the natural inhabitants can recover. They do this in other regions of the country. Feral cats are death to an ecosystem, people.
Amy May 06, 2012 at 03:09 PM
Why thank you S for noticing Airs comments (copy and paste) are over a decade old and hold no scientific relevance. :) happy the town finally backed off...and hopefully it stays that way!
EB May 06, 2012 at 08:33 PM
I have a question or two. If these cats have been spayed/neutered then how has the colony grown? And since it has grown apparently because of people "dumping" their pets, then how is it dangerous to move the feeding station? Wasn't the "feeding station" of those pets moved when they were dumped? They have obviously managed to adapt. And i have seen more raccoons eating the cat food than cats in the past. It sounds like the move is more inconvenient for the cat ladies than the cats.
Carol Press May 09, 2012 at 07:12 PM
call TOH Ray Rhoden or John Bentivenga 292-9000 ext 208 or ext 201 to voice your concerns in our public parks

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