Cats at Idle Hour Park in Phenix City facing relocation or euthanization

Cats at Idle Hour Park in Phenix City facing relocation or euthanization

PHENIX CITY, Ala. (WTVM) - More than two months after hundreds of geese were killed in East Alabama, social media is showcasing controversy again about animals at Idle Hour Park.

It’s the cats at Idle Hour Park causing some concern. The city said they’ve received complaints about feral cats begging for food. However, park goers have mixed opinions on how the city is handling the situation.

Geese, ducks, and many other animals call Idle Hour Park in Phenix City their home.

“And it’s frequent that I see the cats over by the part where you hike and go on the little trail,” said park-goer Melissa Castillo.

But following complaints from near-by residents and park goers, Assistant City Manager Steve Smith said the city will be trapping the cats and bringing them to a local shelter.

Even though no cats could be spotted Tuesday, Smith said many of the complaints have to do with cats coming up to the pavilions, adding that they usually appear in the evening or at night.

“I’m not going to come because I’m scared of cats," said Angela Dawkins. "So, I know if I see cats that I’m not going to come and sit down and eat.”

“Especially if they’re stray cats," Castillo added. "And I don’t know if they’re bringing diseases or anything like that. This park is frequented by people, so it’s probably not the best idea to have them hanging around.”

While Smith estimates about four dozen feral cats live at Idle Hour, park-goers said it’s more like 10 to 15. The plan is to try to get many of these strays adopted, but if they can’t be, they will be euthanized.

Residents have their own ideas about how to handle this situation.

“Well, Phenix City doesn’t have a TNR program," which is trap, neuter, release. If they would adopt one like they have in Columbus and make it successful, then it would alleviate the problem with the cats because then they wouldn’t be multiplying and reproducing, ”said one concerned citizen.

Another idea many residents have is to hold a public forum to see how the public wants the city to address this problem, instead of moving forward with just one option.

Smith said the process for trapping the cats has begun but it will take a few weeks to complete.

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