CHAMPION, Ohio (WKBN) – A woman in Champion will have a hearing with the Board of Health on August 8, after feeding stray cats.
Nancy McCauley has been in her home since 1965. She says in April, the Board of Health sent her a cease and desist letter after receiving complaints.
“I feel bad for them, they need something to eat. If someone kicked you out of your house, where would you go? So I feed them,” she said.
McCauley says stray cats have always been in her neighborhood. Last year, she used her own money to get 17 stray cats spayed and neutered as well as their rabies shots. This cost her several hundred dollars to do.
“One stray cat, along with her offspring, could produce 420,000 cats in seven years. So, that shows, her getting 17 cats fixed, even say half of those were females, think of all the cats she saved from being born in Champion, Ohio,” said Corinne Corky Styles, president of TNR of Warren, an organization that helps people get stray cats fixed.
McCauley believes she is helping by making sure the cats won’t reproduce, and by feeding them, so they don’t get into anyone’s garbage looking for food.
However, Kris Wilster, director of environment health for the Trumbull County Board of Health, says she is attracting more animals in the neighborhood.
He believes by her feeding the cats, she is attracting animals such as skunks, raccoons and opossum to the neighborhood, which can cause a threat of rabies being spread.
McCauley says there are woods near her neighborhood, which she believes is where those animals are living. She doesn’t feel that feeding the cats is attracting them.
Wilster also said although it is a good thing she is getting the cats fixed, it may also be encouraging people to abandon cats in that area.
In fact, McCauley says she has seen people drop off stray cats in the neighborhood before.
“Dumped the bags out, put them back in the trunk, got in the car and took off. They was full of cats,” she said.
Wilster said the solution is for her to simply stop feeding them. He believes if she stops feeding them, they will move on somewhere else. He said if she doesn’t stop feeding them, eventually charges will be pressed against her.
McCauley said she used to leave food out the entire day but has since created scheduled times to feed the cats. She also said she puts the food inside overnight.
Styles and TNR have assisted McCauley. Styles believes the cats won’t just go away if McCauley stops feeding them.