Trailer Estates residents told to work together to fix cat problem

skennedy@bradenton.comJanuary 6, 2014 

Residents in Trailer Estates are using animal traps to try to catch the roaming feral cats which are in the 'non-pet area' of the neighborhood. Elizabeth Williams feels very strongly that some of her neighbors feeding feral cats is causing a problem in the neighborhood, and that the felines are creating a mess with their waste. HERALD FILE PHOTO

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MANATEE — Trailer Estates residents need to work together as a community to solve problems caused by feral cats, officials told the board there Monday.

“Cats are not here because your neighbor puts out dishes of food,” Audrey Garrison, president of the Gulf Shore Animal League, told the Trailer Estates park board and an audience of about 40.

They’re there because of garbage bins, orange trees and other reasons, she said.

“You have no prayer” of resolving it with attempts to trap and kill them, she said, because residents who do like cats will sabotage such efforts.

“The problem doesn’t get solved until people get together to solve it,” she said.

A resident last month petitioned the Manatee County Commission, asking it to stop returning the cats to the park under its trap-neuter-and-release program, set forth in its official "no-kill" policy.

Garrison and county animal services officers urged the community’s board to adopt a comprehensive “trap-neuter-and-release” policy in order to humanely and effectively deal with the situation.

Some residents have complained that a colony of feral cats at the 1,277-home retirement community have become a nuisance. Sara Kennedy, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7031. Follow her on Twitter @sarawrites.

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