City of Newton looking at plans to control feral cat population

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JASPER Co., Ill. (WTWO/WAWV) — The city of Newton has dealt with a large feral cat population for the last six years.

“Feral cats are considered wild life. In some cases they pose a public health concern because they carry disease and sickness. They in most cases have not been spayed or neutered,” said Mayor Mark Bolander.

The mayor said it’s because of that issue that the number continues to grow.

“You know what happens there when they aren’t spayed and neutered. Instead of twenty cats we’ve got thirty cats,” he said.

Since the council’s meeting last week, the mayor has worked to develop a plan.

Residents can make reports to the police department if cats are posing a problem to them on their homes.

The process would then involve Hotstettler Nuisance Control trapping the cats and taking them to the police station.

“If he does end up trapping a feral cat, then he would bring that feral cat back to the police department,” Mayor Bolander said.

After that step, the cats would be picked up and taken to the veterinarian to be assessed.

Members of the community, like the group Saved by Grace, hope to work hand-in-hand with the city to solve the issue.

“I think that we can work together on this and make the community better in all aspects. And i think we’re all willing to come to the table and do that,” said Melinda Barthleme.

The plan created by newton’s mayor is not yet official. It will continued to be discussed at upcoming city council meetings.

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