Plan in place to tackle Newton, IL feral cat problem

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JASPER COUNTY, Ill. (WTWO/WAWV) — The city of Newton, Ill. has dealt with a large feral cat population for the past 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 Newton Mayor Mark Bolander.

Bolander said it’s because of that issue that the number of feral cats continues to grow.

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

Since the Newton City Council meeting last week, Bolander has worked to develop a plan that would involve Hostettler 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. Hopefully they’ll have a phone tree set up to where they can come and the cat can be transferred to them to their cat carrier and then they can go to the vet and the vet can assess that cat can decide what to do from there,” said Bolander.

Members of the community, such as 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.

If you find cats roaming around the Newton area, call local law enforcement.

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