Byram decides to go after the cats

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:14

    Byram - At last week's Byram Township council meeting, Mayor Eskil Danielson cut short a public participation session when residents began to argue back and forth about stray cats. "I think we've heard just about every aspect of this, said Danielson. For months, residents have regularly attended council meetings to voice complaints over stray cats that have invaded their property. Making an appearance at this meeting was Byram resident Pamela Schroeder, who feeds some of the cats roaming Brookwood Road area. "I don't know why I have to be the brunt of it," said Schroeder who was the recipient of some of the residents' resentment. She said that she is a law-abiding citizen and that there is no law that states she is doing anything wrong. She added that it is the people who abandon their cats, not her, who have created the problem. At the meeting, the council voted four to five in favor of trapping the unwelcome felines. In an attempt to protect household pets, the township will inform residents where the trapping will take place through a mass mailing, as part of the August tax bills or in the township newsletter. The idea is to inform cat owners so they can protect their pets from being trapped and taken away. The township will pay for animal control officers, and for four traps that will cost between $50 and $75 a piece. It will also pay to house cats without identification for seven days, 10 days if the animal has bit someone, and 14 days if it has some kind of identification. After that, the township is prepared to pay for euthanization and disposal of the animal, a cost of about $40. Cats that are spayed, neutered, pregnant or nursing will be released if trapped. The concept of releasing a pregnant cat is something that is new to the Golub Animal Inn Pet Hotel in Ledgewood where the cats will be housed. They currently accept pregnant cats from Mount Olive and Roxbury in a similar attempt to limit the number of cats in those communities. Byram Township will review the results of the trapping in three to six months to see the type of progress that has been made. At that time, the council will determine its next course of action. Although discussed several times by the council, the township is not looking toward cat licensing in the near future.