Byram not alone in stray cat fight

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:13

    BYRAM-Byram is not alone when it comes to having a problem with stray cats. Several other surrounding communities in Sussex County have similar problems and local shelters are facing a space crisis. Recently several residents of the Township of Lakes have claimed that stray cats have invaded their properties creating a public nuisance and health hazard. However, Byram is not the only one lacking one essential ingredient to housing cats n space. The Sussex County Fellowship for Animals in Sparta is one organization that would typically be able to take in strays from other shelters, however, the facility is currently filled to capacity with cats. Room For One More, another animal shelter that serves Sparta, Ogdensburg, Newton, Hardyston and Fredon, is no longer accepting surrendered cats from pet owners who no longer wish to keep their pet. Although the townships serviced by Room For One More are in less of a crisis than Byram because the organization does accept all cats brought in by Sparta's two animal control officers, the "no surrender" policy is always in effect because the facility is constantly filled with feral cats. "We're already doing what they are trying to do in Byram, but we're in the same situation with having too many cats," said Room For One More Co-Officer Dena Adessa. She added that the facility has had situations in which they have had to house more than 20 new cats in a three-week period. SCFA office manager Heidi Shaw said that the key to stopping overpopulation is spaying and neutering cats. "I think it's an overall county problem," said Shaw. "Either people are not educated on how important it is to spay and neuter, or they do not have the money to have the procedure done." She would like to see a low cost vet service offered in Sussex County, similar to what is available at The Humane Society of Port Jervis, N.Y. The Port Jervis facility offers residents a low cost spaying and neutering program in which fees for male cats are $20, and $40 for female felines. According to its Web site, one female cat is capable of producing 48 babies a year, and one male could end up being the daddy to over 100 children in one year.