Shane Molinari/Herald
Ava Stamm, 8, joined with fellow protesters on Sunday to show her concern about a feral cat community at Newbridge Road Park in Bellmore.

Protesters’ signs jeered at the Town of Hempstead on Sunday, calling a decision to trap and move feral cats in a colony at Newbridge Road Park in Bellmore “cruel” and “corrupt.”

The town had planed to move dozens of feral cats from their makeshift protected shelter behind the baseball field at the park. The move was set to begin on May 1, but following the weekend’s protest, the town has postponed the relocation.

“The Town of Hempstead is working with the Humane Society of the United States to assess the feral cat colony at Newbridge Road Park in Bellmore and to explore options concerning the habitat where the cats have settled,” a town press release read.

The town will wait for the Humane Society’s assessment of the situation before making a final decision on the relocation of the cats. “The goal of the town is to ensure the health and safety of children and adults who use the park, in addition to providing for the well-being of the feral cats,” they said.

Bellmore Patch

May 1: Cat Colony Relocation Protest

Advocates rally for Bellmore feral cats

Originally published: April 29, 2012 7:19 PM
Updated: April 29, 2012 9:11 PM
By PAUL LAROCCO paul.larocco@newsday.com
A cat looks through the fence near a
Photo credit: Newsday/Karen Wiles Stabile |
A cat looks through the fence near a feeding station in Bellmore. (April 18, 2012)
The signs read "Prevent a Cat-astrophe" and used stock images of impossibly cute kittens with the words, "Please Don't Move Us."
Dozens of animal welfare advocates staked out a busy street corner Sunday to escalate their protest of a Hempstead Town decision to relocate a long-standing feral cat colony.
Town officials say the cats' fenced-in habitat, along Bellmore's Newbridge Road Park, is eroding into an adjoining river, and that residents are complaining of odor and animal waste in nearby public spaces. Tuesday, the town will begin slowly moving the cat shelters and feeding stations elsewhere in the park, about a quarter-mile away.
But the protesters who gathered in a Sunrise Highway parking lot in Bellmore said the town is needlessly putting animals at risk. Moving an established colony where cats are fed, spayed and neutered, they said, will end in them scattering and starving.
"That's absolutely the last resort for a well-maintained small colony of feral cats," said Elizabeth Stein, a New Hyde Park lawyer who has sued the town over animal shelter issues. "Right now, they're not a nuisance, but by doing this, they may become one."
Jennifer Jones, 67, of Merrick, and Joyce Christie, 71, of Bellmore, say they've cared for the cats at their own expense for 12 years with no complaints. They claim the town took action in recent months only after hearing from a well-connected resident.
"This has never been a safety problem," Jones said.
Hempstead Town spokesman Mike Deery said claims the town only acted on behalf of a powerful complainant "couldn't be further from the truth."
More than one person has "expressed displeasure with odors and safety concerns," he said.

Rally Held in Bellmore to Save Feral Cat Colony

Town Trying to Move Cats From Current Location

BELLMORE — A rally was held Sunday to fight against a planned move of a feral cat colony. Animal lovers united to bring awareness to what they call the “myth” of managed feral cat colonies. The town wants the cats moved more than a quarter-mile from their current location.

To see video, click here

Cat lovers across Long Island speak out at Sunrise Highway and Newbridge Road against moving a well-controlled feral cat colony

Activists protest against feral cat colony move

Animal activists rally against a perceived feral cat colony threat from the Town of Hempstead.

A large group of animal activists took to Sunrise Highway and Newbridge Road to protest the Town of Hempstead's planned move of a 12-year-old feral cat colony at Newbridge Road Park beginning May 1. Passing cars continually honked as protesters, waving large placards, gave interviews to Bellmore Life.

The town's plan is to move the colony more than 1/4-mile from its current site, a move those at the rally say will irreparably harm - if not kill - the feral cats. AlleyCat Allies, a national organization advocating protection of feral cats, wrote to the Town of Hempstead a letter in early April opposing the move, saying it could destroy a well-maintained and cared-for colony, and that new cats could take their place, as part of a 'vaccum' effect.

The ASPCA  has also come out against the move.

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This undated photo made available by Alley Cat
Photo credit: AP
Animal welfare advocates at yesterday’s Hempstead Town Board meeting expressed support for the two cat colony caretakers in Newbridge Road Park in Bellmore and also criticized the town animal shelter’s trap, neuter and release (TNR) program for feral cats.
One caretaker who has been tending the colony for 12 years asked the town board to consider the well-being of the more than 30 cats at the park.
Town officials — citing health and safety of the cats and park users — want to take down the makeshift shelters and relocate the feeding stations within the park in incremental steps that could take months, starting May 1.

“We ask you to intervene and stop the move,” said Jennifer Jones, 67, of Merrick, but she received no response.
Banned animal shelter volunteers Lucille DeFina and Diane Madden praised the caretakers’ work and complained that the volunteer and TNR programs at the shelter are a long way from being functional.
 
“Your TNR program is just like your volunteer program — it doesn’t exist,” DeFina said.
The TNR program offers free spaying or neutering, four-in-one vaccines, rabies vaccinations and flea preventatives. The town also offers free classes to certify residents for TNR, town spokesman Michael Deery said in a statement.
The animal shelter has spayed or neutered about 2,000 cats so far this year and about 1,600 cats in 2011 after the program started in October, Deery said.
 
“We provide more services than other municipalities,” town supervisor Kate Murray said at the meeting. “We do what we can.”
 
Advocates said they worry that if the shelter has too many adult cats and kittens during the breeding season, the animals might face euthanasia if homes are not found for them.
“It is the number one priority to get the situation under control before it gets worse every year,” animal activist Cathy Gottchaue said at the meeting.

 

Left to right: Joyce Christie of Merrick and

Photo credit: Newsday/Karen Wiles Stabile | Left to right: Joyce Christie of Merrick and Jennifer Jones of Merrick, shown near a food station they have set up for ferel cats at Newbridge Road Park in Bellmore. (April 18, 2012)

A cat fight has ensued over Hempstead Town's plan to move dozens of feral felines that have made their home in Newbridge Road Park in Bellmore.

Town officials want to move the cats, take down their makeshift shelters and relocate their feeding stations from behind the baseball field to a new location about a quarter mile away.

In incremental steps that could take months, they would shift...

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