Animal Caregiver Given 5 days to STARVE AND GET RID OF CATS

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On February 8, 2020, colony caretaker Jomarie Piccini was given a 5 day notice to STOP FEEDING and to GET RID OF her cat colony.  The citation/ warning was issued by the borough of White Oak, in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, in response to a residential complaint that the 6-cat colony was a nuisance.  It is unclear which ordnance the caretaker was actually violating, other than being a nuisance to someone in the neighborhood.  

Jomarie understands the rights of her neighbors, and has taken it upon herself to fix the feral cat issue that began in her community.  When Jomarie first noticed a problem with feral cats, she reached out to a rescue organization, Pet Friends, who informed her that the best solution for feral cats was TNR (Trap-Neuter-Release).  Through TNR, cats are able spayed and neutered, vaccinated, and released back to their habitat.  Without TNR, cats will continue to reproduce and create more of an already existing issue.  Pet Friends also advocated that relocation and euthanization was not a solution, as thorough research shows that new, unaltered cats return to the same area when forced to leave.  

In the summer of 2019, Pet Friends helped Jomarie trap, spay/neuter, and release all cats that were roaming the area.  Jomarie has continued to feed the animals and provide a safe area for them via a feeding station.  Feeding stations and a feeding schedule are recommend so that food can remain dry, and so other nuisance animals are not attracted to the station.  There have been no known complaints or issues with the current situation.  

Now, Jomarie is faced with the possibility of outrageous fines if she refuses to stop feeding and either relocate or euthanize the feral cats in the community.  She is well aware that by stopping feeding, she is committing acts of animal cruelty, as she has vetted these animals and has valid records that are in her name.  She also is aware that relocation and euthanization are not only cruel, but it is not a solution.  By removing the cats, her community will soon be filled with either more (unaltered) cats, or pests that are being hunted by the cats (i.e. mice, rodents, etc).  The borough has put her in a very hard place.

We are asking simply for your signature, to show that you support a NEW OR REVISED FERAL CAT ORDINANCE be implemented in this community.  We would like to see a revision that allows people like Jomarie to continue to PROPERLY care for the animals that are in the neighborhood, and one that allows rescue groups to CONTINUE TO HELP.   You do not have to like cats.  We are asking simply that you do not hurt them.  Thank you for your support.