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Penn Yan may find solution to cats

PENN YAN—The unruly cats in the village may take a short trip and when they return home, they will be neutered or spayed and vaccinated. 
Robert Krause, president of the local unit of Reigning Cats and Dogs, returned to the board with information about a public meeting on the topic held Dec. 2. The group has offered to organize and manage a program that would trap so-called feral cats and within 24 hours would have them neutered, vaccinated, their ears clipped for identification and returned to the area where they were trapped. Krause said volunteers will asist with feeding and managing the colonies of cats. He maintained, “Every year there will still be a few cats.” The problems of howling and spraying would be greatly reduced. 
Mayor Douglas Marchionda Jr. expressed one concern, that pet cats could be trapped and neutered before their owner realized the cat was missing. Krause said the community could be notified where trapping would take place, adding, “If your personal cat is not neutered and is running around, you get free neutering.” Marchionda asked if pet cats should be wearing collars, but Krause said collars are not recommended because the collars can become entangled and injure the cat. 
Krause said large colonies would be targeted first. Trustee Willie Allison asked what size area would be targeted and Krause said, “It depends on the size of the colony. We want to be able to get as many cats as we can at a time. We will have 15 to 20 traps set in one area.”
Notification methods were discussed and sandwich boards indicating where trapping is taking place or signs similar to political signs could possibly be used to notify the public of the location of trapping sites. Another question posed by village attorney Ed Brockman was, “How would you control access to traps on private property?” He also asked how often the traps would be checked, who  would do the trapping and how the traps would be checked.
Traps would be placed on private property at the property owner’s request and that brought the question of screening volunteers. Brockman said it is in the best interest of the village to have background checks of volunteers performed and some way to easily identify them when they are working. Brockman asked that a proposal from the organization be put in writing, including guidelines. 
Some time ago, the village agreed to have so-called feral cats trapped, neutered and sent to a farm refuge. Reigning Cats and Dogs members told the board that that would not solve the problem because new cats would move into the area that was previously home to the cats that were removed.
After asking if the organization had insurance and learning they did not, Marchionda said, “You must address insurance. It’s a hurdle to get through.” The board agreed to enter into an agreement with Reigning Cats and Dogs pending approval of the village attorney.

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