Cornwall cat advocates keep pressure on city

In this May 2018, file photo, a kitten from Tiny But Mighty Kitten Rescue peeks out of a basket outside the Cornwall city council chambers. Cat advocates are keeping the pressure on to have the City of Cornwall release a cat survey and do something about the at-large and feral cat problem. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

Editor’s note: This story has been corrected from an earlier version to show Mary Jane Proulx is no longer affiliated with Roy and Cher’s Rescue Farm. We have changed her identity in the story to a former city council candidate.

CORNWALL – Cat advocates looking for the city to do something about Cornwall’s at-large and feral cat problem are keeping the pressure on elected officials.

It’s been months since a 10-question so-called “Community Cat Consultation” survey was done by the municipality.

Former city council candidate Mary Jane Proulx and Mellissa Alepins with Tiny But Mighty Kitten Rescue have been lobbying councillors to do something before another season passes.

“The cat survey was done in March. We are hoping for the report. We were told that the cat survey was one of the biggest surveys ever in Cornwall. That means a lot of people are upset and concerned and they want something done,” Proulx told Cornwall Newswatch.

Since late June, Proulx and Alepins were both hoping the city would put some “emergency money” toward a TNR (trap-neuter-release) program but so far that’s not happened.

“By the time the summer’s over…by the time he (Chief Building Official Chris Rogers) gets around to doing the report it’s going to take two months…so now what? Winter?” Proulx said. “We’re way behind.”

When asked whether their non-profit groups had made applications to the Cornwall municipal grants program (also known as grants to outside agencies), both said they hadn’t heard of the program. The deadline for applications is usually the middle of September.

But Proulx quickly shifted the onus back to the city. “But, they (the city) have to do something. It’s the City of Cornwall…they dropped the ball years ago and that’s why were in this problem right now,” Proulx said.

In an email to Cornwall Newswatch, Chief Building Official Chris Rogers says putting the new building permit fees in place during the winter and spring has “impacted on available staffing resources” to be able to get the report done.

The survey had 1,235 responses – 62 per cent of those said the city needs to take action on cat over-population.

Rogers anticipated the report will be delivered in “early fall” with recommendations for cat control “generally consistent” with the original interim report, which included cat licencing and cat ownership limits of two (2) in apartments and four (4) in houses.

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