Phantom feeder vexes Merritt officials
Ashcroft isn’t the only Interior community in which felines are causing a stir.
In Merritt, the municipal government is dealing with its own cat craziness.
Feral cat colonies are roaming the streets and, thanks to some Merritt residents, they’re well-fed.
Throughout the city, officials have located what are being referred to as “feeding stations” — as many as eight.
At these stations, someone is dropping off large amounts of cat food on a daily basis.
“We were in Merritt last week,” BCSPCA Const. Kent Kokoska told KTW.
“We drove by one of these areas [identified as a feeding station] and we looked and there were 10 cats there.”
It’s believed as much as 170 pounds of cat food is being dropped off at the stations each day, feeding as many as 540 cats throughout the city.
The issue is proving to be quite a concern for city hall.
“Obviously, the big issue is somebody dropping food — an attractant to not just cats, but dogs and wild animals,” said Merritt bylaw services officer Bob Davis.
“That, in turn, can and does attract larger predators like coyotes and bobcats and cougars and bears.”
Then there’s the gross factor.
Davis said residents of one house adjacent to one of the feeding stations have been forced to abandon their backyard.
“It’s poisoned — there would be no way you could utilize any of the flowerbeds or garden or soil,” he said, equating it to a gigantic litterbox.
“It is. It’s a litterbox that would turn the stomach of even the strongest of the strong.”
The City of Merritt has spent upwards of $10,000, Davis estimated, removing food from the feeding stations since August.
Beyond that, though, his hands are tied.
Davis said he knows who is responsible and he’s hoping public pressure will make them stop.