Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Official: Feeding Feral Cats Is Not the Answer

Bill Tinsley, Lakeland's parks and recreation director, seemed surprised this week to learn of Lusby's longtime practice of feeding cats living in Lake Parker Park. Though he understands Lusby's affection for the animals, Tinsley said feeding the cats only creates further problems.
"We certainly do not encourage the establishment or maintaining of a domestic or exotic animal population in a public park," Tinsley said. "There are lots of reasons why they shouldn't be fostered in that public space. I love animals as much as anybody, but you have to do what's responsible for the animals."
Tinsley supports the capture of feral cats to be sterilized, but he said they shouldn't be returned to the park, where their presence might spur irresponsible owners to release more cats and perpetuate the cycle. He cited concerns about diseases and the cats' killing of native wildlife.

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