North Hudson wild cats get reprieve
Wild cats in North Hudson have received a reprieve from death row, so to speak.
The Board of Trustees approved a change in the Village's contract with the Animal Humane Society of St. Paul at its Jan. 5 meeting. The new contract states that the society will no longer "accept or provide services for feral cats under municipal authority."
The change comes as the result of a lawsuit filed in Minnesota after some feral cats were removed from an Afton business area and euthanized because of their extremely wild behavior.
The action apparently didn't allow for a five day waiting period that is required under certain conditions in both Minnesota and Wisconsin law, said Animal Warden Kathi Pelnar.
As a result a cat rescue group in Hastings filed suit and the Humane Society requested a change in the contract to keep municipalities out of the litigation, she said.
"The situation is not critical in North Hudson," Pelnar said. "There is a pocket of feral cats down by Lake Mallalieu."
Pelnar said she removed seven feral cats from the area between the Lake Mallalieu Bridge and the dam with live traps last fall but only one or two were adults.
"You never get all of them," she said in a telephone conversation late last week.
"It (the feral population) runs in four-year cycles," she told the Board and said the group of cats will increase over that period of time if left unchecked.
"The biggest issue is rabies from feral cats," she said. "They live, eat and sleep with raccoons."
She said that while it is not a major problem in the Village, she acknowledged that no one relishes the fact of being among the small percentage of people who contract rabies from a feral cat.
Pelnar is the animal warden for nine municipalities in Minnesota and eight in Wisconsin including North Hudson, Hudson, the town of Troy and the town of Somerset.
In other action the board: