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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:

  • Approved claims of $47,757.39 for December in 2009 and $51,656.51 for December in 2010.
  • Moved to table amending the 2009 budget to the Feb. 2 meeting. The proposed amended budget totals $1,953,874 or $15,047 more than the adopted budget.
  • Moved to table a measure that would change usage of the 210 water and sewer replacement fund.
  • Heard a report from village engineer Kevin Oium on the collection of data for the storm sewer utility fund. He said an ordinance could be crafted by June.
  • Park Board chair Colleen O'Brien-Berglund revealed a request from North Hudson School to use Webster Park as an environmental learning site for its students.
  • President George Klein urged residents to visit the village's Web site at for a wealth of information including news, events and public notices; also information on the new recycling requirements, taxes and more.
  • Klein thanked neighbor and friend Terry Felland for his efforts to keep the rink and warming house next to the village hall "hospitable for our skaters."
  • The president also noted a property fraud alert flyer from the St. Croix County Register of Deed's office that describes how someone can illegally use someone's property for financial gain. The flyer is available at the village hall.

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