The Kitty Committee met at the Patagonia Town Hall on Nov. 20 to discuss further the management and control of the estimated 130 or so feral cats in Patagonia. That relatively low number is due in part to the volunteer trapping of ferals for neuter and return by local residents over the past several years, as well as predation and other naturally occurring factors that influence longevity in the wild.
In attendance were Karina Hilliard, Animal Control Officer, badge #309; Michael Stabile, Town Council representative; India Aubrey; Stephanie and Susan Belt; Charlee Farley; Susan Lange, Heather Dodge, plus Patti Hogan and Vicky Mournian of Green Valley Paws Patrol, which gifted the town with four new traps, now located for lending in the Marshall’s Office.
Discussion ranged from a request for new town ordinances for loose cats to include prohibiting people from feeding them and the implementation of a formal complaint process for cats considered nuisances, to the trapping of ferals for the TNR (Trap, Neuter, and Return) program. Stabile reminded the committee that any revision of ordinances must go through proper Town Council procedures.
Hogan focused the group’s attention on the simple, humane and beneficial aspects of TNR. How it works: before attempting to trap a feral cat, remove nearby food for 12 hours. Bait the trap with something stinky (tuna, cooked bacon), set the trap, cover with a towel, and check it in the morning. If the cat you trapped has a notched left ear, let it go (it has been altered already) and try again. Leave the trap covered, for the cat’s security and your protection, and call Karina at 520-604-2451 for pick up and scanning for microchip, in case somebody’s pet has been mistakenly trapped. Cats will be taken to Paws Patrol.
You can also work directly with Paws Patrol at (520) 207-4024, as one local volunteer has been doing. Each cat is evaluated, altered, and vaccinated against rabies before return to the colony or delivery to a barn.
As Hogan and Mournian pointed out, altered cats returned to their home base will continue to control rodents, snakes and spiders year-round on your behalf, even as their
To participate in the TNR program, contact Hilliard by phone or email at email@example.com. If the community determines the feral cats are a larger problem than individuals can manage, there is a possibility of arranging for a Tucson spay/
neuter van service for up to 40 cats after the first of the year. More information will be revealed at the next Kitty Committee meeting, scheduled for Tuesday, January 15 at 11 a.m. in the Patagonia Town Hall. Anyone interested is welcome to attend.
For information on the Town of Patagonia’s wild and domestic animal regulations, go to Patagonia-az.gov, Town Code of Ordinances, Chapter 6, Animals. Or
call Isabel at the Town Hall, (520) 394-2229.