Stray Cats Multiplying in Delco - FOX 35 News Orlando

Stray Cats Multiplying in Delco

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The stray cat population is getting out of control in one Delaware County township. A plan to corral the felines isn't working and that could cost taxpayers.

Most people think cats are cute and cuddly, but not Marcus Hook resident Anna Bartow. 

"It's disgusting, they're just ruining everything," Bartow told Fox 29. 

Cats are getting a bad reputation in Lower Chichester Township. They're wandering the streets, hanging out in backyards and turning gardens into litter boxes. 

"I put the flowers in, they're dead before I know it," Bartow complained.  "And I love cats, don't get me wrong, but if you have a cat I think you should keep him in your own place."

Bartow finally gave up and planted fake flowers, because she just couldn't keep the strays away. 

And the problem is only getting worse. 

"Every time I see them, there's more and more of them," Bartow's neighbor Bill Woodruff insisted.  "And they're supposed to be picking them up and neutering them but they're worse.  And people feed them."

That's a big problem for Lower Chichester Township officials, who are trying to get control of the growing cat population.  They've hired a company to set food traps, to catch and fix the strays.  But the cats aren't biting, because they're not hungry.

Township officials are hoping to spay or neuter as many strays as possible, but they need residents to close the lid on the cat food. 

Hard to do for some animal lovers. 

"Your heart goes out to them because you just can't see something suffering and starving," Catherine Wood explained. "It's bad enough they have to find a place to live on their own."

The alternative is a whole lot worse for taxpayers. 

Township officials would have to pay the Chester County SPCA $300 for each cat it picks up. 

One local official said that would bankrupt the township, considering how many strays there are.  But if they don't start controlling the cat population here, residents may decide to take action themselves.

"We had the problem before and I think someone started poisoning them, and then it died down a while," Woodruff said.  "And now it's back again.  It's the same thing."

No cats have been poisoned this time around, but some of their nine lives may be at risk if they keep multiplying.

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