Man Wants Stray Cats Controlled—Or Shot
A resident's ire has prompted Baldwin Township officials to consider a ban on feeding stray cats. Plus, other township news.
The Baldwin Township Board of Commissioners is considering stricter legislation on stray cats after a township resident on Tuesday night said it's either that or "we should be allowed to shoot 'em."
Randy Balzer, who lives on Donaldson Drive, told the board that he has seen about 20 stray cats on his street alone.
It's a health hazard, Balzer said, while also telling the board that he nearly "lost his foot" after a recent infection that doctors thought was a result of broken skin coming into contact with cat feces.
"We've got to do something with the cats," Balzer said. "My foot is more important than any cat."
Board President Eileen Frisoli said that the commissioners will look at an ordinance barring residents from feeding cats, but such an ordinance may be hard to enforce. Other than that, Frisoli advised Balzer to call the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society or another animal activist group to pick up strays.
"There's nothing we can do," Frisoli said, adding that state regulations regarding the control of stray cats supersede local legislation.
Balzer said that he understood the board's predicament, but he insisted that he would take the matter into his own hands if the problem continued.
"Tell the activists to come after me," Balzer said.
He later added, "I've kicked two of them in my pool. Two are dead."
Balzer's wife, Cindy, said that she worries that the cats, which sometimes drink out of her pool, may spread infections to her children or others in her neighborhood. She suspects that some neighbors are taking in cats to feed them before turning them loose.
"They just keep populating," Cindy said.
Frisoli declined to comment on the likelihood of a ban on feeding strays until the commissioners meet again to discuss it further.
Speaking after the meeting, Balzer said that he owns a dog and considers himself an animal lover. But he draws the line when his and others' well-being is jeopardized.
"I love animals," Balzer said. "I do."
In other news at Tuesday's township meeting:
- Baldwin Township police are participating in Click It or Ticket, a statewide effort to enforce safety belt laws. The increased effort lasts through June 10.
- The board approved a measure that allows Allegheny County to store equipment on the former site of EZ Auto Sales along McNeilly Road. The agreement will last for six months while county workers repair roads, and it requires that the property be restored to its current condition afterward.
- The board voted to spend $35,000 on a 2013 Ford sedan for township police.
- Township engineer Glenn Jonnet said that talks are under way with Pittsburgh Water & Sewer Authority officials for a wet weather control plan. The plan, which is still being negotiated, could include an agreement between Baldwin Township, Dormont Borough and Mt. Lebanon.
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