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Stray Cats Still Riling Residents in Baldwin Township

And other notes from Tuesday night's Board of Commissioners meeting.

'Why Can't They Just Get Euthanized?'

stray cats issue has dogged the Baldwin Township Board of Commissioners ever since a Donaldson Drive resident made  at a township meeting in early June.

Two months later, the issue remains just as topical, as evidenced by comments from Jean Colaizzi, of Highview Road, at another meeting on Tuesday night.

Colaizzi asked the township's leaders on Tuesday to enact an ordinance prohibiting cats from being allowed to roam Baldwin without a leash. She said that cats found as such should be rounded up by animal control officers and killed.

"Why can't they just get euthanized?" Colaizzi asked the board while suggesting that a would not lessen the cat population enough. "That would be the best thing; wouldn't it?"

Colaizzi said that she is frustrated by how cats have affected her property.

"I have about a dozen cats that are in my back yard, crapping in my yard, in my flowers, in my vegetables. It stinks so bad in my back yard that I cannot sit out there and enjoy the summer evenings."

She also expressed worry that some of the cats may be carrying diseases.

"One cat ... has hissed at me," she said. "Now, if I get bitten by one of these cats, and they're rabid, what is going to happen?

"There's a whole slew of people down there (on Highview). Their kids go out to play. They can't go in the house with their clothes 'cause it's covered in cat pee and whatever."

Board President Eileen Frisoli said that the township does have an ordinance in place restricting dogs to leashes but not cats.

Colaizzi also complained that some of her neighbors have been feeding the cats, but there is no ordinance in place in Baldwin Township disallowing that activity, either.

"If we were to enact an ordinance banning the feeding of stray cats, that becomes a neighbor-against-neighbor type of situation," board member Nick Pellegrino said. "You would have to report a neighbor for feeding the cats and violating the ordinance, and when they get a ticket, if they appeal it, you would then have to show up at the magistrate's office to be the witness against them.

"There could be good coming out of an ordinance like that, and there could be the issue of now having a neighborly dispute, a contentious relationship, whatever you want to call it."

Fellow board member John Paravati assured Colaizzi that her complaints were not falling on deaf ears.

"We are looking into some options," Paravati said. "Just so you know, we're not ignoring the problem."

In the meantime, if Colaizzi wanted to have a stray cat removed from her property and euthanized, she would have to trap it and contact animal control officers to have it taken away, Pellegrino said.

Regardless of no ordinance being in effect, Frisoli encouraged Colaizzi and all township residents to ask each other to please not feed stray cats.

Will Old Bus Stop Signs Be Removed?

With Port Authority service stops , township resident Gary J. Moeller, of Highview, asked township leaders on Tuesday to have out-of-service bus stop signs removed.

Moeller called the no-longer-applicable signs "an eyesore" for the township.

Frisoli said that Port Authority of Allegheny County is responsible for removing those signs and that the authority will be contacted about that.

Sportsmen's Ca$h Ba$h

The Castle Shannon Volunteer Fire Department, which serves Baldwin Township, will hold its next Sportsmen's Ca$h Ba$h fundraiser at the fire station along Route 88 in Castle Shannon Borough on Sunday, Oct. 28.

Snyder Absent

Commissioner Susan V. Snyder did not attend Tuesday night's meeting.

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Margaret French August 08, 2012 at 02:23 PM
Here we go again. LOL
terri longo August 08, 2012 at 03:02 PM
I agree with Jean. I live on Donaldson & the problem is just as bad. The smell is horrible & neighbors are feeding them. There needs to be some ordinance in place to.control the problem. You cant sit outside on my porch either without the stench drifting. My kids play outside all the time & they complain of the smell even in my swimming pool you can smell it. Its very frustrating that nothing can be done. If someone gets bit its going to be a huge problem.
Margaret French August 08, 2012 at 03:20 PM
I don't understand why council can't make an ordinance then since it is their job! I don't live in Baldwin Boro or Township but I am sure all the complainers would rather be at odds with the neighbors than to put up with what they have to put up with. JMHO FWIW
MaryAnn August 08, 2012 at 03:48 PM
Indeed.
MaryAnn August 08, 2012 at 04:02 PM
There is NO good reason why these commissioners cannot create an ordinance and inform the people of Baldwin Township ... those same people who voted them into that position to actually work for those same people in this township. What excuse do they have for not doing so? Dah? No kidding there is an ordinance against having a dog out without a leash. We are all aware of that one. So, make one for the cats and just get it done. What is the problem and why should it take so long? If nothing is done and soon, remember who all of them are and vote them OUT. This is an important issue or it would not be making these headlines and continually being brought up on this blog and at these meetings. And when the ordinance is put into place and ALL residents are made known, there should be hefty fines imposed on those who do not adhere to it and/or do not have the proper shots/vaccinations etc. for their cats. It is amazing how people have a problem with the deer we have in this area. The deer are wild animals and belong in our woods. The damn cats do not. No one wants to "rat" on their neighbors but if it has to get to that for something to be done, then so be it. Seems like the areas of major concern are Donaldson, Highview and the Crestline/Haverhill area. HEY COMMISSIONERS ... DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS NOW ... YOUR CONSTITUENTS WILL REMEMBER YOU AT ELECTION TIME.
Margaret French August 08, 2012 at 04:15 PM
I make a list when I go to vote for council members etc.... remembering who voted for or against what etc.
MaryAnn August 08, 2012 at 04:19 PM
Margaret -- you are an informed voter and smart to do that. That is what I do as well. So, we have to keep an eye on this issue and see who is doing their job on the commission and how quickly this issue can be resolved by an ordinance being put into place and ENFORCED. There is no good reason that we cannot have an ordinance. If the commissions think or say there is .... then let us all know what it is. JUST DO IT COMISSIONERS!
terri longo August 08, 2012 at 10:15 PM
Yeah Margaret and maryann! Agreed again. I dont understand why they cant make an ordinance either. I have 2 dogs & 1 cat. My dogs stay in my fenced in yard & my cat stays in the house. Not out on other people's property making it smell. I'm going to take your advice Margaret and start keeping track of which commissioners so their so called job so im absolutely positive who im voting for next time! Thanks!
Tyrion Lannister August 09, 2012 at 03:14 AM
I hate to bust up the mutual admiration society going on here, but: A) No human has died after being bitten by an infected cat in over thirty years. B) Cats are not dogs, and the species has an entirely different roaming prerogative. C) If you 3 ladies think you can scare commissioners into passing dumb laws just for you lot, imagine what happens when someone's pet cat gets trapped & handed over to a shelter with a 70% kill rate. You want to see some news stories, that will do the trick, and I promise you those news stories won't be on your side.
Sandy B. August 09, 2012 at 04:17 PM
Tyrion ..... "Scare" the commissioners into doing something? Really? What they are stating is that they are demanding the commissioners do the job for which they were elected. This obviously is an important issue to each one who has complained and they are taxpayers expecting something be done. So, if the commissioners cannot accomplish passing an ordinance, then they need to go and some new commissioners willing to do the jobs come in. Part of the ordinance should state that cat owners, like dog owners, should have some type of license and/or identification tag so that, if the cat does somehow get loose and is lost or whatever, that the owner be contacted for retrieval of the animal. I believe that is the way it works for dogs, so it should work for cats. I am also one of those whose home has been a urinal and sandbox for the neighbor's numerous cats that the family just lets run loose ALL the time. And, like the others I have read who voice complaints, my flowers have been dug up when cats dig to bury their poop and it is no longer pleasant to sit on my patio after a cat has done its business and the smell is overwhelming. I have severe allergies. I do not own any pets for that reason. I do not like cats but I respect the rights of people who have them as pets. What I have a problem with is their total lack of respect for my property. Create and pass an ordinance Baldwin Township Commissioners PLEASE.
Terry August 20, 2012 at 06:57 PM
Do you people pay no attention to what's going on??? (I know Margaret is aware). TNR programs have been offered and refused. And then it goes round and round and round. People who want the cats' lives to be saved against people who want the cats to be killed. Those 2 groups will never agree with each other!
NE12Ukid August 20, 2012 at 11:02 PM
I pay attention to the recent rabies incidents. The children who have to endure the shots because of the CATS!
melody donnelly August 21, 2012 at 12:57 AM
I can't believe the ignorance (and I mean lack of information...for the most part) in most of these comments. There are groups out there begging to let them come in and TRN (trap, neuter, release) these cats and the help is being refused! And that service comes with a rabies shot! The cat population would be close to half in about a year if they are not able to continue breeding and would continue to dwindle as time goes by. I went through this at my mother's house with 18 cats (all started with 1 pregnant female who showed up one day). The number of cats quickly declined from cars to natural causes. To this day almost 15 years later, there is only 1 cat remaining and that's only because she doesn't roam rarely ever further than 30+ feet from the porch and her cat house. Please, people who want to kill these cats....it's not the cats fault that they are where they are...it's humans for not altering their pets and/or just abandoning them to let them fend for themselves. You don't even have to be a cat lover to see the sense in that. I just recently adopted an 8+ year old feral cat and after about a month, you would never even know that he wasn't brought up from a kitten as a lap cat. And yeah, he hissed at me at first...it's what cats do when they are scared, it doesn't mean that they are mean and ready to attack. Please wake up people and do what is best for the cats (living, breathing creatures!).
Terry August 22, 2012 at 08:00 PM
Melody--THANK YOU!!!! Sadly, rabies is all over Western Pa. The animal most likely to be infected?? Skunks. .followed by bats and raccoons. A TNR program would vaccinate all of those cats. And the colony would eventually die out from natural diseases. In the meantime, the toms would be neutered. Their urine wouldn't be as strong and they would stop fighting over the females. If they are true ferals, they are wildlife...the same as all other wildlife...and they do what all wild animals do. But they would NOT be passing rabies if they were vaccinated.
cc August 22, 2012 at 10:48 PM
Terry in our neighborhood we didn't ask Whitehall to do a TRN. Neighbors on our street pitched in money, what every they wanted and we have spayed and neutered a bunch of cats. The population is going down and we were able to get 32 kittens and put them with foster moms so they could be adopted out. Hopefully we won't be getting many new cats next year and they will start to die out.
cc August 22, 2012 at 10:56 PM
Cats can catch and eat a rabid mouse and then get rabies. Rabies isn't just in raccoon but in all mammals. A cat can get rabies from eating a rabbit, chipmunk, hedgehogs, groundhogs, squirrel not just from fighting with a rabid raccoon. All mammals including dogs, cats, horses, pigs, lambs, rabbits, hedgehogs, groundhogs, squirrels, deer, can get rabies. Snakes, birds, fish and turtles do not get rabies, since they are not mammals
Robert Edward Healy, III August 23, 2012 at 01:40 AM
Noticed some talk on here about raccoons. Thought that I would share this story out of Baldwin Borough: http://patch.com/A-xkv7.
cc August 23, 2012 at 01:40 AM
When they do TNR they give the animals rabies shots along with fixing the animal. Most people will never come in contact with a feral animal. People also need to take their indoor dogs cats to the vets every year and get them a check up and shots. Dogs and cats that do get away from their owner and run might come in contact with any type of mammal that has rabies.
Terry August 23, 2012 at 05:39 AM
And once again the smartest person in the whole world is off and running. So I'm outa here. Good luck CC...:-D

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