Archive for the tag 'stray cats'

Members of the 25 strong cat colony on Plumb Beach (Photo by Lisanne Anderson/Flickr)

You didn’t actually think we’d get through this story without a headline pun did you?

The National Park Service (NPS) has agreed to give more time to cat enthusiasts to remove a sizable colony of feral cats from the Plumb Beach federal parkland, and is even considering offering manpower and assistance in their relocation.

Doug Adamo, the chief of Natural Resource Management for Gateway National Recreation Area told Sheepshead Bites that he’s been inundated with calls and e-mails about the 25-cat colony they planned to remove this Friday, with nearly as many people supporting the plan as opposing it.

But they also heard directly from the folks who’ve been caring for the cats, building what he called “cat condos that were constructed out of wood and cardboard,” and who fed, vaccinated and neutered them. As a result of their discussions, Adamo said Parks has agreed to hold off on dismantling the colony for another week, until June 20, to allow the group to explore long-term relocation options.

“Nothing’s going to happen on Friday. We did get in touch with the people that were taking care of the cats. We decided we would give them an extra week to try and place the cats, or there are a couple of options that they gave me that they were looking at,” said Adamo.

Adamo said NPS could potentially offer staff to help trap the animals and remove the debris, as well as a vehicle to transport them a short distance. He said the cat caretakers are looking at facilities in Maryland or upstate New York, among others.

“They’re saying they will help and they don’t want them to go to the shelters and they want them to go to places where they have more assurances that it will go to a permanent home, which would be a good win-win solution to the situation,” said Adamo.


The sign posted last week.

Contrary to the claims of cat lovers, Adamo said NPS never had plans to kill the cats. In most cases, colonies are dismantled as soon as they’re discovered and the cats are trapped and brought to local shelters for adoption, and just about every cat they’ve captured in the past has been assessed as adoptable by the shelters.

Normally there is no notice to the community, but he said that when NPS employees discovered the colony sometime in the last month, they were struck by its size and apparent maintenance, as well as the condition of the cats.

“In this case we noticed it was a large colony and they were healthy and cared for. We thought maybe we’d give them a chance to work with us on this and it appears that’s what we’re doing,” he said.

Despite flack from feline fans, Adamo maintained that removing the colony was essential to the parkland’s habitat.

“It’s our responsibility in the Parks Service to protect wildlife,” he said. “It’s a very difficult situation, especially here in New York, next to densely populated areas where non-native cats – and they’re all non-native – are always going to be coming into the park either by people bringing them there or by just wandering in.”

Even though they’re fed by humans, the cats still pray on area wildlife. The problem is even more urgent on Plumb Beach, a protected nesting ground for migratory birds including some endangered and at-risk species

“As land managers and natural resource managers for the park, [we must] do due diligence in protection of the wildlife,” said Adamo.

It doesn’t appear the decision has fully satisfied the cat enthusiasts. One of the colony’s caretakers, Nancy Rogers, has launched a petition online saying that the additional week now being granted is insufficient.

“The caretakers are willing to find homes for these cats but need more than the one week now allotted to accomplish this difficult task,” Rogers writes in the petition’s description. The petition launched yesterday afternoon and already has 193 supporters, and simply says “Stop the removal of the Plum Beach Cats.”


The above sign went up at Plumb Beach late last week, warning parkgoers that the National Park Service will be moving to “dismantle” cat colonies on the federal parkland this Friday, June 13.

(UPDATE [6/11/2014]: NPS  is working with the caretakers and has granted extra time to relocate the animals.)

Plumb Beach is part of the Gateway National Recreation Area, a stretch of federal parkland that’s home to countless migratory bird species and other protected wildlife like horseshoe crabs. With jurisdiction over the parkland split between federal, state and city authorities, no one is ever sure who’s responsible for maintaining infrastructure or cleaning up the garbage - but at least they figured out who is going to get rid of the cats, right?

But that’s got cat lovers rankled. Apparently, locals have been caring for a sizeable colony of about 25 cats, feeding, vaccinating and neutering them. They’re crying foul that these cats are being targeted, and that their caretakers have been given such short notice.

Lena S. wrote to us yesterday:

This is a posted flyer around the area that says the this Friday (in just 3 days) They will come in and euthanize all the stray cats that are living by belt parkway (Plum Beach area)! There are people here that were taking care of these cats for years and they are taken all neutered, well fed, vaccinated against rabies. This notice is unbelievably cruel and with only a few days notice! There are currently 25 cats there and they want to mass euthanize them.

Please help and promote this, we’re trying to save the kitties, they deserve to live there just like any other animal.

Marina G. wrote:

All these cats are spayed, neutered and fed. This colony has been around for many years. If there is any ecosystem at that beach, its between the rats and the cats, as locals call the beach “rat beach.”

Animal protection groups are trying to find a way to at least get more time to relocate this colony. The notice was posted 5 days ago.

On the heels of the cat abuse stories as well as our national outrage over Russia’s disposal of their cats and dogs during the Olympics, this may be a relevant read

The text of the sign does not say anything about putting the cats to sleep or otherwise “disposing” of them, although it’s certainly a possibility. In case you can’t make it out, it reads:

Feral cat colonies are prohibited on Federal property.

To ensure the health and safety of visitors and to protect habitat for native species including shorebirds, small mammals and reptiles this colony will be dismantled on Friday, June 13th.

We encourage those that have created this colony to remove it and the cats prior to that date.

Thank you for your cooperation in maintaining the health of our ecosystems.

Sheepshead Bites has reached out to the National Park Service to confirm that they posted the notice, and what methods will be used to “dismantle” the colony, including whether or not the animals will be exterminated. We’ll update this post when we receive a response.

Photo by Erica Sherman

Gravesend Cat Friends, a Trap Neuter Return (TNR) group working to combat pet over-population and the stray cat problem in Southern Brooklyn, invites you to hear TNR expert Peter Szalaiko of Ferals in Peril deliver a presentation, October 16, 6:30 p.m. at the Kings Highway Library, 2115 Ocean Avenue near the intersection of Avenue P and Kings Highway.

Szalaiko and Gravesend Cats are also inviting neighbors to help trap 25 or more cats.

Perhaps Ned’s cat lady should attend. Or maybe she should be caught and neutered. Whatevs.

To learn more, call Susan Bercaw at (646) 708-3333 or email

Worried about Mercedes, the poor little kitten who was stuck in a car engine on Ocean Parkway a few weeks ago?

The video above shows that Mercedes, who was rescued and adopted by Antonio Rosario, is playing around and enjoying her new home. Life With Cats says that she is  feeling fine.

After the rescue, Rosario took Mercedes to the vet and discovered she had conjunctivitis and some other minor issues. However, she fortunately was not suffering from any serious illnesses. After resting and eating well, Mercedes has recovered and appears to be enjoying her new home.

The video, taken by Rosario, shows Mercedes running around the house, kicking and chasing a small purple ball. Much better than squealing and crying, squished up in a hot car engine don’t you think?


Mercedes and me

The adorable kitten in the picture above was rescued from the engine of a car on Tuesday and adopted by her savior, who made her a star by telling the story over on his blog.

Antonio Rosario, the small kitten’s savior, and his wife Elizabeth were cruising down Ocean Parkway towards Brighton Beach, when Antonio, who was in the passenger’s seat, suddenly heard what he believed to be a cat’s cry. When they stopped at a red light, he heard the the poor little cry again.

“I look out behind me and out the window and in the adjacent lane is see a Mercedes s550 with its left front turn signal light missing from the housing,” Antonio posted on his blog. “In this housing is the little face of a kitten crying.”

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The following is a message from Neighborhood Cats, “the feral cat experts.”

Click to enlarge


Cat Murderer On The Loose

Photo by Lisanne Anderson

We were hearing reports all day yesterday about these signs, which went up for several blocks around the Petco at Avenue Y and East 16th Street.

It does appear someone is going after local strays, so if you’ve got a pet cat who likes the outdoors, it might be a good idea to keep it inside for the next couple of weeks.

We’ve also heard all the strays at the former gas station on Avenue Z and East 16th are gone. One person yesterday told us they feared they were all dead, but another reader informed us that a friend of hers had rescued three kittens from the location. A fourth was dead. She is now looking for homes for the kitties, so speak up if you’re interested.

As the sign notes, there is a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest of anyone poisoning cats. To file a report, contact the Humane Law Enforcement of the ASPCA at (212) 876-7700 x4450.

A family of stray cats are staking a claim to the garage and attached lot on the corner of Avenue Z and East 16th Street. A group with similar patterns have been seen stalking the grounds, poking through garbage for scraps, and sitting in the sun.

We caught these photos on Tuesday. They’re of two separate cats. They’re pretty handsome, but that doesn’t mean they’re exactly welcome in the neighborhood.

As for the lot – a former garage – it’s been closed for years. It’s a pretty large stretch of space, but we’ve heard whispers that the landlord wants an absurd amount of cash. On top of that, underground fuel tanks have leaked, we’re told, requiring the next owner to clean up before building.

It’s a shame. A bookstore or other business would find that spot purrrfect.

Yeah… I said it.