Opp residents voice concerns over feral cats

Published 12:02 am Thursday, June 23, 2011

Shown is one of the kittens rescued by the Vieiras in Opp. | Courtesy photo

Feral cats are becoming a growing issue in the City of Opp, residents said earlier this week.

Cindy Vieira, and her mother, Yvonne Vieira, told council members at Monday night’s council meeting that they had found eight to 10 feral kittens in the last couple of weeks.

The Vieiras said there are not any programs in Opp to help neglected, feral animals and are hoping to make an impact on the situation, but they aren’t sure exactly how they will do so.

“It’s just a shame,” Yvonne Vieira said. “We think more can be done. These animals are dependent on us – the whole community. Diseases are transferred to domestic animals by these animals. We need to work to make it better. It’s like neglecting a baby.”

Cindy Vieira said that she was able to catch seven of those cats.

“I spent hours working with them to save them from a miserable existence,” she said. “They were flea and worm infested, terrified to be touched, growling and hissing.”

Vieira said she also had to pry one of the kitten’s eye’s open to give him antibiotics.

“I used my savings from my work study program to cover the costs,” she said.

The Vieiras said they took the animals to two local vets – one they say was helpful, the other they say euthanized the animals.

“A local vet was wonderful with her care,” Cindy Vieira said. “Another vet euthanized three of them after contacting the police, and they were delivered to be put down in several days with no advertising or treatment.”

Vieira said she was told by one of the council members that the council pays $75to euthanize one animal.

Yvonne Vieira said they were told at the city pound that they do not deal with cats.

After the city council meeting, another concerned citizen said he has seen thousands of feral cats in the Opp area.

On Wednesday Cindy Vieira contacted The Star-News, saying that after the meeting only one council member spoke with them.

“It sickens me that we have a blind eye to domestic pets that are disregarded and left to multiply continuously with no medical care, food, shelter or water,” she said. “Some do survive, but some suffer horrible deaths, especially the kittens who are the innocent trash of our negligence, and no one seems to notice or care.

“What kind of world do we live in where people are too busy to care?” she asked.

Cindy Vieira said feral kittens can be rehabilitated within two weeks of capture.

“This could be a teen project,” Cindy Vieira said. “If you could help to get all the ferals in Opp and Andalusia some help, it would be so awesome to see that someone really does care, and a possible SPCA or something could be formed for this effort.”

Those interested in forming a team with the Vieiras should email Cindy at kemiya124@yahoo.com.