The US Army Corps of Engineers, who consider the cats a threat to wildlife, had originally planned to work with animal control to catch the cats and euthanize them. According to WSB Radio, “a reprieve for the more than 30 feral cats roaming Lake Lanier's West Bank Park in Forsyth County, [Georgia]” has been granted.
The Corp's Chris Lovelady tells WSB they've been flooded by people from as far away as Pennsylvania, who were concerned about the cats. "The local SPCA and the Forsyth County Humane Society will get the cats from the shelter and they will take them to either be adopted or they will provide healthcare to the cats and then put them out in a feral cat colony, somewhere other than on the Corps of Engineers property at Lake Lanier," said Lovelady.
Lovelady insists that park rangers aren't cat haters; in fact, many of them got into the field because of their love for animals. "From a health stand point, from a safety stand point, from a natural resource stand point, a large colony of cats on a small 28 acre park that's the most visited recreational area on Lake Lanier, just doesn't work for us," said Lovelady.
"We're real happy that the local groups have stepped up and introduced themselves to us so that we can work with them and they can work with us and get these cats - instead of having them euthanized - get them moved out to some other location," said Lovelady.
This comes as good news, for innocent cats will not be put to death; however, with time, the Army Corps may come to realize relocating the cats is not necessarily a solution. Removing the cats will open the territory for new cats to move in, whereas a sterilized colony would keep new cats out with their presence and also stop the reproductive cycle. (Not to mention, unlimited space to relocate feral cats does not exist.)
I had to laugh at the comment about the SPCA and Humane Society “stepping up” to help, when they were helping volunteers TNR the cats prior to this situation and tried talking with the Army Corps. See what can be accomplished when enough people come together to fight for a common cause…great things can happen! Thank you to all who called, emailed, faxed, and wrote letters to the Army Corps of Engineers urging them to implement TNR over eradication. Please feel free to thank the Army Corp for their humane decision.