Guest Column: Cats gone wild

I have lived in my house in Rockford for the past 10 years. More and more often, I’ve found myself at war, terrorized if you will, by neighborhood house cats, stalking indigenous wildlife, overpopulating and causing property damage to my small backyard pond.

If you let your cat, a non-indigenous predator, run loose, shame on you! By allowing your cat to roam, you put our wildlife at risk, risk the health and safety of your “beloved” pet, and overpopulate (if you’re so irresponsible that you don’t have your cat spayed or neutered!).

As urban sprawl runs amuck, we now have to share the land with local wildlife, which has run out of territory.

This wildlife should not be fair game to your house cat! Your house cat is not indigenous (native) to this area and is an unfair threat to small game that is naturally stalked by hawks and owls—but they belong there—your cat does not!

Take a trip to “kitty death row” at Winnebago County Animal Shelter and see the numerous cats waiting to go to their death, not by any fault of their own—mostly due to the irresponsible owners of these cats and their resulting offspring.

You may say it’s natural for a cat to stalk prey; it’s also natural for dogs to run wild in packs. This is not allowed in Rockford; what makes you think cats should be an exception?

Due to Rockford’s lack of home rule, this decision to make it illegal for cats to run freely, spreading disease, overpopulating and causing property damage, must be handled by the state reps. I urge you to contact them for the sake of our wildlife and their own safety. State Rep. Dave Winters can be reached at (815) 489-0083, Chuck Jefferson at (815) 987-7433, and Dave Syverson at (815) 987-7555.

Marcia Green is a local resident.

From the Feb. 1-7, 2006, issue

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