The cats watch every morning for the pickup truck to show. Most of them are feral, but many suspect others have been abandoned by their owners in a nearby park. On this morning, when the truck arrives, the purring commences.
Head of the group is Al Domoslai, a semi-retired security guard who began this daily trek when he first saw a cat at a gas station staring at a bowl as he drove by. An hour later, on his return trip, the cat was still staring into the bowl. When he got out to look, he found the bowl was only filled with a layer of dirt. What once appeared to have been a water bowl had not been filled in a very long time. He recalls the cat, a calico whose picture he keeps on his phone, looking at him pleadingly as if asking for his help. He couldn’t resist.
From then on, it became somewhat of a personal mission to feed the cats at Rock Creek Park. Joined by Phil Stumpf, a retired mechanic and welder, on peanut duty for the squirrels, and Charlie Sherva, a gaming dealer, who jokes about coming out there for the coffee, the men admit to being animal lovers. Sherrie Provencher, another of the gang, soon showed wielding the obligatory cup of coffee.
In the article posted on MagicValley.com by reporter Mychel Matthews, while there are those who do not support the feeding of the ferals, many in the community believe in what they are doing. There is no issue, either, with local law enforcement as cats are not considered an animal control issue and there is no jurisdiction preventing their being fed. Many wonder what the costs are to feed all these animals and have concerns they should either be spayed and neutered or removed from the area. One gentleman, Steve Gobel, who sees the group regularly while walking his dog, appreciates what they are doing and wishes he could help by finding an area veterinarian that would sponsor a spay and neuter program for the animals. Dog behaviorist and trainer, Brittany Triner, with People for Pets – Magic Valley Humane Society in Twin Falls, agrees with Gobel, but sadly does not know of anyone in the area offering that service. In response to removal of the animals, she states more cats would move in to replace the others as shown in multiple studies.
In the meantime, this dedicated little group continues to take of the cats, many of which have names. Out of the goodness of their hearts and love for animals, and apparently coffee, these selfless individuals are making sure the water bowls are not filled with dust for these animals.