Hamilton, NJ colony cats issue makes the news

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The crisis for feral colony cats and their caretakers in Hamilton, NJ has been featured in area newspapers and on TV in recent days.

The cats have been fed and cared for by volunteers for years at their home turf, which happens to be on private property in a wooded spot owned by the Babe Ruth League youth baseball and softball league. The organization operates throughout the US and other countries but is headquartered at the Hamilton site.

The Babe Ruth League says it wants the cats moved, but the caretakers say the site is the cats’ home and they are acclimated to that site.

The League has allowed extension that have bought time for the cats and their caretakers, but they maintain their stance that the two colonies must move.

WPVI Channel 6 from Philadelphia visited the site and spoke with caretakers for a report.

80 year old Irene Strubel  feeds the cats every day at lunchtime, and told Channel 6: “I do it because I love animals and I’m afraid that they wouldn’t have nothing to eat.”

Linda Kerwin, another caretaker, said, “Feral cats can’t be moved. They grow up here, this is their surroundings, that’s all they know.

“We don’t want to move the colony. We would like to move them further away from the building.”

Linda told Channel 6 that the volunteers feed the cats and bring them water, practice TNR by taking them to the vet for spay/neutering and vaccinations, and get them veterinary care when they are sick. She said some of the cats have been adopted into homes.

Steve Tellefsen, Babe Ruth League CEO, told Channel 6, “We are just concerned that one of the cats might scratch or bite someone. So again it’s just a safety, liability issue.

“We want to work with the cat organizations to safely relocate these animals.”

Babe Ruth League officials say they love animals and do not want to see the cats harmed, but want them off the property. They also say they have received death threats via social media.

For more on the story, see Proposed removal of Hamilton feral cats sparks outrage, online petition in the Trentonian.

Here is a link to the Care2 petition protesting the plan for the cats’ removal, which has over 123,000 signatures: Stop Hamilton Township, NJ and Babe Ruth baseball from killing managed cat colony.

Watch the WPVI Channel 6 report on the story:

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