Man May Go to Jail for Feeding Ferals

No Comments

Photo of author

By Staff

Photo: Kelly Hart

A North St. Paul, Minnesota man and his wife were taking care of local feral cats when their efforts in feeding the ferals and TNR (Trap, Neuter, Return) were deemed as “law-breaking.”

Although the feral cat population in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area hovers around one million, North St. Paul’s rules make it difficult for community members to properly care for them. The law says that domesticated animals that are “kept, harbored or maintained by their owners” must be licensed by the city. Because Doug Edge feeds community cats, he is considered their owner, thus breaking the law by not having them licensed and allowing them to roam freely (also a no-no). For his attempts at helping to control the local cat overpopulation problem, in April Edge was charged with two misdemeanors and now faces a fine and up to 90 days in jail. Edge says he would rather go to jail than pay the fine — he believes paying the fine would be his admission of guilt, and he is adamant he’s done nothing wrong.

Since 2008, Edge and his wife have been working through an Animal Ark program and have actively practiced TNR. Mike Fry, executive director of Animal Ark told the St. Paul Pioneer Press, “Doug Edge is providing that service to the city for free, and they’re just getting in his way. It doesn’t make sense from any perspective.”

Edge plans to appeal the charges on October 24th.

About Author

0 thoughts on “Man May Go to Jail for Feeding Ferals”

  1. I find this persons attempt to help homeless cats laudable. and the law ridiculous! instead of spending money fighting this guy why dont they use the money for a TNR serivce to lower the number of strays. I feels sorry for all these babies who have to deal with minnesota winters. what cold. maybe someone should start a petition..

  2. Wow, really? And here Casey Anthony will walk free in less than a week. Something is very wrong here. 🙁

  3. hmmmm, wonder whose “back pocket” leaders in that city are in? Hope it doesn’t happen in Arkansas, I will spending A LOOOONG time in the pokey.

  4. Is there a petition to be signed on this mans behalf? It is so obsurd! The only people that should be arrested are the ones who abuse these animlas not the ones who HELP these poor things!

  5. Let this man feed these cats, there are not many people that cares about our animals, so don;t be so ridiculous to wanna charge this man. Rather use that money in court cases to have these felines spayed and fed.

  6. this is what i dont get…. yes cats were tech. domesticated BUT when they are feral they are just like a WILD animal….. does that mean i could be arrested for feeding the park pigeons, feeding ducks any other animal people may feed that are wild.

  7. I back the TNR program 100%, I do NOT understand how feeding these animals could be considered ‘ breaking the law’. How can feeding a starving animal be the act of a criminal? Please, people, get your heads out of your butts.

  8. Simply outrageous.. A crime to feed starving babies which are feral thru no fault of thier own.. Humans did this by not sraying/neutering thier animals.. Would they rather them be PTS? Who are they hurting anyway?

  9. I have never heard of score ridiculous think in all my life ..that man should get a medal for what he’s doing

  10. This is ridiculous. Feeding a bear I could understand as being dangerous but a CAT? I am just terrified that this law might make its way to my state, it is not the first i’ve heard of it…

  11. I hope the rats will bite those stupid people who make such laws !! Doesnt the police have anything else to do ?? My husband was also caught by the police when he was feeding cats in the street !!

  12. My feral cat, Gypsy, showed up on my 6 acres one day starving and pitiful. I trapped her and spayed her, shots, worming, etc. When I released her, I set up shelter and I feed her everyday. She is as wild and feral as a bobcat, lol. Her left ear is tipped and that lets AC know she is fixed and someone is caring for her. What is it hurting? She seems content and is healthy. She has her rabies shot. If this law comes here, I will fight it tooth and nail. TNR is the way to go.

  13. I can understand wanting to keep the population of feral cats down, ok. Why don’t they start imposing jail time on people who ABANDON their cats??? In my neighbourhood in the last few years there have been at least 5 people who have moved and left their cats outside!

  14. WTF is all I can come up with. Do some people not think logically at all? As if I did not hate people enough. The people protesting TNR need lobotomies…….the whole lot of them.

  15. Hmmm…This guy is saving the town $ 10,000’s of dollars , by TNR many cat.s
    and if feeding them makes them his pets..
    He is take the jail time..the people should start a petition, that the sity shoudl start TNR and say the cats are a nusamce get the city too collct the ferrals
    or stat a petition and get the city too pay , Mr Doug Edge. payment he has doen for the city. days hours.and time he has gievn. of his own.

  16. Ugh! And here I hope and pray the woman several doors down from us will get the ferals she feeds neutered at least. :/

  17. I fully support this good, kind-hearted man and his wife. Thank you for all you are doing and for giving these little ones the care and attention they deserve. Well done. Long may you be able to continue, and without the interference of such silly and petty bureaucracy.

  18. I know a lot of people do it, but I don’t get why people let their cats roam freely, anyway, at least those who live in town. If I let my cats out, I’d be terrified of cars, birds of prey, and other hazards harming them. It happened regularly to our previous neighbor’s cats, but she still let them out. The main thing is, I’m afraid one of our neighbor’s cats is going to be savaged by one of our dogs. 🙁 The ferals, along with this neighbor’s kitties, like to hang out near our little pond by the patio, and the dogs always flush them out of the bushes when we let them out. The girls are on their leashes, so at least we can stop them. But WE end up getting jerked all over the place when it happens.

  19. I love that these laws target good people in the community. Fact, if someone goes out and does a tnr program, feeds them every day these are the kind of people that you can count on to be a good civic minded and kind person. These laws themselves also say something about the idiot who write them.

  20. A fellow cat owner in my apartment building complained about another resident who was feeding a stray, because it was attracting cats in heat and stressing her own cats out. My cats were fine (a little bit of excitement never hurt anyone!), and the food was practically right outside our window. I hope whoever was putting the food out convinced that kitty to come inside and stay awhile, because I don’t see Mr. Stray anymore, and he was a very nice boy.

    Even pet-owners can be touchy about feeding strays and ferals.

Leave a Comment