Corner Brook Pulp and Paper is shown here on Monday. Feral cats have been inhabiting the property for some time. — Star photo by Geraldine Brophy
A local animal activist is disappointed by the approach a major Corner Brook business is taking to the feral cat colony that inhabits its property.
There apparently have been cats around Corner Brook Pulp and Paper for as long as the logs the paper is made from. The felines have been mainly considered harmless by employees, some of whom have actually taken a liking to the animals determined to be effective rodent control around the premises.
Janice Higgins of Scaredy Cat Rescue took it upon herself to get involved when she learned, she says from an employee of Corner Brook Pulp and Paper, that the cats have recently been identified as a problem. There are allegedly too many cats there now. Traps are being set, with the captured felines being taken to the city pound.
Higgins said she heard four cats were taken to the pound, and that one was rescued and the remainder euthanized.
The city — which provided an email response to an interview request — stated three or four cats had been brought to the pound since traps were provided to Corner Brook Pulp and Paper since June 2013.
The email confirmed one cat was adopted, but the remainder were killed.
Two of the cats had been dropped off at the pound in the past two weeks.
“I fear that any cats that go to the pound that are not friendly will automatically be put down because they won’t be deemed adoptable,” Higgins said.
She said she contacted Corner Brook Pulp and Paper and representatives of the mill’s parent company, Kruger, but said she was told they are developing a plan. She has not been able to get any more information. She does not know how many cats are there or how many of the animals are too many.
An interview request by The Western Star was not returned by Corner Brook Pulp and Paper as of deadline.
“I think they are a little disappointed that it wasn’t done under cover — that it could be over and done before we heard of it,” Higgins said, adding the mill now has a responsibility to deal with the colony in a humane and appropriate manner.
“The mill allowed those cats to stay there all these years and in effect they took ownership of the cats.
“As a taxpayer, I don’t think my dollars should be used to kill owned cats when there are alternatives for them.”
Organizations and businesses must change their views on feral cat colonies, Higgins says. They must be trapped, neutered and released to help control the population.
“That mill is big enough that horses could go in there,” she said. “They can kill all those cats, but we know the same number will be back there next year.”
The City of Corner Brook provides cages upon request to trap animals.
Cats are kept at the pound for 72 hours, after which time the pound is legally permitted to euthanize them.
The city allows people or animal groups, such as the SPCA, to adopt them for $1.