110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
No one registers with City of DeLand to care for cat colonies
By Pat Andrews
posted Dec 5, 2013 - 12:30:52pm
Conventional wisdom says herding cats is hard. Herding cat-colony caregivers into registering their colonies is apparently just as hard.
The City of DeLand enacted a trap-neuter-release (TNR) program in June. It allows people who care for feral-cat colonies around DeLand to register their colonies, and register themselves as caregivers with the DeLand Police Department, essentially legalizing what they've already been doing.
So far, no one has registered, said Assistant City Manager Dale Arrington, who drafted the language for the ordinance.
"We have had good meetings, but people do not want to register and involve city government because they are concerned that information about their colonies will be leaked out and people will find out and cause harm to their colonies," she told The Beacon by email.
Deputy Police Chief Randy Henderson shared similar thoughts.
"The caregivers, who worked somewhat anonymously in the past, voiced apprehension about retaliation or retribution directed at them or the cats,” Henderson said.
Exactly how many colonies and caregivers exist in DeLand is uncertain. There are a handful of good-sized colonies, including one of the oldest in the city to have a caregiver: Ramona Whaley’s colony in the Garden District, on the southeast side of Downtown DeLand.
Whaley worked with Garden District property owners and residents like Michael Arth, getting permission from them to enter their property and feed the cats.
Family circumstances required Whaley to move away from DeLand, and she could not register as the caregiver for the colony. She had someone lined up for the post, then the volunteer had to back out, Whaley said. She has been looking for someone else.
Bob Baird, who's been a longtime caregiver of cat colonies around DeLand, said he plans to register with the city.
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