by Michael Boyink
All fancy words for groups of cats, either domestic or feral.
Whatever word you choose, it describes the current situation in the City of Ava.
It seems like every time I look out our kitchen window I see a different random cat looking back at me.
There are more that show up around the Herald offices, looking in the windows and scampering through the parked vehicles.
Running through the bank drive-through? Wait for the cat to cross first.
Going to the grocery store? Watch for the cats lurking around the parking lot.
There is an ordinance, of course.
Article II, Section 10-31 of Ava’s city code says “No dog or cat shall be permitted to run at large within the limits of this city.”
It goes on to say more, specifying who should impound stray cats, where they are to be held, the costs for care and keep, etc.
I’m not sure of the root causes for the problem. Are the cats stray or feral? Is it owner negligence or the belief that outdoor cats are happier?
And I’m not sure what the best solution is. Other cities have attempted mass euthanization of stray and feral cats, only to have a negative reaction from animal lovers. “Trap-neuter-release” are criticized for allowing stray and feral cats to kill other birds and mammals and spread diseases.
Neglected cats are not self-sustaining. They suffer from malnourishment, unattended injuries, infections, and parasites.
Regardless of the approach, the City of Ava needs to address the issue and uphold the city ordinances it has established.
A clowder of cats in the city is only one local animal issue.
The other is missing dogs.
From out on the gravel roads of Douglas County, we are getting reports of dogs going missing. Mostly around East 14 and on P and N Highways.
Big dogs and little dogs. Some of them look purebred.
More are missing than it seems like would fall prey to other wildlife.
Which suggests that the dogs are being stolen.
Googling around for why someone would steal a dog returns some unpleasant answers. Especially if those dogs were loved by families with children.
Please, contact the Douglas County Sheriff’s office if you have any information on stolen dogs in Douglas County.
On another note, I need to give a shout-out to all the local organizations and volunteers involved in the COVID-19 vaccination clinic held at the MOCH center last Saturday.
I went to shoot a few photos for the front page, and walked away impressed at the level of organization and efficiency I witnessed.
Cars were pre-screened and led to parking places. Occupants were given golf-cart rides into the building. Once inside a plethora of personnel was on hand to guide people through the paperwork process. Once vaccinated and observed for 15 minutes, visitors got a golf cart ride back to their car.
I think it took about as long for me to capture a few photos as it did for a visitor get in, get vaccinated, and get out.
Ya done good, folks.