Jamestown has a serious stray cat problem that, if not addressed, will keep growing from hundreds to thousands of stray cats. It will be easier to deal with it now than to wait until later. The problem came about by irresponsible cat owners that did not bother to have their pet(s) spay/neutered or did not care for them and dumped them on the streets for all of us to take care of.
It is heart-breaking to see these starving/sick cats out in the cold with no one to care for them. I would hate to see this problem "fixed" by rounding them up and killing them. These poor kitties have had a horrible life. Let us not make it even worse with horrible deaths for them.
I moved here from California where we had a similar problem with stray cats. In California, they used a TNR (Trap/Neuter/Release) program and set up cat colonies with shelters for the cats to return to. Volunteers came and gave the feral cats food and water and watched for any new cat that might enter the colony. The way that they could distinguish a new cat from a colony cat was the colony cat had the tip of one of its ears clipped during the spay/neuter surgery. The TNR program in California was a successful population control measure as it prevented new litters of kittens from being born. Over time, the older cats would pass away and the colony got smaller and smaller to the point that it would eventually be no more. This is the humane way for these stray cats to live out their lives.
I know that there are a lot of kind and generous animal lovers here that would give their time and money for such a program. I believe the city and the county should also give financial support to the Chautauqua County Humane Society and work together with them to implement a TNR program before it is too late for anything to work.
Michele Billquist lives in Lakewood.