Last time, getting rid cats resulted in rat infestation

On the subject of the (proposed) new ordinance against feral cats, I remember, as I’m sure many others do, the last time the county decided to get rid of the feral cats. Within a year, there were rats everywhere. They ran on our roofs and even ate through drywall in our homes.

It was happening all over the island and the stores quickly sold out of electric traps. Maui could be focusing on ridding the island, as Kauai is doing, of rats and mosquitos. How about putting our efforts into eliminating rat lung disease and dengue fever?

Years ago, I lived in Ulupalakua where folks like to “drop off” unwanted cats. After a steady rise in the population near my home, I started to trap them. I would call Dr. Cleghorn, an Upcountry legend, at Makawao Veterinary Hospital and let them know I would be coming with a feral cat. He always took the cats in and he would spay them. I would pick them up the next day and find homes for most. Finally, the population stabilized. Neutering works, and should be used as population control, not starvation.

Was there public testimony taken for this heartless (proposed) ordinance? The public should have a say in these kinds of decisions.

Nancy Gilgoff



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