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Frustrated senior plagued by cat problem

A frustrated senior who claims her home is being invaded by feral cats is calling on animal charities to remove them from her property.

Mildred Dyer says that up to 12 cats, including a litter of kittens, routinely congregate around her Ingham's Vale home, causing a nuisance.

The 74-year-old widow says she has asked the SPCA as well as the Bermuda Feline Assistance Bureau (BFAB) to remove the animals, but the cats continue to roam around her home.

“I'm just fed up with it.” said Mrs Dyer, who has lived on Ingham's Vale for more than 25 years. “I am unwell and physically challenged.

“The last thing I need is a group of wild cats roaming in and out of my property.

“I cannot run after them, so it feels like they are invading my home every morning and night.

“Some of the people around here are feeding the cats, too, so there is an awful stench that makes me feel sick. You don't know what diseases these animals have.”

The SPCA said feral cats had been a problem in Bermuda for a long time, with charities initiating spay and neutering programmes to try to keep a handle on the spiralling population. The charity's chairman, Andrew Madeiros, told The Royal Gazette: “It's a very difficult situation and there are not a lot of options.

“A few years ago we saw the number of feral cats being brought into the shelter quadruple. But, having said that, over the past two years that number has dramatically decreased.

“The SPCA will get involved whenever there is a sick or injured animal — however, when it is just a case of a bunch of cats hanging around an area, there is very little we can do, especially as if we were to pick up the cats, we would run the risk of picking up a family pet, too.

“There is nothing in terms of legislation that controls the cat population and movement of cats, and that can cause serious issues for residents.”

Mrs Dyer said that she does not want to be cruel, she simply wanted to be able to live in her home in peace.

“I have no idea where these cats came from,” she added.

“I just want them to be taken away. I am not a cruel person, but there needs to be some kind of legislation brought in whereby these animals are controlled.

“It is not fair that an old person like me with physical challenges and diabetes is faced with this kind of nuisance. I am not going to put up with it.”

BFAB said yesterday that the charity dealt with “each situation on an individual basis”, and therefore could not provide a “one-size-fits-all” response to the issue.

“BFAB's mission is to spay, neuter, release which, in this case, we have been able to provide,” the group said.

“If further spay, neuter is required we would be happy to respond. Relocation or euthanasia are not effective solutions.

“We would like to take this opportunity to encourage all keepers of cats to have their animals spayed/neutered as soon as possible to avoid situations where numbers increase beyond the point the person is able to handle.

“We are happy to work with residents to humanely reduce the cat population.”

Plea for help: Mildred Dyer, 74, says up to 12 cats routinely congregate around her property, causing a noisy nuisance (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published August 07, 2015 at 9:00 am (Updated August 07, 2015 at 1:14 am)

Frustrated senior plagued by cat problem

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