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Lewes, Delaware
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January 26, 2007     Cape Gazette
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January 26, 2007
 

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24 - CAPE GAZETTE - Friday, January 26 - Monday, January 29, 2007 Feral cats pose nuisance in Henlopen Acres By Kevin Spence who the control officer is or the Hen!open Acres Commissioner But, the most recent and star- Acres Mayor Wanda Davis is Cape Gazette staff Feral cats havebeen plaguing Henlopen Acres residents for years and after recent complaints, city officials are examining their options to remove the unwanted animals: All commissioners agreed that responding to the complaint was necessary, but exactly how to do so - and at what cost - left some in question at a Friday, Jan. 19 quar- terly meeting. According to a city ordinance written in 1998, destroying the cats is lawful, but commissioners discussed other alternatives. The ordinance says, "The Animal Control Officer shall apprehend any feral cat running down at large and cause said ani- mal to be transported to the Delaware SPCA in Georgetown." Commissioners were unsure expense and other residents also complained the wild cats attack birds and rabbits in the quiet ham- let. Feral cats turned over to county officials are often killed. The Kent County Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) takes care of all animal control cases in Sussex and Kent counties. " Jerry Linkerhof, manager of the Georgetown SPCA, said feral cats are usually put down within days. "There's not much we can do. Feral cats are held for three to five days. Before that, anyone missing a cat has the opportunity to come in and see if they are here," said Linkerhof. County officials check the cats' dispositions and domesticated cats are generally put up for adoption, he said. Fire station seeks addition approval from panel The Lewes Commercial Architectural Review Commission will meet at 7 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 1, in City Hall. Agenda items include a request by A. Wallace Evans on behalf of the Lewes Fire Department, 327 Savannah Road, for construction Of a one-story addition, approxi- mately 18.5 feet wide on the east side of the existing structure. The commission will also hear a request by Michael Mak'owski on behalf of Seashore Medical Associates, owners of property at 431 Savannah Road, for the construction of a two-story office building. The commission earlier this month tabled its decision on the con- struction request pending additional information but granted a request to demolish the existing building. Seashore Medical is also seeking permission to renovate an existing building at the rear of the property. Paul Capodanno called the quandary a learning process for the town and advocates a humane solution. "It is a problem. We have com- plaints. It's a problem that exists in more than Henlopen Acres. It's the whole area," said Capodonno. Soon, town officials will send a letter to residents about the ani- mals running free. "I think it's an educational thing. It's not just one neighbor complaining, it's anuisanee," said Capodonno. In the meantime, most of the wild felines are creeping near the corner of Pine Reach and Broad Hollow at the north end of town. Feral cats have bothered neigh- bors for years, said Tom Roth, the town manager. But, a letter dated Jan. 2, sent to the town commissioners, brought renewed awareness to the problem by resident Eugene D. Gulland. "The problem has gotten steadi- ly worse in the 14 years we have owned our home at 33 Pine Reach," said Gulland. Gulland and his wife frequently encounter cat feces in mulch and bushes when gardening. He said he and his"wife often find cats in the garbage, ripping up bags. In one instance, he found one in his basement before closing his home for winter. tling experience which his wife, Tina, likened to a "'bad horror movie," occurred Dec. 30. ::i Returning home from dinner, the couple found four cats in their screened-in porch, which was accessed by a garage door left open. "They climbed up the screens in panic, ruining one inthe process, and ran around the porch trying to get past us to escape. As I approached one that was climbing the screens, it snarled and scratched at me...All were fairly young cats, stggesting that they will have offspring and add to the number of wild stray cats in the neighborhood," said Gulland. On a recent Saturday stroll, Gulland said he counted 16 cats. Calls made to Gulland's Virginia home were not returned at press time. Roth said Henlopen drafting a letter, which will be sent within 60 days to alert residents of the problem. "I think we need to be humane about it. We need to collect them, spay them and let them go loose," said Capodanno. Vivian Barry, who heads the Historic Lewes Cat Society, a spaying and neutering clinic, said her organization offers low-cost trapping services and spay and neutering operations. "I will put calls out today to all of my different rescuers. We will definitely help them in any way we can. "We don't want to see any ani mal put down," said Barry. For more information, call Barry at 645-1575. Contact Kevin Spence at kspence @ capegazette.com. MATT BRITTINGHAM '07 FJ CRUI: Yellow & white w/black cloth int. 4x4 trailer pkg., roof rack, CD, AC, auto. ONLY 9K-Full remainder o[ fact. warr. $27,900 EDDIE Red w/saddle int. 4x4, CD, AC, Auto. RUNS GREATI 5.0 V.8 Great for the beachl Only $2,700. 2000 500 Black with black & red designed int. PANORAMIC GLASS HARDTOP CONV. fact. WatT. til April 2008. Priced $32,500 Silver with lobster interior, 5 speed, leather, CD, AC. 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