Cat rescue brings stray animal problem into focus - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Cat rescue brings stray animal problem into focus

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JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)-  Stray animals are becoming a big problem in Craighead County. The Northeast Arkansans for Animals organization rescued nearly over 80 cats Saturday from one home in Jonesboro.

Wannda Turner is the executive director of NAFA said she has noticed a significant overpopulation of cats and kittens in the city limits. But cats aren't the only animals being left by the road.

"We've had a dramatic increase of animals being picked up this year," said Sgt. Larry Rogers with Jonesboro Animal Control.

"Last year we picked up 254 animals in a two month period, this year in May and June alone we've picked up 371 dogs," he said.

With the sudden increase, Rogers said they just don't have the room.

"We're overcrowded all the time, it horrible, it's horrendous the way we are overcrowded," Rogers said. 

But they are not just getting calls about dogs. Rogers said they are starting to get a lot of calls about stray cats.

"Unfortunately we do not have the facility to handle the cats nor do we have any city laws or ordinances," he said.

On Saturday alone, NAFA rescued 88 cats from LMJ Trailer Park.

"There are probably a half a dozen to a dozen other locations where people are complaining that cats and kittens are starting to congregate or reproduce,"Turner said. 

She said dropping these animals by the road doesn't leave them with many options.

"They are going to die or dogs are going to eat them or get hit by cars," she said. "Don't just leave it behind for someone else to take care of or drive down the road and think well somebody in this neighborhood is going to take care of it because that isn't what happens."

And with overcrowding, some shelters have to make tough decisions.

"While not everyone has to euthanize some people do have to euthanize," Turner said. "Shelters don't have unlimited space, don't have an unlimited amount of money."

It's a violation of state law to leave behind, abandon or dump any animal. The offense is considered a misdemeanor and punishable up to a year in jail.

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