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Feral cat colony in Midlothian allegedly pushes neighbors to want to take drastic steps

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MIDLOTHIAN, Va. -- A Midlothian woman who took it upon herself to try to curb a massive feral cat colony behind her home now wants the cats rescued because she said neighbors have made threats against the cats.

“I had somebody come to me and ask me was I aware the neighbors were planning to shoot them and hit them with shovels to kill them,” said Holly Rowland.

Rowland said a neighbor left 100 cats roaming the neighborhood several years ago.

She managed to trap 70 of them and have them spayed and neutered before releasing them back into the woods behind her home, but 25-30 cats continue to live there.

Rowland said the cats don’t bother her. In fact, she feeds them daily. But, she is now determined to find them new homes after hearing about the alleged threats.

“I don’t want them hurt,” Rowland said.

But, one of Rowland’s neighbors said nobody in the neighborhood wants the cats hurt.

Community Cats

“I don’t think any neighbors have actively tried to cull the herd if you will,” the neighbor said.

He said it’s time the county does something to alleviate the persistent problem.

“The fundamental issue is what is the county going to do to maintain order?” the neighbor asked.

In fact, this is not the first time CBS 6 has reported about a feral cat colony in Chesterfield. Back in August, we showed you more than 20 cats living in the Carter’s Mill neighborhood.

Animal control said it cannot capture and remove healthy cats running at large for several reasons, including a lack of space inside animal shelters. If they were to pick up healthy cats and couldn’t find homes for them, those cats would end up being euthanized.

Not only that, there is no county ordinance that grants Animal Services authority to capture and seize healthy cats running at large.

“Hopefully, in the next month, I can relocate all of them,” Rowland said.

Edgar Wallin from the Chesterfield Planning Commission said he tried to bring up the issue last year when we told him about the Carter’s Mill colony, but the issue did not gain a lot of traction.

He said he would be receptive to reviewing it again.

Click here to download Chesterfield's Community Cats informational brochure.

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