- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 12, 2008

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Attention, cat haters: There’s money to be made in Randolph, which is offering a $5 bounty for each feral feline turned in.

Those not claimed will be destroyed.

Mayor Vance Trively says that the southwest Iowa town of 200 people is being overrun by dozens of feral cats and needed to do something.

“You can’t just let them keep multiplying in town,” Trively said yesterday.

Town officials approved the bounty after receiving numerous complaints, ranging from a cat attacking a small dog to a dozen cats showing up at the bowl when a resident tried to feed his own cat.

“One guy threatened to shoot all of them. I told him he couldn’t do that in town. Other people talk about poisoning them, but you can’t do that in town,” Trively said.

Under the new policy, stray cats without collars will be taken to a veterinarian in the nearby town of Sidney — Randolph has no vet clinic — where they’ll be kept “for a time for people to claim them,” the mayor said.

If no one does, they’ll be euthanized and buried.

John Snyder of the Humane Society of the United States said he doesn’t have a problem with euthanizing a stray cat, but said the money spent on the bounty and the vet expenses would be better spent hiring someone who knows what he or she is doing.

“I’m concerned about children, people trying to capture these cats that don’t have knowledge of what they’re doing, being scratched or injured or inhumanely handling these cats for five bucks. Is it worth it?”

Kristen Everett, a spokeswoman for the Washington-based organization, said today it plans to offer assistance to the mayor “to humanely capture the animals and help him provide a more safe and humane environment for both animals and people in this town.”

The mayor said several suggestions have been made, including neutering, trapping and asking for donations.

“You couldn’t get a donation to save a cat in this town for the life of them,” Trively said.

Since the bounty went into effect March 1, two cats — one of them pregnant — have been turned in.

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