Obviously you have no clue whatsoever as to what I have been experiencing for several years now due the presence of feral cats and wild life on my property. I did not see where you attempted to address the products that the cats have been leaving on my property (poop) for several years now. This is a health hazard to me and my family. The cats and wild life, because of the food sources near my home now choose to live on and under my deck. It is in fact a health hazard, loss of quality of life and nuisance “to me and my family”. I am allergic to cats, and asthmatic. When a cat was found finally having gotten into my home and is found sleeping in my bed, do you not think this is not a health hazard. A dirty filthy smelly cat, these cats do have fleas and in some cases the hair is falling off… Ms. Hille said to me, when I called to express my concerns “well you left the door open”! Where was the concern for my health? If you in fact believe that the cats are being monitored and cared for by Alley Cat Allies where I live, you are mistaken and that is an overstatement.
Food continues to be left out in large quantities every day all day. This practice not only attracts cats but other wildlife. The feral cats and other wildlife then live near the source of the food. It’s just that simple. I witness these animals practically every day coming into my yard and living on and under my deck. Poop on my private property and in my plant containers is unacceptable and yes a health problem for me. Am I expected to continue to clean up after them? Each time I ask the question (and there have been many) of who cleans up after the animals, there is dead SILENCE on the ISSUE. I haven’t heard the ANSWER! Maybe since Alley Cat Allies are monitoring the cats, they can swing by my home and check of the rear door of my basement and take care of that poop problem. How about that! Is poop a public health problem and hazard when left not cleaned up day in and day out? Do I have full access and enjoyment of my home to my own deck (the table which I would like to eat upon) and property where I PAY taxes? I think NOT. Not another time. Not another year will I endure this. I have been quoted the law by the city officials and heard the explanations given by the Washington Humane Society for too many years. Just live with them! Basically. Yet neighbors continue to feed and feed year in and year out. What about my rights to enjoy my home and use my property as I choose? Quite frankly at this point I do not care how others feel one way or the other whether they are being affected or not. This is now a self-centered issue around me and my family.
The Mayor Fenty himself viewed the situation during a Bloomingdale community walkthrough said two years ago, take care of this situation. I didn’t have to say ONE word, the cats were all over my deck and back yard! It has NOT been resolved. This is ONE DC government I am NOT calling around to find a final lasting resolution. That is precisely why I pay taxes.This is your JOB and responsibility, and no one has gotten the JOB DONE to my satisfaction. The Humane Society, Mr. Giacoppo does address wildlife (after a raccoon decided it wanted to live on my deck too) and has been to my home more than once. No more calls, emails and meetings. Make no mistake. I will be taking legal action. BTW I saw a baby opossum (where is the litter) wondering around last nite next door. ENOUGH!
From: Lunaris, Molly (DOH)
Sent: Friday, September 10, 2010 12:20 PM
To: Resident on the 2000 block of 1st St NW, east side
Cc: Vigilance, Pierre (DOH); Leonard, Kimberly (DOH); Woldu, Feseha (DOH); Hille, Maria (DOH); firstname.lastname@example.org; Scott Giacoppo; Bridget Speiser; 'Alyson Burgess'
Subject: Feral and Wild Animals in your neighborhood
I’ve been asked to respond to your inquiries about feral and wild animals in your neighborhood.
Feeding feral cats is not illegal in the District so long as such feeding does not attract rats. That is why the community is encouraged to feed only for a short period of time. 10 minutes is an arbitrary about of time that is suggested by feral cat management organizations such as Alley Cat Allies and the Washington Humane Society. The feeder is supposed to pick up any remaining food after the cats finish eating so that any leftovers don’t attract rats or wildlife. It sounds like your neighbor’s take that responsibility seriously and are encouraging those who may be less vigilant to improve their performance to prevent problems. You referenced a serious health problem because of the cats. The Department of Health has not received reports of sick cats, rabies or other diseases transmitted by animals from the neighborhood.
As you may also be aware, the Animal Control Act (8-1802(c)2)) requires the District to “promote the utilization of trap, spay or neuter, and return practices as a means of controlling the feral cat population; provided, that all efforts shall be made to adopt out a trapped, tamable kitten.” My understanding is that the cats you are referring to have been sterilized, vaccinated, and are monitored by the community to ensure that the cats remain healthy. The monitoring includes feeding.
Sterilizing and releasing feral cats is best practices in feral cat management. Trapping and killing animals invites new feral cats into the neighborhood, the new, unsterilized cats reproduce and the population explodes. Because cats are highly territorial, sterilized cats keep new cats out and reduce the population over time.
I understand that Ms. Hille, who you have worked with in the past, has followed up with the known feeders in the neighborhood and issued abatement notices requiring them to cease feeding practices that may cause a public health nuisance.
In your e-mail, you also mention a wildlife problem. The Mayor has not mandated DOH with wildlife management. Wildlife management is DDOE’s Fisheries and Wildlife Division’s domain. That division can be reached by calling Ms. Becky Ackerson at 202-727-4726. If the Department of Health receives reports of sick or injured wildlife, or wildlife actively threatening a resident, animal control can go out; however, the mere presence of a wild animal in the neighborhood does not indicate a public health problem.
Program Specialist Animal Disease Prevention Division
DC Department of Health Government of the District of Columbia
825 North Capitol Street, NE
Suite 8001 Washington, DC 20002
Office: (202) 535-2508
Mobile: (202) 380-6603
Fax: (202) 535-1359