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Wendy Reuer, Published October 19 2010

West Fargo rejects agreement with PAAWS to handle stray cats

The West Fargo Commission decided against entering into an agreement with Minn-Kota PAAWS to address the issue of stray or unwanted cats in the city.

PAAWS approached the city at its Oct. 6 meeting and asked the city to enter into a partnership of up to $1,000.

PAAWS would set live traps for cats and then examine them for disease or illness, spay-neuter the cats and vaccinate them at a cost of $20 per cat to the city.

If a cat is found to be diseased, PAAWS would cover euthanasia costs.

Euthanasia costs the city $29.70 per cat.

Feral, adult cats would then be released back to the streets.

Although it could have saved the city and police department money on euthanasia and animal control costs, it was the releasing of the feral cats that seemed to prevent most West Fargo commissioners from moving forward.

Commissioner Mike Thorstad said the proposal did not sit well with him because city ordinance requires the cats to be licensed. He said he was also concerned with litigation against the city if the returned cats caused injury or damage to property.

Carol Sawicki with Minn-Kota PAAWS said they do not return cats that can be adopted out. The point of the partnership is to help get the cats spayed or neutered to control the ever-growing kitten population. PAAWS continues to take in kittens from the pound that can be adopted but those that are not adoptable are euthanized.

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Readers can reach Forum reporter Wendy Reuer at (701) 241-5530