Feral cat population in Johnston County at an all-time high - WFLA News Channel 8

Johnston County's feral cat dilemma

Posted: Updated:
CLAYTON, N.C. -

The feral feline population in Johnston County is booming. Animal groups estimate that there are more than 100,000 feral cats in the county.

Tammy Godusi is a volunteer with the Johnston County Animal Protection League and has been keeping track of cat colonies in the area. She's recorded 25 of them, but believes there are many more.

She asked WNCN not to publish the location of the colonies, explaining people have tried to poison the cats before.

"We need to stop the multiplying and it's going to continue. It's a problem that's really festering," said Godusi.

It's also a health risk. After bats, veterinarians say the most common exposure people have to rabies is from cats.

At a meeting in the Morning Glory Inn in Clayton, a group of vets, concerned citizens, and animal rights groups had a lively discussion about what to do with the overpopulation.

A veterinarian said, "There's a risk to other cats, there's a risk to the native bird population, there's a risk to people."

Some ideas tossed around included TNR, which means trap, neuter, and release. But some say that's not enough. "It's a drop in the bucket," said one attendee.

Right now the most pressing issue with the booming feral cat population is how to limit the health risks.

Ernie Wilkinson is the Director of Johnston County Animal Services and was at the meeting.

"They're dangerous. They transmit disease. They're dangerous to handle and the sad thing about it is, there's just so many of them," Wilkinson said.

Animal Services had to euthanize 700 cats in the last two months alone and it's costing taxpayers big bucks. "The average cost is $7 to $9 a piece," said Wilkinson.

Animal groups expect the population of feral cats in Johnston county to double, by next year, if they don't come up with a realistic solution. 

Eileen Park

Eileen joined WNCN after years of working as a foreign correspondent. During her time off, she enjoys relaxing with her dogs, reading, and exploring the Triangle. More>>

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Mom bites off dog's ear to save daughter during attack

    Mom bites off dog's ear to save daughter during attack

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 2:49 PM EDT2014-04-22 18:49:19 GMT
    Image from CNN/KHOU-TVImage from CNN/KHOU-TV
    In a backyard in Alvin, swings a very lucky girl. Her name is Mackenzi Plass, or Kenzi for short, and she survived a dog attack and has undergone several surgeries."She'll be two and a half in May," said her very proud mother Chelsi Camp. "She's doing great. You wouldn't know it if you couldn't see."Mackenzi has scars on her face after the ordeal just weeks ago that put her mother's animal instincts to the test."You do whatever you can," said Camp. "I don't have physical strength at my side."...
    In a backyard in Alvin, swings a very lucky girl. Her name is Mackenzi Plass, or Kenzi for short, and she survived a dog attack and has undergone several surgeries."She'll be two and a half in May," said her very proud mother Chelsi Camp. "She's doing great. You wouldn't know it if you couldn't see."Mackenzi has scars on her face after the ordeal just weeks ago that put her mother's animal instincts to the test."You do whatever you can," said Camp. "I don't have physical strength at my side."...
  • Owner of Raleigh 'Party Mansion' guilty of tax evasion

    Owner of Raleigh 'Party Mansion' guilty of tax evasion

    Monday, April 14 2014 4:07 PM EDT2014-04-14 20:07:04 GMT
    Claude Verbal II, who now lives in Miami, pleads guilty to a number of federal tax evasion charges.
    Claude Verbal II, who now lives in Miami, pleads guilty to a number of federal tax evasion charges.
  • Piedmont Farm Tour

    Piedmont Farm Tour

    Piedmont Farm Tour

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 12:25 PM EDT2014-04-23 16:25:38 GMT
    The 2014 Piedmont Farm Tour is happening April 26-27 from 2-6pm both days! Come learn about the Triangle’s local and organic farm food scene. Meet local farmers tour their farms!View ourGoogle Interactive Mapfor alist ofthe exceptional farms on the tour this year – with driving directions!Download a PDF of theFarm Tour Brochure - Farm tour maps, directions and descriptions of all the fun things to do at each farm! How to Take the Piedmont Farm Tour Load up a car with your friends andfamily...
    The 2014 Piedmont Farm Tour is happening April 26-27 from 2-6pm both days! Come learn about the Triangle’s local and organic farm food scene. Meet local farmers tour their farms!View ourGoogle Interactive Mapfor alist ofthe exceptional farms on the tour this year – with driving directions!Download a PDF of theFarm Tour Brochure - Farm tour maps, directions and descriptions of all the fun things to do at each farm! How to Take the Piedmont Farm Tour Load up a car with your friends andfamily...
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.