Sick kitten opens door to cat colony

It took a willing and cooperative neighborhood, a dedicated animal control officer and caring shelter staff to stop the population of cats in a colony.

A phone call about a sick kitten brought Warwick Animal Control Officer Joany Schmick to a Greenwood Lake neighborhood recently. But there’s never just one.

“One kitten led to another, then to another,” said Warwick Valley Humane Society President Suzyn Barron. “Suddenly, the colony was filled with kittens with upper respiratory and eye infections that no amount of food would cure.”

Permission was gained from the residents of the area, along with their monetary support, to trap, neuter and release the adults back to the neighborhood. Kittens would be trapped, provided medical care, spayed/neutered and adopted through WVHS. 

ACO Schmick caught as many as six at a time, some by hand or with a net, “as they went airborne trying to get past her,” said Barron. “She also managed to catch a couple of raccoons in the process, which were promptly released.”

In all, 18 adults and 19 kittens were caught and fixed. 

“Many of these kittens would not have survived the winter, as they also had internal parasites,” said Barron. “Those that did survive would have ended up breeding, with the next generation of kittens easily swelling the colony to nearly 100.”

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