Tyrone lauds new effort to solve feral cat problem

Woman trying to meet ‘the huge need’ to curb felines

TYRONE — A new participant in the effort to help solve the feral cat problem here introduced herself to Borough Council this week, eliciting praise for her demeanor and receiving permission to hold a fundraiser to support her efforts.

Bridgette Gill is not a member of the Tyrone Community Cat Advocates, from which council in April withdrew its blessing to trap, neuter and release in favor of the Central Pennsylvania Humane Society, because the advocates had allegedly grown too “emotional” and because they made a resident uncomfortable with late night surveillance of her trapping work and the posting of Facebook photos.

Gill has been working this summer with the humane society and with local individuals to try to meet “the huge need,” she told council, adding that she nevertheless “doesn’t want to fight with anybody.”

People have been calling her to report feral cat sightings, she said.

She has counted about 60 cats in the borough, including one colony with as many as 40, she said.

She can take 10 at a time to the humane society for its spay-neuter clinic every two weeks, and she’s hoping to connect with another organization to supplement those efforts, she said.

There is a cost, however, and she can’t pay for all of it, she said.

To raise money, she plans to take family photos on a couple of days to be scheduled at Reservoir Park.

“Snap for Trap,” she’ll call it.

She won’t leave any trash behind, she promised.

She plans only to trap, neuter and release — as she lacks the wherewithal to look for homes for the friendly cats she encounters, Gill told council.

She feels bad for them, but the humane society’s pens are full, she said.

“We can only do so much,” said Gill, who had a diffident manner at the podium. “But we’re doing as much as we can.”

“It’s refreshing to hear the approach you’ve taken,” said Councilman Dave Snyder.

It was good that Gill was advising council of what she planned, rather than “doing it, and then we hear about it,” Councilman Terry Richardson said.

She was worried before she spoke, Gill conceded.

“It sounds purr-fect,” said Mayor Bill Latchford, earning a slap on the back from Councilman Bob Dollar, who was sitting next to him.

Mirror Staff Writer William Kibler is at 949-7038.