Does Albany have a feral cat problem?

Bill Bates told commissioners stray cats killed a bird in his backyard

The Albany City Commission heard from one man Tuesday who says stray cats are eating his birds.

Bill Bates lives in Albany and is a member of the local Audubon society, but the feral cats in town are making it difficult for him to enjoy his favorite pastime.

"I have a backyard that is a bird habitat and I feed the birds and it's very expensive to keep them up and I have cats coming in and killing my birds," Says Bates.

Bates took the matter to the city commission, begging for something to be done. However, the city is not authorized to go out and pick up stray cats, fearing that they may be domestic. A suggestion has been made to mandate all owners tag their cats

In addition to the problem Bates is seeing with the birds, the commission brought up another concern--the fact that these feral cats could potentially transfer harmful diseases to another human being.

"Cats, you know, hunt instinctively and kill instinctively and often don't consume what they kill. Because of that, they bring these pathogens back around humans," Says City Manager Al Lott.

The Citizen's Advisory Committee, who was appointed by the mayor and commissioners will take up the issue and figure out the ramifications. The board has set a deadline of 60 days to get a final vote on the matter.

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