Feral Cat Court Case Postponed

August 10, 2012

SHREWSBURY – A muni­cipal court case involving the housing of multiple feral cats on property on Avenue of the Commons was given another life Tuesday.

A hearing was postponed until Sept. 16 when two women are to answer charges they housed a colony of feral cats in conditions that violate a local ordinance.

A summons was issued by Borough Animal Control Officer Henry Perez charging Ruth Rapkin and Jeanette Petti with failure to have at least five cats licensed and vaccinated against rabies. According to the summons conditions created a “nuisance upon public and private property.”

The postponement will allow both sides to complete further discovery, according to a court official.

Attorney Isabelle Strauss of Toms River, who represents Rapkin and Perez, did not return a call placed to her office, seeking comment.

The problem of feral cats often occurs in the area when seasonal visitors leave cats behind when they return home, according to Jerry Rosenthal, executive director of the Monmouth County SPCA.

Homes can often be found for young stray kittens. However, feral cats, that have been accustomed to wandering on their own, are difficult to place and often have to be euthanized, according to Rosenthal.
Feral cats, according to The Humane Society, “are typically too fearful and wild to be handled.”

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