Contractor not trapping cats at landfill: manager

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Gary Kean
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Birds scavenge for food at the Wild Cove landfill, where feral cats have been living. — File photo by The Western Star

The manager of the Corner Brook Waste Disposal Site says no cats have been captured and killed by the contractor at the landfill site.

Last week, a member of the Scaredy Cat Rescue organization spoke out about how the City of Corner Brook had thwarted the group’s hope to trap, neuter and return feral cats at the dump. In that story, there was a reference of the number of cats at the dump having dropped from an estimated 30 or 40 to down around 15.

Corner Brook Mayor Neville Greeley, who said the city did not agree with returning cats to the site once they had been removed, said it was up to the contractor to deal with the animals at the landfill. The mayor would not say how the contractor went about dealing with cats.

Trent Quinton, who manages the site for Edward Collins Contracting Ltd., said it is true that the company did not know there were so many cats at the site when it took over operating the landfill last fall.

“We notified the city to let them know there was a large number of cats there,” said Quinton. “We were initially concerned about the possibility of a population explosion and the health and well-being of the cats.”

He also acknowledged that there are now only around 10 or 15 cats there. He couldn’t say for sure why the cat population dropped to about one-third of what it was.

“We haven’t put down any animals,” said Quinton. “We have a very strict covering schedule and cover the garbage every day with soil. That could be the reason why the cats reduced in numbers — there’s just not enough food for them.”

Quinton said the contractor was agreeable to permitting Scaredy Cat Rescue to come and trap the feral cats and to return them to the site. The contractor was willing to set the traps and turn any captured animals over to the rescue group and assist in a feeding program for cats at the site.

“Ultimately, the city didn’t want that and, of course, we operate under instruction from the city,” said Quinton.

Feral cats are not considered a nuisance by the contractor at the landfill, according to Quinton.

“Cats are not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of pests,” said Quinton.

“You think of rodents and anything like that. ... (The cats) are not pestering anybody: they are not a nuisance to the operation and they are not a public safety concern.”

There are three or four kittens at the landfill now and Quinton said the contractor intends to trap them and turn them over to Scaredy Cat Rescue if the animal welfare group can find homes for them.

Any adult cats caught in those traps will be released at the site, he said.

Quinton also said the contractor would attempt to trap any cats that appear to be injured or in distress.

The Western Star

Organizations: Scaredy Cat Rescue organization, Edward Collins Contracting

Geographic location: Corner Brook, Western Star

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