Feral Cats Hit a Nerve at County Council
A cat rescue service in Amherst found supportive friends at Cumberland Municipal Council.
Cat Rescue Maritimes Amherst (CARMA) asked for an emergency grant of $3,000 in their efforts to deal with three colonies of feral cats being tended by local families in separate areas of the municipality.
CARMA offers a program to trap, neuter, and return otherwise wild cats to the community.
There are about fifty cats in the current challenge.
CARMA has worked quietly in the background, but they have faced some difficulties in recent times with increasing costs and decreasing revenues from fundraising. In fact, the grant request suggested they are on the verge of closing their doors.
Municipal staff suggested council consider supporting the group with 30 percent of the grant request, $1,280, but the councillors had other ideas.
They quickly decided to boost that to $1,500 from their regional grant funds but then Paul Porter, the Councillor for district 1, the area surrounding the Town of Amherst, said he would add $600 from his district funds. Warden Al Gillis chimed in with $300 from District 4, matched by Lynne Welton of District 5.
That opened the flood gates as councillors from across the county began chipping in. It resembled a bidding war at a frenzied auction. At one point the councillors had offered more than CARMA had requested.
In the end, council crafted and passed a motion to grant the requested $3,000 from multiple sources.
CARMA is the only organization that deals with feral cats in Cumberland County.
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