‘We are not starving cats,’ Epping official says after vote to allow shelter, food
“By no means does this board want to bring any ill will to the cats,” Selectman James McGeough said at a meeting Tuesday.
A nonprofit volunteer group called Seacoast Area Feline Education and Rescue (SAFER) will be responsible for the feeding stations, according to Town Administrator Gregory Dodge.
Volunteers have been allowed to feed the cats for years to supplement their natural diet of rodents found at the recycling center at 135 Old Hedding Road. However, selectmen have raised concerns from time to time about some people overfeeding the cats, as well as bringing blankets and a cat condo.
Selectmen have faced harsh criticism since their vote to stop care for the cats. The move even led to an online petition urging the board to reverse its decision. As of Tuesday, 1,860 people from around the world had signed the petition.
Steve Sprowl, humane agent for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Stratham, said recently that if the town stopped allowing the cats to be fed, it could be considered animal cruelty under state law.
The group is the same one that came to town in 2008 and paid to have the cats spayed, neutered and vaccinated.