Port Orange, FL - The Port Orange City Council decided to temporarily reinstate the Trap-Neuter-Release program during a workshop last week. When it was suspended in November last year, the city's numerous cat colony caregivers were up in arms.
During what turned out to be an almost four-hour long meeting last Thursday, a number of the caregivers spoke along with professors from the University of Florida. Pat Mihalic, a caregiver herself, said the meeting went well. "The meeting was very civilized and we had a lot of good speakers. Council was very respectful towards all of them and they were respectful back. It was a good meeting and I think a lot was accomplished."
City Manager Jake Johansson ran down the list of things to do to resolve the cat population issue at the end of the meeting, so it was clear what will happen. He said, "We're going to stick with the T-N-R program. We're going to work to reduce feral cat colony numbers. We're going to provide in-house training for colony owners if you will. We're going to beef up our ordinance to take care of penalties for abandonment."
As the meeting came to an end, Mayor Don Burnett said he thinks a lot of progress has been made. "I want to thank everybody this evening. There is a lot of passion in this room. There's a lot of desire in this room and I hope that we are headed in the right direction. We obviously don't have a finished product yet but I've got a feeling that we made a lot of progress tonight."
Port Orange City Council plans to hold more workshops to continue to work on this issue but the date for the next workshop has not yet been set.