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City of Buffalo puts together 'Cat Task Force'

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Buffalo: City of Buffalo puts together 'Cat Task Force'
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The Buffalo Common Council is trying to figure out a way to get the feral cat population under control in city neighborhoods. One animal activist said, while it's a problem that needs to be fixed, it can't be a quick fix.

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- As a member of Feral Cat Focus, Susan Sellingsloh has worked to humanely reduce the number of feral cats in Western New York.

"They encroach on people's property," Sellingsloh said. "They create complaints by citizens."

She said the problem is more pronounced around her home in Buffalo because the area's densely populated.

"You have the additional problem of the cats moving around people's properties. They're not owned. They just kind of wander around and procreate," Sellingsloh said.

This week, the Buffalo Common Council approved a 10-person Cat Task Force to address the problem.

"It is not government coming up with the answers," said Darius Pridgen, (D), Buffalo Common Council. "We are actually reaching out to those who work with the cat population and those who are residents to say give us your suggestions to control the population."

Sellingsloh said there are many solutions she hopes the task force considers. But she said there's only one surefire way to control the feral cat population.

"Really, the only way to alleviate the feral cat problem is what we call TNVR: trap, neuter, vaccinate and release," she said.

Pridgen said the committee will definitely consider it.

"This is not about killing or harming," he said. "I would not want to see us putting animals to sleep."

While Sellingsloh said she'll reserve judgment until she sees what the plans are, she says the impact could be far reaching.

"If the City of Buffalo could come up with a truly proactive comprehensive approach, it could become a model for other cities," she said.

Pridgen said he wants committee recommendations soon so the problem can be resolved when the weather gets warmer.

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