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Residents Seek Highland Park City Help with Wild Cat Problem

Residents from Highland Park are asking the city to take steps to help keep the increasing wild cat population at bay. At the same time, they want to discourage other neighbors from feeding them since it attracts more animals in the neighborhood.

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image via Jose M. Osorio / Chicago Tribune

Based on reports from the city’s police, the city is seeing an increase in wild cat activity and complaints in three neighborhoods in particular: the 2800 block of Lexington Avenue (near Parkside Drive), 600 block of Euclid Avenue, and 300 block of Dell Lane.

In those areas, residents have complained of neighbors consistently feeding wild cats. State law indicates that a wild cat can be born in the wild or have been abandoned by its owner (and no longer considered unsocialized).

Such rise of complaints against unsocialized cats have led local officials to think about the practice of the city with regards to wildlife. Unfortunately, most council members refuse to deal with the issue.

At present, the city tolerates a no-kill policy against wild and domestic animals. An animal can only be euthanized if they happen to be critically injured or are exhibiting life threatening behavior, according to the city’s police department. Police are encouraging residents to resort to animal control services to animal related problems in their property.

The Highland Park City police department have a present budget of $4,000 per year on animal control costs. These include cremation, extermination, and Save-a-Pet fees for stray animals.

Police believe any changes in the policy could lead to an extra $5,000 in costs yearly to address animal nuisance problems on private property.

Here are the facts:

• Local residents complain of an increasing number of wild cats wandering in their property.
• The police department encourages residents to resort to animal services for such issue.
• Tinkering with laws against wild animals could lead to an additional yearly budget to the city.

See the full story at: http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/highland-park/news/ct-hpn-feral-cat-complaints-tl-0616-20160614-story.html

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