It’s a battle between cats and St. Jude Catholic Church in Tequesta, Florida.
For years, parishioners have been feeding the cats that live behind the church. For many, they thought it was their calling to take care of the 25 cats and leave food for them.
But that all recently changed.
After getting complaints from a neighboring condo, the church built a 6-foot-high chain-link fence to prevent the cats from reaching the cat feeders. The church also said they wanted to keep the cats off the fenced-in property.
Some animal-loving parishioners are frustrated over how the church has handled the situation and that the church has prevented them from feeding the cats and catching them to spay/neuter them. They feel that if nothing is done for the cats, they will continue breeding and the cat population will increase.
Several have left the church because of the controversy.
“Because it’s on church property, we’re dealing with a moral issue; we’re Catholic. It really makes me embarrassed that I’m a Catholic. I’m so disgusted with these people,” a former parishioner said.
In response, church officials said they want to solve the possible health hazard of the roaming cats. A church spokeswoman said that St. Jude’s is hiring a professional trapper to remove the cats from the church to a safe environment where they will not be a health hazard or nuisance.
About a year ago, the church allowed two parishioners to capture the cats. The two volunteers caught some of the cats, and took them to the vet so they could be vaccinated, spayed/neutered, and have an overall checkup. Some of the cats were even adopted into homes.
The church has now asked police officers to look out for trespassers during nightly patrols of the area.
Source: Palm Beach Post