If you’re a feral feline in southern Indiana, it looks like the Walmart in Jasper is the place to be. The store’s parking lot has apparently been overrun by dozens of cats out looking to score free food. But unlike past instances where Walmart has been accused of trapping and hauling off the cats to be killed, this store appears to be taking a more humane approach to these wild cats.
According to a recent local news report, the Walmart in Jasper has become a favorite stomping ground for the 40 or so feral cats.
“I thought that they were helping WalMart with mice, maybe? I wasn’t sure,” says one customer. “I know that if you park back here, it gives them a cool place to sit. They will come out underneath your car, and when you come back out, there will be five or six of them under your vehicle.”
Earlier this summer, the store had banned a local woman from putting out the nightly feedings for the cats, saying the food was attracting critters that were even more unwanted, like skunks. The town was apparently divided in their support of the woman’s efforts and their hatred of feral cats, but in early July Walmart stopped preventing the woman from feeding the felines.
The local Humane Society has now gotten involved with the feeding process in the hope of eventually trapping the cats.
Their ultimate fate is the big question. As we’ve covered before, there are many people opposed to trapping feral cats only to euthanize them.
Several months ago, a Change.org petition asking Walmart to stop the process of euthanizing trapped feral cats received more than 12,000 signatures.
A rep for the Humane Society says they will continue to feed the cats but won’t trap them until they have found a place for them to live. But a new home would have to be outdoors on a farm or someplace where they can basically continue to live the outdoors life they’ve become accustomed to.
“We can’t do anything until we have a place to take them,” she explains. “They can never be tamed. Even the little kittens, they are already feral. You would have to get a kitten at like four weeks to tame it. These guys will have to live their life in the wild.”
She adds that even if they trap and find homes for the few dozen cats currently prowling the parking lot, “Research shows that once this colony is removed, there’s going to be more waiting to come in.”