Dial Dalfred: Feral cats causing problems at one Lafayette business

Dial Dalfred

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) The question: What is being done to manage feral cats in Lafayette Parish? 

One Lafayette business man is trying to figure it out for nearly five years, and now we’re getting answers in tonight’s Dial Dalfred report.

You hear it all time— spay and neuter your pets. Lafayette Parish just spent millions on a new shelter, twice the size of the old one, to house and care for strays.

But, there are still colonies of feral cats throughout the parish. 

“We have two flowerpots [at the front door] which I had to dump because the cats kept dumping in there and people would come by and one individual wanted to know ‘where the chicken coops’ were. It has been a nuisance I’ve been fighting this for four and a half years.” Sherman Billedeaux, Owner of Garden City Construction said.

Billedeaux says sometimes customers and employees unknowingly step in cat waste in the parking lot and track it all through the building. 

It’s an unhealthy situation and then I also have two employees that are allergic to cats so now it becomes a health risk to me.

One method of reducing the number of feral cats causing a problem in the community, is the Trap, Neuter, and Return program.

“It’s going to try to keep the cat population down but also if you just trap and remove the cats other cats can still come into the area. If you sterilize them and put them back to where they came from they will keep cats from coming back into that area plus they won’t have any more babies.”

Turns out one of Billedeaux’s business neighbors is apart of the TNR program, but their cats stay indoors.

“There are a few colony cats that occasionally come by for food, as you can see— the cats that don’t live here are not fans of people. The animal shelter does have a few deterrents to people who want the cats to stay away. Billedeaux says he was offered a sprinkler system by the shelter leadership.”

“Which I think would work. They came to me one afternoon and offered that to me and I expressed an annoyance about it because that’s some thing that I’ve got to maintain.” 

We reached out to Lafayette Parish Councilman John Guilbeau to find out if parish government was working on anything to make it easier for the community and the cats cohabitate.

For the record, both Guilbeau and Billedeaux agree the T-N-R program is great. 

“I think there needs to be more accountability in terms of the people who are participating in the program… what I am proposing is that more accountability be placed in the program for those who want to be a part of it.”  Councilman John Guilbeau said.

If you want to be apart of the TNR program just call the Lafayette Parish animal shelter.

And, if there’s an ongoing issue in your neighborhood or community or there’s a story you’d like me to investigate, send me an email at DialDalfred@klfy.com.

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