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Feral cat colony causes spat in Meridian

"They were here and then they weren’t.”

MERIDIAN, Idaho — A Meridian woman claims over a handful of her feral cats have gone missing, and she thinks a local business is to blame.

Kaulene Bower looks after over a dozen cats living in and around the lumber yard she works at, Idaho Fence and Deck Supply.

She’s seen them come and go after 10 years of caring for the animals, but this year, she says she’s lost about 7 cats.

“I have all of them fixed, they’re well-fed and they cause no harm,” Bower said."They were here and then they weren’t.”

Not everyone was as pleased with the feral colony.

Brandon Gallegos owns and operates G & G Insulation.

He says he’s been dealing with feces from the cats for a long time, but his employees are taking the brunt of it.

“It’s turned into a big litterbox in here," he said. “If you were to hire us to come out and do work at your home, you wouldn’t appreciate it if our employees were dragging cat feces into your home where you live.”

He said he finally hit a breaking point this year. Gallegos told his property managers about the issue in March, who hired Dengo Wildlife Control to capture the cats. Dengo’s website says feral cat control is a “sensitive issue” and promises “discreet and professional” service.

“We’re not trying to be cruel about this or do anything mean with it. We’re just trying to be able to go through the steps and protect our business and our property," he said.

Michael Ogden, the owner of Dengo, says their policy is to take the cats to the Idaho Humane Society, but would not discuss how many he caught.

Krsitine Schellhaas with the Idaho Humane Society says only three feral cats were brought to their facility by this individual in March.

Schellhaas says the cats were returned to the area, but Bower hasn’t seen them.

“I’m pretty sure I won’t see my cats again but I just don’t want anything to happen to other animals," Bower said.

Gallegos called off Dengo’s services in late May after receiving a threatening voicemail from an unknown number. But the cats keep coming, and the poop piles up.

“What I would like to see in hopes with this – but it’s a huge expense – is to come in here and add pavement into this area, but we can’t continue to go on like this," he said.

Bower remains heartbroken.

“I don’t know what to do, it’s just sad," she said.

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