You may be aware of a petition circulating regarding the feral cat colony located on College property. Unfortunately, the petition does not explain the College’s reasons for having to move the colony from its current location next to our campus buildings. Nor did it mention that we have been asking for a plan from the feral cat colony caretaker to relocate or rehome the cats since fall 2022 and have offered financial resources to support this plan. The College has also extended deadlines to accommodate requests made by the feral cat colony caretaker.
Why does the feral cat colony need to be relocated?
Few of the on-line threads have explained the health reasons that led to having to move the colony from its current location next to the campus buildings nor do they mention that we have a responsibility to maintain a clean and healthy campus for students, employees, and members of the community. There have been ongoing health and safety issues with feral cats reported over the years; however, in the last six months the problem has grown significantly and become untenable.
The main issue, as we’ve stated, is that the cats are taking shelter in the vehicles we are using in our automotive trades program and using the vehicles as their lavatories. Our instructors are having to regularly clean out feral cat nests, feces, and urine, and in some cases, deceased animals. Just a week ago another feral cat nest was discovered in one of our training vehicles. This has had a detrimental effect on student learning and employee morale. More than one student has had a severe allergic reaction after working on a vehicle, even after it had been cleaned out. Over the past six months we’ve had to dispose of two vehicles because they were so badly damaged by nesting feral cats.
The feral cats have also unfortunately turned our outdoor volleyball court into a giant kitty litter box, which requires regular cleaning during the spring and summer.
What is happening now to find a solution?
We are an educational institution and not an animal rescue sanctuary, so we require assistance from the community to find a better location. Currently, the College is in discussions with EKCares, a local animal support organization, to find a solution in the best interest of the feral cat colony, as well as the College and we have further discussions planned for next week. Once information on next steps is available to share, it will be shared with the larger community.
President and CEO
College of the Rockies