Clayton Park feral cats face relocation for new subdivision
Cats have been living for years in a privately owned green space on Camelot Lane
A colony of feral cats in Halifax is about to get an eviction notice to make way for a new development in Clayton Park.
Tracy McHarg and five of her neighbours have spent years caring for feral cats in a privately owned green space near her home on Camelot Lane. They feed the cats and make sure they receive veterinary care when necessary.
They also built shelters for the felines.
McHarg says she and her neighbours have known for years that a new development was going up near the cat colony, but news the subdivision will cover the green space came as a surprise.
"It sounds a little crazy, but they're like my kids," she said. "We're not against development, but I wish they could have made a little bit of accommodation for us and given us a little bit more green area.”
Developer WM Fares, owner of the land, is sympathetic. The company says it has tried to accommodate the cat colony.
"Unfortunately the survey that we commissioned indicated that the location of the existing shelters create conflict with the road network and proposed subdivision," a representative of WM Fares said in an email to CBC News.
"I can appreciate that this is not what Tracy had hoped for, but they knew it was a possibility."
WM Fares has offered to help move the shelters to another green space, but McHarg worries about the change in location.
"We don't know what's going to happen to them, and it just kills us. Where are they going to go in wintertime? With all this blasting they're not going to stay around."
Pierre Filiatreault from Pierre's Alley Cat Society says an alternative is to move the cat colony, but it's not an easy process.
"Cats will not read the memo saying we moved your shelter to the next street or behind the building, so it takes time with them," he said.
Although McHarg is still in talks with WM Fares, she and her volunteers will begin work to move the shelters this weekend.