Rochelle offers new program to deal with feral cats after criticism

Local News

ROCHELLE, Ill. (WTVO) — The City of Rochelle rolled out a new program to deal with the city’s feral cat program on Wednesday, after a previously announced plan to trap and euthanize cats drew public ire.

The Rochelle Police Department received blowback in October by offering free cat traps to residents as part of an effort to capture and euthanize feral cats.

In a Facebook post, police said once a cat is trapped, the resident should deliver the cat to the Rochelle Veterinary Clinic for euthanasia, and then return the trap.

After a backlash online, police issued the following statement:

“The Rochelle Veterinary Hospital had absolutely nothing to do with our earlier announcement regarding cat euthanasia. We absolutely regret the lapse in communication by our staff, especially one that has brought any negativity to a reputable local business.We are not moving forward with a euthanasia program and will explore other options immediately.”

According to the city, the new Trap, Neuter, Return pilot program collects feral cats and treats them at the Spay Illinois Clinic is Lisle, offering free spay/neutering, vaccinations, and flea treatments before releasing the cats back to the areas where they were originally found.

The city says it hopes to expand the program in March to offer low-cost spay/neuter and vaccines to pet cats.

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