The Ketchikan Gateway Borough Animal Protection Department had two large cases recently. One involved the confiscation of nearly 50 cats from a woman who had been escorted off of Annette Island.
Animal Protection Director Kelly Ludwig-Johnson said the woman had lived in Ketchikan, and animal control officers contacted her previously about the cats. When they went to check on her, though, the woman and the cats were gone.
“We didn’t know what had happened to them until we got a call from the Metlakatla Police Department saying that they had escorted a woman in a car and they thought there were up to 40 cats in the car,” Ludwig-Johnson said.
The animal control department got a warrant and met the woman as she got off the ferry Lituya. Ludwig-Johnson said there were actually 53 cats loose in the car. One was dead, and a few got away after biting and scratching Ludwig-Johnson and her staff.
“It’s kind of hard when you’re dealing with a vehicle, taking cats out of a vehicle, not to lose any,” she said.
Ludwig-Johnson said several of the cats were pregnant and have since given birth. The department already had more than 30 felines, which is the shelter’s capacity. With the addition of the confiscated cats, there now are more than 100.
Ludwig-Johnson said most of the confiscated cats are feral and likely will be euthanized.
“There are a few that are friendly,” she said. “The cats that have had kittens, the mamma cats, they seem to be pretty nice, and then there are a few others that are salvageable, saveable.”
The other case involves the apparent intentional dumping of oil in the yard of a Forest Park resident. The property owner has ducks and chickens that were covered with the oil. Alaska State Troopers and the state Department of Environmental Conservation are investigating.
Assembly to consider animal-control committee
An ad hoc animal protection committee is on the list of Borough Assembly agenda items Monday. The proposed committee would comprise two Assembly members, two borough residents, the Animal Protection Department director and the borough manager.
According to the borough, the committee would recommend a plan to identify needs at the Animal Protection Department, how to address those needs and a budget to implement the plan. The committee also would develop policies related to how long animals are kept before they are euthanized, and would determine whether a new shelter is needed.
Also Monday, the Assembly will consider a list of capital projects submitted by borough staff for potential state funding requests in 2014.
The list includes about $3 million to extend water and sewer service to Forest Park; $3.5 million to improve the Mountain Point water treatment plant; and $1.5 million for bleachers and grandstands at various athletic fields.
Some funding requests suggested by community members could be added to the list. They are about $1 million for an emergency training center, $1.8 million to help complete the planned Performing Arts Center; and $860,000 for improvements to Wood Road.
The Borough Assembly meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. in Assembly chambers at the White Cliff Building. Time for public comment is scheduled at the start of the meeting.