Mouth That Roars

Bill Liblick has made a name for himself of National TV Talk Shows where he spouted his outspoken views from the front row. Now he offers you his opinion every week in the "MOUTH THAT ROARS" Column in the Sullivan County Post.

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December 2nd, 2011

It’s Raining Cats and Dogs in Sullivan County

Sullivan County has literally no resources for unwanted cats and dogs. Sadly there is no facility to house animals involved in seizure, cruelty, or abandonment. Equally, we are inundated with stray cats and there is no program to spray or neuter them. Town of Liberty Constable/Dog Control Officer Joanne Gerow wants to change all that.

Gerow has been on a mission to create a Sullivan County Human Society that would operate differently and have a different purpose than the SPCA in Rock Hill. The SPCA has undergone a remarkable overhaul, and I plan on writing a column on them in the very near future as part of this series on cats and dogs.

Gerow’s commitment and dedication to do something about our stray animal population warrants all of our attention and support. I have seen Joanne in action firsthand, and she is one remarkable woman.

Like the rest of Sullivan County my community is swamped with stray cats. While several homeowners have joined me in feeding and caring for them, we could not find an affordable place to have them fixed and receive rabies shots, in walks Joanne Gerow to the rescue.

Through extensive research, Joanne discovered that the Ulster County SPCA has a program costing only $20 to spray or neuter feral cats including rabies shots. She also discovered that they would be more than willing to help with the cat population in Sullivan County.

During the past several weeks, Joanne and I have been capturing strays in the wee wee hours of the morning and bringing them to Kingston to get fixed. So far nearly 20 cats have been done, and ten more are scheduled for this month. Although this amount might seem minuet, according to Joanne, a female cat and subsequent generations can theoretically produce over 300,000 kittens in seven years.

Brian Shapiro, Executive Director of the Ulster County SPCA, and a former Ulster County legislator, told me many of our residents have utilized their program because there is none as affordable as theirs anywhere close to Sullivan County. In fact, I met a woman who trekked all the way to Kingston from Loch Sheldrake to get several stray cats that were living outside of her home fixed.

Dr. Eileen Jefferson, a former Veterinarian in Sullivan County who now works at the SPCA, discussed the need of such a program here and her desire to assist Joanne in creating a Humane Society. “We need to work to get her some grants and some funding. The problem in Sullivan County is very serious,” Dr. Jefferson claimed.

At the request of Legislator Ron Hiatt, Joanne has been meeting with the Public Safety Committee of the legislature in an attempt to have Sullivan County utilize some budgeted funds to assist with a spray and neuter program for feral cats. Joanne is meeting with them again next week.

Finding homes for these loving animals will also go a long way in curbing our cat population, and I must say several elected officials are helping towards that end.

Next week the urgent need for a Human Society in Sullivan County, and more on the remarkable Joanne Gerow.

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