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Trailer Park Tails

A humane society in Illinois helps the feral cat community in a mobile home park

A humane society in Illinois helps the feral cat community in a mobile home park

PACT

When someone told Cherie Travis that a litter of stray kittens had been decapitated at a Chicago area trailer park, she couldn’t sleep. For three nights last spring, the president of People and Animals in Community Together (PACT) tossed and turned, wondering what to do. Finally, she confided in her best friend and PACT’s vice president, Renea Burman. Without missing a beat, Burman voiced what Travis already felt: “We’ve got to go over there.”

The two called their friend Susan Norris, president of Champaign Area Trap, Spay, Neuter & Adoption Program (CATsNAP), for advice. In January 2006, Norris had implemented a trap-neuter-return program in a mobile home park in east central Illinois, and she saw a correlation between acts of animal abuse and animal overpopulation: “When there’s cruelty, often that tells you there are too many cats,” Norris says.

Hoping to help again, Norris contacted Bill Flapan, the president of the Touhy Mobile Homes Park where the cats had supposedly been killed, to propose a trap-neuter-return program at the site in Des Plaines. Like most park owners, Norris says, Flapan was skeptical at first, wanting to know how much it would cost and how the program would work.

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