They're running wild, leaving behind smelly messes, but animal lovers are defending feral cat colonies. However, Brevard County officials say no more colonies will be registered, until they get problems worked out with an ordinance.
Members of the women's guild at the Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church disagree about a lot of things, but outside of presidential politics, the biggest disagreement is over the registered feral cat colony next to the church.
"Too many cats. They get on cars, they are just a nuisance," says one woman. Another woman disagrees, saying, "As far as picking them up and having them euthanizing them, no, I'm not for that at all."
Although Brevard County's 525 registered cat colonies are legal, there's a problem. A 15-year-old law is outdated and has too few rules or restrictions, but because of an overwhelming number of complaints about the new ordinance, Animal Control is no longer allowing new registration for feral cat colonies.
Some of the issues: people are registering colonies on land they don't own, like a public park. some have registered as many as eight feral cat colonies, all in one neighborhood.
"Property owners have become very protective of their property," says Capt. Bob Brown with Brevard Co. Animal Services and Enforcement.
But non-profit spay and neuter clinics are lining up in opposition. They don't want any additional requirements on registering cat colonies, saying their spay, neuter, and release efforts, keep colony population down.
A citizen advisory board will be taking public input before any further action is taken.