LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Some of the residents at Cor-Dale Court mobile home community are worried that an important part of their way of life is disappearing.
That’s the feral cat colony that has lived at the park for years.
It doesn't take long to spy one of the feral cats that roams free on the property. Many of the residents care for them like their own pets.
“This is Shadow," said Donna Smith, a resident at Cor-Dale Court, as she petted a grey cat with a tipped ear.
This is a sign that they have taken part in the Trap Neuter Return Program (TNR).
TNR consists of trapping stray cats, taking them to a veterinarian to spayed, neutered, and vaccinated, and releasing them to where they were found.
Something Shauna Peck, former caretaker for the cats at Cor-Dale, says is important to keeping a healthy feral cat colony.
"Took at least 50 cats and had them spayed and neutered and ear tipped and released them back into the park,” she said.
Residents say many of them were left behind by former tenants. And some of the cats have been around since before they moved in.
"The cats have been here forever,” said park manager Linda Winger. “My mom has lived here for over 40 years, we've always had cats."
Winger said she was ready and willing to start a petition on behalf of the cats.
“The cats have rights,” she said. “And we don’t want to see them go.”
Many do their part to make sure the cats are taken care of. Including refilling the food and water bowls at five different feeding stations around the property. Or putting out blankets and plugging in the heated water bowls when the weather turns cold.
"They are not hurting no one,” said Smith. “I make sure they have water if they don't give them water."
Smiths said they are able to keep providing for the cats through donations.
The residents are worried because the mobile home community is now under new ownership. After learning that the new owners are not as fond of the cats and after realizing some of their regulars had disappeared, many of the residents became worried.
However former owner Anita Hurt says the cats are not in danger.
“They would like to cut down the number and we are working to find some of them homes, ones that can find homes,” said Hurt. “The owner and I have discussed the cats will never be gone from the park."
“We know that and he knows that,” she continued.
Hurt said they have started working on moving some of the cats out to permanent homes. She said they are not trying to remove the cats in inhumane ways. However many feel that this is where the cats belong.
"This is their home,” said Winger. “I's been their home for years."
And they want to see their feline family around for years to come.
When asked what they want to see happen to the cats: “Keep them,” said Smith. “We want to keep them!”
We weren't able to contact the new owners for comment on this story. But, again, according to the previous owner, the cats aren't in imminent danger.