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Jeff Skrenes, who lives in and blogs about north Minneapolis, said he knew of neighbors and friends who complained about the ground feeding.
“When the cats weren’t eating the food, it would draw raccoons, squirrels and other critters,” he said.
Skrenes said Mattice was known as the neighborhood “cat lady.” While she was trying to do a good thing, he said, she should respect other people’s property.
“If she were to just have a bunch of cat food on the ground on her own property I’d feel better about it,” Skrenes said. Mattice lives in Plymouth, but said she owns property in Minneapolis.
Mattice said the people who abandon their pets are the villains. The city’s crackdown on caretakers such as herself is an example of misplaced priorities, she said.
“There are so many shootings, murders and drug dealing in Minneapolis, but they harass me to death because I feed cats?” she said.
Gordon said he hopes the adoption of a spay- or neuter-and-release approach similar to St Paul’s would help discourage reckless caretakers, and more regulation of ground feeding can help thin stray cat populations while attracting fewer rodents and other animals.
“It will give us the potential to control the practices more so there will be less vermin and undesirable creatures,” he said.
Brian Arola is a University of Minnesota student on assignment to the Star Tribune.