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Neighbors upset over trapping of feral cats post sign on garage

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Harold Welbes and Lisa Kovalski are upset about their neighbor trapping feral cats.  (Credit: Fox 2 News) Harold Welbes and Lisa Kovalski are upset about their neighbor trapping feral cats. (Credit: Fox 2 News)
LIVONIA, Mich. (WJBK) -

People cannot help stop by a Livonia house and stare.  It's not because it is for sale, but there is a sign.  It is what Lisa Kovalski and Harold Welbes do when they want to get their point across.  They grab some paint and shout it out on paper.

We are supposed to love thy neighbor, but what if you don't like them?

"I'd say they're idiots," said Kovalski.  "Their heartless."

"They have no right to be around here," said Welbes.

"I'm upset about it, but I'm not going to engage the neighbor and get in a fight," said Ted Gish.  "They have the right to free speech."

"They were embarrassed about the sign, but they shouldn't have been if they weren't embarrassed about their actions," Kovalski said.

The sign reads, "Is your pet missing?  Look no further.  Next door they are playing God and trapping animals and turning them over to be euthanized.  Animals trapped on a Friday, cry and beg for its life, trapped until Monday, when it is sent to its death.  Get on the anti-cruelty websites and post what they are doing."

The angry message is aimed at Gish and his family, who live right night door.

"I love animals.  We have a tremendous dog.  We've had several dogs.  Neighbor across the street, he has two terrific cats, but it comes to a point where you just can't deal with 40 cats," Gish said.

The cat colony has gone crazy.  It's one street cat after another after another, a nuisance, he said.

"That's how it all started was a litter of kittens and a male and female roaming loose," said Kovalski.

"The neighbor next door started feeding them and harboring them," said Gish.

"We tried to take care of them, but Livonia has a rule that you're not allowed to house a feral cat, feed a feral cat, and, if so, then you could be fined," Kovalski said.

Some Livonia Animal Control presented this option to help fix the feral feline fiasco.

"We can give you some cages.  You can trap them.  You call us up, and we will come and pick the cats up.  And we said that's great," Gish said.

Then the wild cats are whisked away to the Michigan Humane Society.  Some of them are adopted, but the felines who are not fit to be placed are put down, and that is what Kovalski and Welbes have a problem with.

"It's horrible waste of life when it comes to the kitties," said Kovalski.

"They're killing cats.  The cats don't do [anything] to anybody," said Welbes.

"To date, we've caught 14 cats.  Five had been fixed, but nine of them were not fixed and one was pregnant.  Now that nine will breed how many more over the next few months, and the population of feral cats in the area will only increase," said Gish.

"They think that they are playing God, and who can decide who lives and who doesn't," Kovalski said.

"I don't believe they have the right to lie, and some of the things that are on that message are outright lies," Gish said.  "What solution do you have?  If you can't get the cats fixed and they continue to multiply -- 20, 30, 40, 50 -- where does it stop and what is your solution?  That is what I would say to the neighbors."

He told us he caught 14 cats in 30 days and he wants people to know that none of them have been in cages for longer than a night.

Livonia Animal Control told us that none of the cats have been reported as missing pets.

The neighbors with the sign say they have no intention of taking it down unless the man next door puts his cages away for good.

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