Numerous feral cats spark neighborhood feud

Ortega residents say woman cares for 40-50 cats

Published On: Jan 30 2013 03:47:49 PM EST   Updated On: Jan 11 2013 06:42:16 PM EST
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

Who knew walking through your own lawn could be so treacherous, but for Arlene Pinaud the problems feral cats are causing her neighborhood go way beyond that.

"My granddaughter last year was playing in the back and was covered in feces on her feet and legs, and we had to say, 'That's it. No more playing,'" Pinaud said.

Pinaud lives in Ortega. Across the street lives Barbara Railey. And neighbors say dozens of feral cats live there, too.

"Oh, there has to be 40, maybe 50 cats around on days," neighbor Beth Moran said.

That cat colony has spurred a neighborhood feud involving Animal Control, a city councilman and the woman who admits to regularly feeding them.

Railey said she "just wants to help the poor animals." But in the meantime, folks like Pinaud say her cats and her messy yard are ruining the neighborhood.

"You live here because it is so beautiful, and then I can't have most of the outside to myself anymore," Pinaud said.

The city went to clean up the property in November. But Animal Control says it can't do anything about the cats because Railey has been unresponsive.

In the meantime, Pinaud says she'll continue to fight not only the neighbor, but the four-legged residents of their street as well.

"The cats are our greatest headache," she said. "Trouble -- have been for years."