A busy intersection in one southern Virginia town has become so overrun with abandoned cats that the local Humane Society has declared the spot “a hazard to the public and to the cats.”
The Danville Area Humane Society came to that conclusion this week after a witness reported seeing one driver pull over and put out an additional 30 cats at the intersection of Piney Forest Road and Riverside Drive, said an agency press release.
Paulette Dean, executive director of Danville’s Humane Society, told WSET she is mystified why the spot is considered the best place in Danville to leave unwanted cats, but she says it has been going on for at least 20 years. The town of 41,000 sits just above the North Carolina state line.
Dean believes more than 100 cats live at the spot, sleeping in homemade shelters left in the bushes by sympathetic neighbors, reported WSLS.
“The large number of cats is a hazard to the public,” said a Danville Humane Society press release. “We have received numerous complaints about sick cats, kittens dying in the street, and cat scratches...In addition...wild animals are attracted to the smells and also pose a hazard to the public and to the cats.”
The Humane Society has been setting traps at the area for a decade, hoping to catch and shelter as many cats as possible, but the population continues to out pace the trapping, reported GoDanRiver.com.
Danville police told the news site they’re investigating, and noted it is illegal under state law to abandon pets in such a way.
Robby Cheek, who works near the intersection, believes the cats pose a health risk and a danger to motorists, reported WSLS. “Spreading disease,” Cheek said, according to WSLS . “Also vehicles right here on Riverside, trying to avoid hitting one and causing damage to other vehicles or possibly the front of the businesses.”
On Tuesday, the Humane Society announced it was offering a $1,000 reward for information identifying the person who dropped off the 30 cats off this week.