Cat shelters destroyed on 'Cat Island'

Posted at 10:40 PM, Apr 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-20 23:30:51-04

Nearly a dozen cat shelters were destroyed on North Tonawanda's "Cat Island."

Technically Tonawanda Island, the land is known for a growing cat colony. 

Danielle Coogan says she worked with other volunteers the past two years to raise money to help control the growing population. 

In 2014 their efforts resulted in North Tonawanda City Council voting to change an ordinance, making it legal for people to safely trap, spay or neuter, vaccinate and feed the cats.

Coogan says since then more than 100 cats and kittens have been helped. A majority of the animals were adopted and some were released back onto the island.

This week, nearly a dozen of the shelters were found destroyed and Coogan says the owner of the Shores Waterfront Restaurant and Marina is responsible. 

7 Eyewitness News talked with the owner of the restaurant and marina but he declined our request for an on camera interview. According to the business' Facebook, the destruction of the shelters, which were on his private property, was an accident. 

"All it would have taken was a phone call and we would have relocated the shelters," said Coogan. She says she had a verbal agreement with the owner permitting the shelters to stay on his property over the years.  

"They've called me before to come out and rescue kittens and I have. I just think it's kind of senseless to destroy property that doesn't belong to them and that we were given permission to place here."

Coogan says volunteers must now work to relocate the cats to another area of the island and will start to fundraise to buy new shelters. 

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