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article imageTiny Tonawanda Island overrun by feral cats say residents

By Karen Graham     Aug 2, 2014 in Odd News
Tonawanda - Danielle Marie Coogan is described as being one of the most active feral-cat-haters on tiny 85-acre Tonawanda Island, according to Gawker, yet she is also one of the most compassionate and civic-minded of individuals you could ever find, anywhere.
Located in the middle of the Niagara River, Tonawanda Island, a seasonal destination for vacationers has become a paradise for abandoned and stray cats. There are hundreds of them now, and the year-round residents are taking matters into their own hands to fix the problem.
Tonawanda Island is actually part of North Tonawanda, New York, a city of almost 32,000 people. The island lies in the southwestern corner of the city, and is separated from the mainland by a bridge over the Little River, part of the East Branch of the Niagara River. The island boasts the private Tonawanda Launch Club, open to boating enthusiasts, as well as the popular Shores Waterfront Island Restaurant and Marina.
Mike Charnock, the owner of the Shores says the cat problem has gotten so bad that they are making a mess of the island, and even getting into the boats at the marina. Another resident, Wayne Howard spoke with news station WIVB, and told them how the cats have ended up landing on the island: "They're just everywhere. People drop them off. I've caught people dumping them on the road; they just unload them on the island."
Because the cats have gotten so prolific, with kittens running around everywhere, the residents say it's almost impossible not to step in cat feces, and the smell in some areas of the island makes it pretty obnoxious. This is when Danielle Coogan stepped in and decided enough was enough. On July 28, she created Operation: Island Cats, hoping to raise $5,000 to get the cats vaccinated, neutered, spayed, and in the case of the kittens, hopefully adopted out.
In explaining her project to help the cats on the island, Danielle Coogan says: "this project is a huge undertaking, (with an estimated 50+ adults and countless kittens), but one that is very close to my heart. I vow to do all I can to help these poor kitties, but it will take a lot of time & money. Please help me help them by making a donation to the cats of Tonawanda Island. Every dollar goes directly to the cats, whether it be for food, supplies, transportation, vetting fees etc. no donation is too small!
People all around the country have been very generous, and as of today, the Operation: Island Cats site has raised $6,150. One donor said this about the project: "There are two kinds of people in this world; people who are here for themselves and people who are here to make a difference." Danielle Coogan certainly doesn't sound like a feral-cat-hater, does she?
More about Tonawanda Island, niagara river, Feral cats, neutered spayed cats and kittens to adopt, dropped off
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