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Feral felines face fallout from Phoenix feud

The Phoenix Day School for the Deaf and a neighborhood next door have been experiencing an overflow of feral cats. Many are looking to remedy the issue.

PHOENIX — The Phoenix Day School for the Deaf has an issue with feral cats, and the school’s parents are organizing to do something about it.

A GoFundMe page attributed to Felicity Short describes the problem as “30-35 cats living in a colony in our neighborhood.”

The GoFundMe seeks help raise money to trap, neuter, and return the cats.

“Most of these cats dwell on a school campus for the Deaf and Blind, making some areas off-limits to the children due to the defecation caused by the cats,” the page says.

The Orangewood neighborhood is directly south of the school, which sits on 19th Avenue between Northern and Morten avenues. Neighbors there said that the cats are a problem for them, as well.

“They’re on my roof. They’re on my patio. They defecate on my patio,” said one man who did not want to be identified. “There are scratches in the hood of my truck and cat prints up and down my wife’s car. I hear catfights at night, and I come outside, and there’s cat fuzz everywhere.

The man directed our camera to a broken statue of an angel.

“They broke this statue, too,” he said.

James Ilif has lived in the neighborhood for 20 years and was a member of the Homeowners Association. He said that he has seen a woman feeding the cats, and he believes that is the problem.

“Every day she leaves water for them, and she leaves huge mounds of food for them on the school property,” Ilif said.

12 News did see multiple dishes of food and water along the school’s fence line.

Ilif said the most help the neighborhood has been offered was free traps. He said that doesn’t help much.

“We’re an older community anyway, and everybody that’s on the board is about retired, and nobody’s going to take responsibility for having to trap a cat and take it in,” Ilif said.

The GoFundMe page has a goal of $5,000, and as of Thursday night, it had raised more than $4,200. The post administrator wrote on Nov. 3 that would be enough to neuter 17 cats “and foster several kitten litters.”

The Phoenix Day School for the Deaf did not respond to a message left via a sign language interpreter.

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