Marionville street overrun with stray cats

Published: Oct. 3, 2017 at 4:45 PM CDT
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Marionville resident Patricia Hatcher says several stray cats may starve to death if they can’t be re-homed soon.

Hatcher, 72, says she’s been caring for the cats since a neighbor abandoned theirs and moved out of town six years ago. What was just one or two cats became around a dozen.

“I love animals,” Hatcher says. “I can't stand to see anything starve to death. I've been feeding them for the last six years. It's just getting to be too much for me. I'm an older woman. I'm a widowed woman. I have serious health problems. I can't keep this pace up.”

She’s asked the Marionville government for help, but they don’t have a shelter for cats in town, and their animal control department can’t house them either.

“We don't have a solution,” Marionville Mayor Doris Rapp said. “That's why we're asking for help now.”

Meanwhile, Hatcher’s neighbors have complained about the cats littering the street. She’s been ticketed multiple times.

“I'm the only person who cares and I get the tickets,” Hatcher said. “That sucks.”

Hatcher says she’s stopped feeding the cats and doesn’t let them in her house. But, when one of them snuck in to her home and have birth six weeks ago, she began caring for them.

Marionville’s government and Hatcher have reached out to shelters around the Ozarks, but none of them have any room.

“The best case I guess would be for a lot of people to call and say, 'we'll take one or two,'” Mayor Rapp said.