New Mexico woman sues Albuquerque officials over feral cat policy

New Mexico woman sues Albuquerque officials over feral cat policy

Feral cats have become a problem, according to a New Mexico woman who is suing Albuquerque officials.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A New Mexico woman is continuing her legal battle against Albuquerque officials, claiming the city's trap, neuter and release program for feral cats is not working.

Marcy Britton filed a property rights lawsuit in federal court, claiming the city's program has transformed her property into a feral cat colony, KRQE reported.

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“It’s a gruesome, inhumane, illegal thing to do to any animal,” Britton told the television station.

Albuquerque has been trapping feral cats since 2012. The cats are neutered and then released back into the neighborhoods where they were found, KRQE reported.

"Cats are not wildlife. Our city is not a cat sanctuary,” Britton told the television station.

Britton's lawsuit names the city of Albuquerque and Mayor Tim Keller as defendants. Britton claims the trap, neuter and release program in place has created a colony of cats in her neighborhood and has created a health hazard.

"It's disgusting. I mean you come home from work and there are cats on your porch," Britton told KRQE. "They get hit by cars, they get poisoned, this is where I live. My property value has been reduced."

Britton has tried legal action before but lost her case. Her appeal was rejected in February 2016 by the Court of Appeals of New Mexico

In September, Albuquerque Animal Welfare officials told KRQE the program was working and the number of stray cats was dwindling.

“We’re no longer going and picking up 30-40 from one area, we’re going around and getting 4, 5, 10, much smaller numbers,” official Adam Ricci told the television station.

Since September, 2,100 feral cats have been picked up, and 1,700 have been released. Britton believes that policy is ineffective.

"For as long as they can, if there is no adopter or no owner, then they should be humanely euthanized," Britton told KRQE.