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Stray Cat Feeding Stirs Criticism
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Stray cats and the Alley Cat Guardians may not get it all their own way in Riverbank.

Local resident Haskell Moore of Stanislaus Street came before the Riverbank City Council on April 23 to protest "stray cats being fed on private property in the 3200 block of Sierra and Stanislaus streets," adding "their feces are everywhere and the stench is awful." He and his neighbors have called and complained to police at least three times, he added.

Council previously had approved Guardian volunteers feeding and providing medical care for a colony of about a dozen feral cats living under the bridge at Jacob Myers Park. Council later allowed them to extend care to a similar number of cats living in the alleyway behind the downtown Post Office on the south side of Stanislaus Street.

Last week, however, Mayor Virginia Madueno said she had talked with Moore and advised the council to appoint "a task force" and review the whole situation in hopes of reaching a compromise.

In existence several years, the Modesto-based, non-profit Alley Cat Guardians have spread their work to several surrounding areas. They aim to feed and water the animals while trying to trap them, get them vaccinated, spayed or neutered at a low cost clinic and then return them to the wild.

Presenting a petition with the names of seven residents opposing the feeding of stray cats in the downtown alley, Moore protested somebody has been feeding them since January. He and his neighbors feel harassed and hope the feeding stops. The alley, he noted, is about 20 feet wide and is probably city property.