Cats removed from Ag Museum
For years, dozens of cats have found refuge on the grounds of the Mississippi Ag Museum.
Recently, a couple taking care of the cats says the state is removing them without any explanation.
"They were such wonderful cats, they weren't disturbing anyone," said Jackson and Pauline Cochran.
For 20 years, the Cochrans have been feeding the cats who hang out near the tractor barn at the Ag Museum. In recent weeks, without warning, they've slowly disappeared.
"They had been about 20, it dropped down to about 8," says Jack.
Andy Prosser, Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture says, "For the last couple months and this year, we've seen a large increase in the cat population at the Ag Museum."
The Department of Agriculture says the large number of cats were a health problem and a threat to museum visitors, so they decided to reduce their numbers.
"We contacted the Mississippi Animal Rescue League to see what to do with these feral cats. They offered graciously to take them, have them neutered, have some spayed, and returned to the museum," said Prosser.
The Animal Rescue League says the feral cats can't be adopted.
"This is a cat that's not used to being around humans, it's a scavenger," said Prosser.
Four of the cats were returned to the Ag Museum, but the Cochrans are concerned they could be eliminated all together.
The state says cats will continue to sneak in, and they have to manage their numbers for the safety of workers and visitors.
"We are not trying to eliminate all the cats, were just trying to get rid of some of the ones humanely as we possibly can," said Prosser.
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