NORTH TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) – Since the end of July, Danielle Coogan has trapped 12 kittens on Tonawanda Island. They are being prepared for adoption, but there are hundreds more still on the island and they’re still reproducing.
Coogan plans to do what’s called “TNR” or trap, neuter, release. It’s a process that’s still illegal in North Tonawanda.
She said, “City ordinances at this point prevent feeding, trapping, harboring comforting a stray or feral cat of any nature at this point.”
Now local law students are helping change that.
SUNY Buffalo Law School Professor Kim Diana Connolly and her students helped shape a TNR ordinance in Buffalo and are working to do the same in North Tonawanda.
She explained, “People like Danielle Coogan and organizations like Buffalo Humane are doing amazing volunteer work on the ground on behalf of animals, but sometimes that’s not in compliance with these old fashioned laws.”
The process to change the law includes public hearings and could take months. Meanwhile, donations continue to pour in and Coogan has more than $10,000 in donations in her GoFundMe account.
Connolly said, “They’re safeguarded, we are helping get the process ready so the project can go pretty quickly.”
Coogan is working exclusively now with the Buffalo Humane Society.
Despite the law, there are others who have helped the cats on the island, but Coogan said she wasn’t willing to risk it.