As the old saying goes, “No good deed goes unpunished,” and that’s true of a man who has been arrested and charged with public nuisance and littering charges after feeding feral cats in Long Beach Island, NJ.
Mark Rist, 51 of Stafford Township, was arrested by police after he allegedly dumped several pounds of cat food off a beach walkway. Police nabbed Rist after establishing a two-month “feeding pattern” of where the suspect would most likely drop the food. Officials claim that the borough spent more than $5,800 to take the cats to a local shelter, in addition to $3,000 spent on animal control, and that feeding strays just exacerbates the problem of population control.
However, Rist’s deed hasn’t gone unnoticed. Wendy Mitchell, a resident of nearby Brick Township, has started an online petition to drop the charges. Mitchell claims that the city is wasting resources in going after Rist; instead, she suggests officials focus on a trap-neuter-release program in order to reduce the stray cat population.
The temptation to feed starving stray cats is understandable. After all, New Jersey was a state where officials had once considered a measure legalizing the hunting of stray cats over a trap-neuter-release program.
You can read the petition here.