Cats Take Over Leetsdale Neighborhood

LEETSDALE (KDKA) — In one local neighborhood, the people who live there say they’re being overrun with cats every night and they don’t know what to do about it.

“They don’t have their shots,” Michelle Frizelle, of Leetsdale, said. “They’re breeding and people have complained numerous times. They’re in the garbage.”

“There’s probably 30 or 40, but it seems like thousands and they’re all over the neighborhood,” Ginger Arnett added. “They attack dogs. They attack garbage.”

They’re blaming their neighbor, David Sofranko, a self-described hoarder. Sofranko admits he doesn’t get shots for the animals. While they don’t live in his home, he does feed them.

“They’re welcomed if they could trap them and take away, give them good homes – fine – get rid of them,” Sofranko said. “I just can’t see them starving to death.”

So the cats remain feeding and breeding outside Sofranko’s home. It comes at a time when there’s big concern about rabies. In October alone, the Allegheny County Health Department found at least 17 rabid animals.

“The children are coming around picking them up and if they don’t have shots and they get scratched it could be a major infection, disease, rabies, all kinds of things,” Frizelle said. “That’s what I’m scared about.”

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  • Debbie

    Where are the animal organizations? Shouldn’t they be rounding them up, and at least spaying/neutering them so they cannot reproduce? Or giving them rabies shots so this doesn’t turn into a disaster?

    • Amelie

      These organizations have limited funds, supplies, staff and volunteers. Do you have any idea how much it would cost in supllies and manpower to spay, neuter and give shots to the hundreds of stray cats out there?
      Your suggestion, while good intentioned, isn’t really realistic.

    • kristy

      that’s easier said than done. do you know how many animal organizations there are in relation to the thousands of homeless cats? please don’t place the onus on these groups that are mostly staffed by volunteers. people should keep their cats indoors and spay and neuter.

      • Debbie

        Kristy – I could not agree with you more about people keeping their cats under their own control. It is quite irritating when people don’t take care of their animals. But the fact remains, this happens. And there are organizations out there, with volunteers, that do this for the animals. Please read Kaiti’s comments below. I had heard of humane society’s doing this sort of thing before, and was only making a suggestion. I hope this gets solved, because it isn’t fair to the cats.

  • Jessica

    As one of the multiple Leetsdale residence that feed and try to take care of these cats, to single just one person out was wrong and disrespectful. Theses cats need food and water just like us, and rather have the cats going through the garbage and tearing stuff up that’s why we feed them, to try n prevent that but there are raccoons out there too so please.And attacking dogs i would like to see that i just think these people have nothing else better to do with their time. Also there are Some people here in Leetsdale that spend money out of there own pockets spaying and nurturing the cats to prevent population. As for help, its all talk no animal shelter is going to help

    • Michelle

      I live here too, look where they are…and then stop feeding them unless you want to adopt one and get it fixed and vaccinated…its cruelty to animals…None of the cats there now are fixed…help the situation…they get into my garbage EVERY DAY. If an animal is sick, they can attack.

    • Brittney TheMidget Richards

      i do not believe the part about attacking a dog lol these are domestic cats NOT lions. I am glad some people feed them at least they aren’t starving 40 cats should not be considered an overrun rofl maybe if there were more cats than people now that’s OVERRUN people are so dramatic :D thanks for feeding the kitties i am a cat owner and i would do the same if i saw some strays :D

      • Vicky

        40 cats that do not have homes is 40 too many. While I do not believe harming animals (I have dogs) I also believe that by providing food for them, you are making the situatoin worse. I have had my gardens used as litter boxes, and my cars all scratched up from cats jumping on them trying to keep warm – and these are my neighbors pets. So please, stop feeding the wild animals. Ferrel cats are just that – WILD. Let them live on mice and such.

    • Eliana

      Why don’t you and your neighbours tnr the cats??? It’s inexpensive but there are no groups wealthy enough to do this-it’s YOUR responsibility to maintain the health and sanitation of your own neighbourhood. Sitting around pointing fingers at the origin of the problem does NOT fix it. You can do that after the cats are in control. Griping about the problem instead of doing anything about it is pretty lame. I didn’t point fingers when my area was over-run, I borrowed traps and tnr’d the cats at my own cost until the colony was completely under control. ALONE. & I didn’t waste time whinging about the problem. If I can, so can you. I’m not rich, it was very hard to pay all the spays and neuters. Since so many of you are griping about the cats, at least you won’t be stuck paying all the tnr yourself.

  • Black Cat

    These cats attack dogs? Please…give me a break. Kudos to the people who are getting these cats spayed and neutered with their own money. If no animal organization will help with the spay/neuters —please look for a low cost spay-neuter clinic in your area.

  • Mi

    First of all, its not the cats fault they are there. Its irresponsible owners who don’t spay/neuter, then decide they don’t want that adult cat any longer, when its no longer a cute fluffball kitten. If more people would take responsibility rather then throwing their animals out to breed and become feral, well cities/neighborhoods wouldn’t have these problems. I’m thankful that there are people out there that are willing to take care of these animals to the best of their ability.

  • Brenda Clark

    Check with for the Trap/Neuter/Return program. The coloney is already entrenched. The best bet is to keep them from reproducing. Kindness is in many forms and this is one of them.

    “Attacking dogs”. Oh, please. Dogs attack cats, not the other way around. Someone missed their biology/zoology class in High School?

    • Julia

      Actually they do…I live here…they are hungry, and SICK…maybe even rabies..only a vet know..nobody is taking them to fix them…its been going on for over 5 years…So, check out your science on what sickness in animals, especially rabies does to a brain…oh and if you want to help come help..

      • Black Cat

        Gee Julia—I saw the news last night and the cats looked to be in pretty good shape. Thank God Animal Friends has stepped up to the plate. As far as Sandra’s comment that they need to be indoors—they said on the news they were FERAL—do you know what that means?

    • fyou

      For one any animal can attack any other animal. I had a cat that attacked our neighbors doberman. Most of you cat lovers are the anti reptile people, yet fail to also notice the damage feral cats also do to native wildlife. You don’ have to take biology to know common sense.

      • Eliana

        Showing our ignorance, are we?

      • Maggie's colony

        Fyou: It’s encroaching civilization (that’s us) that is destroying native wildlife, not cats. Remove all the cats and you will have plenty of reptiles–snakes up your kazoo, not to mention rats and mice.
        Did you get a grant to trap ferals in Iraq or were you hunting terrorist or reptiles, its all so confusing. I’m so glad you have common sense to help guide the way.

  • Sandra

    There is no logical reason on earth why a cat that is a pet needs to be outside! A pet is one that stays inside and is taken care of – including going to the veterinarian yearly to get its vaccinations. And anyone that thinks cats cannot attack dogs is inane. Apparently they have never heard of feral cats or have seen what they can do.

    • fyou

      I totally agree, I was in Iraq dealing with feral cats, they are extremely dangerous. Capable of biting through the so called cat gloves. But alot of these people don’t understand logic. Just like a me having a pet snake, yes it doesn’t bite, but can it bite and the answer is yes.

      • Black Cat

        Why did you have on “cat gloves”? Were you trying to catch a feral cat? Well, then you deserve to be bit. I have never had a feral cat try to attack me—they hide from humans…they have never had contact with humans that is why they are “feral”. The only way I know to “catch” a feral cat is with a humane trap baited with tuna. A blanket or towel over the trap helps to keep the cat calm once he is trapped for transport to the local vets office.

  • Kristin

    I have a cat problem in my neighborhood. I bought a trap and I trap the cats and take them to the shelter. I understand that this requires some folks to take direct action rather than just complain. But if you want the problem resolved this is what you need to do.

    • Megan

      Well done Kristen on tackling a problem that few want to. I would rather those poor cats be put to sleep than eke out a living in misery like they do.

  • Megan

    Well done to those brave people who are trying to get them spayed. The extreme numbers of cats are a result of irresponsible people not spaying them. Sooner or later nature strikes back!

  • Kate

    I agree, Megan – people need to neuter or spay their animals! I can’t say I blame the ‘hoarder’ for feeding them. I can’t stand to see starving animals and I’ve fed strays too. I’ve also taken in their kittens, found them homes, and two of my three cats were strays that I found on the streets, now neutered and well taken care of. We’ve struggled financially before and it was hard to find the money sometimes but if you take in a pet, they are now a part of your family and need to be taken care of as such. There are places you can go for a low cost to no cost spay and neuter and there is no excuse for not doing it!

  • Kaiti

    Have you all not heard of TNR (Trap, Neuter, Release)? Contact the local Humane Society &/or vets, and see if they can help. Then you borrow some live traps, get the cats, get them neutered/spayed (low cost or free), they get their shots, and then they’re released.

  • Animal Lover


    I have a smaller, but similar problem in my neighborhood. I am an animal lover and I do feed the “strays and ferals”. A few of my neighbors pitched in and I got a humane animal trap from Animal Friends ($50.00, but refundable when returned) and made the appointment for Spay/Neuter. Animal Friends, Animal Rescue League, Humane Society and a few others do have “Trap, Neuter, Return” programs, which is fairly low cost. Check out any of their websites for this program. I paid $30.00, they spay or neuter; give a rabies shot, tattoo the belly (to show it has been altered), and crop the left ear. They also make sure the “kitty” is fairly healthy and get rid of flea infestation if necessary. Then you pick up the cat and release it back into the neighborhood in 24 hours after surgery. No more breeding and less territory fighting.

  • Debra J. White

    Most states have no laws like AZ where I live about free roaming cats. The fault lies with the owners who abandon the cats. If they’re not altered they breed. Cats can start to reproduce as young as four months of age. Spay and neuter your pets and then don’t abandon them. There won’t be a problem. This is entirely human caused.

  • meow

    i had a cat that ate a rat then ate mt hat then came to bat then this and that then got to fat then blah blah blah blah blah

    • Black Cat

      There’s one in every crowd.

  • Beth

    Cats Are domestic animals whether they are born in the wild or not. They are NOT wild animals even though they can exist as such. I believe we need to get all of these poor cats out of the wild and place in enclosures or humanely euthanize. A lot of you who believe it is OK to let these cats roam and kill wildlife are not upset about Canada Geese being slaughtered because they ‘poop’ all over the parks or raccoons trapped and killed because they cause a nusiance. These are wild animals not domestic ans as such have a place in the ecosystem. Humans made cats and dogs. We have to be responsible for our dogs biting and causing property damage it is about time we do the same for cats. BTW, I LOVE cats and have always rescued them and kept them indoors because I care about them and the damage they do.

  • manycats

    So much controvsary and so little knowledge. Maybe we should get an expert in to fix everything. I know someone who would love to stick her finger in this
    mess, as soon as she recovers from a bite would in Westmoreland Co. Be
    grateful you don’t have her help.
    BTW, there is a story about Adam and Eve and dogs and cats. Its the bottom line on what cats think of people.

  • dr michael

    Too many cats, I have the perfect solution. Lets just eat them, problem solved

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