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Rally to protest moving feral cat colony

Animal welfare advocates have planned a rally for Sunday to protest Hempstead Town’s decision to move a feral cat colony at Newbridge Road Park in Bellmore.

The protest, organized by the group Hope for Hempstead Shelter, will be held from noon to 3 p.m., on Sunrise Highway and Newbridge Road.

Animal welfare advocates plan to express support for colony caretakers Jennifer Jones and Joyce Christie, who have tended to the more than 30 cats for 12 years. The two retirees have spayed, neutered, vaccinated, fed, sheltered and monitored the colony at their own expense.

Town officials — citing the health and safety of the cats and park users — want to take down the makeshift shelters and relocate the feeding stations within the park in incremental steps, starting Tuesday.

Animal activists argued the cats are being put in danger of starvation by the town’s decision to move them, because the animals are very territorial and most likely will not move. The cats could wander more often throughout the park, seek shelter and food from other places, activists have said.

On Tuesday, Jones asked the town board to consider the well-being of the cats and stop the move, but the board did not respond.

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