You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

State park officials warn visitors not to feed cats

Animal lovers object to crackdown at Buck Creek.

Buck Creek State Park is teeming with so many cats and other wildlife that park officials have posted signs and beefed up patrols to warn people not to feed the animals.

But a local resident, along with members of the Cat Alliance Located in Central Ohio, are concerned about the welfare of abandoned and feral cats in the park that some members have cared for and fed for years.

“I say we will stop feeding them when they start keeping people from dropping animals off at the park. I believe they’re not doing their job in the best manner,” said Doug Wamer of Springfield. “I don’t think they have the right to say something to someone who is genuinely concerned about the welfare of these animals.”

Brad Copeland, central district law enforcement supervisor for the parks, said it’s illegal to feed animals or transport and drop off animals at state parks.

Violators can be charged with a misdemeanor and face fines, Copeland said.

“By no means do the state parks want to be cruel to these animals, but by removing the food, that’s going to cause these animals to move on,” Copeland said.

Wamer said he’s rescued three cats and frequently visits at least 13 cats at Buck Creek.

He said members of CALICO have spayed and neutered animals in the park and taken some to receive medical care.

Clark County Humane Society Director Jimmy Straley said feral cats are a big problem in Clark County and “open feeding” only makes the issue worse.

“You’re creating a breeding ground,” Straley said. “When you drop food, it’s going to attract anything that’s hungry: skunks, coyotes, wildlife.”

Straley said the humane society does not have the funding to spay and neuter every stray animal, and those who ignore laws against feeding them are a big part of the problem.

“The cat problem is something that cannot be solved tomorrow. We do as much as we can, but unfortunately people continue to feed them. They don’t realize that they’re contributing to the problem and that they’re not helping these cats,” Straley said.

Wamer said he agrees that feeding the cats attracts raccoons and other wildlife and is concerned those animals could scare or harm children who visit the park.

But he said he wants park officials to do more to reduce litter and stop those who abandon animals in the park.

“I don’t think it’s fair to enforce laws in regards to feeding them when they’re not enforcing laws about bringing pets into the parks and leaving them,” Wamer said. “They will start to starve to death, and they’ll get weak and sick. Since these pets are already there, let them live their lives out normally.”

Copeland said officials have stepped up patrols in the park and said violators will be cited.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Community News

Scientists in Texas closer to diabetes cure with unconventional treatment
Scientists in Texas closer to diabetes cure with unconventional treatment

Years of testing remain, but UT Health San Antonio researchers say they’ve cured Type 1 diabetes in mice. In peer-reviewed paper, they say a “gene transfer” can “wake up” cells in the pancreas to produce insulin. Health researchers at the University of Texas think they have found a way to trick the body into curing Type...
Nintendo Switch emulator: It’s a scam, feds say
Nintendo Switch emulator: It’s a scam, feds say

Don’t slip on this banana peel, federal officials say; there is no Nintendo Switch emulator on which you can run Switch games on your desktop. “It’s a scam,” said the Federal Trade Commission. Online ads may come with Nintendo branding, but when you try to download an emulator, it can install nasty things such as phony...
Florida Fish and Wildlife searches for monkey on the loose 
Florida Fish and Wildlife searches for monkey on the loose 

Officers with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission are searching for a monkey that was spotted several times in Apopka.  FWC officials said it appears to be a rhesus macaque that likely came from the Silver Springs, Florida, area.  Officials are warning residents not to approach the monkey because it could charge toward people...
East Liberty research center expands, draws visit from Trump official
East Liberty research center expands, draws visit from Trump official

The Transportation Research Center in East Liberty is testing state of the art technology and expanding, adding new facilities that could mean more jobs, and the federal government is taking note. U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao toured the center on Monday with U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, where she learned how workers at the facility are...
Fiona the hippo turns 3 months old
Fiona the hippo turns 3 months old

Fiona — the world’s favorite prematurely born hippopotamus — turned 3 months old Monday. The early days of cuddling the tiny, fragile hippo are long gone, Jenna Wingate, the Cincinnati Zoo’s Africa keeper, told our media partner WCPO. Here are three updates about Fiona that Wingate shared with WCPO: 1. The ‘dung shower&rsquo...
More Stories