Community Notices

Sandy Pines insists it doesn’t trap and kill feral cats

The Sandy Pines Recreational Community in Salem Township is drawing fire from Facebook videos and photos that suggest a feral cat was caught in a metal trap and allowed to die.

The recreational park’s officials have indicated they and local authorities are looking into policies as to how feral cat populations are handled..

Allegan County Sheriff Frank Baker said someone found one of the traps used to deal with feral cat issues, “and it appears as though one of the cats inside that trap was deceased. And as a result of that, we began an investigation into what occurred.”


Baker said when the probe has been completed, the findings will be forwarded to the county prosecutor’s office for review.

Sandy Pines has insisted that charges of deliberaewly having the cat dies are not true.

In the prepared statement, officials said, “We fully understand the seriousness of these allegations and understand how the pictures being shared through social media, and improper assumptions being made, portrays Sandy Pines in a negative light. While we want to correct the record now, it is important for everyone to let law enforcement correct the record. If we were to disclose the actual evidence that has been obtained, it could compromise the ongoing investigation.”

The statement added that Sandy Pines public safety officers routinerly check all  traps, “thus it is highly unlikely this incident happened as it is alleged and as it is being portrayed. There are many factors at play which could affect the outcome of this investigation…

“While we welcome constructive conversation on this topic, we will not tolerate speculation, accusation, name calling and blame. We have a zero tolerance policy and such speculation and accusation…”

The statement asserted that results of this issue are in the hands of Allegan County officials, “and we are confident that the truth will win out.”


  • This issue is one that was fueled by emotion… First and foremost, many if not most people do not realize the massive problem of feral cats and dogs.
    This is due to the “dumping” of these animals in rural areas and the streets and alleys in cities. People feel if a pet is no longer wanted, just give it a ride and drop it off… instead of surrendering it to a shelter (which does have a fee in many areas for doing so). Do people realize how many of these feral pets die of starvation, or disease after being “dumped”?
    We can argue till the end of time about this cat’s death. The investigation should or could bring the answer. (if the cost of a true investigation is done). An educated guess would be a diseased or starving cat ended up being trapped and because of its poor condition died on one of those sub-zero nights. The feral pets that have survived the “dumping” are really not that easy to trap… here again not being an expert, but from experience usually those that one can catch are starving, sick, or recently “dumped” in the area.
    My final opinion on this issue is yes, an animal did die… but one does need to to some research on the organization that started this viral outcry. One may just find they are a “sister organization” to a very radical animal rights group… which on its own (some members of the group) was itself the cause of death to hundreds of animals in a farming operation by freeing animals that could not survive in the wild.
    Emotion overrides facts and truths when pets (especially cats and dogs) are involved. We have become a society where pets are treated with more concern than abused, homeless or mentally handicapped humans.
    The question one must ask — would the social media react with the same amount of outcry if a human was found frozen to death which does happen in these cold periods)?
    Sadly we know the answer… our “fur babies” rate higher than many humans.

    • No disrespect, but you are way of base with your educated guessing. Hop online and do some reading up on TNVR. Plug it into to your computer just like that “TNVR”. And as for slinging around the “Hate Group” factor, you probably should get your facts straight before you do your reporting. Your making a lot of conjectures, while scolding folks for doing the very same thing.

  • Nothing wrong with any private association using live traps to capture and remove feral cats and dogs from its grounds.

    The trouble arises when the people charged with setting and checking the traps fail to complete the job by driving to the county animal shelter where any animal that goes unclaimed is euthanized.
    But that involves extra cost that either the people contracted to set the traps don’t want to incur or the board of Sandy Pines has not put that extra cost into its budget that will end up costing Sandy Pines residents more in annual fees.

    • Well, sometimes doing the right thing may cost a little money. $25 dollars a member would trap and fix and return these cats. It is the responsible thing to do.

  • Yes, I think you do not know what TNR means and how humane that is. These animals that are trapped, neutered and returned and already in a cat community and they cannot be dropped somewhere else, that is where the “return” comes in. Return where they have already established shelter, food and water and a cat community. I did 80 plus TNR’s in 10 months last year. We have night video of these cats playing and enjoying their life. It is not an easy life, but if there are caregivers to provide food and a form of shelter, they are definitely safe and happy and not reproducing and within a few years they die naturally. People dump cats, believe me, I know. Those cats need to be TNR’d. One person can make a difference. I had no idea I could do that many cats myself with a friend. We raise 25 dollars here and there to get it done. Members could donate 25 and it would fix one cat. You are right, we can argue all day long. If that cat was sick or not (a presumption) – you do not trap in cold weather unless you check the traps every hour or so. They need to be educated at minimum. Animal cruelty.

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