Ralston resident Deb Glazebrook and a group of fellow feline lovers have taken it upon themselves to look after the city’s feral cat colonies.
The group visits the colonies in places like Ralston Park near 84th Street and Park Drive to provide food and water. They also trap the cats, get them spayed or neutered, and vaccinate them — actions they say help control the feral population — and return them to the wild.
“Every day that I am there, somebody comes up and says how much they enjoy these cats,” Glazebrook told the City Council.
Lately, the group has been playing a game of cat and mouse with at least one resident, Terry Ryan. Concerned that the cats would attract wild animals and may be dangerous to domesticated pets, Ryan has been throwing away the food and filling in paths the animals use to get into the park.
The cat fight came to a head Tuesday at the Ralston City Council meeting.
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It isn’t illegal for Ralston citizens to feed stray or feral cats, said Mark Klinker, city attorney. Because of Tuesday’s discussion, the city will look at patterning an ordinance after the one in Omaha, where people are allowed to trap, neuter and release cats.
Ryan told the council he “probably started this whole mess” one Sunday in December when he saw a group of cats and a raccoon eating cat food in Ralston Park. He threw away the food, but each day he found more, and the cycle continued.
Once, when the ground was covered in snow, Ryan said, he saw people digging trenches to allow the cats to get under a fence separating the park from nearby railroad tracks, so he began filling the spaces with snow.
“My problem is you got kids running around the park, and there’s all these cats running around. Maybe they don’t have rabies, maybe they don’t have any diseases, but who’s to know?” Ryan asked.
Glazebrook said the Ralston Park colony is one of five colonies that her group tends. About a dozen cats lived in the park’s colony a year ago, she said, and today it’s down to about six. The decrease is the result of the spaying, neutering and vaccinating, she said.
The animals in Ralston are at risk of being picked up by the Nebraska Humane Society. After receiving complaints about the Ralston Park feral cats, the Humane Society set traps that were unsuccessful, said Kelli Brown, director of field operations for the society. People interfered with the traps, she said.
Brown said it isn’t clear how many feral cats are in Ralston, or how many may carry disease. “They’re secretive little critters,” she said.
After listening to discussion, Ryan’s daughter, Shay, said she was reassured to hear that the cats were being vaccinated.
Ali O’Connor, who also takes care of Ralston’s community cats, said simply taking the cats off the streets and euthanizing them doesn’t solve the problem because new cats will take their place. By spaying or neutering the territorial animals and releasing them, the population will dip.
“We are not crazy cat ladies,” O’Connor said. “There is sound … reason to what we do.”
Mayor Don Groesser ended the discussion by directing Klinker, the city attorney, to work with the Humane Society to draft an ordinance to be presented to council. Klinker said it would likely mirror Omaha’s ordinance.
Caliber, a 6-year-old Doberman, is on a never-ending hunt for the elusive squirrels in owner Amy Oetter’s backyard. Caliber is brothers with former Pet of the Week winner Copper and K-9 Unit of the Week Tye.
Caliber was named the Week 43 Pet of the Week!
Tuna, the dog, is afraid of Yam Yam, the cat. The pets, owned by Lisa Ong in downtown Omaha, are positioned accordingly.
Stevie Ray Vaughan, an almost 5-year-old Bloodhound, is owned by Matt and Shayna Ray in Omaha. Stevie’s bark is famous in the Candlewood Neighborhood, and he loves nipping rumps.
Patches, the cat, loves to take daily afternoon naps with his human brother. Owner Shelby Lanning posts the daily Patches photos to Facebook. Patches also always greets his owner at the front door when they return home, and follows all of his humans into the bathroom every time.
Mato, bottom, isn’t sure she enjoys sharing the sun with her new brother. The duo is owned by Chrissy Frost in Omaha.
Margo, a French Bulldog who belongs to Dan and Vinessa Schwalm of Omaha, likes snow, hoodie weather and pestering her brother, Murph, another French Bulldog.
Luna, owned by Sara Buelt, is a big fan of Halloween (maybe).
Kobe, owned by David Dalton in eastern Iowa, will always be a supporter of Scott Frost and the Huskers. You can even hear a bit of “GBR” in his bark.
Griffey, owned by Jon Ringblom in Fremont, loves smiling and chewing on everything.
Daisy, left, and Hank, owned by Ellie Phillips in Omaha, are both certified therapy dogs. They visit libraries, nursing homes and local groups in the community.
Chapel a 12-year-old rescue cat from Plattsmouth Animal Shelter, enjoys basking in a sunny window, lazy afternoons on the deck and cuddling with his human companion. Chapel is owned by Lesley Jimerson of Omaha.
Follow @OWHPetParade on Twitter for more pet pictures and pet-related news from the Omaha area.
Sheep, squirrels, cows, salmon — it doesn’t matter, Topaz will try to herd it. The one-year-old blue heeler is owned by Dallas Van Stratten.
Pixie, who calls North Platte home after being adopted from the Nebraska Humane Society, came to Nebraska from St. Croix after the hurricanes last year.
I wouldn’t call Honey a party pooper, but the puppy is sure pooped out after a party. Honey is owned by Sarah Ferguson.
Honey was named the Week 42 Pet of the Week.
Harley, a blue heeler and mini Australian shepherd mix, is a 2-year-old owned by Crystal.
Franklin, owned by Linda Castagnoli in Omaha, was clearly very interested in looking out the window.
Frankel is excellent at the downward dog pose. Frankel is owned by Chrissy in Omaha.
Anna, a barn cat in Fort Calhoun, gets a very cozy bed with a heat lamp. To earn her keep, she ensures the barn is rodent free. She is owned by Lisa Van Stratten.
Bosley is a 13-year-old unicorn from Waterloo, owned by Dana.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Turtles in a half-shell. Turtle power. Cinderella, Digsby, Simba and Kiki are owned by Tina Acosta.
The turtles were named the special edition Pets of the Week.
Max, a bear-dog hybrid, has attitude and talks back when he doesn’t get his way. He’s full of personality, owner Kirsten says.
Beep, boop, bark. Moe, dressed as arf2-D2, will do anything to help owner Molly Cavalieri.
Put your paws up! There’s a new sheriff …er… schnauzer in town. Russell, owned by Keli Margritz in Aurora, loves dressing up.
Bentley, who lives in Omaha with owner Jon Dosik, has climbed 14 of Colorado’s 14ers — mountains with peaks over 14,000 feet above sea level.
Jake, who lives with owner Lisa Van Stratten, is a 5-year-old Labrador retriever who loves to swim, play Frisbee, and chase anything that flies — including low-flying airplanes.
Margo, a 2-year-old golden retriever who lives with owner Brook Linderman in Gretna, loves blow dryers — even when she’s not wet.
Rex, a 2-year-old shiba inu who lives with owner Kristie Kuo, loves kids and chasing rabbits. His favorite food is smoked salmon. Rex was named the Week 40 Pet of the Week.
Annie and Bear think they’re lap dogs and belong on the couch. They live with the Pick family in Bennington.
Brevik loved to cuddle and sleep on his purple blanket when he was a puppy. He lives with owner Kurt Brown.
Copper is the “deadbeat” brother of Omaha Police K-9 Tye. He lives with owner Amy Oetter.
Copper was named the Week 39 Omaha World-Herald Pet of the Week!
Larry likes to snuggle and suck on owner Jay Lagge’s Dallas Cowboys blanket. We’re not sure what that means about his feelings toward the Dallas Cowboys.
Among Coco’s favorite activities are chasing toy fish on a string and sprinting through the house toward her cat tree, then nonchalantly lying down as if nothing happened.
This is Greta, a Boston terrier. According to owner Stephanie Snell, this picture is what “crazy happy” looks like.
Greta was named the Week 38 Pet of the Week!
Even though Pearl is 11 years old, owners Lauren and Bob Walker of Omaha say she’s still a frisky kitty. She likes to “hide” in the tub during play time, or when she’s had enough of her humans brushing her.
Riley, who lives with Adrienne Strode in Lincoln, was rescued from the Nebraska Humane Society in Omaha.
Jax’s owner, Angie Kolvek, says Jax is a “lazy little sack of bones,” but if he wants a treat, he’s willing to give out high fives.
Lilly was rescued from a dog mill about five years ago, her owner Tammy Janzen says, and while she may have had a rough start to life “she’s is the absolute sweetest dog, and only has eyes for me.”
Luna and Makemake hopped into our DMs on Twitter, then straight into our hearts. They live with owner Sara Meehan.
Sam Adams is a 2 1/2-year-old Boston terrier/Frenchie mix who is ready to win over Omaha with his adorable head tilt, owners Carly and Jon Tefft say. His coloring makes him look like he’s always wearing a tux, so he’s always ready for a fancy affair.
Sam Adams was named the Week 37 Pet of the Week!
Leroy Lankins’ favorite things are America and catnip, owner Kylie Strode says.
Marlie and Madi, a pair of pulis with Canadian showdog lineage, live with owners Brook and Bruce Aken in Omaha.
Stephanie Halstead says her funny and playful kitten Rory loves to cuddle.
Murphy, who lives with owner Anna Carnazzo in Papillion, enjoys running through screen doors and sneaking up onto the bed.
Tucker, who lives with owner Staci Dannenberg, loves bananas.
Tucker was named the Week 36 Pet of the Week!
Apache, stunning in a yellow raincoat and matching boots, loves swimming. Apache’s favorite pastime is removing pillows from couches and beds and relocating them to the floor.
This is Brix, but you can call him Dr. Brix. A certified therapy dog, Brix goes to school with his owner, a sixth grade teacher at Mockingbird Elementary in Ralston, three times a week. He even has his own school badge.
Mikey loves the Huskers, the Cowboys and sleeping. Go figure.
Penny, also known as Penny Loafer, entertains her owners by blowing bubbles in her water bowl.
Penny was named the Week 34 Pet of the Week!
Winston loves the outdoors, playing fetch, chewing on shoes and, of course, cake. This energetic pup is a social butterfly and even has his own Instagram account.
Bilbo and Pearl have accomplished what very few siblings can: take a photo in which both are smiling and neither have their eyes closed.
Chester, who celebrated his 12th birthday on Sept. 1, loves pizza (who doesn’t?) and will do anything for pets (same).
You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but you can apparently teach a young cat an old favorite. Kaddie, a 7-month-old kitty, knows how to play fetch.
Spike’s owner says there’s “never a dull moment with this little guy.” He’s king of toys — and, apparently, the couch.
Woolly Bear, a floof of a guinea pig recently adopted from Town and Country Humane Society in Papillion, enjoys cucumbers, peppers and cilantro.
“I think, just for tonight, we should switch sleeping spots.” Bandit is owned by Carol Meduna.
Charlie, a chinchilla, can be seen chinchilling in this southwest Omaha apartment. He loves watching Husker highlights and looking out the window. He’s owned by Andrew Constans.
Diesel was beaten as a puppy until being rescued by Denise Bradshaw. The love bug pug is regarded as a “silly clown.”
Sheldon O. Cooper, seen here posing for senior portraits, is a long-haired ginger tabby that loves watching National Geographic Wild with owner Mary Vedder in Bellevue.
Sheldon was named the Week 32 Pet of the Week!
Zazzles never fails to dazzle. He’s regarded as a strong high jumper and a champion fly catcher, according to owner Mary Vedder in Bellevue — who defines her feline as “zazzy.”
Gall bladders. Who needs ’em? Not Ayberk. This Turkish van cat does’t have one.
Banner takes after his namesake, Dr. Robert Bruce Banner (the Incredible Hulk) — he’s very smart, but sometimes his crazy side takes over.
Duke’s owners have spent hundreds of dollars on different beds for this big ol’ pupper, but Duke’s favorite is the king-sized human kind.
Guess what day it is! For this pair of rescued camels, it’s always hump day. Zebediah and Nyles live at Scatter Joy Acres in Omaha, where Zeb is known for his hump day walkabouts.
Zeb and Nyles were named the Week 31 Pet of the Week!
Flirty Ryu loves to say hi to the ladies. With those eyes, how could anyone turn him down?
Omahan Bailee has dozens of toys, owner Ann Nichols says, but she only plays with her little ball — which she carries with her everywhere.
Ann Nichols says her “grand-kittens” Boji and Barefoot, a pair of 10-week-old kittens from Papillion, love chasing Matchbox cars.
Boji and Barefoot wer voted the Week 30 Omaha World-Herald Pets of the Week.
Omahans Casey and Lizzie are both Nebraska Humane Society alums. Owner Ginny Dignoti says Casey is a happy-go-lucky guy, and Lizzie is truly a gentle giant at 140 pounds.
Messi enjoys walks in the park, chasing squirrels and playing with his soccer ball. He lives with owner Daniel Diaz.
Dogs aren’t the only pets who like walks and car rides. Paul the bearded dragon loves the outdoors, owner Ryleigh Kaiser says.
Baron is a 6-month-old German shepherd from Belgrade, Nebraska. Owner Robert Short says he’s playful, talkative, and loved by everyone he meets.
You know you live in Nebraska when your dog “throws the bones.” Charlie, a 12-year-old Alaskan malamute, lives with owner Amanda Urban and is apparently a dedicated Husker fan.
Cooper, a 2-year-old English bulldog, was adopted from the humane society when he was a pup. He lives with owner Cindy Workman.
Cooper was voted the Week 29 Omaha World-Herald Pet of the Week.
Georgie loves walks around downtown Omaha, an occasional stroller ride, French fries and naps with her favorite human, presumably pictured above. She lives with owner Jamie Puls.
Sophie, a 15-week-old Siberian forest cat from Omaha, loves feathers and sardines. Owner Alexandra Hoffman says Siberian cats are hypoallergenic, but with a face like Sophie’s, who cares about allergies?
Bilbo, a 3-year-old Portuguese water dog from Omaha, lives up to his aquatic heritage. Owner Shannon Hire says his favorite activities include lying in wading pools with his head sticking out of the water.
Finnegan, an 80-pound lab-retriever mix from Papillion, loves tennis balls. Owner Adam Levesque says Finnegan’s “sole purpose in life is to catch the balls for the sole purpose of destroying them.” On second thought, maybe Finnegan doesn’t love tennis balls after all.
Finnegan was voted the Week 28 Omaha World-Herald Pet of the Week.
Jynx, a Manx cat from Butte La Rose, Lousiana, doesn’t drag her tail on her many travels with owner Julie Kae Mills — probably because she was born without one.
Owen, who lives in Omaha, has a special talent and incredible patience. Owner Liz Davenport says he loves to set his ball at the top of the stairs and roll it, step by step, to the bottom.
Rocco, left, enjoys boat rides on the lake with his new sister, Bailey, a rescue from Minnesota. The pair of party animals live with owner Jake Heiman.
Bow is described as “always a happy boy,’ by owner Mariana Juarez. The picture seems to back up the statement.
Omaha native Chewy, a 3-year-old English Mastiff, loves jumping on the trampoline and showing off on his Instagram. He’s owned by Gabby Push.
Humphrey native Dubs, a mini golden doodle who loves playing in the water, owner Joe Hesse says. He’s also an excellent watchdog.
Otto only does tricks when he wants attention. So who is really being tricked? The Omaha native is owned by Jeff Epperly.
Otto was voted the Week 27 Omaha World-Herald Pet of the Week.
Sookie is naturally very loving, as she was born on Valentine’s Day. She is owned by Jaclyn Pitt in Omaha.
Is this dog in an office? Omaha World-Herald bosses, please make this a thing. Tank is owned by Paula Harris.
Riley started his life as a stray in Omaha until adopted by Jodi Hoatson from the Nebraska Humane Society. Hoatson told NHS that he would have the “life of Riley” if she adopted him. They both agreed that would be a great name and the rest is history.
Omaha native Quin loves to go for rides in her car seat. She’s owned by Tom and Jackie Mayhan.
Hailey and Zoey, owned by Trevor Lickteig in Bellevue, just became big sisters to a baby boy.
Cooper feels a lot like we do at the Omaha Storm Chasers’ Bark in the Park. Not only does he get to watch a baseball game, but what beats a 25-cent hot dog?
Cooper was named the Week 26 Pet of the Week.
“Say, have you ever thought about getting a larger pool?” Digsby, Simba and Cinderella are owned by Tina Acosta.
Toby, a Rhodesian Ridgeback mix, lets his family, the Elsessers, live with him in Papillion. He loves eating popcorn with his dad and going to work with his mom.
Turtle, a dog, and Faun, also a dog, were rescued by Joel and Aristine Smith in Omaha. Turtle was saved from a dog-fighting ring, while Faun struggled with starvation and illness. Both have grown up to be loving pets.
“This is how chairs work, right?” Cooper, a five-month-old Pomeranian, is owned by Julie Jones.
There’s probably a country song to be referenced here. Leo, owned by Megan Assmann in Fremont, loves Jeep rides with the top off.
Annabeth, left, and Thalia are named from the book “The Lightning Thief.” Their favorite activity is watching birds, bunnies and owner Anita Ducey out of the window in their Lincoln home.
Annabeth and Thalia were named the Week 24 Pet of the Week.
Donald and Bailey, neighbors in Omaha, show their bond by watching each other through windows and barking back and forth.
Sometimes it takes getting a little lost to find your true home, as is the case with Lincoln native Midnight. Owner Katie Duff decided one morning she wanted a dog, wandered into Capitol Humane Society and found Midnight, who was then a lost puppy.
Quit monkeying around! Chloe, a one-year-old English Springer Spaniel, is owned by Mary Langenfeld in Bellevue.
Snoop loves all things gardens, even if its helping owner Margaret Rosman of Omaha tidy up flowers at the family plot in preparation for Memorial Day. Snoop is described as a dedicated companion who is always by his owner’s side.
Roger, owned by Danielle Eckert in Omaha, is an energetic guy who loves meeting new people and animals, and is also very protective of his owner when others get close.
“If you make eye contact, you give me a treat.” Emmy Rose is owned by Karen Degeorge.
Phoebe, owned by the Stem family in Omaha, is a Pyranees-Border Collie mix rescued from Texas. She loves chasing squirrels and eating pizza crust.
Phoebe was named the Week 22 Pet of the Week!
Myrtle and I have plenty in common. She is a feisty reptile who enjoys eating shrimp, biting and showing off long, slender legs while simultaneously appearing completely uninterested in anything that might be said to her. OK, maybe not that much in common. I am very interested in what you have to say.
Snots, a 3-year-old beagle from Leigh, is owned by Cole Fisher.
Snots was named the Week 21 Pet of the Week!
Why couldn’t the pony yell? Because it was a little hoarse. Vee, a regular-sized horse, loves to eat bananas, and is owned by Lisa Van Stratten in Fort Calhoun.
Vee was named the Week 20 Pet of the Week!
“Look at me. I’m Leonardo DiCaprio in ‘The Revenant.’ ” Copper, owned by Lacey and Chris Kincaid in Omaha, loves jumping off the arms of furniture and right on top of the other two dogs.
Copper was named the Week 13 Pet of the Week.
Which of these three dogs is not a statue? Darcy is the cutest Frenchie in Omaha per her owners Joshua and Madeline Howell.
Brevik, near, and Augie love to go on the boat, but they always stay alert. The duo is owned by Kurt Brown.
Presley, left, and Penny are always together, even when sleeping through owner Derek’s percussion practice.
Ben’s favorite game is tug-of-war with his 35-pound friend, which consists of him laying on the ground while the opponent pulls with all his might and Ben doesn’t budge. He’s owned by Sarah Morris in Omaha.
Ben was named the Week 12 Pet of the Week.
Snow Petunia, sporting some corrective lenses, is a low-key queen of her Omaha household owned by Sydney Kellen. She loves to cuddle from time to time and also enjoys playing with yarn.
Snow Petunia was named the Week 11 Pet of the Week.
At one point, Luci had a fish friend in this tank. Unfortunately, Luci murdered the fish. Luci is short for Lucifer, according to owner Ella Knight in Omaha.
Future WWE superstars Sophie and Charlie are small but pack a punch. Owner Kim Lynch says they sound like a herd of elephants running through the house.
Brutus, a Southwest Omaha native owned by Phillip Schmidt, loves playing tug-of-war. He has yet to be convinced he is a dog.
Brutus was named the Week 10 Pet of the Week.
Lokai, cared for by Jennifer Hillman in Castana, Iowa, loves to rest peacefully on her owner’s face at 2 a.m.
High-jumping Lando, born May the 4th, appropriately has a Star Wars-themed name. He’s owned by Stephanie Burkholder in Omaha and loves every creature he comes across.
“Ice cream, Lieutenant Dan!” Forrest Stump, on his back, and Lieutenant Dan — members of the Omaha Corgi Crew — love chasing each other, stealing food and meeting new humans.
Forrest and Dan were named the Week 15 Pet of the Week!
In a galaxy far, far away, Wolfy perches atop the couch. He’s owned by Holden and Shawnee Armstrong in Lincoln.
Wolfy was named the Week 16 Pet of the Week.
Bruce, seen her being eaten by a shark, will make anyone near him pet him, is training to be an emotional support dog and loves to howl. He’s owned by Emily Suhr in Omaha.
Bruce was named the Week 17 Pet of the Week.
Maggie, a golden retriever, helped fill the “empty nest” of owners Todd and Mary Johnson of Omaha. She’s pictured cuddling with her best pal, Carl.
Maggie was named the Week 19 Pet of the Week!
“Do you frolf, bro?” Hallie is a 12-year-old lab who loves to play Frisbee with owner Bobette Lerner in Omaha.
Hallie was named the Week 23 Pet of the Week!