Impending closure of feed company troubles cat advocates
By Jenn Watt
Published Jan. 9, 2018
The Great Haliburton Feed Company will be closing permanently at the end of February.
Relocated to a temporary location in the Beer Store plaza in Haliburton after a fire destroyed their previous Industrial Park Road shop three years ago, co-owners Charles McAleaney and Maureen Adams haven’t been able to find a location that suits their needs.
“We have to be out of here by the end of February because there’s a tenant coming in and our old building isn’t ready,” said Adams in an interview with the Echo. Other locations offered haven’t suited the specialized needs of the store. Adams said “a combination of things” led to the decision, which wasn’t made easily.
The feed company, which has been operating in Haliburton for 23 years, sells pet food and supplies, wildlife and farm feeds, and has also been the home for many abandoned animals – mostly stray cats.
As of Monday, there were 10 cats available for adoption at the feed company, including adult cats and kittens.
“I have several [cats] here that are still waiting for homes and people can come in [to see them]. That’s a major concern at the moment,” said Adams.
They’ve been receiving calls from people asking to drop off stray animals, McAleaney said. “I’ve refused them point blank.” With closure in the near future, he said he couldn’t be sure they’d adopt out all of the animals if they took more in.
Which poses a question for the community: without the feed company, where will unwanted pets be taken?
Paulmac’s Pets in Minden is one location stray cats could end up, but they’re full.
Woodlands Wildlife Sanctuary doesn’t take domesticated animals.
Don Kerr of Minden Cat Angels said when the feed company is gone, the issue of stray pets will likely become acute.
Their facility, which is on Kerr’s private property, can handle 20 cats at a time.
“We’re maxed out right now,” he said. “I just can’t take any.”
“At Minden Cat Angels we had all of the cats cleaned out of downtown Minden in May and since Thanksgiving there have been over a dozen kittens … with people dumping them off like luggage,” he said. The cats have been abandoned in public places, including the Foodland parking lot in Minden.
“The only solution to the problem is to get low-cost spay and neutering offered,” Kerr said.
He intends to speak to Minden Hills council about the issue.
Minden Cat Angels has taken in about 40 cats, adopting out about half of those, since it was established two years ago.
One unspayed female cat can produce about 12 kittens per year, according to the Feral and Abandoned Cat Society.
To adopt one of the feed company cats, visit their location at 33 Hops Drive in Haliburton or call 705-457-9775.