Several cat carcasses found near Churchill Downs as cat population in the neighborhood grows

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- In the last two weeks, Lisa Dages said she has found at least seven cats dead at locations she often feeds them near the intersection of M and South Fifth Streets near Churchill Downs.

Several of the cats, she said, may have been poisoned, and one was shot in the neck.

“It’s horrible," Dages said. "I just dread coming over here, because I just never know if there is going to be another body or a dead cat. If they are sick, I take care of them. I take them home if they can’t make it out here anymore.”

Dages said nearly 50 feral cats live in the two-block radius in the South Louisville neighborhood. She and her neighbors believe many of the cats arrive on horse trailers to the track and eventually make their way to the neighborhoods.

Most of the cats are already spayed or neutered then re-released with the help of the non-profit group Alley Cat Advocates.

“When a situation like this happens, sometimes there is a person who is not understanding that we are, indeed, there to try and control the population and to try and make the lives of these cats better,” said Karen Little of Alley Cat Advocates.

Some residents in the area have built shelters for the cats while Dages comes out at least twice a day to feed them at four different locations.

Louisville Metro Animal Services say they are aware of reports cat remains have been found and are launching an animal cruelty investigation.

“We really need those people to make calls," said LMAS spokesperson Teeya Barnes. "We will follow up with each and every person, and we’ll need to talk to each and every person to get to the bottom of this."

The neighborhoods around the track have the highest number of feral cat reports than any other part of Metro Louisville. It’s a large task to watch over them, but Dages hopes to continue to do so. In the meantime, she wants what she calls “senseless killings” to stop.

“They didn’t asked to be put here," she said. "People didn’t take care of them, and that is why they are here."

To report animal cruelty cases:

  • Louisville Metro Animal Services: 502-473-7387
  • Alley Cat Advocates: 502-634-8777
  • Kentucky Humane Society: 502-366-3355

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