Catfight: Residents battling to save community animals

CHAPIN, SC (WACH) -- Behind a Chapin Bi-Lo there's an area tucked away from public view, and it's home to a colony of cats residents know as the "Bi-Lo Cats."

When one of those residents found out about the cat colony, she took action.

I investigated it, went into a couple of shops and found people who were feeding the cats, and I also found they had not been spayed or neutered," said Pat Peterson.

Peterson is an animal activist that has previous experience with cat colonies, and getting large groups spayed and neutered.

She organized an effort to have the colony behind Bi-Lo spayed and neutered.

She says before this they were spayed and neutered they were a nuisance with breeding behaviors, and too many litters of kittens.

Now the cats stay to themselves away from customers back in a secluded area in the woods, that's why the community caretakers were suprised to hear that the property manager wants them removed.

Peters says even if the property manager has the cats removed other colonies will move in, which is called the vacuum effect.

Chapin has a huge feral cat problem,there's going to be new colony moving in without the benefit of spay and neuter or vaccination or people taking care of them. They're going to be exactly where they were 8 years ago." Said Peterson.

Wach Fox reached out to the property manager Kathy Edwards, who wants the cats removed by Friday.

The resident caretakers hope they can keep these cats in the only home they've ever known.