Austin man working to decrease stray cat population faces setback

An Austin man said he has been working to bring down the feral cat population for more than a decade, but now a new property owner has banned him from feeding cats there and he worries that will cause a cat population spike in the neighborhood.

For the last decade, Delwin Goss has been feeding stray cats in Southeast Austin.

“When my car pulls up, they all come out running,” Goss said.

His relationship with the felines isn't just about making new furry friends.

“For the last 11 years, I have been trapping cats, getting them spayed and neutered, and providing a minimum amount of health care to them and feeding them every day,” said Goss, 

He started the project when former Austin Animal Center Director Dorinda Pulliam asked him to visit Frontier Valley Mobile Home Park to get an idea how bad the feral cat problem had become there. Goss said he found about 400 cats there. That’s when Pulliam had a proposition for him.

“If you're willing to take this project on, if you're willing to work with other people, do some spay/neuter initiatives on that property, go out and trap those cats, take them into Emancipet, I'll set up an account at Emancipet and the city will pay for these spay/neuters,” Goss said. 

Delwin gladly accepted the offer and his hard work seemed to be paying off.

“The colony has dropped from over 400 cats to about 125,” said Goss. 

But Goss said a new owner at Frontier Valley doesn't like the way he operates.

“I've been thrown off the property and told if I ever come back they'll press trespassing charges against me,” Goss said.

FOX 7 tried to contact the property owner, but he hung up without making any comment.

Goss said the owner thinks feeding the cats is drawing them to the area, but he said without scheduled meal times trapping a stray cat becomes nearly impossible.

“You need for them to come out. If you don't feed them, they don't come out,” said Goss. 

Delwin worries that if he stops the cat management program the population will spike again and a less humane method may be used to deal with it.