Costa Mesa residents working to rescue stray cats living on abandoned property

David González Image
Wednesday, September 13, 2023
Vacant property in Costa Mesa becomes home to feral cats
A vacant property in Costa Mesa has become home to dozens of feral cats and some residents are concerned about what will happen to the animals if the property is developed.

COSTA MESA, Calif. (KABC) -- For two and a half weeks Megan Robison and TJ Kelley have made it their mission to catch all the stray cats living on a property on 20th Street in Costa Mesa.

"We come out in the evening because that's when they mostly like to come out, and we set the traps," Robison said. "We put the food in there, they walk in, the trap closes and then we take them over to the vet."

She said the property has been neglected for years and has become home to an unknown number of cats and kittens.

"I had heard about it on NextDoor," Robison said. "We drove by to check it out and we couldn't believe what we were seeing."

"They've clearly been living outside for a long time. You can tell they're infested with fleas," Kelley said. "The property is absolutely filthy. We don't know how socialized they're are."

So far the women have caught nearly a dozen cats.

They're afraid the home will be torn down now that the land has been sold.

Robison said, "We could trap them and then call them. The concern was that even code enforcement stated that they were just feral cats and that feral cats would be put down. So our concern was, did these cats even have a chance?"

The city of Costa Mesa said no demolition of the home has been approved.

City officials said traps have been set to secure and transfer the cats to a safe location.

They said animal control officers visit this site daily and are working to resolve the issue.

However, Kelley and Robison said the city isn't doing enough to address the problem.

"It's clear that they failed. They didn't hold the homeowners accountable. They didn't try to responsibly trap these animals themselves or reach out to other rescue organizations that could have helped," Kelley said.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to get the animals the care and treatment they need.

The next step in their efforts is finding homes for these animals as well as making sure that they're spayed and neutered.