BY CASEY CROUCHER
Recorder News Staff
Donations to help alleviate Amsterdam's stray cat issues are welcomed at today's block party on East Main Street.
Ronco Construction, which is sponsoring the event titled "One Hail of a Party," went to organizer Sherri Crouse and asked if she could set up a block party for the city.
"Ronco wanted to do something nice for the city and give back to the community after all the hail damage that happened a few months ago," Crouse said.
She said the construction company told her that all of the money collected during the party could be donated to a charity of her choice in the city.
Crouse, with the help of the city's animal control officer Gina Kline, decided to create a spay/neuter fund.
"We figured since there's so many problems with stray animals in the city, and animal control only has a certain amount of money in the budget to help these issues, we wanted to put the donations into an account to take care of that," Crouse said.
Kline said the city has a very large stray cat population and the money would be used for trap, neuter/spay and release programs, and to find them homes.
She said she doesn't have a goal amount for donations since this is the first time anything like this has been done, but she said if the event raised $1,000, it would help immensely.
"Whatever we raise is more than we had before," she said.
Crouse said the money will come from the vendors at the block party who didn't pay a fee, but were asked for a donation instead.
Kline said one of the contributing factors to an overpopulation of stray cats in the city is the lack of education.
"People just don't know that there are programs out there that they can utilize that are significantly cheaper than the vet's offices when getting their animals fixed," she said. "But, they also take on these cute little kittens and they don't get them fixed and then they just open the door and let them out, so the population for cats just gets crazy."
She said stray cats have become a nuisance to city residents.
"I get calls daily about cats getting into garbage, and cats coming on to property freaking out dogs, or kids being allergic, or these cats are spreading fleas," she said. "Residents do not like it."
According to Kline, shelters are currently full of cats and it's difficult to get people to adopt when people on Facebook or Craig's List post ads and photos of kittens for free.
"Even if we work with the trap, neuter and release programs, at least the cats are going back into the environment fixed and vaccinated, cutting down the risk of rabies and more cats," she said.
Today's party goes from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
There will be drinks by Sharp Shooters, food by Dan's Backyard BBQ, farmers market vendors, a DJ, a live band, jewelry, face painting, spiritual readings and prize giveaways.
Contact Casey Croucher at casey.croucher@