WAYNESBURG – A rescue organization for feral cats in Waynesburg is under fire for operating outside Franklin Township zoning ordinances. Catnip Acres, located on Dark Hollow Road, has been in business at the address for several years, but recently residents were compelled to file a complaint with township officials when they say traffic increased after a part-time veterinarian was added to the business.
“That area is zoned R1 residential, which is the most restricted residential zoning. I received the complaint that someone is running an animal hospital out of there,” said Franklin Township Supervisor Steve Coss. “It will go in front of the zoning hearing board, and they will make a recommendation.”
Coss said the township office has received several calls from people on both sides of the issue. A public hearing on the matter will be held at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 27 at the Franklin Township office on Rolling Meadows Road.
Carol Pultorak, who owns and operates the nonprofit organization, could not be reached for comment Thursday evening. However, Pultorak placed the following statement on her website: “Catnip Acres has spayed and neutered over 10,000 cats in Greene County and there are many more that still need done. We are here to serve the pets of Greene County. We believe a show of concerned citizens showing up at the hearing will influence the decision.”
Pultorak goes on to ask supporters who cannot attend the hearing to either phone the township office or write a letter to the supervisors. An online petition was started by one of those supporters, who gave her name as Tammy J. on the site SignOn.org. As of Thursday evening, the petition had garnered 452 of 500 requested signatures. Pultorak added a link to the petition on the Catnip Acres Facebook page as well. Along with the signatures are comments from many who have taken cats to the organization who have expressed anger over the possibility of its closing.
Evidence will be presented at the Nov. 27 hearing, and a decision will be made to either uphold the notice of violation or grant special exceptions or variances.
“If the board upholds the notice of violation, (Pultorak) could appeal it to the Court of Common Pleas within 30 days of the hearing,” Coss said. “Right now, she is still operating. We did not feel it was anything that would be a safety issue to the public.”