Colony of cats living in abandoned Darien Outlet Center

A good deed has turned into a growing problem at Darien Outlet Center.
A good deed has turned into a growing problem at Darien Outlet Center.(WTOC)
Updated: Dec. 5, 2019 at 6:22 PM EST
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DARIEN, Ga. (WTOC) - A good deed has turned into a growing problem at Darien Outlet Center.

A colony of cats is now living in front of an antique shop and more are being abandoned there.

The owners of Southern Picker Antiques say the shop and its warehouse closed around three to four years ago.

But all of the stuff left behind is now becoming a home to almost 30 feral cats.

When Darien Outlet Center was still in business, we’re told the night guards would feed a few stray cats. And when the mall closed a few turned into many.

And that’s when the antique shop owners stepped in.

“I mistakenly, I guess, started feeding the cats because they were really hungry,” said James Allen, owner of Southern Picker Antiques.

We reached out to property management and a spokeswoman says quote, “Our on-site maintenance team asked the owners to stop feeding the cats.”

Allen tells me he was trying to do the right thing, but that heartfelt action has now turned into a difficult situation.

“This really has not been a good situation for us because we put out thousands of dollars feeding these cats,” he said.

Not only are the owners feeding the cats, but they’re also getting them neutered. Allen says the outside of his shop has become a dumping ground for people getting rid of un-neutered cats.

“People who drop their cats off here, they’re not doing their cats any favor because cats may not be getting fed regularly,” he said.

The owners say they have stopped feeding the cats, but unfortunately, the public will come by to feed them.

We spoke to McIntosh County Animal Services’s director. She says she knows about the cat colony but her hands are tied.

“I’ve gotten no official complaints from the property management and without that, there’s really not anything I could do," she said.

But there’s something that the public can do. The owners are asking people to not feed the cats anymore. And if you are looking to get rid of your cat or have it neutered, there are options in McIntosh County.

You can contact McIntosh Animal Services at 912.437.4242.

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