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Businesswoman faces eviction after feeding feral cats

By Terri Parker, Investigative Reporter, tparker@wpbf.com
Published On: Dec 07 2012 04:56:42 AM HST

A small business owner said she's being evicted for feeding stray cats, so why is her landlord citing diseases in pregnant women?

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. -

Lisa Kelly received an eviction notice Saturday for her holistic women's health business The Red Tent.

The reason?

According to the eviction notice, her feeding of a feral cat colony at the Swinton Avenue address was creating a nuisance which violated her lease.

Kelly, who said she also captured the cats and spayed and neutered them, was devastated.

“This is my life's work and to be kicked out of here for feeding cats and doing the right thing?” Kelly said, adding that she's not the only one who feeds the strays.

"There is a secret underworld of cat feeders all over the county, feeding, literally, thousands of cats every night," she said.

Kelly said she's rented her colorful cottage from local developer Tom Worrell for three years. She said he notified her by letter in September to stop feeding the cats, and said he was going to hire a trapper. She said several cats were trapped and taken to Animal Care and Control, where they were euthanized.

After that, she said, ACC would call her whenever any of her chipped cats came in, and she would go adopt them and find them other homes. She said there is only one cat left, so she doesn't understand why she would be evicted now.

Worrell told WPBF 25 News that he did not order the traps, but that his property manager may have. He did say, however, that he does want the cats gone because they're a health hazard to all of his tenants.

"I don’t know exactly what she does there, but it has something to do with pregnant women," he said. "And diseases pregnant women get (from cats)? So it’s a health hazard."

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