Miami, Florida 2020-10-07 08:00:00 –
Arlene Bercun has been feeding cats in nearby parks for over a decade. However, due to recent discussions with county officials, she was temporarily expelled from her property on threat of arrest.
74-year-old Bergun, who lives in North Miami Beach, has been visiting Greynolds Park since he was four.She tells New Times She started feeding cats about 10 years ago after taking her abandoned kittens home in the park.
“I kept watching hungry cats appear in the park, so I started feeding. When they knew me, I put them in my career and took them to the Animal Welfare Association.” Says Bercun.
Bercun says he adopted a few cats from Greynolds Park and found his family adopting other cats. If the cat could not be kept in the wild, she castrated the cat, castrated it, took it back to the park, and fed it regularly there. She says that there are now only about four stray cats living in the park.
When the COVID-19 pandemic began, parks throughout the county, including Greynolds, were closed. However, no one was feeding the cats, so Bergun still came to feed the cats. She says a park employee she knows only when Chris begins to tell her she can’t be there.
“He pulled up and said he couldn’t feed the cat anymore. He said he was going to call a policeman,” Bergun said. “Some of those cats are 10 years old. They are like my baby.”
On August 25, Bercun recorded a video of an employee telling him that he was breaching in the park, was warned of breaching, and could be arrested if he returned.
Despite the warning, the addict continued to sneak into the park to feed the cat. However, on September 20, Bercun says he found the car blocked by golf carts and police cars. A Miami-Dade police officer warned her of a breach and Bergun was barred from returning.
Park Bureau spokesman says New Times Bercun has been warned for violating the provisions of county law prohibiting feeding native or exotic animals in county parks.
The news of Bercun’s expulsion spread rapidly through Facebook’s cat advocacy group, gaining nearly 800 shares in a single post.
The post included a photo of a park employee saying he would be arrested when he returned to Bergun, and a photo of a cat who called Smokey, who looks malnourished and ill. Bergun says he tried to catch Smoky before it was banned so that he could be treated for the cat, but he wasn’t.
Bercun says social media attention has prompted people across the United States to call, expressing concern about the safety of stray cats and anger at her being expelled from public parks.
“My purpose is to go to a park that I’ve been doing for 70 years. I wish I could go there to feed the cats. Others scare the cats,” Bercun said. say. “I want to see them arrest me for trying to feed the hungry cats.”
According to MDPD spokesman Alvaro Zabaleta, news of Bercun’s situation drew the attention of Major Thomas Buchanan of the Miami-Dade Police Department, who withdrew the warning of trespassing.
“Major Buchanan knew what had happened and knew that the cat was facing nutritional problems. In light of that, Major Buchanan felt that cat health was more important and broke in. We have withdrawn the order, “explains Zavaleta. New Times.
Bercun and her lawyer, Lauren Turner, will still meet with the county park staff.
Bercun says he wants something in writing that he can legally feed cats without harassment. She also wants the county to change the law so that cats in other parks can be saved from hunger.
“It’s not just me — it’s a county-wide issue,” continues Bercun. “Dade County Parks Andrek gives no junk about cats.”