GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT) -- Kelly Cozzette has been taking care of a cat colony near 25 Road for nearly 16 years.
"I used to work at Vitamin Cottage and I would come out, leaving every day, and I would see a cat here and there and they always kind of came up to me so I just started feeding them,” Cozzette said. “That was about 16 years ago and I've fed them every day since.”
After that much time, you can imagine she’s grown pretty fond of them. That’s why she’s so upset that someone has been throwing out their food, their shelters and even stopping to threaten her.
"He said 'next week you're going to cry like a baby, so sorry for you to cry like a baby because all your cats are going to be dead,'” Cozzette said. “He said if you don't stop feeding the cats, you're going to wind up missing just like the cats."
She believed it was one of the business owners in the area. But business owners we talked to say they haven’t harmed the cats at all, but do admit they’re annoying.
One of the businesses told us the smell is unbearable, the cats have caused thousands of dollars of damage and they get run over in the alleys.
We did get our hands on the police report made after Cozzette says she was threatened. That report shows that the Grand Junction Police Department believes it may have been a man who was doing work outside of one of the businesses at the time, but didn’t believe that it was someone who owned one of those businesses.
Now, CLAWS is working to fix the problem for everyone involved.
"Bad things are happening to them and we're just trying to prevent the loss of life if we can help it,” Valerie Mazrin, CLAWS president, said.
They were out trapping the cats Tuesday with the hopes of relocating them for good.
"Once we catch them, we are going to take them back to our shelter and we will house them until we get them spayed and neutered and leukemia tested, those are our two biggest things,” Mazrin said. “As soon as we've done those things we will assess them if they can be gentled down for adoptions."
Even though Cozzette will have to change her routine a bit, overall, a win-win situation for all.
“They just act like, thank you, thank you for taking care of us,” Cozzette said. “If I could take them all home with me I would but I can’t, I just can't.”