Cats have been keeping Rome's ancient ruins company for decades, but soon they may be abandoned to grow sick and die in droves among the colosseums.
The legal opposition comes from archaeologists who fear the cats are suddenly destroying the site.
A volunteer-run association, the Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary cares for between 150 and 180 cats on any given day in a space set within a second century B.C. structure.
With the aid of benefactors, the sanctuary has spayed and neutered at least 20,000 cats over the past two decades. Volunteers also keep thousands of feral animals from ending up in the offices of overworked veterinarians, granting a great service to the city.
The shelter will be evicted if alternative plans preservation officials reach a compromise with the cat-loving public.
The sanctuary has become a part of the area's ancient cultural fabric. Tell archaeologist Fedora Filippi and the Italian Culture Ministry to compromise and not shut down the Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary!
Dear Fedora Filippi and the Italian Culture Ministry,
The Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary does a service to the entire area. Volunteers have kept cat populations under control and well taken care of, and in the process veterinarians have not had to take on the burden of even more stray animals.
Removing this sanctuary would be a disservice to the tourism side of the equation, as well. Without volunteers caring for the cats, tourists will continue to feed them; ridding the area of the sanctuary would not preserve the area so much as allow it to become a site full of sick animals.
While I understand your concern for preserving a site so rich in history, I hope you will consider weighing the cultural impact of the site as a modern whole - cats and all. I ask that you reach for a compromise that would allow for the care of both cats and archaeological sites.
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