Swansea library cat causes controversy
SWANSEA, Mass. (WHDH) -- A cat in Swansea that lives at the town’s public library is causing controversy.
It's front page news in southeastern Massachusetts. A quiet, unassuming cat is causing big problems for at least one person in Swansea.
"It's a continuation of the handicapped accessibility platform I started in 2007," said Patrick Higgins, a Swansea resident.
Patrick Higgins says the library needs to make big changes to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act; changes like adding a ramp to the front entrance and taking down a fence in front of the gazebo in back -- but removing a cat?
"I'm not sure[what the ADA says about allergies], I'm still looking into that," Higgins said.
Patrons of the library wonder why this has become an issue all of a sudden.
"Penny's a part of the library -- always has been so it was just kind of upsetting," said Tanya Cowen.
"I've never checked out a book that had cat hair on it. It's never aggravated my allergies whatsoever," said Sara Lacroix, library patron.
But Higgins wants the cat gone. He is giving the library until Friday to get rid of it or he will file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division. Until then, a petition to keep the cat at the library is already filling up.
"A little cat is being used as a sacrificial lamb," said Linda Rapoza, a resident.
Penny the cat has been living at the Swansea Public Library for 14 years. She is the third in a string of cats that have called the library home for more than 30 years.