Cat rescuer who thinks it best to euthanize feral cats rather than TNR them

This is a cat rescue organisation run by a lady in America where between January 1, 2011 and September 2016 1,782 cats were euthanized. The rescue organisation is called Project Cat and the person who created it and who runs it is a vegetarian whose name is Gail Mihocko.

Gail’s philosophy is the same as the philosophy of PETA. This is the philosophy which states that it is best to kill feral cats humanely rather than place them back from where they came having been neutered or spayed and vaccinated, to live their lives as best they can.

Gail’s philosophy opens up the debate about how to manage feral and stray cats. You can add to that community cats which are semi-feral or semi-domesticated cats living in the community.

Recently, Gail applied to the town of Rochester in Ulster County for a permit for her animal shelter which was granted. She applied late because she opened the shelter in 2002. Because she prefers to euthanise cats which she deems as being unadoptable, obtaining her shelter licence has opened a debate between TNR advocates and those who support killing feral cats. A lot of people disagree with Gail Mihocko.

There is a Facebook page entitled “Shut down the Cat Killing Project Cat”. It is dedicated to opposing the work of this non-profit organisation. People accuse Gail of trapping and euthanising indiscriminately resulting in some domesticated cats being euthanised. She denies this absolutely.

Gail believes that the only way of managing feral cats is to euthanize them. I think this attitude is out of step with the general objectives of cat rescue: to save lives. Interestingly, when you go to her website there is no reference to this philosophy. I believe that she should declare her attitude towards feral cats on her site. She’s fudging this.

Gill also believes that wildlife needs to be protected so one reason why she is euthanizing an extraordinary number of cats for a cat rescue organisation is because she wants to protect wildlife. Should that be her role as a cat rescuer?

Many people believe that simply removing feral cats from the environment by mass euthanasia or any other means is not the best way to deal with them. Also many people disagree that all feral cats live miserable lives. Many feral cats live perfectly acceptable lives sometimes as long as domestic cats.

The only way you can justify euthanising feral and stray cats is (a) to protect wildlife and (b) because you think that their lives are so miserable you want to save them from the misery and therefore killing them is a preferable outcome.

I tend to disagree with both of those reasons. It has not been proven conclusively and scientifically that predation by stray cats has had a massive impact upon wildlife as stated by ornithologists. Also feral cats are a human created “problem”. Is it moral to kill them en masse?

Respected Australian Scientist Admits the “Feral Cat Problem” is the Fault of Humans

Gail refused to say how many cats she takes into her shelter each year. She says that the number is irrelevant. She also won’t say how many of her rescue cats are adopted out but her website indicates that 28 have been adopted since August 2015. If that number is correct it is a very small figure compared to the 1,782 cats that she has euthanised over five years from 2011.

She says that many of the cats that she has euthanized tested positive for feline leukaemia and it appears that some of the cats that she has euthanised suffered from serious conditions judging by photographs.

By contrast, Ulster County SPCA state that they have euthanised 80 dogs and cats compared to her more than 2,000 cats over the past 10 years. The difference is stark. The SPCA say that they bring into their shelter 1,000 animals a year and euthanise under 10 of those animals.

Gail states that she often takes in cats from hoarding situations which the SPCA turn away. In defence, the SPCA state that this is untrue. They don’t turn away cats that have been hoarded it is simply that Project Cat gets there first.

Personally, I am surprised to read that a modern cat rescue organisation of this type (independent and private) has a philosophy which is the opposite to that of no-kill shelters. There is a gradual expansion of no-kill shelters in the USA. It is possible to achieve no-kill and it has been discussed often on the internet. It seems to me that a policy of mass euthanasia is a backward step in our relationship with feral and stray cats.

Reducing intake and speeding up adoptions are keys to no-kill shelters

Source: Daily Freeman News

Click to go to Project Cat – “Beyond just a cat shelter” – not sure what that means but it sounds rather sinister to me knowng that there is so many cat killings at the place.

Facebook Discussion


Cat rescuer who thinks it best to euthanize feral cats rather than TNR them — 23 Comments

  1. Remove feral cats only creates the vacuum effect – that generally results in an increased number of feral cats in the area that was cleared. The only way to really remove ferals is to remove the resource that attracts them into the area. Maintaining a colony of neutered ferals deters others from moving into the area.

    This woman evidently does not have a clue about feral cat behaviour or how to reduce the numbers.

    • Here is glaring proof of how, as cat-hoarders so often an……

      The rest is deleted because of its aggressive tone. If you want to write a comment do so politely and make your point succintly. I don’t want a nasty diatribe of verbal cr*p… (Admin)

      • I can’t accept the nasty aggressive tone of your comment so it has been deleted except for the opening words. I accept counterargument but hostility and nastiness. You are an unpleasant person. Stay away.

    • I have deleted the reply by the troll to your comment. It was way too aggressive and it was almost certainly Woodsman001.

    • Exactly, Sarah.
      This woman’s mindset is PETA all the way.
      If anyone has noticed, PETA isn’t in any limelight anymore. They are, fast, falling out of grace with their radical rantings.

  2. To put it bluntly she seems like an evil b****!! I think the world is tired of people like her what do you say we euthanize her ?

    • 🙂 She is definitely out of step with best modern practice. I think she genuinely believes that she is doing the right thing but she misses some important points.

  3. The video…..

    [Note from Admin: many thanks for linking to the video. I have deleted the link because it does not work properly. I did not embed the link in the article because far too often videos go dead because they are pulled. It just creates site management problems. Thanks for trying.]

  4. What if my fur baby got out by mistake and she trapped it and killed it,how does she have the right to decide.thats straight is a living life.

  5. She has assigned herself the task as a cat extermination service disguised as a rescue. 28 adoptions in 2 years. 300+ killed per year. How is that rescuing? Her priority is birds and wildlife and she is affiliated with bird conservation. And they love to blame cats as the reason for all bird deaths even though humans are the biggest contributor to habitat loss, poisoning, and dont’ forget trauma deaths. Windows kill more birds every year than anything else. If there is a cat outside their philosophy is that the cat is better off dead than suffering outside – regardless if it is actually suffering. They will say all the cats they kill are suffering and show horrible sick cat pictures. I’m sure some of them should be euthanized because they were indeed suffering but I also believe she is euthanizing cats that are doing just fine outside.

    • Yes, thanks Jennifer. As I said in the article she should not decide on euthanasia on the basis of trying to protect the cat’s natural prey. This is a false premise for a cat rescuer.

  6. One thing I never see addressed about TNR is the effect on wildlife that is not directly killed by cats. Raccoons, foxes, birds of prey, and many other animals depend on the prey that is diminished by unnaturally large communities of food subsidized mesopredators. Don’t the lives of these animals matter or should we just ignore their suffering because we favor cats? I love my cats and I can’t stand people who simply hate cats or don’t respect their lives, but I can’t justify elevating cat lives above all other animals just because of my emotions. Sometimes it seems that all I ever hear from TNR advocates are excuses, biased justifications and refusal to admit the slightest problem with that approach. I have no doubt that some feral cats have decent lives but I have a friend who lives near a large colony of barn cats and she often sees horrible suffering that she has no resources to deal with other than the gut-wrenching method of euthanasia with a shotgun. I think more effort should be put into finding ways to unequivocally reduce feral cat numbers. There will be tragedies for animals, seen and unseen, no matter what is done.

  7. Why stop there? What about babies who have been removed from their parents? Wouldn’t it be kinder to just kill them outright rather than make them suffer in foster homes? OBVIOUSLY I AM NOT SERIOUS HERE. I hope St. Francis is waiting for this woman when she dies and also that she has flameproof underwear….she’ll need it!

  8. I believe there is something very sinister & warped in the mind of someone who brands themselves as a cat rescuer but actually spends most of their time and resources on having the cats killed, especially when she does not have the funds to care properly for her own companion animals. The numbers of cats killed is shockingly high.

    I believe that people of the same beliefs as her have no place near any animal. I believe they are obsessed with the destruction of cats and their argument about protecting cat’s prey species is totally fallacious. I wonder how many subscriptions she has paid to songbird related organisations?

    I think that we need to have education about humane animal management on the curriculum of all schools, for all children, in every single country of the world. Trying to stop the tide of senseless killing, abuse, neglect & outright cruelty is impossible without it

    Big respect to ALL who support or are involved in TNR – it is the only way to humanely “deal” with feral cats.

  9. I think I want a franchise of that shelter in Florida, too many cat hoarding old ladys down here, cats always spraying on my cars and porch, I’d trap them myself and bring them in.

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