Couple appeal against conviction for feeding feral cats

AUGUSTA, Kansas, USA: In June, an Augusta couple were found guilty of the crime of feeding and watering feral cats (Elisa reported on it). I don’t know the exact ordinance which they breached but they must’ve breached the criminal law and that law must have included the feeding of feral cats.

A judge ordered them to pay a fine of $150 per person for each count of which they were guilty. The couple were initially charged with 21 counts but were found guilty on four counts of putting food and water out for feral cats in and around Augusta.

If they do it again they face jail. They are appealing the conviction. And rightly so. According to the testimony of an animal control officer the wife, Sue Jones, was involved in TNR. If that is true then she was feeding feral cat as part of a TNR program. This is normal.

Nationwide and in general (with exceptions), this sort of activity is not considered to be criminal. I would like to discuss how such an activity could be described as criminal. Many people would describe what they’re doing as something good and something in the interests of the community. What they are doing is reducing the population of feral cats in an humane manner. Many people would consider that to be good behaviour. Good behaviour cannot be criminal behaviour. Criminal behaviour must have an element of immorality and badness about it. Criminality is essentially bad.

In this instance, although I see the potential nuisance element of what they’re doing (attracting nuisance wildlife), their activities in dealing with feral cats in an humane way cannot, by any stretch of the imagination, be considered to be conclusively bad to the point of criminality. Some people will dislike it while others will praise the couple. But overall you would not achieve consensus in the community that their activities with respect to feeding feral cats are bad requiring punushment. It does not add up.

Mr and Mrs Jones’s daughter, Kate Roggenbaum, said that she has heard from people all over the country remarking that they have never heard anything like it. One person even thought that it was fake news. She makes the point that I’m making:

“I think that there are far more important things going on in the world today, and I think that the humane treatment of animals is not criminal and should not be criminalised.”

Although I keep on saying it, it should be remembered that people created the so-called feral cat problem. This must go towards making a decision as to how to deal with people who voluntarily try and help feral cats.

I have to conclude that the ordinances under which they were charged and convicted in Augusta, Kansas are inappropriate and badly formulated. They should be changed. They should be amended and updated to accommodate the growing trend in the use of TNR programs to control feral cat population sizes in the US.

There must be a better way of dealing with this couple. What they did should be decriminalised and should be dealt with in a far more gentle manner. The local authority could create legislation which regulates how feral cats are fed under TNR programs, for instance. Although, there may already be such regulations in Augusta, Kansas. If that is the case then once again they should be dealt with more leniently and educated on how to go about conducting TNR programs.

Fort Oglethorpe City Ordinance Makes it a Crime to Feed Feral Cats




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Couple appeal against conviction for feeding feral cats — 5 Comments

  1. You can be fined in Marion County,Florida $250.00 per cat,per day if someone presses the issue. That is what I was told by Animal Control a few years back when I had a small colony at work. Fortunately,it was private property and the cats were not off the property. I was told on private property the cats must be contained. It is insanity. Wildlife is in your yard whether cats are being fed or not. And of course,they use the “invasive species” nonsense also. The laws must be changed,compassion and TNR are not criminal.

  2. You will find that TNR practices being a criminal activity in the USA are the norm, not the exception. Although Becky Robinson of Alley-Cat-Allies boasts of 650 communities approving of TNR-ordinances (out of hundreds of thousands of communities keeping it illegal), even she is well aware that of those 650 communities where they even bothered to discuss or implement temporary TNR experiments, the vast majority rescinded those policies when they found-out what a dismal failure that TNR was, or voted them out to begin with. This doesn’t matter to Becky. She just claims that any community passing a TNR ordinance is in support of her–whether that policy was voted for or AGAINST TNR. It’s all the same to her. Read her manipulative words very carefully. She NEVER claims those 650 were in support of TNR, only that they passed ordinances. The majority of which were AGAINST TNR.

    You would do well to read all the comments to her facebook pages of people now facing criminal charges and evictions from their ILLEGAL TNR activities, and asking for Becky’s help in the matter. Her reply to every one of them? “[crickets]” They now have lifetime records of being criminals. This matters not to Becky.

    She doesn’t care if she’s throwing her supporters under the bus and now facing a lifetime record of being a criminal, so long as she can get more donations to pay for her permanent jet-setter’s all-expenses-paid-by-fools’-donations vacations around the world again. (She’s frolicking in Hawaii at the moment, next stop Alaska, to beat the August heat. Then onto Florida to avoid winter (and all those TNR cats of hers freezing to the pavement), judging by her recent articles. Or laughing-it-up in Australia for the winter again.)

    • Sorry, but I comprehensively disagree with you. TNR is not criminalised as you state in the US. It is a growing process and becoming more popular. It is silly to equate it with criminal behavior. Tell me three cases (that should be easy based on what you say) of volunteers practicing TNR being arrested and charged with a crime. Let’s see it.

      • Just THREE?!? LOL. Easy. I could provide THOUSANDS over the years if I had the time and inclination to help you.

        Not that this will ever see the light-of-day on your site. You never allow ANY posts about ANYTHING that prove you dead wrong. Your worldwide reputation of being a manipulative and lying deception-artist is widely known for over a decade now. Many blame it on the parasitic cat-shat T. gondii worms that have hijacked what’s left of your brain. But just for shits & giggles, here you go! (Found by perusing Becky Robinson’s Alley-Cat-Allies facebook site for about 15 minutes of their most recent posts. Do you stick your head in the sand much?)

        Just some comments from Becky Robinson’s facebook article on which you are reporting:

        https://www.facebook.com/AlleyCatAllies/posts/10155455508847088

        Beverly J. Martin: Same here in Winston Salem. But IDC. They need someone to look after them.

        Jimmy Muraco We have the same type of cat-hating laws where I live as well, but that does stop some of us from caring for the colonies. My neighbor and I have been harassed many times, by the local government, but we refuse to turn a blind eye to needy cats, nor will we ever stop caring for them. In addition to the local laws, we have cat-hating people (I can’t call them “neighbors”) that complain and even try to take matters into their own hands. Just remember: People who hate cats become mice in their next life!
        July 29 at 12:17pm

        Susan Williams Yep…this is exactly what our town of Antioch, Ca was doing. We have what could be a beautiful, prosperous downtown area along the San Joaquin River. Many were dumping cats & rescues were working hard at S/N trap & release, putting babies into our adoption programs, and nice feeding stations for those released. We also have acquired the largest amount of homeless in Contra Costa County who have squatted in our beautiful old downtown area but the blame for thrash, filth & lack of city growth was put on the cats. They were going to trap & euthanize all of them. Many cat organizations stepped forward & put up a good fight. At least for now the cats are safe & are being fed by approved caregivers but we are keeping a close watch on our city officials!

        Pam Burgess Marquess Bethany beach, DE just adopted this stupid law!! They wanted to round up all the cats and euthanize them but got so much flack about it instead adopted this law!!!

        ———————-

        There’s your piddly THREE. Want more from just this week, and on just that ONE discussion thread?

        ———————-

        Maria Bommarito Lvt We have a similar ban here in Albion

        Moni Latos Mentor on the lake in Ohio council members just voted cats as a nuisance animal

        Julie Alessandrini-Costa I had a similar problem and was forced to stop taking care of ferals 10 years ago.

        Denise Wolf I am guilty of the same act – smh

        James Perrin I went trough the same crap when I lived in San Antonio Tx I hired an attorney to get that crap charge dismissed. That’s why I live 2 county’s away. I still drive105 miles 7 days a week to feed my cat colonies. I have to be quick so the Nazis don’t catch me.

        Sarah Montgomery K Our city has an ordinance not to do it either, one of the worst rules ever!

        Carol Moore Ickes So this means that the people in charge don’t like cats and don’t want to save lives. What a shame smart people can be so dumb. Good for this couple. We did it too and many of our saved cats were shot. After you spend all your time and money getting them vetted, waiting all day for each one to be done and drive the 2 hours home, it is heartbreaking. The poor cats. Hugs to you both.

        Rica Lee I got in trouble for that too, by my community. Just scolded though.

        Pat Adams Messina I think its like this in Md too .. I was told this. but if a cat shows up I will feed it . I wont let it go hungry . I have taken so many in and given them homes I love them all

        Ashley Goebel City of Independence, MO, Government recently enacted an asinine law against this as well. Pathetic ploy to make more money.

        ———————-

        Want more? I could also find you posts of people facing evictions and jail sentences in every state of the USA in just the last month alone. But quite frankly, trying to educate someone who so desperately strives to remain ineducable and deceptive to everyone in the world is hardly worth anyone’s time, especially mine.

        • Woody, I will ignore your rudeness. Although, you persist in being rude which is irritating. You can’t write anything without being rude and insulting, which is a great shame.

          I asked you to produce to me three examples where volunteers carrying out TNR programs were convicted of a crime of feeding feral cats and spaying and neutering them. When I asked for that information I expected you to provide to me specific details including quoting the law.

          All you have done is produced to me a pile of verbiage, quasi-anecdotal evidence without quoting any law or any specifics. It is completely hopeless as evidence of criminalising TNR programs. You are obviously unable to produce such evidence. Therefore my point is proved.

          You say that I never publish your comments. I publish more comments from you than any other website. When I don’t publish your comments it is because they are too rude and they upset other people. Personally, I don’t really care although as mentioned it is irritating. However, you can never respond satisfactorily to my requests. You can never quote the law properly. You can never argue your case substantially and thoroughly. You are quite hopeless.

          Please: no more comments on this. I have given you sufficient air time.

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