Bayside State Prison Bans Feeding of Feral Cats

Bayside state prison

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

The administration of Bayside State Prison has banned the feeding of feral cats living on their grounds. The feeding of the cats is part of a taxpayer-funded, state-authorised TNR program

Bayside State Prison has been involved with cats for quite some time. In 2003 the prison was involved in constructing cat shelters for Animal Outreach.

Bayside State Prison, with other prisons, has also been involved with what appears to be a fostering operation to take on cats whose time at the local shelter has run out.

As part of their TNR program they were, of necessity, feeding the feral cats who live within the grounds of the prison.

Useful links
Anxiety - reduce it
FULL Maine Coon guide - lots of pages
Children and cats - important

Unexpectedly, prison management have decided to stop feeding the cats and banning anybody else who wish to assist in feeding them and that includes Alley Cat Allies who have been pleading with the prison management to recommence feeding which stopped over a month ago, as I understand it.

They appear to have given no reason for the ban on feeding the cats and, considering the long association that Bayside State Prison has had with cats, it seems particularly cruel to suddenly ban feeding especially in light of the fact that this is a state sanctioned taxpayer funded operation.

Some of these cats have been living within the prison grounds for over 10 years and clearly they have got accustomed to being fed. It is obviously cruel to suddenly stop and no doubt some of them are starving.

There’s been widespread outrage at this cat cruelty and despite pressure from Alley Cat Allies and the public through, for example, online petitions, the prison’s administration refuses to lift the feeding ban.

On one occasion, people from Alley Cat Allies turned up at the prison to deliver food for the cats but there were turned away unceremoniously.

The charity has consistently tried to have a dialogue with the prison’s administration without success.

It is difficult to understand what has happened at the prison to lead to this change in attitude.

It should be added that this is not only bad for the cats but also the inmates because in feeding cats and taking part in fostering programs the inmates have work to do. It is a kind of civic duty which is about rehabilitation, as is being associated with cats, because we know that cats are therapeutic and arguably they assist in the rehabilitation of prison inmates.

Bayside State Prison has been called by a former inmate β€œthe worst of the worst” with respect to prison standards in the USA with particular focus on racism. It is alleged that the prison is administered by the most racist guards imaginable. And they administered beatings to the inmates we are told.

It is said that Bayside has its own practices and its own laws, which appear to be outside the general laws of the state of New Jersey.Β It is alleged that they operate a system of intimidation and fear.

This information goes against what we read about the prison’s long association with cats which obviously requires a gentle and ethical approach. The current position is confusing.

My thanks to Dee for telling about this story.

Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

Note: sources for news articles are carefully selected but the news is often not independently verified.

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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22 Responses

  1. Michele S. says:

    Alley Cat Allies are now asking the Governor of New Jersey to intervene on behalf of the cats.

    Here’s the link for their latest petition;

    https://secure3.convio.net/alley/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=379

  2. LJ says:

    What does one do about a feral population in the neighborhood that cries, howls and fight all night, every night and keep up the entire neighborhood? They kill the bird population and infest our neighborhood with fleas. They can be seen lying about with eye infections, gaping wounds from fighting and the local kids sandbox bring used as a litterbox. There are a couple of people who say they take care of them but all the cats look and act terrible. I live in a big city, not the country, FYI

    • Hi LJ, thanks for commenting. What we can do it accept the burden of responsibility in caring for them and reducing their numbers humanely because we created then through irresponsible cat ownership. We have no other choice.

      We should also recognise that humans infest the neighbourhood with disease and spread it hither and thither.

    • Dee (Florida) says:

      What you can do is contact your local government, ie. County Commissioners and encourage them to institute a TNR program in your county.
      Then, the crying, howling, fighting, and mating will cease, and the cats will be properly cared for, including medical.

  3. Barbara says:

    How rotten, how can they be so cruel as to withdraw support for the cats depending on food, after a month some of them may already have died. The dregs of society are all there, and I don’t mean the prisoners.

  4. Ruth aka Kattaddorra says:

    https://secure3.convio.net/alley/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=369

    unfortunately we can’t sign this one from the UK

    • Dee (Florida) says:

      Thanks, R.

    • Bruce in North Dakota says:

      yes, thank you Ruth.

      I signed. I had to resist commenting much in the area that stated “Leave a comment! Your vote will have so much more impact if you comment!” or some-such, because all I could think of were lines from the movie The Shawshank Redemption.

      I wanted my vote to ‘count’. I’m pretty sure leaving the comment (a quote from the movie about a particularity bad prison) “…slather you with Crisco, and throw you to the Sodomites!!!” might have negated my earnest vote for justice.

      Again, thank you for the link, Ruth.

  5. Ruth aka Kattaddorra says:

    This is so cruel, to TNR those cats and let them become used to being fed but now stopping, seems pointless.
    Which heartless person has made this rule?
    We need to find the petition link and sign and share it.

  6. Medical science has proved that dangerous prisoners become calm and improve if given the job of training or caring pets like dogs or cats.Its the same as pets being a good medical asset to its owners as they have a soothing effect on the temperament and nature of their human care-takers.

  7. Bruce in North Dakota says:

    Having met more than my fair share of “Corrections Officers”, I can assure your tender readers that these people are generally the bottom-of-the-barrel sort of folk that you would likely cross the street to avoid, even if they were in civilian dress.

    I noted a high incident of fetal-alcohol syndrome apparent in the general outward appearance of many of them, and an IQ that generally seemed to fall quite short of just plain IDJUTS.

    Once, I was able to talk a Corrections Officer in keeping watch on a very large defecation I had deposited in the toilet. I informed him I was sure I had seen it move, and further, I did not want anyone to steal it – if it was alive, I wanted to keep it as a pet.

    He stood in my cell, staring at that huge turd in the toilet for about 30 minutes, giggling and laughing, and not once taking his eyes off of it.

    These are the type of people who end up tending to their caged fellow man. These are the quality of persons who actively participate in perpetrating the worst of man’s inhumanity to man.

    Generally, in a “Corrections” environment, job advancement is “in house” – those who are the best at being the worst get to be supervisors and get more money.

    It is no small stretch to imagine these idiot misfits and creeps deciding to force inmates watch their beloved pets die from starvation, purely for the entertainment it provides these ghouls.

    They are without souls.

    (and they wonder why so many of them get a Spork [an eating utensil, a cross between a spoon and a fork] stabbed into their necks)

    I doubt anything can be done to remedy the situation in that particular little hell-hole, before all the cats are dead.

    How sad the sadists.

    • Extremely interesting comment. Thanks Bruce. It does help explain what is going on. Your comment makes me want to ask: in what context have you been in contact with Corrections Officers. I think we call them prison officers in the UK.

      • Bruce in North Dakota says:

        U.S. authorities have a penchant for locking people up over minor kerfuffles involving not giving their station, badge or attitude the proper respect they believe they are owed.

        I tend to immediately polarize any interactions with them, based on that falsely held notion. When inquired of by a law enforcement officer “Is that alcohol that I smell on your breath?”, my standard and immediate reply has always been “Is that a Doughnut I smell on yours???”

        As you may surmise, my encounters with them usually “Go South” 100% of the time. It’s the little things that seem to ruffle their “Official” feathers, like Did they have to order that hat special for you? You know, to fit a head as weird shaped as yours?”, on recognizing an officer I knew to be from a large family Didn’t anyone ever tell your mother that is a vagina, not a Clown Car?, I could go on (and on, and on, and trust me I tend to!), but you get the general idea.

        I think it may be related to exposure to a cat litter box at an early age, that like the little mice and rats that become unafraid of the cat due to infection with Toxoplasma Gondii, I too may have the same parasite burrowing in my brain, affecting my behavior, and resulting in a great lack of fear of (the cat) authority.

        It could be that alone, or that in combination with barrels and barrels of cheap, cheap gin!

        (they always let me out when I sober up, Michael. I am not of a true ‘criminal bend’, just a noisy, fearless inebriate at times)

  8. Michele S. says:

    Alley Cat Allies are a fantastic organisation and I’d urge everyone to sign and share the petition.

    Hopefully if they get enough signatures, the Department of Corrections can step in and get this feeding ban overturned.

  9. Dee (Florida) says:

    My understanding is that the cats have not been fed for over a month now.

    TNR was permitted; but, now food isn’t allowed.

    I don’t know if a new administration came in or what.

    Honestly, I can see myself throwing sliced open bags of food over the fence.

    • People throw cannabis and cocaine over the fence of prisons, in tennis balls, in the UK πŸ˜‰ Why not food? I don’t think you can do effective TNR without feeding can you? And if so the decision to ban feeding is flawed. Is there a supply of wild food for cats inside the prison? That is a question I guess.

      • Dee (Florida) says:

        I doubt that there is wild food.
        A month is a very long time for cats to be deprived of food. Intolerable to me. I like Alley Cats, but I think that now is the time for a militia to plow in.

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