Commercial business in animal control treats feral cats as pests in Florida

Animal rangers pest control catch cats

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

“ANIMAL RANGERS” – Animal Control & Nuisance Wildlife Management Services, who describe themselves as “Pest Control and Bee Removal Specialists”, run a private business, meaning they appear not to be part of the public animal control services in Florida (is this normal?). They specialise in getting rid of all manner of pests in that state one of which is the feral cat, they tell us.

How does this company fit into the overall scheme of animal control in Florida, USA? Does the state government employ them? I doubt that but they are licensed. I can only presume that individual people, the residents of Florida, telephone the business and say that they have a pest and ask the company to remove the pest whereupon they turn up and do as they are requested and make a charge for the work.

This leaves the whole process in the hands of people who are taking action outside of the control and management of the local authorities. If that is the case can the authorities be sure that the law is being complied with? There are some nasty stories on the internet about bullying animal control in Florida.

Feral cats are not the typical “pest”. For me, and many other cat lovers, feral cats are not pests at all. They are the product of human mismanagement. How can they therefore be classified as pests?

This leads me to a number of questions and I’m sure other people have the same sort of questions. What if the cat is not a feral cat but a stray domestic cat, someone’s beloved “pet”, who escaped from the confines of the home? In Florida there should be no stray cats in Marion County but is the law the same across all the counties of the state of Florida?

What if a neighbour doesn’t like another neighbour and doesn’t like his neighbour’s cat and calls out this business to get rid of his neighbour’s cat? That seems plausible. Does the business make any checks? Does this business know how to differentiate between a domestic, outdoor cat and a feral cat?

In addition, what happens to the cat after it is trapped (as in the photo, which illustrates their website)? It is almost certain that the cat will, at the end of the day, be killed either at the hands of this particular business or at a shelter where the cat is deemed to be undomesticated and therefore unsuitable for human companionship. If the cat is a pet that would be catastrophic but the owner would simply believe her cat has gone missing.

Have I missed something and if so please tell me?

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Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

35 thoughts on “Commercial business in animal control treats feral cats as pests in Florida”

  1. These pest industries work in conjunction with AC and Fish & Game.Ferals/roaming cats will be killed.One of AC’s favorite reasons for killing cats is,”It was viscious”. They terrorize the cats and call them viscious. They are frightened.Shows the low intelligence of those doing the job.AC will never change for the better, they spread the lies,the hunting community spreads the lies,and Fish&Game spread the lies.And people believe the lies.There is a war on cats.Notice cats are listed as invasive species,yet,dogs,cattle,etc are invasive also.It is about a mentality shared by small minds to villify cats and caretakers.

    1. Exactly. The shelter says their reason for killing is there are “too many” yet they are focused on catching as many as possible and spending tax payers money to do it. Even colony cats and TNR’d cats are killed every week. To them TNR means allow people to trap and neuter/spay so they don’t breed, and then release until they are able re-trap them and kill them. A vicious cycle.

  2. The commissioners had to approve use of that 250,000 surplus money. I have no personal connection with the county shelter but the budget is controlled by the county commission and they need to be lobbied to fund more.

    Suggestion to the person who posted information here. Have you presented your information to the Palm Beach Post or the Sun Sentinel? Either seeking out a reporter or by writing a letter to the editor? perhaps that would help publicize these things and get more of the public involved in wanting to end this tragedy.

    I’m sure the press would want to write an update on what happened to the cats seized by the alleged pedophile.

    I do have a question about local rescues who fly in dogs from other states when dogs are being killed locally at the county shelter.

  3. I’ve been at the shelter and counted as many as 35 empty cages at one time. I have photos, dates and cage numbers. Unless we stop defending these practices and stop making excuses for those in charge for the last 12 years, this will continue. I have nothing personal against any of the leaders at the shelter and I am not personal friends with them or have political ties with them which would cause me to defend them as many others are. My primary purpose it to once and for all end the unnecessary massacre of cats at this shelter. You can’t deny the numbers, the photos or any of the other evidence contrary to what is being said by the director or CountDown2Zero team players. Do we go by empty promises or do we go by results?

  4. Also she didn’t “squeeze” any money out of the commissioners. That tax payer money was already in an account set aside strictly for Animal Care and Control. The meeting was to get the approval to release it to give to Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League, their CountDown2Zero partner.

  5. All three of the above kittens were killed for being scared. Per CountDown2Zero mission statement. “We oppose taking the lives of healthy or treatable animals.”

  6. CountDown2Zero was initiated on February 4th, 2014. That is almost a year ago. The recent meeting mentioned above was on September 24th, 2014 to ask for more money. Since the initiation of CountDown2Zero nothing has been done to either reduce the intake of cats or increase the adoptions. We can all “say” anything we want about what we plan to do in ten years, but actions speak louder than words. I have yet to see any action plan or policy and procedures in place to help the cats in any area. I don’t consider labeling and killing scared 8 week old kittens for “behavior” as progress, nor do I consider killing kittens who are “too young” as progress. Diane Sauve talks a good game and has for over 12 years, but where is the progress? Now she wants ANOTHER 10 years to show any improvement? I go by results and numbers, not talk.

  7. Palm Beach County FL Animal Care Control Director just pushed through an initiative to institute a policy for trap neuter vaccinate return of cats funded by the government. It’s the elected officials who decide whether or not to fund these programs.

    the website is

    Recently $250,000 was squeezed out of the county commissioners to start funding it.

    You can watch ACC Director presentation on this funding request on the Palm Beach county site

    choose the link on the right hand side for the sept 23 workshop am session presentation Agenda item 4C starts at about one hour 33 minutes into the 2 hour 22 minute tape Please listen to what the ACC Director Diane Sauve says about roaming cats. She doesn’t want them trapped and brought to the shelter.

    Regarding trapping cats by commercial trappers. This is bad. There should be statewide laws regulating this. Miami-dade has a law I believe still on the books addressing this see below and you should fight for laws regulating or preventing it in your county too. Signs should be required to be posted warning if trapping is allowed and happening. People need to start contacting their elected officials and writing letters to local newspapers demanding funding for humane programs and for change.


    Miami – Dade County Code of Ordinances


    Chapter 5 – ANIMALS AND FOWL 144

    ยง Sec. 5-14 Trapping of dogs and cats.
    Trapping of dogs and cats shall be conducted in a humane manner and shall comply with the following minimum standards:
    Traps shall be in good condition in that they will not cause any bodily injury to the trapped animal and a trapped animal shall have access to adequate food, water, and shelter.
    Use of poisons, poisoned substances or stupefying substances in a trap shall be prohibited.
    All traps shall be plainly identified with the name, telephone number, address, and Department-issued trapping license number of the owner of the trap, if applicable.
    All traps shall be inspected daily, and no animal shall remain in a trap for longer than twelve (12) hours.
    Traps shall be removed in the event of a hurricane warning or tropical storm warning.
    All animals that have been trapped shall be brought to the Department, a County-approved animal rescue organization, or a licensed veterinarian for proper disposition.
    It shall be unlawful for any person to disturb the trap of another.
    The Department may provide traps for rent for private, noncommercial use. In that event, the Department may collect a rental fee and may also collect a deposit that shall be refunded upon return of the trap. The amount of the rental fee and the deposit shall be established by implementing order approved by the Board of County Commissioners.

    (Ord. No. 08-10, ยง 1, 1-22-08)

  8. Ruth I’m working on an article thru Tonya that shows just how big the killing problem is, especially in Florida. I’m afraid I’m going to upset everyone again. I should have it to Michael by Tuesday. Just gathering data because I’m going to cause trouble as usual.

    1. I’m sure it will be an eye opener for many.
      Your articles carry more weight than what I have been writing, solo, about over the years.
      I don’t think there will be any surprises for me really.
      I’m just so grateful to be under the umbrella of TNR here. It has helped a lot.

      1. I write what I would like to know more about and I have a team of social media networkers depending on the topic. I’m far from being a great writer. My goal is for people to understand without a lot of confusing words and to share. I still produce a flop every now and then ๐Ÿ™‚

        I also send Michael ideas. I sent him this one because I knew he could think of a way to cover the topic.

        After almost 5 years I still can’t be assigned a topic. I have to feel at one with the subject or I hit a brick wall.

        1. I’m sure it will be superb, especially with Tonya’s input. Palm Beach County soiunds like it may be even worse than here.
          I’ve never had any dealings with the private agencies like this article is about. At least, there aren’t any laws that I can find that would prevent me from intervening to save a cat like there are with AC. Interfering with AC would cost a pretty penny and, possibly, jail.

            1. There are a handful of us PoCers here in Florida, ie. Geri, Jo, and myself.
              But, I pulled up animal ordinances randomly fron Wisconsin and Michigan 2 days ago. They are pretty much carbon copies of our counties here. Do your read the same?

              1. Having followed this topic for a few years or more there seems to be a trend towards restrictions on cat ownership across the USA but the speed of change varies amongst the states. This is inline with Australia.

            2. Understand that it may take a while to write. But, I look forward to your objective point of view. And, Tonja’s comments have really ticked my box since she has first hand experience here in Florida.

              1. She corrected the first draft so tonight from work I’ll do the article and send it back for her to check then it will be ready to send to Michael. Since she’s there it helps to get her input as its confusing at times.

  9. Ruth aka Kattaddorra

    I think it’s shocking that feral cats are classed as pests and are trapped and killed along with anyone’s pet cat who may be out and about.
    Dee is right, dogs are far more of a nuisance than any cat yet no one traps them as pests.
    I wonder if they kill the bees too? Our local pest control is called the Pied Piper and they actually relocate bees nests rather than kill them. Ferals are taken care of by Cats Protection through TNR and then voluntary carers feeding them. I think this should happen in the USA too, there is far too much killing of innocent cats going on there.

  10. Cats are trapped 24/7 in this County and all labeled “FERAL” whether they are colony cats, already ear tipped, strays or lost cats. Some are even enticed into traps by neighbors and property managers. This link is to the returned to owner album on Urgent Cats of Palm Beach County Page, as you can see very few owner returns and many are in traps. There are so many who never make it home when owners just thing they wondered off and will be back.

    1. All 3 cats in the photo above along with hundreds of others in just the past month have been trapped and killed.

      1. It looks like Florida has quietly gone down an anti-feral cat, kill-feral-cat route over the years. I was surprised about the confinement laws of Marion County but they are part of the overall picture.

    2. Exactly why I try not to criticize any domestic cat caretaker who chooses to keep their cats completely indoors. Neither AC nor these private companies give a hoot whether the cat is a beloved member of the family or not. And, as you write, property owners and even neighbors enable this insanity.
      In a way, Jimbo/Woody makes a point. I’ve seen people get cat after cat because they disappear, until they decide to just keep their most recent cat inside and stop that cycle.

      1. Our cats are all indoors and they all look so happy hanging out together. We have beds and tables overlooking the woods and pillows and a rocking chair and a few cat trees and cages with blankets for napping. Plus there’s always a cat in each of our laps. They nap together and groom each other. There is box ownership conflict at times ๐Ÿ™‚

        1. They’re safe, Elisa.
          That’s most important.
          Just like me, I know that you wish they could experience the great outdoors; but, there is no other way to protect them.
          I just can’t add the worry about my indoor ones to the mix. I have indoor/outdoor, strictly outdoor, and ferals that need my complete vigilence.

      2. No, exactly. They DO NOT care if cats are members of the tax-paying Family in property-taxed residence. In fact, I see more dogs running around in the neighborhood than I see cats. Think about that. I let my own cat and my flatmate’s cats [The 3 Amigos] out late at night when I need to be sleeping. And crash on my couch four hours shy of sunrise, after being out with them. The neighbors dogs bark whenever, get let out the frontdoor leashless whenever.

  11. Very sad, isn’t it?
    Available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week to remove unwanted “pests”
    And, the pic is of a feral, not a rodent, raccoon, or snake.
    I’ve seen quite a few similar ads and have always wondered if they would respond to a complaint about a couple of nuisance dogs tearing up a garden, turning over garbage bins, defecating, or killing other mammals. I’ll bet not.

    1. I think it is very sad as you say. It is bad too. People are being cruel to cats in a number of ways when they classify feral cats as pests and employ a commercial contractor to get rid of them.

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