“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?