Categories: Cat News

Discussion: Responsible TNR program or animal cruelty after kittens dumped in unfamiliar territory

There’s a situation taking place in Greenville, South Carolina that is turning the stomachs of cat lovers throughout the internet community. A TNR program designed to reduce the number of feral cats using the Community Cat Diversion Program offered through Greenville County Animal Care Services (GCACS) apparently isn’t what it seems. Young kittens are allegedly being released back into strange surroundings almost immediately following surgery.

Kitten witnessed being dumped (see Kala’s statement below)

Read on and please feel free to comment at the end. As with many of the articles I do about the Greenville shelter, I prefer those who are closer to the situation to ‘carry’ the article rather than my reporting alone. I don’t have absolute proof the shelter is doing this but those who have witnessed the kittens being dumped are pretty sure it is. They have the tattoo and also animal control was witnessed releasing them by very credible witnesses. Thus the word “alleged.”

By the way, contacting local news media is NOT an option as they won’t speak out against the shelter.

Dump site June 22 was on Wade Hampton Blvd.

WHAT SHOULD HAPPEN
Community Cat Diversion Program: Operating under the guidelines of the Trap-Neuter-Return method, which is the only proven way to effectively and humanely reduce cat overpopulation, the Community Cat Diversion program offers citizens of Greenville County access to free spay and neuter services for cats that live outdoors and are “free roaming”.

Kala with “feral” kitten she rescued

WHAT IS HAPPENING
Greenville County residents pay taxes to fund these young kittens being spayed/neutered and released back onto the street, many times in busy areas where they’re at risk of being hit by cars or worse. They’re outraged their tax dollars are being spent in this manner but unclear what to do to put an end to this madness.

Below are two cases from this week alone.

Case 1 June 15, 2017: “A litter of 7, yes 7, kittens ran out in front of me pulling into my neighborhood tonight. Apparently, they were dumped today,” Jennifer Hill Miles reported. One of the kittens is Gracie, who is undergoing laser treatment due to her spay incision not holding Jennifer says “She is only 1.5 lbs now, well under the 2 lb limit to be spayed in the first place Vet used laser therapy to treat the wound and she is scheduled for a repeat treatment Saturday morning. He feels we should see incredible improvement after a second treatment! So grateful as I have another 7-10 kittens to catch, care for and adopt out as well.”

Donations can be made to Fountain Inn Animal Clinic 864-862-4707 under Amy Mathis for Gracie!

Gracie is undergoing laser treatment after being dumped

Case 2 June 22, 2017: Well-respected Greenville dog rescuer Kala Laughter stated “GCAC just had animal control dumped this tiny kitten! On the highway of Wade Hampton. He was just fixed and ear tipped. He is NOT feral as you can see! So the truth is that they ARE dumping kittens! Kitty dumped near Minuteman Press on Wade Hampton this morning after he taken to GCAC Tuesday for safety. AC male officer w blondish hair and a lot witnesses at that company or if not this little guy would have already been run over!!”

WHAT CAN BE DONE?

What can be done to stop the release of kittens who are being spayed/neutered at a weight less than shelter policy and released into busy and unfamiliar territory shortly after surgery? New media won’t help. We’ve gone that route before and no news channel in the area will report on this. Greenville County Council is no better.

IS this animal cruelty? It would appear so because these kittens are being returned to the streets when in reality they’re young enough to be tamed and offered up for adoption. What difference is there between this and people who open their car door and abandon their cat far from home?

Rescues or fosters could be found. The shelter doesn’t appear to be asking for help. Keep in mind these babies are a “live release” which makes the shelter look very good on their stats.

Way to go on that live release rate, Greenville. You must be so proud.

Elisa



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Elisa Black-Taylor

Elisa is an experienced cat caretaker and rescuer. She lives in the US. As well as being a professional photographer, Elisa has been a regular contributor to PoC for nine years. See her Facebook page.

View Comments

  • Very sneaky that they've substituted 'Relocate' for 'Return' when actually implementing their TNR programme. The general public would have no idea this is happening, without brave animal-advocates speaking up on behalf of these cats and kittens.

    Any animal considered to be living wild, should always be returned to their original location. Dumping them elsewhere always causes problems, but to do this to young, inexperienced kittens is downright cruel. Feral kittens wouldn't be leaving their mothers at such a young age, so it should be common sense their chances or survival in unfamiliar surroundings are zero.

  • This apalls me. How are the kittens supposed to eat or get shelter if they have no caretaker. What a terrible situation, And this is taxpayer supported? People should be demanding change. What a disaster.

  • I hope shelter staff are not all this irresponsible! Bad enough to have even one person with authority to be in favor of this. I am sure there are too many kittens turned in or born there for homes to be found for all, however this is neither humane nor acceptable! I don't even like to think of healthy animals being euthanized but this would certainly be a more humane way to handle over population if homes can not be found. I also feel pretty certain that the vets who so willingly volunteer their time to perform these surgeries would not be happy to know this is what happens to the kittens. Maybe they should be made aware?

  • Spayed/Neutered cats don't spray! But obviously they are not safe on Ms Dixon's land! Please don't dump these cats and tiny kittens!

    • Spayed/neutered cats can and will spray, just not very often and only if something triggers it (territorial issues usually).

      • None of my spayed / neutered cats have EVER sprayed after one week of surgery. And I have had a lot

        • My Renny will spray if we don't watch him. He was neutered in 2012. He only does it in the main house and not back in the part of the house where he lives with the calmer cats. Territorial and he's the only one who has ever done it after neutering.

  • Well, I do not "get" this program. These cats if not adoptable should be put down. I had an entire load of them dropped on my property a couple of years ago, and the worker told me they were being returned "into the wild". They weren't caught here. This isn't the "wild". It's my land. Unattended cats are opportunists. They spray urine on the porch. They do not get treated for fleas/ticks or any other diseases for which I treat my animals. I. Don't. Want. Them. You don't see them spay/neutering dogs and releasing them in the wild. And you don't see them getting dropped in Thornblade. That might shut the program down. I have contacted TV reporters, but the flip side to the story goes nowhere. Do-gooders don't have to deal with the dead, decomposing bodies, or the ones the dogs kill. THEY live here. The cats were not invited. They were dumped, and some died within hours.

    • HEALTHY cats should never be put down. It is not the cat's fault that they are being dumped on your property. I am sorry you have no compassion or understanding of feral cats.

    • It would hurt their live release stats. Kittens kept in the shelter often become sick with URI's and die. That would be a death on their records.

      Some people don't realize there are things worse than shelter euthanasia. Like being coyote snacks or being hit by cars. This is NOT what the residents of Greenville County asked for in a TNR program. Colonies HAVE to be managed in a place they're welcome or it's a situation like you have Dorene.

      • Isn't this an example of TNR gone wrong. And when this happens it damages TNR. TNR needs to be promoted all the time. Excellent article by the way.

  • As before, I'm just appalled and outraged that anyone can do this to such young kittens and put them out there to fend for themselves with zero survival skills. They're perfect size for a predators snack. Their surgeries can become infected or worse. Maybe they were fixed at 2lbs but can't find food so loose weight. Bottom line is, they don't belong out there. I'm sure they're even terrified. My heart hurts for them. Who can tell me where to start to create a ruckus over this? I called a number that was given on the last heated FB convo on this very topic, to someone who said to call she'd be happy to answer our questions. After many unanswered calls and messages left, no one ever returned my call. Somethings very rotten in Denmark.

    • Good luck on getting anyone to listen. I can write until I'm blue in the face and all I'm doing is getting the information out there. Nothing will change.

  • This program needs to be handled properly or you are just putting the animals in more danger. It is ok to put them back in a area where they are familiar and have a CAREGIVER.You can't just dump them anywhere and see what happens. Yes pediatric spay is ok but under 2 lbs and no safe recoverywhat vet thinks that's OK .

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