Forty veterinary hospitals throughout Hillsborough County say that Alley Cat Allies make fraudulent statements supporting TNR

The Hillsborough Animal Health Foundation (HAHF), which is supported by 40 animal hospitals throughout Hillsborough County say, on their website, that the well-known and well-respected Alley Cat Allies make fraudulent statements in support of trap-neuter-release (TNR) programs. That’s quite a strong statement to make, which is why I am reporting it. It is almost defamatory.

The biggest objection that HAHF have with TNR is that it allows feral cats to continue to spread disease to people. TNR creates or perpetuates a public health concern. We have heard this many times before.

I’d like to address that initially. Feral cats exist because of poor cat ownership. If they present a health hazard to people then TNR works to eliminate that hazard by gradually minimising the numbers of feral cats. On that basis TNR helps to remove health risks in the community from feral cats. So I don’t really follow their argument. There are also question marks on the disease spreading allegation.

What HAHF wants is a more complex version of TNR which includes a novel idea: a “feral cat containment plan”. At least HAHF want a humane solution to the “feral cat problem”.

They want to set up sanctuaries funded by the taxpayer in which colonies of feral cats can be managed. The sanctuaries would confine the cats thereby preventing them from attacking wildlife and transmitting disease to people.

There are other aspects to their complex program which includes ways to minimise owner surrenders, indoor cats only, better shelters, improving cat caretaking through training and obligatory registration etc.. There is more. The big difference is the containment – the HAHF ‘Containment’ Plan.

Back to the claim that Alley Cat Allies (ACA) is one of the TNR supporters who hold “misguided opposition viewpoints”.

ACA is the leading cat TNR organisation. HAHF say that ACA’s facts are wrong and worse:

“..the alleged facts are either extreme distortions of medical papers (at best) or outright fraudulent (at worse).”

HAHF says that the ACA website or fact sheet states that “there is simply no evidence to back up the position that cats spread disease”. And that “No Danger From Rabies” exists from feral cats. HAHF strongly contest these views and say that ACA are making up “facts”. The claim that they are false statements and call them fraudulent.

HAHF claims that veterinarians are aware of the following numbers:

  • 455 People in Florida given Rabies Shots from Cat Attacks in 2010!
  • 1 of every 4 Americans infected with Toxoplasmosis!
  • 2.4 BILLION (avg) Birds Killed by Feral Cats Each Year!
  • 455 People in Florida given Rabies Shots from Cat Attacks in 2010!
  • 30,000 +/- Kids are Hospitalized Each Year from Cat Scratch Disease!

I’d like to comment on some of these points because they seem to be misjudged or downright fraudulent.

As for cat scratch disease I would have thought that 99% of cases were caused by mishandling of domestic cats not feral cats. That immediately undermines their claim that feral cats are to blame.

As for the rabies shots. Perhaps they were given as a precaution notwithstanding that the cat did not have rabies. Another misrepresentation.

As for toxoplasmosis, perhaps the cause was eating undercooked meats or the transference of cysts came from domestic cats in the yards of their owners. Do we know? Can we assume that feral cats are to blame?

As for the killing of wildlife, the figures are extrapolated estimates from small scale, localised studies. We don’t know the impact of feral cats on wildlife so it is misleading to make bold statement as if they were facts.

It seems that HAHF are highly hypocritical. They have an agenda and will do anything to pursue it. They are probably backed by ornithologists.

This is their page on the internet as to why TNR is wrong.

I have been told that HAHF have deliberately tried to undermine TNR.




15 thoughts on “Forty veterinary hospitals throughout Hillsborough County say that Alley Cat Allies make fraudulent statements supporting TNR”

  1. Nothing about what HAHF is promoting or pursuing is logical. In fact, it’s bizarre.
    To even suggest that ferals should have “concentration camps” is off the wall. Not only would they be easy targets in those situations, but does HAHF intend to fund that project? I doubt it.
    Just in trying to follow their odd train of thought, they should also be promoting confinement for raccoons, opossums, and many other forms of wildlife, including birds.

    Reply

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