In Albuquerque it is a violation of state laws to abandon animals within city limits. A woman living in Albuquerque, USA has stated that the trap-neuter-release programs in respect of feral cats within the city is in breach of the law. She refers to 8000 feral cats that are being managed by decent and sensible cat loving people.
This lady, Marcy Britton, has filed a lawsuit. I expect that she is seeking a declaration from a judge to say that trap-neuter-release programs are illegal.
This is the 1st time I have heard such a claim being made and my initial impression is that the lawsuit is foolhardy and misguided.
My initial thought, without knowing the legislation which she refers to is that the abandonment of animals within city limits applies to animals that were originally domesticated and living with a caretaker.
To abandon or relinquish a cat onto the streets of the city that was once part of a person’s family should be a minor criminal act. That makes sense.
However, commonsense tells me that feral cats are exactly as described; they are cats that are already living on the streets and in the parks of the city and therefore it is impossible to abandon them.
The process of trap-neuter-release does not entail the adoption of a feral cat. The cats are treated after being trapped but nobody adopts them and takes them into a home and then releases them. That is not part of the process and everybody knows that.
I am surprised, therefore, that this lady sees fit to file a lawsuit that will no doubt waste the courts time and her time.
However, it is quite an interesting news story nonetheless. It is, in truth, an example of one of quite a number of people who dislike the trap-neuter-release programs because they feel that these programs perpetuate the existence of feral cats and create a health hazard when in fact these programs are designed to gradually and humanely remove feral cats from the streets. I can only guess that these people simply dislike cats and find any excuse to attack them and in this case it is being done through the courts.
[My thanks to Elisa for picking out this story.]