by Katherine A. Lee
Shouldn’t taxes pay for TNR in communities, instead of paying for new light poles or parks or community swimming pools?? Why don’t they do group organizational donations for them? It’s hardly publicized or talked about unless they are discussing how to trap and kill more of them. There are low-cost and even free spay/neuter programs in some areas. Why don’t people try that?
There are feral cats, and abandoned house cats (strays), and also regular outdoor pet cats whose owners never thought to have fixed – *shakes head* or at least keep in because they aren’t fixed and didn’t foresee an issue futuristically, congregationally living behind a building where I work. I’m not mentioning the exact location for their disclosure, but there were 14+ cats we counted last year in 2010, unfixed, living there as far as we are aware.
How many of them are dumped, and what percentage are just wandering pets in heat, and what percentage were born in the colony as feral, isn’t clear. On Thanksgiving day 2010, a man in a truck parked in the back of the store and began to set traps. We know some lady that had been feeding them…several people, actually, and I had called the local shelters myself, asking if they knew about the trapping and if he was associated with them. No shelter had an association with this particular trapping…but said they had trapped at this location and euthanized the cats annually for the last decade.
There were less than 2 cats left at the end of the week, and many people were upset-people that worked at the building there, people who worked with me, and myself included. The cats didn’t do anything wrong!! Where would you live if you were homeless and starving and pregnant or chased away no matter where you went?? People are infuriating. They started the problem, not the cats. Maybe they should set up surveillance and start prosecuting people for dumping cats and fining people who have outdoor cats that are pets and are unfixed. They should push for all pet cats to be microchipped, so shelters can easily differentiate and pets aren’t killed for doing nothing wrong more than being outside at the wrong place and time.
It’s only been a few months since they last caught and killed the last batch of cats, and there are now 5 cats again. Next month, there will probably a lot of new litters and they will come in to kill them all over again, and people will still drop off new cats that have outgrown their ‘interest’.
People think trapping and euthanizing or relocating to a farm is humane, but it’s not, and it’s ineffective. New cats will move in where they removed the old ones, because it’s a well-known drop-off point for careless people, and the old scents of cat will attract more cats, as will the smell of garbage and possible food and the hope of shelter.
My friend I work with took in two of the feral cats, when we called the shelter back and they came to help trap the remaining cats, they volunteered to take and rehabilitate two. They rescue cats and socialize them and adopt them out frequently. I can’t because I already have a maximum of cats at home, and it’s not my house, though I am an avid and determined cat lover.
If they did TNR, they could manage the colony, and if they take get the healthy ones fixed, and vaccinated, they will be cleared and more immune to future diseases, and territorially, less ‘new’ cats will arrive at the site, especially if people are fined and prosecuted for dropping them in the first place. They could be charged with abandonment, animal cruelty, and causing a public nuisance or even endangering the public for dropping off an unvaccinated pet.
The people are the problem, and more effort should be made to stop animals from getting dropped than removing and killing the animals that were thrown out like last week’s trash. Haven’t they been through enough? The cats being there and homeless is just an after-effect from the human’s carelessness.
They should do TNR and then tag or tattoo the cats that have been TNR’d, maybe even microchipped, so they can be more effectively tracked and set up cameras at potential drop sites along with signs posted saying it’s illegal. If it’s necessary maybe law enforcement should patrol the area to ensure no pets continue to be dropped there.
But really, it comes down to the amount of effort we are willing to put into it, and sadly, humans tend to have little to no motivation to help any species other than itself.