People Who Support Trap-neuter-return (TNR) Are More Decent Than Those Who Don’t

I have given this some thought and it is clear to me that the people who support trap-neuter-release programs (TNR) as a way of reducing the population of feral cats are more decent than people who wish to ‘remove them from the environment’ (a euphemistic phrase from mass slaughter!).

TNR program Austin Texas
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

You may have noticed that New York state legislature is debating the introduction of a statute (law created by the government) in which they fund large-scale TNR programs across the state. It is quite an important moment in the United States with respect to the ongoing debate on how to deal with feral cats. It may kick start something bigger.

There are a lot of interested parties. This is made apparent by the fact that the New York Assembly members are receiving lots of memos from people who wish to lobby the lawmakers into making a decision in their favour. For example, Sen Cathy Marchione, the bill’s sponsor, said:

“One of my colleague said to me, ‘I’ve gotten more memos on your cat bill than anything else.'”

What is evident to me is that the decent people who support TNR have the welfare of feral cats wholly in mind. They understand the big picture and the reasons why feral cats exist. They support TNR because it humanely diminishes the population size of feral cats. It is currently the only and best method of doing that.

In contrast, the people who are against TNR are people who have their own interests at heart, by which I mean the hunting groups and organisations such as the New York Sportsmen’s Advisory Council. They are making a decision based upon what benefits them not what is the right thing to do. That is an important observation I feel. It should be noted by the lawmakers because their job is to do the right thing.

Good veterinarians also support TNR programs. For example, the professor Emeritus at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine lobbied the state government in a memo which said:

“So the choice is to live with the status quo and watch cat populations grow or to enhance the (trap-neuter-release) efforts currently working to reduce feral cat numbers in many areas. I choose to support (trap-neuter-release) efforts until more effective population control measures become available.”

That sort of statement is extremely sensible and the correct way to proceed. If the New York Sportsmen’s Advisory Council penned a memo to the lawmakers of New York state it would say something like:

“We are against the funding of TNR programs because we believe that it leads to native wild species being killed by feral cats and we prefer to kill animals ourselves, if you don’t mind!”

You can see the difference can’t you? One of the lobbying groups is a course the people who support the bird species of America – America’s ornithologists. They don’t support TNR because they believe that feral cats kill a lot of birds and they want to protect America’s birds. I understand that. At least that argument is better than the one presented by America’s hunters. However, it still falls short of the arguments presented by people who support TNR as the most humane way of diminishing the population size of feral cats. This is because the ornithologist do not have the humane treatment of feral cats at the heart of their argument. They just want rid of them. It’s a case of speciesism. They want to support birds over cats. That is a false argument.

PETA is also against TNR. They wish to totally eradicate feral cats. They are simply wrong. You can’t just kill all the feral cats. It is impractical, putting aside from a minute that it is inhumane. It does not work. In fact it is illegal, in my assessment, to do it.

I conclude, therefore, that as stated in my opening paragraph, supporters of TNR programs are the most decent people in this debate currently taking place in New York state. And they are thinking more profoundly.

New York state is also debating the banning of declawing. Good for them.

Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

8 thoughts on “People Who Support Trap-neuter-return (TNR) Are More Decent Than Those Who Don’t”

  1. Dee, you have a good heart – and better than good. Ruthie, by the way, wrote me not long ago that you had offered to help her pay some of the bills for her little boy. Another kind friend also helped her out.

    Everything you say re TNR – when no one is there to care for the cats – is true. For years I’ve had (no, not TNR – just neglected cats who had nothing and no one) with ear mite infection, feline leukemia, rotted-out teeth ($860.00 to have them pulled, which I did), and festering wounds from cat fights. That, plus fleas & ingrown claws. But I wouldn’t have the strength and resilience to do half of what you’ve done – least of all move a colony or trap the cats for their periodic vaccinations. You’re truly incredible.

    (Please don’t reply. I’m no longer online – or very seldom – and don’t want to give the impression that I ignored you when I’m simply unplugged. x

  2. The comments below are peripheral to my purpose in writing – i.e., to ask a favor. They aren’t intended to futilely question the view that people who don’t support TNR are ‘less decent’ than its advocates.

    I’m not a fan of TNR. To qualify that, neutering cats stops their reproduction-which solves half the problem. What I lack is the insight to grasp the good of a bow without a fiddle.

    If the TNR program had volunteers with the funds & commitment to feed and shelter TNR’ed cats, the program would be a humane solution. But it falls short by half unless it also has volunteers such as Dee in Florida and Martha in Malta who care for the cats afterwards. TNR volunteers deserve respect and admiration for their commitment, as do those who look after the cats for years afterwards at their own expense – assuming such people are a dime a dozen. Because if they’re not, I question the morality of a TNR ‘solution’ that snips the cats, then trundles them back to neighborhoods where they’re kicked to the curb by the denizens. That the cats have been breeding like midges is proof of the pudding that those to whom the cats ‘belong’ have no interest in their welfare. They haven’t a trace of solicitude for them, whether breeding or neutered.

    While I don’t admire TNR as much as I should – the reason being I see it as a blend of compassion and thoughtlessness – I’ve spent $40.00 so far on high-quality canned cat food for two neighborhood cats who came to my door five days ago. The smaller has finished nursing her kittens – location unknown – and is drying up. She has barely emerged from kittenhood herself, weighs less than two pounds, has protruding bones and sunken flanks. The other, a tad over three pounds, is in family way, far as I can tell. Actually, both have gained a few ounces since they showed up, as they’re being fed three or four times a day.

    Last week I phoned someone I thought was part of a staff that rehomes unwanted cats, but learned during our conversation she’s a years-long, dedicated participant in a TNR program that takes neutered cats back to where they came from. A hellish fate, as often as not (unless this is Turkey). Though I’d offered her group a substantial donation, I tactfully withdrew when I realized she had nothing to do with rehoming cats, for all her hard work. She hung up on me.

    Two days later I had the good fortune to find a no-kill shelter that screens (as in GRILLS) applicants who want to adopt. They’re also sworn enemies of declawing. This afternoon, I’m driving the cats out to the shelter – a lengthy commute – am paying these fabulous people a cash donation of $100.00, and $50.00 in canned food. But that I see them as what my friend Ruthie calls ‘earth angels’ doesn’t mean that I see myself as morally inferior because I lack what it takes to condemn people who thinks it falls short.

    Request: Michael, if would be helpful if you could find time to provide the title to the essay written by Kirsten Doub in which she details the after-effects of declawing (arthritis, bone splinters, etc.). If PoC has word-search, I don’t see the darned thing, haven’t the time to hunt for it, am headed out the door, and need a printout in a couple of hours, if possible. I can give the shelter Dr. Conrad’s websites, but am having no luck in finding Dr. Doub’s essay, and forget when she wrote it – maybe a year ago or longer? The staff doesn’t know her, and I’d like them to read it.

    1. Hi Sylvia Ann. Nice to hear from you. I agree that TNR does need to be conducted thoroughly for it to work well. It is early days. If NY state gets behind TNR and part funds it that will help make it more efficient. State governments should fund TNR generously!

      As for your request, try using the search box at the top of any page and type in “Dr Doub” and see what comes up. PoC custom search is very efficient, believe me. I am surprised that you could not see the search box! It is there just above the title to the post and above links to other posts. There is a blue button on the RHS and a input box/panel to the left of the button. Good luck.

    2. Good to hear from you, Sylvia Ann. Your point is well taken regarding TNR. Trap, neuter, and returning means nothing if the cats aren’t taken care of beyond that.

      They need yearly rabies vaccines, good nutrition, and bear watching for illnesses that require a vet visit.

      It’s very hard work, especially trying to trap a sick feral to take to the vet or trapping a whole colony that are due for their vaccinations. Under those circumstances, I may go 2-3 days without sleep or food.
      The cats are my only focus.

      Right now, because one of my ferals was poisoned, I have to consider moving the whole colony to safe ground. I dread it; but, at least I know that my comrades will bring sandwiches and make me eat so I won’t starve to death.

  3. Good for you,Dee! Thank you. Yes,out of pocket is costly. That is why those who just dump the new cats into a TNR colony should be good enough to help with the cost.

  4. Hard to say.

    There are a lot of decent people who care as much as fulltime TNR people but don’t participate in TNR for many reasons.

    TNR is very, very hard and stressful work. Plus, unless, subsidized, it can be very costly.

    I bust my bum every day for colonies that aren’t even mine just because these poor, wonderful people have such a love for the cats.

    Low income folks and those bogged down with job and kids would be really strapped to participate even though they may want to. That’s where we come in… We will take the task from them.

    And… P.S. PETA can go to Hell!!!

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