The management at Sandy Pines, a vacation destination, in Dorr, Michigan are unable to bring themselves to act humanely towards feral cats on their 800 acre park. They have shunned a TNR program worked out with Carol’s Ferals and insist on adopting a trap and kill policy.
Not So Pristine
The Sandy Pines management describe their vacation destination as occupying 800 acres of woodlands around a pristine lake. Clearly, the people who manage this beautiful site do not possess minds which are as pristine as their lake.
Cat Froze To Death in Trap
A little while ago I reported on a cat who had died in a trap set by one of the rangers at Sandy Pines.
The photograph is upsetting. We now have an update on Facebook from Judy Lynn who is a member of Carol’s Ferals, as I understand it. She writes a clear summary of what is happening with respect to the feral cats at this vacation destination as at today’s date.
The first point to make is that the cat I refer to froze to death in a trap that was baited and placed by Sandy Pines. A necropsy had been performed to confirm this. The cat had intestinal parasites but as Lynn says these are commonplace among feral cats and are not life-threatening. It looks as if the management are vicariously liable through their ranger for a breach of state animal welfare law because on the face of it they left this cat to die in a trap that they had set.
Cynically, Sandy Pines tried to bury this story.
Refusal to Adopt TNR
It would appear that the Head of Security at Sandy Pines resigned as a result of the necropsy report on this cat. Previously Carol’s Ferals through Judy Lynn had been in discussion with Sandy Pines management about setting up a TNR program on the estate. She had met with Gene, the president of Sandy Pines and Mel, the Head of Security and Josh, the Social Media Director. They had made progress towards setting up a TNR program. Then Mel resigned as mentioned.
Despite Carol’s Ferals agreeing to foot the bills for spaying and neutering the cats and handling every aspect of the TNR program, Sandy Pines management opted for trap and eradicate.
This obviously means killing feral cats because taking feral cats to a shelter is a death sentence. No doubt, Sandy Pines will say that they have to clear the feral cats from their vacation destination in the interests of their business and their clients. Having read about feral cats for many years it is my impression that a lot of people like to see cats. It gives them pleasure and if they are managed properly as has been recommended and proposed then their presence should not be a problem. I would suggest that community cats can add to the environment especially on a park the size of 800 acres. Their presence would be very low-key and certainly would not be a detriment to the business.
This story is probably negative publicity for the business. To see feral cats handled humanely and decently would have provided the opposite.
In fact, Lynn suggested that a photograph was taken of the traps being removed from the park and loaded into a Carol’s Ferals vehicle as a means of promoting the park. However, the president, Gene, showed his true colors in suggesting that the photo shoot be a complete sham. He said: “let’s load them in, take the picture, and you give them back to us”.
If you are setting traps you are open to the possibility of trapping “owned” cats. Lynn has a warning to the members of Sandy Pines. She says that if you own a cat do not let him or her outside of your dwelling when visiting the park this summer. And she makes a good point that even a domestic cat when trapped for a while and then shipped off to a shelter will behave quite possibly like a feral cat because the whole thing will be so stressful. When a cat behaves aggressively they are assessed as having behavioral issues which in turns means that they are unadoptable which then leads to one thing: death, euphemistically described as euthanasia.
You will not see cats treated humanely at Sandy Pines. You will not see carefully manage feeding stations for the cats at Sandy Pines. You might glimpse the surreptitious removal of a captured cat in a van never to be seen again.