Update December 18 The Des Moines City Council has approved a new effort to round up feral cats and then spay or neuter the animals before releasing them back into the city.
The Des Moines Register reports the effort is aimed at helping manage the cat population more humanely. The new ordinance takes effect March 1.
Supporters of a new TNR (trap, neuter, return) proposed community cat ordinance in Des Moines will meet with Des Moines City Council on Monday to discuss how to handle the areas of community cats.
Tom Colvin, CEO of the Animal Rescue League, is in support of the proposal passing because it would help reduce the number of cats taken to the shelter.
The plan is, should the ordinance pass, to allow the ARL to set traps and capture the feral and community cats. A veterinarian would examine the cat and decide whether it’s healthy enough to be returned to the area it calls home.
Each cat will be checked for disease, spayed or neutered, and marked for future identification. Then it would be returned to the colony. Colvin says there are community cats living all over the city where many times the caregivers feed in secret because they fear the cats being trapped and permanently removed.
A study reported on in Science Direct determined
“A population of 155 cats in 11 colonies on a Florida university campus was reduced to 23 over 11 years, and three colonies became extinct. Cats in six colonies in rural North Carolina were reduced by 36% in 2 years and continued to decline or the colonies were extinguished over the next 5 years.”
A similar study by Best Friends.org showed a 66 percent reduction in feral cats using TNR.
TNR is the smart way to manage cat overpopulation. The more community cats who are put out of the kitten making business, the fewer cats out there to breed (along with undesirable behavior). Given time, a feral colony that’s properly managed will eventually die out naturally.
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