Mary Blakeman: Feral cat prevention

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To the editor:

The Humane Society of Moffat County is planning a feral cat intervention program. The Humane Society recognizes feral cats are a problem for the community and has conducted research to determine which existing programs are successful in controlling feral cat populations.

Feral cats are the offspring of free-roaming or abandoned domestic cats. They live where they were abandoned, where there is a food source, like Dumpsters near restaurants, food stores and fast food places or where people will feed them. Feral cats are frequently encouraged for rodent control in outbuildings.

Trapping and removing feral cats does nothing to prevent the migration of new cats into the area, nor does it prevent reproduction. When cats are removed and euthanized, more cats simply move in to take over the food source and the reproducing continues.

Without human intervention, a single female cat can produce 3,200 kittens in a 12-year lifespan.

When feral cats are trapped, neutered, and returned to their original territory, they protect their food source by not allowing new cats into the area, and if unable to reproduce, they die out naturally over a few years. They also stop mating-related nuisances like fighting, spraying, howling and roaming.

Gradually, the number of feral cats decreases without new ones moving in.

Trap, neuter and release programs change the situation through education and intervention. Trap, neuter and release programs have been remarkably successful.

Program models have been implemented through the Humane Society Pikes Peak Region, Animal Control in Eagle County, Stanford University, the University of Texas, the University of Washington and the communities in San Diego and Santa Clara County, Calif., and are endorsed by nationally acclaimed organizations such as the American Animal Hospital Association, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, the Humane Society of the United States, and the Cat Fancier's Association.

Simply removing and destroying feral cats creates opportunities for new feral cats to move in, and the problem continues with more random, uncontrolled breeding. Trapping, neutering and releasing feral cats will keep new cats from moving in and will reduce the feral cat population problem naturally.

You are invited to attend the special Humane Society meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Golden Cavvy to address this issue.

Mary Blakeman

The Humane Society of Moffat County

Comments

George Robertson 5 years, 4 months ago

And when the "new" cats move in they also are trapped and REMOVED, and when still more new cats move in they also are trapped and REMOVED etc.

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FeralFacts 5 years, 4 months ago

Lots of misleading and inaccurate information above! Cat removal does work when the food source is also removed. Cats do NOT defend their territories. Cats in managed colonies do NOT prevent other cats from joining. People dump pets. Even caregivers add cats to existing colonies. Any cat that evades capture is fed and better able to breed.

There is no scientific support for TNR - colonies do not die out naturally.

More info here:

http://tnrrealitycheck.com/

Cats should not be used for rodent control:

http://tnrrealitycheck.com/barn_cats.asp

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Colette Erickson 5 years, 4 months ago

So am I to understand that the "solution" - removing the food source - is to be applied to, say, a restaurant w/ a dumpster from which cats eat? "Cat proof" dumpsters, perhaps? Yet another ordinance to enforce? More costs for businesses and the City? Just because some website says cats should not be used for rodent control, will that stop people from attempt to do so? What IS the solution to people dumping pets? What IS the solution to folks who refuse to spay/neuter? At least this is an attempt to handle the problem in a humane manner.

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als362 5 years, 4 months ago

If the ordinance that would put me in jail for killing a wild cat was lifted, then I, as a concerned citizen trying to protect my property could legally eliminate some of these cats. This I will gladly do. Cats have for years used my property as a toilet. But I can do nothing about it as the law stands now. Wild cats are a major pest in all communities, and need to be eliminated before an innocent person is infected with rabies from one of these cats. It is obvious to me that no one cares about these cats, or they would be home with their owners. Since they are not cared about, as far as I am concerned they are fair game. And no one should be surprised when they end up dead. If you don't like my opinion, I DON"T CARE! I am tired of all these cats destroying what I have spent years and many dollars building for myself. I do not care if these cats are handled in a humane manner, because they do not treat me in a humane manner, why should I care about them. Also I believe that anyone caught releasing a cat, should be put in jail for 7 days. After a few of these sentences are handed out, some people will think before turning their cat out to fend for itself.

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bearscout 5 years, 4 months ago

If possible, the people in our community with knowledge of, or experience with feral cat issues should attend this meeting. The Humane Society of Moffat County (HSMC) is simply trying to develop a program to address an issue that they are constantly requested to assist with. To date there has been no 'formal' program, simply an effort to help here and there with individuals that have situations out of their control. In every request for assistance the individual DID NOT want the cats euthanized. The problem of free roaming and feral cats is prevalent in our community because as stated in other posts, people must spay/neuter their pets or the problem will continue. People have created the problem, the HSMC simply wants to be part of the solution. Based on the posts, it is a complex and heated issue. The HSMC is comprised of hard working, well intended volunteers. Developing a program to deal with this issue is going to be a learning process for all involved. Support and constructive input from the community would be appreciated.
Carol Scott HSMC Treasurer

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Dakota 5 years, 4 months ago

To als362 and any one else who does not fully understand this whole stray and feral cat issue: Putting the cats down is not an option until the people of the community stop being lazy and start taking care of their pets and their environment. Stop abandoning your cats, don't leave food, shelter, and water around for them to live off of, have your cats spayed or neutered if they have any chance at all that they might get out of the house. So you take care of the cats your way, what are you going to do when they come back? Because they will! Why are they coming on your property and not some one else's? Because they are finding food, shelter, and water there. You may not think they do but if your place is not "clean" then that is where they are going to go. But hey, lets just keep blaming the cats for our neglect of them and the issue. Not all of the humane society members are tree huggers and bleeding hearts, but a few of them are well educated and have done their research on this issue and this program. I would rather see the money being "wasted" on these cats then wasted on human beings who can't even use common since to realize why these cats are here in the first place and fix that problem, themselves. Do you really think the ground just opened up and poof they were here? I guess it is easier to just pull the trigger on some buck shot them to put effort into talking to yourself or your neighbor about the real issue.

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als362 5 years, 4 months ago

To Dakota: Just so you know, there is no source of food or shelter on my property. And my property is nearly the cleanest in the area. I do however live near some slobs that can't seem to take care of their own mess. This does not take away from my right to protect what is mine. You make it sound like these cats are mine, and that this cat problem is my fault. Make no mistake. I own no cat, nor will I ever own a cat. Cats in my opinion are target practice, nothing more. They are nasty, messy, untrainable animals that have no place in the world as far as I am concerned. No I don't think the ground opened up and they just appeared. I have been bothered by these useless animals for years, and believe that it is my right to do with them as I please. Especially since the "owners" have no desire to take care of their own worthless pets. I choose to not waste money on cats except to eliminate them from the face of the earth. I am sorry that you seem to think that this cat problem is everyones fault except for the once was owners. But I will do my part to clean the problem up, even though the method I use might not please people like you.

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als362 5 years, 4 months ago

And yes I do think it is much easier to pull the trigger than any other option so far discussed on these pages.

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Dakota 5 years, 4 months ago

als362 Wow, you just don't get it and you have no intention of reading these or any other words. No one said that these cats were yours only that you may be helping to sustain the situation. Stop being lazy and go tell your neighbors you would like them to clean up their home property for the value of your house, to detour the cat population, and for piece of mind. There are programs out there that can help you do this, but nooooo... you'd rather be angry at not only the cats but anyone who may disagree with you and does like cats simply for that value. Again, wow! Did you not hear what I said about the cats being the problem of the people who will not take care of them in the first place and that yes I believe that they should be the ones to deal with this problem? Seeing as how they seem to be as narrow minded as you are and will not take care of their pets then the humane society has chosen a way that they think they can help, and isn't something better than nothing? Why can't you support them in their efforts to try and help diminish this problem instead of standing on a pedestal of holeyer then thou and your property and your rights. So you have an opinion but I am floored that it is one sided or the other. People don't have to be cat lovers or cat haters. Some people just don't want to see any more baby kittens born to be unwanted, suffer starvation, attacked by predators, or left to the elements. So it isn't legal for you to shoot a cat, but it is legal for the humane society to trap them and neuter them to help prevent more unwanted cats to be born, why can't you be glad some one is doing something. When you sit back in a year or two and reep the benefits of this TNR program of less if not any cats on your property, I hope you sit there smugly.

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als362 5 years, 4 months ago

To Dakota: Appearantly you did not read you own post. In the 5th and 6th lines, this is what you wrote - "Stop abandoning your cats, don't leave food, shelter, and water around for them to live off of, have your cats spayed or neutered" Anytime someone writes a post with my name at the top and uses the word "your" in it a have to think they are talking about me directly. Sorry you missed this. And just a word, just because someone does not agree with you does not make them narrow minded. What they are is fed up with this problem and do not see any real hope that the humane society is going to do any good turning the cats loose again. And by the way, when I deal with a cat in my way, it is impossible for it to come back. Which is an option I prefer over anything I have seen listed here so far.

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Dakota 5 years, 4 months ago

Have it your way, what do I care you still don't listen. "You" was a reference to the people in the community that do their pets and feral cats wrong. It was implied in the prior sentce, but since you want to read it to fit your anger then go ahead. I'd like to congradulate the paper on such a great picture of merian and the cat and say congradulations to the HSMC for the amount raised at their garage sale. Good job guys. Can't wait to see how the TNR program goes and wish you the best in your indevers.

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