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Letter to the Editor: Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Return: A commonsense, effective, and economical solution

Page Williams’ recent letter (“Be Very Careful What You Wish For, Westville,” Nov. 25) only adds to the misinformation and scaremongering on the subject of unowned, free-roaming “community” cats, thereby undermining any chance for reasonable discussions and fact-based reporting.

Best Friends Animal Society operates more large-scale trap-neuter-vaccinate-return (TNVR) programs than any other organization in the country. As such, we are in a unique position to comment on the positive impact such programs have not only on the cats, but on animal shelters and the communities they serve.

The process is simple: cats are caught, evaluated by veterinarians, vaccinated, spayed or neutered, and returned to their original outdoor homes, unable to have kittens. And the successes we’ve seen, in our own programs and others, echo the findings of research studies demonstrating both the effectiveness of targeted sterilization programs to stabilize and reduce the population of cats at a local level, and the broad public support such programs enjoy.

By contrast, the traditional approach to managing free-roaming cats (i.e., impoundment followed, in most cases, by lethal injection) has been used for more than 100 years in this country with no evidence whatsoever that it’s produced any long-term population reduction. It’s also wildly unpopular and costly, the poster child for failed public policy.

Targeted TNVR offers a commonsense, animal-friendly, effective, and economical alternative. No wonder such programs are becoming increasingly popular across the country, in communities large and small, urban and rural.

Peter J. Wolf
Research/Policy Analyst
Best Friends Animal Society

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Feature Stories News Recent News Westville

Letter to the Editor: Be Very Careful What You Wish For, Westville

The citizens of Westville should be made very aware of what they are voting for — and no Community Cat Program should be approved without a Community vote.

The Community should know that they would be approving the creation of “managed” feral cat colonies, of unrestricted size, that could be supported by any of their neighbors. They would be helpless to prevent the deaths of birds and small mammals and reptiles in their own yards, or to prevent the paw prints on their cars, or to prevent the smell of cat urine and poop (containing toxoplasmosis oocysts) in their gardens and sandboxes – because the cats are legally protected.

There will be some pitiful deaths, some from infection or failed sutures due to the perpetually premature post-op release of neutered cats in Trap/Neuter/Re-abandon programs and some from the human cruelty/predation/disease/trauma to which outdoor cats are vulnerable. Rarely are enough of the cats trapped and neutered to prevent the colony’s growth, and rarely do the proponents of these programs acknowledge the threats to public health or the cruelty to wildlife created by concentrations of feral cats.

Be very careful what you ask for, Westville.

Ms. Page S Williams
Houston TX

Related Links provided by Ms. Williams:

Fred Grimm: Miami-Dade’s trap-neuter-release program utterly ignores science

Free-roaming Abandoned and Feral Cats

The Burden of Rabies

The welfare of feral cats and wildlife