Saturday, March 24, 2007

Palm Bay man treated for rabies from cat

A man bitten by a stray cat while working in his yard underwent the first in a series of shots Wednesday, after health officials confirmed that the feral feline had rabies.
The Brevard County Health Department also issued a warning Wednesday to residents living in the Scodella Street area of southwest Palm Bay, where the cat roamed.
The incident occurred Tuesday as the unidentified man, who also cares for a number of cats in his home, cleared a lot, health department officials said.
"It was a stray cat that came up to the man while he was working outside. The cat hugged his leg and was scratching him," said Dr. Heidar Heshmati, director of the health
"When he reached down to grab the cat, he was bitten on the right thumb," Heshmati said.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Cats showing up at wildlife refuge

Officials think owners are dropping off unwanted pets
The boat landing at the bridges to Hilton Head Island has become a dumping ground for unwanted cats, say wildlife officials, who fear the felines could threaten the bird population at Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge.
The Hilton Head Humane Association is attempting to relocate the feral cats, but it’s having a hard time trapping them because someone is giving them food and water, said Franny Gerthoffer, the association’s executive director.
To combat the problem, officials with Savannah Coastal Refuges say anyone caught releasing cats at the refuge will face fines. Jane Griess, a project leader for the coastal refuge, says the cats pose a threat to painted buntings and other birds nesting on the island.
Griess said people should stop leaving food and water for the cats.
“We’re not trying to be the bad guy here at all,” Griess said, “but there are some places that are appropriate for cats, and a national wildlife refuge is not that place.”

Official: Feeding Feral Cats Is Not the Answer

Bill Tinsley, Lakeland's parks and recreation director, seemed surprised this week to learn of Lusby's longtime practice of feeding cats living in Lake Parker Park. Though he understands Lusby's affection for the animals, Tinsley said feeding the cats only creates further problems.
"We certainly do not encourage the establishment or maintaining of a domestic or exotic animal population in a public park," Tinsley said. "There are lots of reasons why they shouldn't be fostered in that public space. I love animals as much as anybody, but you have to do what's responsible for the animals."
Tinsley supports the capture of feral cats to be sterilized, but he said they shouldn't be returned to the park, where their presence might spur irresponsible owners to release more cats and perpetuate the cycle. He cited concerns about diseases and the cats' killing of native wildlife.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Adopt THIS loving cat!

What is it about this cat that makes him deserving of support while he kills our natural wildlife, and urinates and defecates on our property?

Adopt THIS loving cat!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Feral Cat Information

Unfortunately, most cats in a colony are feral and have never been touched by a human and would not adjust to living in someone's home. In fact, trying to place a feral cat can be extremely dangerous for the new owner and the cat. A conscientious adoption program will not accept feral cats for adoption.
Relocation of feral cats is extremely inhumane. Relocation amounts to double abandonment. These animals were abandoned once in their lives and now they are being abandoned again. There is no place to take them that doesn't already have a feral cat problem. Relocated cats are at extreme risk of injury and starvation; they don't know where to find safe shelter or food; they are almost never accepted into the existing colony; and they will spend the remainder of their lives as outsiders without the benefit of social interactions with the existing colony.
Feeding and encouraging stray, abandoned, or feral cats without offering shelter, sterilization, and preventive health care is irresponsible. These animals will rely on the food source you provide and you could find yourself host to numerous cats. If these cats are not sterilized and vaccinated against disease, particularly rabies, the problem will continue to grow. Litters of kittens will be born and those that survive will be unsocialized and wild. Distemper, feline leukemia, and other feline diseases will pass between the cats and probably cause a few to suffer and die. The cats can also pass these diseases to yours or your neighbor's pets.

Alien Predators Are More Dangerous Than Native Predators

Introduced predators such as foxes and cats are twice as deadly as native predators to Australia's unique native animals, a new study has found.
The new finding, published this week in the prestigious journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, is the first confirmation of what has been a long-held hypothesis among scientists.
It also highlights the heavy continuing impact of these predators long after their introduction and that Australia's fauna has been among the hardest hit in the world.
Experts believe that introduced "alien" predators are more dangerous than native predators because their prey, such as numbats and bettongs, are naïve to the hunting tactics of alien predators.

Maui man, 74, saves seabird colony

For most of his 74 years, Isao Nakagawa considered Hawea Point in Kapalua as simply a good place to catch bait fish, not as nesting habitat for wedge-tailed shearwaters.
Then, about seven years ago, he discovered the aftermath of a massacre at the dwindling seabird colony.
"One day I found 22 dead birds. That really got me. I couldn't stand it," said Nakagawa, a retired shop supervisor for Maui Land & Pineapple Co.'s Honolua plantation.
The marauders were cats or dogs, and Nakagawa was moved to launched a one-man campaign to remove predators from the area and protect the shearwaters, which spend most of their lives on the open ocean, coming ashore in late March and April to nest in burrows in the sandy soil and rocky crevices, and between the roots of ironwood trees.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Mandatory spay/neuter bill upsets dog, cat breeders

The pet breeders are concerned for their profits, but this may help protect our wildlife. I think it may be a good start.

Breeders of domestic pets are howling mad over a bill that would require all dogs and cats in California to be spayed or neutered unless they are registered purebreds and have special, government-issued permits.
The main goal of AB1634 is to combat the overpopulation of stray pets -- a problem that forces cities like Los Angeles to spend millions of dollars to expand and build new animal shelters, said the bill's author, Assemblyman Lloyd Levine, D-Van Nuys. Shelters euthanize nearly half a million dogs and cats every year, he said.
"We simply have a huge problem in the state with pet overpopulation," Levine said. "I can't tell you how many people have complained to me about cats defecating in their yards, flowerbeds ... and in sandboxes where kids play. It's a huge public safety and public health issue."


Food For Ferals: Neri Cares For Cats Others Ignore

We don't ignore those cats. We know they are out there killing our wildlife, and defecating and spraying on our property!

I try to get him to give me more complete answer but “I just feel compelled” is the best I can get. Neri has spent an incredible amount of his time and money caring for what most people consider pests and a nuisance. He obviously enjoys it, but he also does it with the air of someone who doesn’t feel he has a choice.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Kansas City WildLands Coalition

Any of you mid-westerners may wish to explore the Kansas City WildLands Coalition They are working proactively for our ecology. I especially appreciated this page Feral Cats- Overcoming Myths I received a most gracious letter from one of their hard-working people in response to a query, and wanted to return the kudos.

Feral cats like Pringles Chipotle Limon Potato Chips?

The one that invaded me seems to. I would never have guessed, but she wanted to see what I was eating and I gave her two. I called our local animal shelter and they said they should be able to find her an inside home, since she's so tame. That's why I've been taming her, and no, I still don't like cats.

Cat recovers from BB wounds, burn

Yeah, right, now reabandon it back into the wild to suffer some more and call it "compassionate" and "humane" treatment!
A Middletown animal rescuer found Mike the cat dragging his hind leg recently in the area of 15th Avenue and Minnesota Street.
The mostly black domestic shorthair cat was shot multiple times and several BBs were lodged all over his body. He smelled of urine and his testicles had been burned, said animal activist Deb Donley, when she found him three weeks ago.
Mike's situation is not strange to her.
Donley said in recent years she has found many abused cats in Middletown, including one with an arrow piercing its body.

Saving Bruce Ratner’s cats

This doesn't sound like much of a life for a pet animal, does it? If they get them abandoned into another location it won't stop their dying, their killing, or their crapping and urination on other's property.

While opponents of Bruce Ratner’s Atlantic Yards project continue to work around the clock — figuratively — to block the developer’s wrecking ball, cat lovers are working around the clock — literally — to rescue a colony of feral felines who are about to lose their home to make room for the 16-tower mega-project.
A group from Slope Street Cats, which traps, neuters, and cares for feral kitties, has been spending its nights setting up traps outside a trash-filled lot on Vanderbilt Avenue and Dean Street, whose 11 stray cats don’t know that the largest development in Brooklyn’s history is about to evict them.
“Cats are very tied to place,” said Laura Brahm, the group’s assistant executive director. “If [Ratner] starts doing demolition, the cats will either run away and starve, or get hit by cars.”

Friday, March 9, 2007

Impacts of Free-ranging Pets on Wildlife

Cats and dogs are domesticated predators. They have natural prey-chasing, capturing, and killing instincts. As a result of this and the large numbers of them in Florida, cats and dogs have the potential to severely impact local wildlife populations. In addition to reducing populations of species and limiting the number of prey items for native predators, free-ranging pets can cause other problems. For example, they serve as important reservoirs for human and wildlife diseases like ringworm, toxoplasmosis, leptospirosis, distemper, and rabies. They may be an important factor in introducing these diseases into susceptible wildlife populations. Dogs kill turtles and other wildlife. My own Australian silky terrier killed a young blue jay, and several frogs and lizards in my backyard. Exotic snakes and other pet predators can also have local impacts if released into the wild. But the pet that is by far the most devastating on wildlife populations is the furry feline. While a few species such as great horned owls and coyotes may think of cats as delicacies, many wildlife populations are threatened by "outside" cats that are allowed to range freely.The instinctive hunting and killing behavior of cats is extensively documented. Unlike wild predators that kill to eat, cats kill impulsively even when they are not hungry. Animals that nest or feed on or close to the ground such as cardinals, bobwhites, towhees, wrens, rabbits, and lizards are most susceptible. At least part of the population declines experienced by Florida's endangered beach mice are due to domestic cat predation. A Michigan study provided some insight into the impact of a single cat on local prey. During an 18-month period, one well-fed, domestic farm cat killed at least 60 birds and 1,600 small mammals. A study in England estimated that over a million birds are killed each year there by free-ranging cats.Although it is impossible to determine the extent of this problem in Florida, estimates are astounding. Several thousand stray cats are picked up by county animal control departments in Florida each month (for example, Orange County averages almost 670/month). If each cat killed only one animal each month, tens-of-thousands of animals would be killed each year here. This is a conservative estimate, because studies have shown that cats kill more than one animal per month (almost 100 were killed each month by the cat in the Michigan study), and we

Audubon report claims birds in danger

Birds also face predation from feral cats and competition for habitat from other species, including white-tailed deer and non-native waterfowl such as Canada geese and mute swans.
These factors are contributing to the demise of millions of Connecticut birds, the society says.
The researchers who compiled the report estimate that each year feral cats claim millions of birds. Their projection is based on monitoring of feral cats in the Midwest with electronic tracking devices and counting how many birds each cat killed. The Animal Center in Newtown estimates that Connecticut has 500,000 feral cats.
To ease some of the stress on the avian population, the Connecticut Audubon Society wants the state Legislature to appoint a state agency, such as the Agriculture Department, to remove and control feral cat colonies that are on state land and beaches near protected wildlife areas.LINK

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

"I could see that they were hungry. It was a heartbreaking situation for people who care about animals."

This woman started a feral cat colony using trap, neuter, abandon. I ask her where is her compassion for the wildlife they kill and her neighbors they invade?

Please enact a leash law for pet cats

This petition is someone else's but I'm all for helping them with it. Please sign it and pass it on.

To: Various government agencies
We the undersigned feel that while it is everyone's individual right to own a pet, not everyone wants to come into contact with everyone else's pet. Therefore, we would like to see a LEASH LAW enacted for PET CATS. Dog owners must currently follow this law, and it's about time cat owners had to follow it, too. Free-roaming cats are a danger to local wildlife (even if they are declawed or wear bells), they are traffic hazards, they spread disease and breed (causing a cat overpopulation problem) and in addition, some people just do NOT want these pests in their yard. Cat owners, we therefore ask that you please have some consideration and either keep your cat indoors (it is likely to live longer that way) or put your cat on a leash when you let it out, just as dog owners do. We would like to see some official legislation on this topic.

Author of cat proposal says idea is a worthy one

I had wondered how this originally went down. It appears it was overblown by the cat backers

I have heard every excuse from cat lovers as to why cats run free. I fail to understand their excuses, when they claim to care so much for their animals. The cat lovers offer no solution to the feral cat problem; they only attack my character and make threats against me. My proposal makes no threats against any person or persons. Yet, the cat lovers have made threats to my job, co-workers and family.

The cat and animal lovers have stated they are "outraged" that I have made my proposal to the state concerning feral cats. I have not asked for nor have I taken any money from anyone and I did not spend any money to make my proposal. Organizations like The Humane Society of the United States and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals receive millions of dollars yearly in donations from animal lovers. I hear no "outrage" from cat lovers that these organizations have done nothing about the feral cat issue.

The fact is I made a legitimate proposal to the Wisconsin Conservation Congress on an issue of statewide concern. Had the Conservation Congress felt it was not a legitimate proposal, they would not have brought it back from committee for a statewide vote. If you read my proposal, you'll see it changes nothing for responsible cat owners. It says nothing about taking anyone's pets from them, or about discharging firearms in the city.


Grim reality for feral cats: Shelters euthanize thousands

At the same time, people think they are doing a good deed by feeding stray cats -- but they're really just helping these colonies grow. Angela Guzman knows this all too well. One of her neighbors in West Paterson fed some strays -- and an entire family of feral cats took up residence under her porch. "They used my garden as a litter box," she says. "I was afraid to let my children play in my yard until we got rid of them."
Both animal-control experts and animal advocates agree the owners need to be more responsible.
"Cats should be household pets, the same as dogs," says Comery, the Paramus official. "Pet owners should keep their pets indoors or at least confined to their property. We are constantly getting calls from people whose neighbors' cats are in their yard defecating or attacking the birds at the feeder."
Paterson's John DeCando has another bit of advice: "The bottom line," he says "is that people should spay and neuter their pets."

Carson City has a cat problem, feral and wanderers

Of all the ways to start your day, finding a dead cat in your front yard is solidly in the bottom tier of preference. But that's what Marianne Tucker saw as she pulled out of her driveway on Fifth Street just before 8 a.m. on Thursday.
Upsetting? Oh yes, especially for an animal lover. Her own cat was upset that morning, whining noisily inside their house, and Tucker thinks it's because she sensed the dead cat outside.
The cat had been struck by a car the night before, and someone had dragged it into the yard. That's insensitive, to say the least, Tucker said. She's also not happy that when she called Animal Services on Thursday night when she learned about the dead cat in the road, no one would come out to pick it up until morning.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Lloyd Levine, D-Van Nuys taking action

Lloyd Levine, D-Van Nuys is proposing a bill, AB1634, that would require all dogs and cats in California be spayed or neutered unless they are registered purebreds and have special, government-issued permits.
He is at least taking action on a problem that is far beyond drastic.
The well meaning proponents of feral and roaming cats have resisted realistic and responsible methods of controlling pet over population until it is now reaching critical mass in many areas of this country and world. This legislation may only be the first of backlashes we see from lawmakers pressured by the majority who are fed up with the status quo.
The one issue in this most people are ignoring is how has this glut of uncontrolled domestic pets impacted our ecology. Most biologists and ecologists say it has been catastrophic. I applaud Mr. Levine for taking action.

Monday, March 5, 2007

South Africa: Robben Island Birds On Road to Recovery

Robben Island's endangered African Black Oystercatchers have started breeding in record numbers following last year's successful feral cat eradication programme.
The island's managers, Robben Island Museum, reported that there were just two of the cats left last month, down from about 70 in April.
The cats had a devastating impact on the island's seabird populations - including the iconic oystercatchers but also other indigenous species such as Swift Terns.

Pet cat shot by police in bizarre ordeal

While her daughter was stroking the long-haired white and orange tabby in the living room, the feline leisurely walked downstairs.
But when Mickey emerged from the basement-area of the home, it was “ ... a different animal ... it looked as though it was possessed.”
Ears flat back, hair standing on end and eyes bulging, Mickey lunged across the dining room and attacked her daughter, biting through her jeans and slicing into her leg.
When the cat released its grip, it continued coming at the girl, shrieking and hissing.
“I had to intervene ... he was coming right at her again,” the mother recalled.

Mandatory spay/neuter bill upsets dog, cat breeders

It appears the backlash to pet overpopulation is forming.

Sacramento -- Breeders of domestic pets are howling mad over a bill that would require all dogs and cats in California to be spayed or neutered unless they are registered purebreds and have special, government-issued permits.
The main goal of AB1634 is to combat the overpopulation of stray pets -- a problem that forces cities like Los Angeles to spend millions of dollars to expand and build new animal shelters, said the bill's author, Assemblyman Lloyd Levine, D-Van Nuys. Shelters euthanize nearly half a million dogs and cats every year, he said.
"We simply have a huge problem in the state with pet overpopulation," Levine said. "I can't tell you how many people have complained to me about cats defecating in their yards, flowerbeds ... and in sandboxes where kids play. It's a huge public safety and public health issue."

Online Birding Guide to the UNITED STATES

Online Birding Guide to the UNITED STATES

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Protecting Cavity Nesters from Cats

Cats can easily jump on top of a nestbox that is at least 5 feet high. Some can jump as high as 6 feet, and Keith Kridler heard a report of one that could jump 7 feet (especially off of a hard surface). A cat can use its curved claws to reach into the bird house and hook fledglings and nesting adults. An agile cat can leap into the air and catch a Tree Swallow dive bombing to protect its' nest.

While birds that nest or feed on the ground are at greatest risk, fledglings that can not fly well are also a target. Possible signs of a cat attack on a nestbox include missing nestlings with the nest still intact or messed up. Grass below the nestbox may be trampled. There are usually some feathers around. Dead adults (missing or matted feathers or wounds) may also be found. Eggs are usually left, but may be broken.
Any bird handled by a cat should be brought to a wildlife rehabilitator immediately. Unfortunately, because many cats have nasty bacteria and viruses in their mouths and tend to bat prey around (causing severe internal injuries), about 80% of their victims die even if they receive immediate treatment. But it is still worth a try.
Many people believe that a love of wildlife and cats outdoors are incompatible. It is not possible to monitor a nestbox 24/7. If you are unwilling to protect bluebirds from being attacked by cats, it is probably better to remove nestboxes rather than invite birds to nest in an unsafe situation.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Texas Birding Links

Texas Birding Links

What wildlife do feral cat colonies threaten in Florida?

Q: I live in Surfside, and I've grown to love and appreciate the small, controlled feral cat community on the beach. We have a conscientious organization that has trapped and neutered the entire cat population. There aren't any endangered species around this beach area that might be threatened by the cats, are there? Thanks -- Barbara

(Editorial comment: DOH!)

A: You've likely heard about the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's (FWC) new policy on feral cats, including trap/neuter/release (TNR) cat colonies such as the one near your home north of Miami Beach. Recognizing that feral cats harm Florida's native wildlife, the FWC is looking to "manage" such colonies with local governments.

Your question is about endangered species, but in reality, the concern is for all wildlife. As you know, cats are predators, and it's their instinct to hunt just about anything that moves, whether or not they are hungry. Groups everywhere have come to realize that bird populations are in danger of predation by cats, even those that are in their own backyards.

Endangered and Threatened Species found in Texas

Here's an extended list. Feral cats have an impact on many of them, of course.

Global Invasive Species Database

Taxonomic name: Felis catus Linnaeus, 1758
This species has been nominated as among 100 of the "World's Worst" invaders

Using Pellet Guns to "hurt but not kill cats."

I noticed someone came in on a similar search about pellet guns. Running cats off your property with a pellet gun sounds superficially to be a great idea. Killing them with a .22 short in rural areas would be an even better answer, except for several factors. Should you wound a cat and someone sympathetic to cats see you you're almost certain to be charged with animal cruelty.
Yes, I know, a human other than you is primarily at fault and guilty of animal cruelty for putting poor you and the poor cat into conflicting situations. You just want to be done with the pissing, crapping, bird killing critter and put it out of both of your miseries. Unfortunately, the cat enablers don't see things as clearly as you and I and they have organizations.
Okay, either you've killed the cat already, or you're listening. Whichever the case, there will be more cats, so here's my advice. First, bookmark this forum. Then spend the fifty bucks and buy a Havahart cage, if you can't get one on loan. Trap the critters and take then to the SPCA, Humane society, or County Animal Control. Pay attention now, we're just getting to the good part.
Yes, that's right. Most voting citizens think responsibly as we do and know pets don't belong in the wild. We, the majority, know we have laws against abandoning pets, especially the invasive ones that kill our wildlife. Why aren't our laws being enforced? That's a good question, and I'm just getting to the answer. The cat enablers don't want them enforced!
They have lobbyists in Washington, DC taking our lawmakers out wining and dining and working on them to soften our laws to legalize their feral cat colonies! Will they succeed? No, they won't, and for a couple of reasons.
The first reason they will not succeed is if we were to do nothing but allow them to have their way it would become obvious to everyone in a couple of more years, even our politicians, that we're overrun with these frick'n cats!
The second reason they will not succeed is because you are pissed off. Yes, those damned cats are getting on your last nerve invading your space. How do I know that, you ask? I'm pissed off, too.
How do we change the status quo? Bring up the situation in conversations around the water cooler at work, discuss it with your friends, your family, and your forums. Here's the most important suggestion. Write Congress and tell your mayor and city council to enforce our laws! Activism, my friend. That's the answer.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Activists list threatened bird habitats in U.S.

Hawaii ranks worst; half of last native species there are on protected list
The tropical chain of Hawaiian islands isolated in the middle of the Pacific Ocean was home to about 140 native breeding species and subspecies before the arrival of humans in the archipelago. More than half of the bird species are now extinct. And among the 71 remaining Hawaiian birds, 30 are listed as endangered or threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act, according to the state's Department of Natural Resources' Web site.

The threat to birds' habitat in Hawaii — from avian diseases, invasive plants and invasive species such as cats — continues despite the efforts of government agencies and private organizations like the San Diego Zoo, the report said.


Endangered Birds

How many species of birds are there in Japan? There are approximately 680 species, including subspecies, on the "List of Japanese Birds" presented by the Ornithological Society of Japan in 1997 (including extinct species and excluding non-Japanese species). However this list is still provisional. As some species still under research, and some subspecies still unknown can be added to this list, the total number of species on the list may increase slightly in the future.
By accessing the home page of the Environment Agency, you can find the Red List of Japanese birds. As you can see from the list below, there are 135 species on this list. In fact, approximately 20% of birds in Japan have been acknowledged as endangered species.
There are various causes that have led birds on this list either to extinction or to an endangered state. However the main problem can be traced to humans. For example, we have caught birds on a massive scale for food or for their feathers, and animals we have introduced from other lands such as mice, pigs, dogs, cats, and weasels have also caught them. We have greatly upset the ecosystem to which these birds had adapted themselves. Disappearance of breeding and wintering grounds and transit points for migration caused by cultivation, massive logging, and reclamation of tidelands and wetlands are also considered major causes that have contributed to the present situation.

'Here, kitty ... Nice kitty ... YIKES!'

Judy Minor rarely minded whenever a hefty black cat hung around the back stoop of her St. Paul home. But when the cat sneaked into the house and swatted at her a few weeks ago, she became afraid.
"I can't have him in the house. He's really too wild," said Minor, who lives in the Frogtown neighborhood.
Across the metro area, community groups and animal control workers say that feral cats are a growing nuisance and public health risk. Statistics and anecdotal estimates suggest that there could be anywhere from half a million to a million feral cats roaming the Twin Cities.
Moreover, Minnesota's recent mild winters may have helped the wild cats reproduce at abnormal rates, packing animal shelters to capacity and forcing more officials to come to grips with the problem, a number of experts said.