Wednesday, January 31, 2007
The concerns of the people living near feral cat colonies also need to be addressed. Neutering cats does not keep them from digging up gardens, fighting, getting into garbage, or causing any of the many other problems cats can cause. Additionally, cats need to be protected from people who dislike them and may try to harm them. People may become especially disturbed if, as in most of the cases studied thus far, the numbers of cats in the colony increase.
"We applaud the efforts of people who care for ferals," says Marc Paulhus, HSUS vice president for companion animals. "But they can't stop their caring at stopping reproduction; they need to go on to taming and finding proper homes for these animals."
See the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Endangered Species web site for more information about each species.
Light-footed Clapper Rail, Rallus longirostris levipes
California Clapper Rail, Rallus longirostris obsoletus
California Least Tern, Sterna antillarum browni
Western Snowy Plover, Charadrius alexandrinus nivosus
California Brown Pelican, Pelecanus occidentalis
California Gnatcatcher, Polioptila californica
San Clemente Loggerhead Shrike, Lanius ludovicianus mearnsi
Pacific Pocket Mouse, Perognathus longimembris pacificus
Stephens’ Kangaroo Rat, Dipodomys stephensi
Morro Bay Kangaroo Rat, Dipdomys heermanni morroensis
Point Arena Mountain Beaver, Aplodontia rufa nigra
Island Night Lizard, Xantusia riversiana
Blunt-nosed Leopard Lizard, Gambelia silas
Alameda Whipsnake, Masticophis lateralis euryxanthus
I do not recommend this, no matter how tempting it may sound. It is only offered here as an incentive to keep your cat indoors. Please do not try this at home.
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
You are choosing to subject your neighbors to the stench of cat urine and excrement. There is nothing ethical or laudible about it. Where is your compassion for our wildlife? What part of this is humane for them?
When she lived in Forestville, a small town in Sonoma County, Marilyn Davis was known as a friend to cats. She took in strays at the house she and her husband had built by a creek and in time there were twelve. The Davises and the cats lived happily enough until Marilyn saw a troubling pattern: rabbits, quail, varied thrushes, even snakes and frogs were being dragged over her threshold from the creekside. Because she was also a friend of wildlife, Davis reluctantly confined the most active hunters indoors, but the other cats only seemed to take up the slack. More and more wildlife arrived DOA on her doorstep. More and more cats were brought inside for good until only a few old fat ones were left lolling around on the deck. Whatever flew over their heads, though, they swatted and swallowed, almost in one motion. Finally she faced the truth: "This is their nature, every one of them. They're hunters."
In 1987 the Davises moved to a new house in Bodega Harbour, a residential community next to the salt marsh at Doran County Park. She knew that the marsh was important to wildlife and was therefore alarmed by the sight of many free-roaming cats. A neighbor, a member of Forgotten Felines, had established a feeding station for them at the 16th hole of the community golf course, with the manager's consent. She explained to Davis that all God's creatures deserve an equal chance. Davis, mindful of what she had seen with her own cats, consulted wildlife biologists at Bodega Marine Laboratory. What she learned changed her life, and it may help to save coastal marshes and parks from a deceptively endearing predator.
Davis still loves cats. But now she devotes enormous energy and effort to saving wildlife from their predation. This has pitted her against a movement for cat protection that seeks to change custom and, where necessary, laws so that feral cats might live in the wild.
1. Loose dogs and cats can directly affect Burrowing Owl habitat by digging out the nest or removing chicks.
OPTION: Leash law for dogs and requiring all cats to be house bound or leashed in areas where burrowing owls are present. Implementation of a removal program for all feral dogs and cats on public lands.
DOH! The coyote is a natural predator, Darlene! How arrogant of you is it to allow your cats to roam loose?
Marshall has an interesting theory about Grover’s longevity, though he does not like to admit it. For years, the dog has been tracking and killing cats, he said, a “skill” taught to him by Marshall’s father, Edmund, who owned Grover until his death in 1996.
“I really think he’s gotten some of the lives of the cats he’s eaten,” Marshall said.
Marshall jokingly said his dad was a bird hunter and wasn’t too fond of cats because of their tendency to snatch up potential kills from him.
MORE STORY HERE
Monday, January 29, 2007
"I let my cat run loose outside and it _______"
A. Never came back
B. Got hit by a car
C. Was at the SPCA for weeks--they had no idea whose he was!
(Because of no I.D. of ANY kind)
D. Roamed to another county who's SPCA wasn't "no kill" (See A.)
(Because of no I.D. of ANY kind)
E. Was getting fed at someone else's house for months/years/life
who had no idea it was someone's pet
(Because of no I.D. of any kind.)
F. Picked up by people who sell animals to research labs (See A.)
You cat owners keep giving us the stories, we'll keep commenting on how the result proves how irresponsible you are for letting them run free. Oh, sorry, I meant how kind and wonderful you are to let them run FREE to enjoy their "catness."
Well, maybe this time their wild "catness" didn't want to return to the home they had. When you let them out free, you are granting your cat free will to make choices on where and how to live their lives as THEY choose, not what is best or safest. Then we should respect that right they were granted when set free. An outdoor roaming cat is free to make it's own choices. Cross the busy street in front of a truck or not. Come home, or not. Why, shouldn't the owner respect that decision? FREEDOM OF CATNESS!
Sunday, January 28, 2007
RISKS TO HUMAN HEALTH Cat colonies,even managed ones, pose a serious human health risk. Diseases that can be transmitted to humans, such as ringworm, cat scratch fever, and toxoplasmosis, cannot be controlled in managed cat colonies. Rabies is a very real threat. Raccoons and skunks are common visitors to feeding stations, as well as foxes, opossums,and rats. Raccoons and skunks are the most common carriers of rabies in wildlife, and cats are the domestic animal most commonly reported rabid in the U.S. Feeding stations artificially put these animals in close contact with each other. Cats are rarely caught for follow-up vaccination, de-worming or other health concerns. The National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians passed a resolution opposing TNR because it poses a health risk.
DEADLY TO WILDLIFE There is extensive documentation that free-roaming cats are efficient predators of birds and other wildlife, even if well-fed (see Domestic Cat Predation on Birds and Other Wildlife atwww.abcbirds.org/cats).The American Veterinary Medical Association’s position statement on managed cat colonies states, “The colony should be restricted to a well-defined relatively safe area, and not on lands managed for wildlife or other natural resources (e.g. state parks, wild life refuges, etc.).” However, cat colonies are common in public parks and beaches, despite the presence of sensitive wildlife species.For example, in 1994 Alley Cat Allies sought an injunction tostop the National Park Service (NPS) from removing a
LINK TO MORE EVIDENCE
Saturday, January 27, 2007
Friday, January 26, 2007
They also accused the person who hit the cat they'd been feeding of driving too fast. Not one word of apology was said for their having enabled the cat to become a road hazard, thereby endangering the lives of the driver, their passengers, and their property.
Feral cat enablers seem to have tunnel vision. They typically seem to show little or no regard for their fellow man or our wildlife. They tend to focus entirely on their own agenda, their misguided idea of what's good for an alien pest. I believe the safety and property of our fellow man and our ecology should take precedence over feral and roaming cats. Don't you?
An Ithaca woman's prodigal cat proved to be nearly as elusive as the Ivory-billed woodpecker.
Lost in April 2006, Junior is finally back home in the West Hill area. It proved an exhausting process for his human, Kat Dalton, who designs “Living Bird” magazine for the Lab of Ornithology along with other graphic design and photography work.
Junior, named after a deceased look-alike tabby named Harold, was hiding under a shed in an enclosed cat yard on April 25. While Dalton and her husband, Johnny Dowd, a Texas-born singer-songwriter known more in Europe than in Ithaca for his edgy tales, were trying to coax the cat out, he bolted.
LINK TO REST OF STORY
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Not hardly, I'm just trying to tame it and save its life. I'm still convinced it has no place in our ecosystem killing our wildlife!
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Letting feral cats loose in the environment even with TNR is not environmentally or humanely responsible. If proponents of ferals cats feel they must protect and maintain the existence of feral cats, they need to be directly responsible for them and eliminate their impact upon wildlife. Instead of TNR, I promote TNVE. Proponents of feral cats can provide giant cat pens like those in a zoo, and set them up on their properties, or in an area close to and with the knowledge of humane societies. Feral cats should not not be released loose into nature. Instead, Trap, Neuter, Vaccinate for rabies, and Enclose them. Release should apply only to a contained Enclosure where they can be managed healthfully and humanely in an Enclosed environment, without destroying wildlife.
Where feral cats are diseased and seriously injured, and / or if there is no feral cat enclosed compound available where they can be maintained in a healthful existence where they can be fed and sheltered without destruction to native wildlife and without introducing an unnatural food source for wildlife, then I do believe painless euthanasia of feral cats is more humane, to both the cats and to wildlife, than letting them loose again.
Monday, January 22, 2007
If you have a blog or forum, please link to us, and/or post one of our our linked logos if you can. Some of you may not know HTML, so I'm providing a link at the bottom of this post to my Yahoo site where I was able to post the raw HTML. I have several sizes for your selection. We reserve the artistic rights to each of them, but we authorize other bird advocates and ecologists to use them to link here.
Anything, absolutely anything you can do to spread the word will help and will be appreciated.
Link to my Yahoo 360 site
Sunday, January 21, 2007
Keep your cat indoors or on a leash when it's outside. This way not only is your cat safe from disease, dogs, traffic, and larger predators, but it will not be killing our native wildlife.
Thank you for being a responsible pet owner.
Cats on the prowl primarily kill small mammals, but according to multiple scientific studies, an estimated 20 to 30 percent of their kills are birds. And that they mostly kill rodents is not necessarily a good thing. "Cats compete with owls, hawks, weasels and other important native predators that aren't subsidized by people and that need these creatures to survive," says Ed Clark, director of the Wildlife Center of Virginia, the nation's largest wildlife hospital.
That "mouse" deposited on your front stoop might well be a least shrew, a star-nosed mole or some other rare and ecologically important species. In some places, cat predation is frustrating efforts to save federally endangered species, such as the piping plover, the California gnatcatcher and the Florida beach mouse.
Saturday, January 20, 2007
Re Cats Indoors! Campaign of American Bird Conservancy (Nov/2006):
Several years ago, Mr. J.R. Yeager contacted them to say that in his experience, Trap/Neuter/Release or TNR was not working to eliminate San Francisco’s feral cat population, nor was it humane. The following is a recent interview with Mr. Yeager, who also serves on the San Francisco Commission of Animal Control and Welfare. His first-hand experience and recommendations are enlightening.
(LW is Linda Winter, former director of the Cats Indoors Campaign.)
LW: I understand you were at one time an active participant and strong advocate of TNR, and now you no longer support it. What got you involved with TNR in the first place?
JR: About six or seven years ago the plight of homeless animals, particularly cats, entered my consciousness from several awareness-raising experiences that happened all at about the same time. One of the “nudges” I received came while walking home from work one evening down a residential street in San Francisco. By chance, I came upon five or six sickly, emaciated homeless cats. They looked wretched and near death. It was a very disturbing sight to me. I often think of that evening and how it has changed my life.
LW: What happened?
JR: The next day I started making calls trying to find help for these animals and learned that the San Francisco Department of Animal Care and Control did not handle stray/feral cat issues. Instead they passed me over to the feral cat program at the SPCA. The SFSPCA seemed willing to help. They had (still have) a program called Feral Fix, and I was told I could borrow their traps and if I brought the cats in to them, they would spay/neuter and vaccinate them for free. And their literature said that they had volunteers that would care for the cats, once returned from where they were trapped, for the remainder of their lives. Wow! How could I go wrong? I threw myself into the project in the evenings and after about a month I trapped most of the cats. After that success, the SFSPCA called me and asked if I would help out in another part of town. And so I did.
LW: And you stated that was about six years ago. What have you learned in all that time about feral cats, and why are you no longer a supporter of TNR?
JR: The other part of town I was asked to trap in was along the waterfront, on the piers, and in warehouses. It was teeming with stray/feral/homeless wretched cats. It was heartbreaking and I began trapping there in earnest, and since that time I have trapped hundreds of cats in San Francisco. But as the feel-good rush of “helping” these animals fell into perspective, I realized that for every animal I returned to a pier, street, alley, warehouse or junkyard, I had another feline mouth to feed. There were not enough volunteers to feed all these animals as the SFSPCA literature had led me to believe, and I felt it was morally irresponsible to simply put sterilized cats back on the street and let them starve to death. Where would be the compassion in that? How does starvation qualify as a “humane” solution to the feral cat overpopulation?
LW: Why didn’t you take the cats to the city shelter, SF Animal Care and Control (ACC), to be humanely euthanized if you knew they were just being put back on the streets to starve?
JR: I tried. But the city shelter in San Francisco has some kind of “pact” with the SFSPCA regarding feral cats, and they simply turn the cats surrendered to their facility over to the SFSPCA to be sterilized and released. It is extremely frustrating, if not illegal. And what kind of message does it send to the responsible person who took the time to trap the cat and take it to the city shelter, if it simply shows up again in their back yard a week later with a tipped ear? And believe me; I know first hand that SFSPCA volunteers drop cats off in the dark and drive away and never return. I believe some jurisdictions call that animal abandonment.
And it was not only that these cats were left with no “lifetime” caretaker, but I was forced to put cats back into some of the worst conditions imaginable. Can you imagine putting 6 month old kittens or one-eyed cats back into a grease-filled industrial animal rendering plant to spend their short lives dodging dump trucks and other heavy equipment? That is the practice exercised here in San Francisco, and I have subsequently found the dead bodies of these same cats killed by trucks or dead from some other cause, with their tell-tale clipped ear indicating they were previously “rescued” by TNR. I now firmly believe that euthanasia is a far more humane solution for some of these cats than the additional suffering that the TNR advocates put them through just to make themselves feel good.
LW: You know that at ABC we are concerned about the impact of feral cats on birds and other wildlife. What have you observed in the field relating to this side of the issue?
JR: Dead birds, dead mice, dead rats. The cats I have been feeding leave me dead gifts in their food dishes. The cats are not hungry, but they still kill. There is no denying it.
Beyond that, I realize now that I have been adding yet another human imbalance to the natural world. For instance, the amount of rats in one area where I feed seems to have increased dramatically, and they now eat the food I leave for the cats at an accelerated rate. And at another spot, I find a fair number of small doves are now congregating every evening near certain cat feeding stations, making them especially easy prey for the cats. But a recent experience with a family of raccoons has left me rethinking TNR from even a broader perspective.
LW: Can you tell me more about that?
JR: Late this summer I began observing an adult raccoon and four offspring traveling from one feral cat feeding station to another eating the cat food I put out, sometimes even before the cats had a chance at it. My first thought was: quit eating my cat food. But then one evening at a particular location where I had seen them most often there was just one of the offspring, all alone, and it dawned on me then that the way its mother had taught it to fend for itself was from an artificial food supply that I had created. And if I withdrew that food supply what would happen to that small animal? And then of course I wondered if the cat food I was putting down every night was possibly responsible for an unnatural reproduction rate of at least this raccoon family? I don’t know the answers to these questions, but I do know that my actions are most likely having a disruptive impact on the natural order of the wildlife in this area.
LW: So what do you think should be done to address the deficiencies of TNR from your perspective?
JR: First, the solution to feral cat overpopulation has to be driven by logic and science and a real humane concern for these cats, not by emotion alone as it is now here is San Francisco. I acknowledge that there are people out there willing to do the TNR work, but there are not enough of them (as they would lead you to believe) to make TNR the only permitted solution (as they would like it to be).
All TNR programs need independent oversight and guidelines specifying that where the cats are returned is safe for them and that property owners are in agreement with their return. And there has to be a real guarantee that the cats will receive care for the rest of their lives; which requires a time commitment that will span years. And there should be proof of financial ability of a caretaker to take care of 20, 30 or more cats for 10 or more years. And caretakers should be responsible for a back-up plan for when they are absent for whatever reason. And if a caretaker drops out and leaves their cats unattended, then I feel strongly they should be charged with animal abandonment. I think if the hardcore TNR folks were actually required to sign commitments and required to report on all the cats they “manage” and were actually held accountable, you would see a very real reduction in force.
I also think that TNR colonies should not be allowed in wildlife sensitive areas. TNR advocates will argue that “we don’t make the colonies; they exist wherever we find them”. But that is not true. Colonies are formed wherever there is a consistent and reliable food source, otherwise the cats move on until they find those conditions. They go where the food is, and if it is moved, they will follow. But feral cat caretakers like wildlife areas because they are out of sight of most prying eyes.
At the same time, I feel the wildlife community could do more to help resolve the problem than they currently are offering. That assistance could be in the form of organized volunteer groups helping trap cats and assisting in finding/making available suitable and sustainable relocation areas where possible. Getting in there and getting their hands dirty along with the TNR folks would do a lot to help bridge the differences between the two parties. There is a lot of work to be done.
And as opposed as some people are to euthanasia, it is an unfortunate fact of life until a miracle birth control solution drops from the sky. My experience has taught me that euthanasia is a far more humane end for some of these cats than the ends through which I’ve seen them suffer as a result of TNR.
If you are tired of feral alien pests being given priority over our native birds and wildlife, even as they are killing them, stay tuned to this blog, and spread the word to your friends. Another old saying, "Together we can make a difference" is true too. Your input would be appreciated.
Friday, January 19, 2007
This summary outlines the findings of "Birds Species and Climate Change" which provides a global analysis of current and future impacts of climate change on birds. The report reviews more than 200 research reports to assemble a clear and consistent picture of climatic risk to this important animal group, illustrated with numerous examples and case studies.
The report finds that:
climate change now affects bird species' behaviour, ranges and population dynamics;
some bird species are already experiencing strong negative impacts from climate change; and
in future, subject to greenhouse gas emissions levels and climatic response, climate change will put large numbers bird species at risk of extinction, with estimates of extinction rates varying from 2 to 72%, depending on the region, climate scenario and potential for birds to shift to new habitat.
TNR for Tea Gardens cats: With the City Council's approval of a pilot trap, neuter and return program for feral and stray cats in Brackenridge Park, a group of dedicated volunteers breathed a collective sigh of relief.
For more than 10 years, various groups of volunteers have fed and taken care of the cats living in colonies in and around the Japanese Tea Gardens, but the City Code made their actions illegal — until Thursday.
With a TNR program, the cats are trapped and evaluated to determine if they are truly wild or if they are unwanted or stray domestic cats. The feral cats are sterilized, vaccinated and returned to the colony. Domestic cats or kittens born in the wild are socialized and adopted out.
Under the city's pilot program, $5,000 will be allocated for sterilization surgeries, vaccinations and microchipping. The San Antonio Feral Cat Coalition and Purrfect Haven will work with the city to trap the cats and manage the colonies in the gardens.
Councilman Richard Perez, the lone dissenter, said he couldn't support the program because wild cats prey on other wildlife, such as songbirds, and he feared a child would be bitten or scratched by the one of the cats.
LINK TO STORY
Thursday, January 18, 2007
My response to the paper:
"Wild cats" only refers to Bobcats, Lynx, or Puma. Those are feral domestics, a pest animal. I don't see anyone except me showing concern over their being abandoned, or for the inhumanity shown the wildlife they will kill when reabandoned.
Not since dinosaurs vanished 65 million years ago have so many species disappeared so quickly. And this time, it's mainly due to human activity and not natural phenomena like a comet smashing into the planet, say the polled biologists. They consider biodiversity loss a more serious environmental problem than global warming, pollution or depletion of the ozone layer. In the world's 4.5 billion years, there have been five mass extinctions. The sixth -- and fastest -- is under way, say biologists.
It may seem like no big deal to lose Florida's humble Ponce de Leon beach mouse, which has vanished due to "real estate development, and perhaps predation by domestic cats," as the IUCN Red List put it. But these very factors -- habitat loss and introduction of exotic species -- are among the main causes of our current global extinction crisis, biologists say.
"Many wonderful creatures will be lost in the first few decades of the 21st century unless we greatly increase levels of support, involvement and commitment to conservation," says Russell A. Mittermeier, president of Conservation International. Though most of those species live in more biologically diverse regions near the equator, the fact remains that about 280 out of 808 known extinctions have occurred in the U.S., WWF's Morrison points out.
And 42 percent of the nation's threatened or endangered species -- both animals and plants -- face trouble primarily because of competition with and being killed by non-native species, according to a 1999 Cornell University report. The report's lead author, David Pimentel, says he has found no reason for optimism since 1999. "More foreign species arrive each year," says Pimentel, professor of insect ecology and agricultural sciences. "I do not believe that we are winning the war on exotic species because of increased trade, increased number of people traveling, and the growing human population in the U.S. and world."
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
When one is removed from its bird predating, scat burying, urine spraying area in one of our yards another does not spontaneously materialize from thin air. The only vaccuum that instantly appears is in the hunting and killing pressure on our native wildlife!
So don't let the rhetoric get you down. The spay, neuter, abandon crowd use that sort of illogic to alibi their unethical practices. Please don't allow them to get away with it.
The Socorro Dove became extinct more than 30 years ago in its home in a remote Pacific island chain known as Mexico's Galapagos.
Fewer than 100 adult birds now exist in captivity around the world. But in 2007 it is to be reintroduced to Socorro, 600 miles west of the Mexican coast, following a successful breeding programme involving Edinburgh Zoo.
The zoo has already agreed to send staff out to the island to take part in the reintroduction programme.
If successful, it will pave the way for other species that only exist in captivity to be returned to the wild.
Around 20 of the small brown doves will be released first into specially constructed aviaries to adapt to island conditions. Once acclimatised they will be set free to attempt to form a new breeding colony.
Colin Oulton, the head of the bird collection at Edinburgh Zoo, said: "It is important to reintroduce them back into the wild because they do not exist anywhere except in zoos.
"Were it not for the fact that some were kept in captivity then they would already be lost forever. There has not been much concern about them, probably because they look so familiar.
"Species like tigers attract a lot of attention because they are spectacular, but there are far more tigers living in the wild than there are Socorro Doves."
The uninhabited island was discovered in the 16th century by Spanish explorers, but the dove was first described by a 19th-century American naturalist, Andrew Jackson Grayson, at work in the Pacific about 20 years after Charles Darwin began logging the unique wildlife of the Galapagos Islands, which is thousands of miles to the south.
The bird was spread across the 157-square-mile island, but flocks of sheep introduced in 1869 started destroying the natural habitat of the ground-nesting species.
Then, in 1957, the Mexican Navy moved in, setting up a base and building an airstrip. The 250 personnel brought their families and pet cats, which bred and spread into the wild.
The last sighting of a Socorro Dove was by a scientific expedition in 1972. It was declared extinct in the early 1980s.
Oulton explained: "Sheep grazed out the habitats of these ground-nesting birds and then, as there were no natural predators on the island, the doves were easy targets for feral cats.
Tutong - The mystery of disappearing cats from a house at No 9, Spg 358, Kg Birau in Tutong was solved after the culprit - a python - was caught.
According to the homeowner, some of his pet cats had been disappearing over the past few months. With the help of personnel from the Lamunin Fire and Rescue Department, the python was caught on Sunday night.
The python is estimated to be about 88cm long (over 16 feet) with a body diameter of 40cm.
The happy homeowner applauded and thanked Lamunin Fire and Rescue Department personnel for their quick response in catching the python and solving his mystery. The python was later released into the jungle.
Following a 98% crash in numbers, the island seabird population decreased to around 400,000 individuals, mostly confined to offshore stacks and inaccessible cliffs.
The seabird population on the tropical UK Overseas Territory had been devastated by feral cats which were introduced onto the island in the early 19th Century to control introduced rats and mice.
Ascension Seabird Restoration Project
So far, the Ascension Seabird Restoration Project has encouraged 726 pairs of five species of seabird, including brown noddies, masked boobies and red-billed tropicbirds, to return and nest on mainland Ascension Island.
A recipe for success
The Ascension Seabird Restoration Project, implemented by the Ascension Island Government, and assisted by the RSPB with £500,000 funding from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, has since 2001 removed feral cats from Ascension Island. Since February 2004, no feral cats have been seen on the island, encouraging the prompt return of the seabirds. Since this date, the island has run an intensive monitoring programme which has confirmed that the island is feral cat free.
The trap, neuter, and return [referred to hereafter as TNR] management of feral cat colonies [as practiced in the USA and some European and other countries] is considered an effective and humane method of control by those who practice it and by many other well-meaning people from the general public. The colony managers and their supporters are seeking a humane method for solving the catastrophic problem of the millions of cats dumped by irresponsible owners into our ecology.
However, many of us disagree strongly and are convinced that this policy is an unethical way to manage feral domestic animals as it only solves part of the problem and only from the perspective of the welfare of cats.
We especially believe it is inexcusable to re-abandon a domesticated animal into what is an alien ecology; especially an animal that is universally known to be a deadly predator and a threat to the survival of native birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians which have all evolved in an ecology without it, so have no protection from it.
When choosing to practice TNR, feral colony managers make a conscious decision to do the following:
1. abandon a domestic animal into an environment it is not equipped to deal with without assistance from humans - by virtue of thousands of years of domestication. This also breaks existing laws designed to protect those same domestic animals. Many cats become diseased and are malnourished despite their predation of millions of songbirds, small mammals, reptiles and amphibians.
2. enable those domestic animals to continue to prey on our native wildlife. This contributes to the staggering damage to our ecology caused by the huge population of feral cats, destroying up to a billion birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians each year in the USA alone as well as breaking laws designed to protect our endangered wildlife.
3. when releasing these animals from captivity this domesticated pet animal becomes a public nuisance, trespassing, urinating and defecating in yards, gardens, and on public property. Their fighting screams keep people awake and they can carry disease to domestic stock and properly cared for pets.
Whilst the majority of people agree the original abandonment of the cat was unethical, they do not realise that the re-abandonment is equally so. In fact we believe it is even more unethical and flies in the face of the facts. To abandon the domestic pets again to suffer in the wild, kill more of our native wildlife, and to alienate the general public is indefensible.
How can the TNR advocates rationalize the violent deaths of billions of our native fauna each year for the benefit of millions of alien animals as ethical? They really believe that they have chosen to show compassion and humane treatment to cats yet they are doing them no good whilst, at the same time doing harm to many more millions of equally deserving innocent creatures.
The fact is that we must learn to deal with this present and real danger to our wildlife in an adult and responsible manner that benefits the cats and the wildlife they currently predate.
We call for feral domestic animals every where to be eradicated from the environment which they are harming.
In many parts of the world introduced rodents and mustelids [such as rats, mice & rabbits and weasels, stoats, mink etc.] are eliminated with humane poisoned baits and native wildlife flourishes. There is no lobby to trap, neuter and release these animals simply because the species have not been considered pets by most people but pests. In other words it is not the elimination of living creatures that people object to but only the culling of particular species¦ where is the sense in that?
On islands, such as the Galapagos feral goats, pigs and so forth have ruined much habitat and unique animals have disappeared. Many believe that the most famous extinction of all, the Dodo, was caused by feral goats and pigs being left by sailors as potential food, out-competing the birds for food.
In some countries, such as in Australia, legislation has been passed to make the release of cats into the wild a criminal offence and here too it has been shown that once feral pets and mistakenly introduced non-native species are eliminated from an enclosed area it is immediately re-colonised by rare native species which then flourish.
We believe that the most humane solution is to cull all such feral populations including cats. However, if there are those who cannot contemplate the death of one animal [i.e. a cat] to save hundreds of others [i.e. many birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians], then they must be responsible for their beliefs and pay for the entrapment, neutering and then housing in enclosures of feral cats themselves.
Here are your contacts for the United States House of Representatives
and United States Senate. Please write them. You are welcome to quote from our Manifesto, or send the entire thing.
Some sympathetic residents even help the survival of non-native animals, setting out food for cats, including those known to prey upon colonies of native birds on Maui.
Hawaii wildlife officials, however, made their own stance on the feral pet issue clear earlier this month.
State-hired hunters shot and killed four dogs on Nov. 6 believed to have slain at least 113 fledgling wedge-tailed shearwaters inside an Oahu nature reserve.
"Pets that are abandoned or left to run loose in a Hawaiian ecosystem become predators with catastrophic results," said Peter Young, director of the Department of Land and Natural Resources, following the shootings.
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
David Pimentel, a Cornell University professor who studies the effects of parasitic creatures on ecosystems, says there is no question that domestic cats are killers — and costly ones at that. In fact, a recent study of his found that cats kill about $6 billion (U.S.) worth of birds each year! By his calculations, that's 200,000 birds every year at about 20 bucks a pop.
It surely seems unusual to attach a dollar figure to each dead sparrow or finch that Patches presents to you on the living room floor. But it does highlight the enormous damage the house cat does in North America — a continent that never had these tiny predators before the arrival of Europeans.
"And it's not only birds. It's squirrels, chipmunks and things like that," Pimentel says. "I was talking to a friend last week and his pet cat, in a ten year period, killed 143 squirrels."
Pimentel minces few words, summing up the impact of the house cat.
"I just don't think they are a real benefit to the environment, very frankly. They're a pest, similar in a way to rats and feral dogs. In fact I can't think of any way in which they benefit the environment."
Monday, January 15, 2007
The neighbors to either side of Ron and Cathy Langella were called by special counsel Greg Henry to testify to what living in the vicinity of them is like.
Debra Cline, who has lived at her residence for 21 years, said the problems with the cats began after the Langellas moved in next to her in 2001.
"My problem is the defecating ... it's everywhere," she said. She can no longer have a garden or grow any plants, she said, adding, "we don't put decorative mulch out. They use that ... for a litter box."
Ron Langella, an attorney, represented himself, his wife and Vanderhorst in the appeal hearing. He asked Cline if she could specifically identify the cats he cares for as cats causing problems on her property, to which she said yes.
She indicated she was in favor of the citations issued by the city, as a lack of food could make the cats move on to another area. Cline also said she would agree to a plan for the Langellas to fence their yard with specific fencing made to keep cats in.
"It would take care of the defecating, but not the odor," she said.
The next witness, Marie Troskosky, said she could not agree to a fence.
"That is not a solution to this problem," she said. "The yard is filled with cat feces. Where I sit on the deck, you can smell it. I feel like I am now in a cat sanctuary that I didn't buy into.
"I don't want this. This is not what I bought into," she said.
She and her husband Paul have lived in their home for 31 years. "I've reached a point where I don't know if I can stand to live in that neighborhood anymore."
Addressing Ron Langella, she said, "I don't subscribe to your philosophy. This neighborhood did not have this before you moved in. I've never seen people come in and have the audacity to say 'this is our philosophy and you have to subscribe to this.'"
THIS STORY JUST KEEPS GETTING BETTER!
District Judge Dom Cercone heard an interesting case this week. Charges were filed against 54 year old Catherine Langella for an incident that occured on Rockland Avenue in Bradford. Langello is accused of brandishing a revolver and making threats toward her neighbor's dog.
The Bradford Era reports that Langella has been feeding stray cats and taking them in for Vet treatment.
Her neighbors have taken issue with Langella's love for strays, claiming the animals cause damage to property, and pose a health hazard.
At the same time, the Pittsburgh-area animal lovers who have joined in the fight have continued to inundate The Era and Bradford City Hall with letters in support of Ron and Cathy Langella and Siglinde Vanderhorst, those cited for feeding and sheltering the cats.
Since Nov. 20, The Era has received more than 150 form letters which read, in part, as follows: "It has come to my attention that The Board of Health and The City Council of Bradford are intending to impose a ban on the feeding and sheltering of stray and feral cats. If they do so, the city, itself, will be breaking a Pennsylvania cruelty law by enforcing animal abandonment and leaving helpless cats to die."
The letters continue, voicing support for the animal caretakers and for all efforts towards a program of Trap/Neuter/Release, "the only effective, humane solution to cat over-population."
On Dec. 14, a batch of 40 form letters were sent to The Era from Dr. Anthony Barton, professor of psychology at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, along with an introductory letter from Barton himself.
The letter, addressed to the mayor and Bradford City Council, the letter asks "the council to find a peaceful and humane resolution to the situation of stray/feral cats in your community and of neighbors in hostile conflict."
"This is only partly a cat problem - in fact it is mostly a problem of home beings," Barton wrote. "So these letters invite the human beings (specifically the members of council) to live out their better human side, their humane side, so as to resolve these issues in such a way to foster peace, kindness and the resolution of the small war around these issues in Bradford."
Sunday, January 14, 2007
For instance, Hawaii's endemic bird species are being put to flight by a variety of invaders, including cats, rats, feral pigs, and mongoose.
Perhaps you haven't noticed I am moderating posts. Yours are the first anonymous ones I've seen and I won't publish them, though I'd love to. I'd like to see you take full credit for your words of wit.
You accuse me of not rebutting Lynn. I assure you her comment was given careful consideration and the answer I felt it deserved. There are near 100 posts on this blog that disprove her talking points, if you'd care to read them.
Finally, if you will look up your word "intellligent" I think you will find it spelled differently.
Saturday, January 13, 2007
"Barn verminators? Does that mean the feral pests are reabandoned into our ecology to destroy more native wildlife?"
Cats are not selective and would likely prefer an easy kill like a clutch of an endangered species of birds to chasing a rat.
I found a similar story on an animal rightist/ feral cat blog. I chose to adapt it and post it here. Consider it a pre-emptive strike.
How do we relate this to individuals who would choose to abandon millions of individual lives of pet species to the murderous mercies of nature in continents they are not adapted to? Responses anyone?
Friday, January 12, 2007
"Anyone who has accustomed himself to regard the life of any living creature as worthless is in danger of arriving also at the idea of worthless human lives."
I wonder at the feral cat enablers who can quote this while enabling the deaths of billions of our native avians, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals at the claws, teeth, and gullet of an alien invader. What has this world come to? Where are our ethics and morals?
Fellow bird advocates and ecologists, the old adage "A picture is worth a thousand words" is true. Our logo is self explanatory, it depicts cat attacks on birds being prohibited. We would like that message to be seen around the world, and we need your help to do it.
If you have a blog or forum, please link to us, and/or post one of our our linked logos if you can. Some of you may not know HTML, so I'm providing a link at the bottom of this post to my Yahoo site where I was able to post the raw HTML. I have several sizes for your selection.
Anything, absolutely anything you can do to spread the word will help and will be appreciated.
Link to my Yahoo 360 site
Science is in our favor in that our ecologists and biologists have proven feral and roving cats are the most serious threat to our fauna, besides habitat destruction. There is no way the feral cat enablers can skew the numbers on that. Our opponents base most of their pro-colony arguments on myths they create themselves, and we all know rhetoric has a way of failing when push comes to shove.
Morally and ethically we have the high ground, but we will have to become activists and present our evidence to the public at large and our local and national lawmakers. There is nothing moral or ethical about abandoning a domestic pet to its own resources, despite all their rhetoric to the contrary. There is also nothing moral or ethical about their enabling the continued destruction of billions of our wildlife per year, and it breaks our wildlife protection laws. In most cases these groups lobby locally for exceptions from prosecution for breaking our laws. Their rhetoric of feeding a cat stopping it from hunting was disproved years ago.
One of the strongest things in our favor is the nature of the feral cat. It's noisy when breeding, it marks its territory by spraying urine on everything, and no one is fond of finding its scat in their flowerbed, garden, or child's sandbox. In large numbers they can be very objectionable and their numbers are growing.
What we have to do is get organized and get vocal!
Here's your contacts for the United States House of Representatives
and United States Senate. Please write them and send them a strong message to enforce our laws protecting our wildlife!
Here's the The Wildlife Society and American Bird Conservancy statements which you can quote.
Does that mean they are bird haters?
No, I don't hate the cats, though I loathe the killing and destruction they do in the wild. It is not the fault of the poor miserable house cat (who should be indoors safe and pampered), but that of irresponsible pet owners and feral cat enablers.
Thursday, January 11, 2007
You speak of rethinking the problem of animal killing in LAAS’s shelters, you think the answer is in increased consciousness and conscience?
I think it is time to rethink the ethics of trap, neuter, abandon in its entirety. Your treatise on Trap, neuter, spay seems superficially to be well intended and thought out. Yet it ignores facets most citizens deem vital.
Where do you explore the quality of life your domestic cat victi... err, patients might have? Will they die within a couple of pain-filled years after multiple fights with each other, dogs, traffic and other hazards? Most all vets and biologists agree cats are not prepared for life in the wild.
Nowhere in your treatise do you mention our ecology and ecosystem, and the billions of birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians feral cats slaughter each year.
You also do not mention your concern for your fellow man, and whether he or she may object to the presence of feral cats or the odor of cat urine and excrement being increasingly present in his/her life.
Would you please give some thought to those results of your agenda and the actions you take?
2. Carried to the Humane Society in a cage.
3. Tossed into a small sterile cage.
4. The rest of this is XXX rated, but you get the point...
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Are the billions of our native animals the feral cats dismember somehow exempt from their compassion? How humane is their abandonment of those domestic cats into our ecology when those cats are run over by cars or ripped apart by dogs as so often happens?
Is those cat colony manager's disregard of their neighbor's property rights in accomplishing their agenda laudable or indefensibly and arrogantly rude?
Tuesday, January 9, 2007
Children playing in the woods came across a feral cat with kittens, Edward Rumen, Health Department public information officer, said in a prepared statement Wednesday.
"They noticed that one kitten was not as lively as the others and took it to a neighborhood boy's house, who has a reputation as being "good' with animals," Rumen said.
He said as the boy tried to nurse the animal back to health, members of his family and his friends came into contact with the kitten, which scratched at least one child.
When the kitten stopped eating and became more sickly, the boy's mother took it to an animal shelter. The kitten tested positive for rabies.
Treatment for rabies exposure includes five shots over a 28-day period, Rumen said.
"This is the 20th confirmed rabies case for 2006 in Ocean County," Daniel Regenye, community health services coordinator, said in the release.
Regenye said people should stay away from animals that act unusually or appear sick or dazed.
The department recommended these precautions:
Animal-proof house and yard. Store all garbage in animal-resistant containers.
Vaccinate pet cats and dogs against rabies. Unvaccinated animals can contract rabies from wild animals and transmit the infection to humans.
2. Trap, neuter, release practicers enable predation of an alien pest on our native wildlife and competition with our natural predators. In doing so they break federal laws protecting our wildlife.
3. Trap, neuter, release practicers enable a pest to invade other's property to plunder, destroy property, and befoul it without any regard to the property owner's feelings on the matter.
It sounds like an irresponsible and rude thing to do, doesn't it?
Monday, January 8, 2007
Recent research has shown that a parasite in cat feces is one of the primary killers of sea otters. The parasite, toxoplasma gondii, may find its way to the ocean -- and to sea otters -- when cat feces are flushed.
Between 1998 and 2004, 52 percent of dead sea otters found on the beach and 38 percent of live sea otters along the California coast were infected by the parasite, according to a paper published last year in the International Journal for Parasitology. In 17 percent of dead otters examined by the state Department of Fish and Game, the parasite was the primary cause of death.
Sunday, January 7, 2007
Florida Cat Populations
Nationwide, cat owners keep an average of two cats per household. However, in the south, there is an average of 3.2 cats per household. Mild weather permits cats to spend more time outdoors and stray and feral cats may live longer. In some areas, large numbers of un-owned cats congregate in "colonies" at garbage dumps or feeding stations where food is left out for them. Cat colonies vary from simple groups of cats, to colonies where volunteers attempt to manage the colony (see "Managed" Cat Colonies in Florida).
Cat Predation on Florida's Wildlife
No one knows how many cats roam outdoors in Florida. However, given the mild climate and high human population, it is reasonable to assume that there are millions of outdoor cats and they are killing millions of animals each year. The following is a review of cat predation on some of Florida's threatened and endangered wildlife species.
Beach Mice: Populations of beach mice are already at risk due to habitat loss, disease, and loss of genetic diversity. Domestic cat predation applies additional pressure to these fragile populations. Found only in the southeastern U. S., beach mice are important for maintaining native grasses which help stabilize the dunes. Six of the eight beach mice subspecies are federal and state listed as endangered or threatened, and one is extinct. Scientists consider predation and hurricanes to be the most important factors now affecting beach mouse survival.
That is what trap, neuter, and abandon accomplishes, perpetuation of the status quo, while our bird numbers continue to dwindle. We have to stop, cease, and desist pandering to the kitty crowd. No more enabling the cute feral kitties. There is no place for them in our ecology!
Lobby Congress to enforce the laws we have in place to protect our vanishing wildlife. Demand they make stronger laws against abandoning destructive pests that kill billions of birds and animals each year.
A zero tolerance policy is the only hope we have at this late date, there are too many millions of cats killing birds to perpetuate it with trap, neuter, abandon.
Saturday, January 6, 2007
On the easier scale you can pass our url around to your friends and refer them here. We also appreciate any links you may wish to make to this forum. We don't profess to be know it alls, but we are trying our best to alleviate this problem.
Please consider looking up your Congress person here and writing them. Tell them you feel our laws protecting our wildlife and prohibiting the introduction of destructive pests should be strongly enforced. Please feel free to quote anything you've read here and include our url if you'd like.
A little more difficult, but not much so is joining the National Audubon Society and supporting American Bird Conservancy's Cats Indoors Campaign.
Please do consider taking some actions. We thank you and our birds would thank you if they could.
NO. Your cat is a domestic species, overpopulated and introduced into the natural
environment by humans. The dead animals and birds you see your cat kill are about half of what it actually takes. Cats do not belong in the natural environment. Not only do they kill animals directly, but they compete with natural predators like hawks, owls and foxes for food. They also destroy nests and kill newborn animals. With the pressure that wildlife and bird species endure from the decrease in habitat and the increase of human populations, their unnecessary destruction by our overpopulated pet cats makes it unconscionable for us as a society to ignore.
Thursday, January 4, 2007
Contact the Mayor and City Council!
Technically, the volunteers have been breaking the law for more than 10 years by trapping, sterilizing and returning cats to the park — City Code prohibits a person from feeding an animal for more than 72 hours without claiming it as their own.
But that could change Thursday, at least on a limited basis. The City Council will consider an agreement with two local nonprofit organizations to legalize a trap, neuter and return — or TNR — pilot program for the Tea Garden cats.
The agreement would devote $5,000 in city funds to sterilize the cats and implant microchips in them.
The agreement is worth more than that to animal advocates, who've longed for city-sanctioned feral cat colonies in an effort to reduce the number of cats killed at the city shelter.
MORE ON THE STORY
Wednesday, January 3, 2007
Monday, January 1, 2007
Dubbed Project Predator Watch, the effort is intended to engage bird watchers and other nature observers in investigating the impact of stray, feral, or otherwise unattended cats and other bird predators.
"Scientists estimate that free-roaming cats and other predators kill hundreds of millions of birds, small mammals, reptiles, and amphibians each year," stated George Fenwick, president of the ABC. The organization, based in Washington, D.C., works to conserve native wild birds and their habitats throughout the Americas.
"Any citizen can participate in Project Predator Watch and provide valuable information needed to conserve birds and other wildlife by clicking a few buttons on their computer," Fenwick said.
The PredatorWatch survey can be found on-line at www.abcbirds.org/cats. Participants are asked to provide information to be used by scientists and conservationists in the following areas:
• Helping to identify birds and other wildlife most likely affected by interactions with cats and other predators.
• Determining whether predator/wildlife interactions are affected by season or climate.
• Determining whether certain wildlife species, age or sex classes, are more vulnerable to predators.
Survey participants observing what is quaintly called "predator/wildlife interactions" can complete a short on-line survey through ABC's Cats Indoors! Web site at www.abcbirds.org/cats.
The Conservancy initiated the indoor-cat program in 1997 to educate cat owners, decision-makers, and the general public that cats, wildlife, and people all benefit when cats are kept inside, in an outdoors enclosure, or are trained to go outside on a harness and leash.
In related news, the ABC and the Wildlife Society report that nationwide, domestic cats kill hundreds of millions of birds and more than a billion small animals annually.
"But cats are not ultimately responsible for killing native wildlife - pet owners are," asserted Laurel Barnhill, bird conservation coordinator and wildlife biologist with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. Barnhill was responding to an ABC report on the impact of feral cats on bird species of concern in New York, New Jersey, Florida, California, and Hawaii.
The report, done under a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, analyzed the effects that cats are having on some of America's most at-risk bird species in cat-predation hot spots. Among the species especially threatened by free-ranging felines are Florida scrub-jay, piping plover, and Hawaiian petrel. Other key targeted birds include painted bunting, least tern, and black rail.
A copy of the report can be seen at the Conservancy Web site.
The Wildlife Society, the professional association of wildlife biologists, has reaffirmed its position advocating the humane elimination of feral cat colonies because of their threat to wildlife.
Feral cats and free-ranging, or stray cats in fact are exotic species to North American wildlife and are one of the most widespread and serious threats to the integrity of native wildlife populations and natural ecosystems, according to Rickie Davis, a Clemson University professor and president of the South Carolina chapter of the society.
The society supports passage of ordinances that ban public feeding of cats, and supports educational programs and materials that call for pet cats to be kept indoors, in enclosures, or on a leash. The society's positions on cats can be read on-line at www.wildlife.org.
The related ABC report highlights the growing trends of so-called managed feral cat colonies that use trap-neuter-release techniques and their effects on birds, especially at state and globally important bird areas.
Commentary: This column long has been critical of permissive or careless cat owners who allow their pets to roam free and kill at will, or who stupidly dump excess cats in rural areas because they lack the guts to face reality and do the right thing and have them put down.
The cat problem is just as prevalent in Ohio and Michigan as it is elsewhere. Two thumbs up to the ABC and Wildlife Society for calling such public attention to an inexcusable problem that is easily remedied.
Zero tolerance with free-ranging cats is the answer.