Letter to the editor: TNR most humane

To the editor:

For those opposed to trap neuter return (TNR), what do you propose be done with the ever increasing numbers of feral/stray cats in the community?

You say feral cats are a nuisance and decrease the bird population. TNR reduces the number of cats in the community, thus reducing the number of birds killed and the number of cats using “yards, gardens, and landscaping as their litterbox.” Plus, neutering itself decreases unwanted behavior associated with mating of intact cats. Feral cats certainly don’t have the same lifestyle as indoor pet cats. But truly feral cats can’t be treated the same as your typical pet cat. Caregivers supply community cats with food, water and shelter in the winter. What alternate actions would give them a better life? Should they all be placed in special shelters for feral cats? Is there room in our current shelters? We need to be realistic. Because of their nature, feral cats would be miserable if penned up in shelters. Should all the community cats be rounded up and killed? Wow, that’s real humane. Furthermore, studies show that when cats are removed from their colony, more move in to fill the void. In an ideal world, people would be responsible and we would have no abandoned cats. We would move all the existing community cats to huge outdoor sanctuaries where they could live out their lives with food, water, shelter and protection from predators. Let’s face it: That’s not going to happen in our lifetime. Until that time, the most effective, humane way to manage the problem of overpopulation of feral cats is TNR.

Laurie Walker, DVM



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