Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Alley Cat Allies Demands Investigation of Richmond TV Station

Feral Cat Blog! additions: June 26, 2008

Read the
statements on the Richmond SPCA website.


Henrico police investigate death of cats
Times Dispatch InRich.com - Thursday, Jun 26, 2008 - 06:43 PM

~ ~ ~ ~ ~


For Immediate Release:
June 25, 2008

Contact:
ELIZABETH PAROWSKI, mailto:epoarowski@alleycat.org or 240-482-1984
FRANCIE ISRAELI, fisraeli@johnadams.com or 202-737-8400

ALLEY CAT ALLIES DEMANDS INVESTIGATION OF RICHMOND TV STATION
Cites reports that local Fox station hired company to bulldoze outdoor cats

BETHESDA – Alley Cat Allies, the nation’s advocate for stray and feral cats, today called for an investigation after eyewitnesses reported a colony of cats living in and around the property of a Richmond television station had been bulldozed.

“We are told that Richmond WRLH Channel 35, and its owner, Sinclair Media Group, contracted with a local pest control company to have the cats trapped and killed, and that another company was hired to bulldoze the area where the cats lived, all over the vehement objections of local animal protection organizations,” said Becky Robinson, president of Alley Cat Allies. “We are also told that some of the cats may have been killed at the site.”

“If this is true, then we call for an investigation of WRLH and Sinclair Broadcast Group. Plowing through cats with bulldozers is clear-cut animal cruelty, and should not be tolerated in civil society,” Robinson said.

She noted that the cats had been living at the site for a long time, and most had been spayed or neutered and vaccinated. The colony was being cared for by local volunteers, and properties neighboring the Fox station reportedly had no concerns about the cats. Robinson also noted that that the station and its owner were offered nonlethal alternatives by several organizations, including the Richmond SPCA, but were not persuaded.

“Humane cat repellants are readily available, and the station could have used any number of these to keep cats away from areas where they are not wanted,” said Robinson. “Today’s tragic situation could easily have been avoided.”

“It is still unclear whether what happened today is illegal, but we will be working with the local authorities and animal organizations to ensure there is a thorough investigation,” Robinson said. “In the meantime, the cats have been frightened and displaced and their home has been destroyed.”


# # #

About Alley Cat Allies
Alley Cat Allies is dedicated to ending the killing of cats and leading the movement for their humane care. Their web site is http://www.alleycat.org/.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~

related news article : Cats Killed Outside Local TV Station
WRIC, VA - June 25, 2008

New York State Anti-TNR Funding Bill Defeated!!! (A.11492)

From Neighborhood Cats: June 25, 2008

The NY State Legislature's session has ended and the anti-TNR funding bill (A. 11492) never reached the floor for a vote and is now officially dead. Hooray!!

For anyone who questions whether your voice matters, this victory proves it does. Your phone calls and emails made the difference, along with the lobbying of Stacy Wolf, Esq., Senior Director, Legislative Services and Anti-Cruelty Training, and Debora Bresch, Esq., Legislative Services, both of the ASPCA. Our deepest thanks to Ms. Wolf, Ms. Bresch and the ASPCA for their efforts.

Assemblymembers have now been introduced to TNR and to the enormous public support for this humane, effective approach to feral cat management. Efforts will be made to clarify existing law so that all communities, like Elmira (the subject of A.11492) will feel comfortable moving ahead with municipally supported TNR programs.

Thanks so much for being a great network of caring, involved activists. To borrow a now popular slogan, "Yes we can!"

Bryan Kortis
Executive Director
Neighborhood Cats
212-662-5761
www.neighborhoodcats.org


~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Related Feral Cat Blog! posts:

New York State cat legislation doesn't pass
June 24, 2008

Update: Keep pressure on to kill anti-TNR funding bill

Elmira New York Trap Neuter Return Fund, Law Questions

Update on anti-tnr funding bill NYS A11492

Urgent: TNR in NY State faces severe threat TODAY!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

New York State cat legislation doesn't pass

Cat legislation doesn’t pass
News 10 Now - 06/24/2008 09:52 PM
By: Web Staff

ELMIRA, N.Y. -- One proposal that didn't make it out of Albany would have helped Elmira leaders manage the city's cat population. State lawmakers said they were willing to allow Elmira to implement a program to trap stray cats, spay or neuter them and return them to the streets, but that would have been an exception specific to Elmira.

The mayor says advocates had concerns that would hinder trap, neuter, return efforts in other areas. He says city leaders will work to promote a statewide change next year.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~

This is good news, contrary to what one might think if you haven't followed this!

Related Feral Cat Blog! posts:

Update: Keep pressure on to kill anti-TNR funding bill

Elmira New York Trap Neuter Return Fund, Law Questions

Update on anti-tnr funding bill NYS A11492

Urgent: TNR in NY State faces severe threat TODAY!

Update: Keep Pressure On to Kill Anti-TNR Funding Bill!

from Neighborhood Cats:

So far so good! The bill we're trying to defeat (A. 11492 [O'Mara]) is still in committee and has not come to the Assembly floor for a vote. The Legislature's session ends on Wednesday, so we need to keep the pressure on in order to prevent a vote or, if a vote occurs, to defeat the bill.

Please write to your Assemblymember if you have not done so (see sample letter below) or, if you have written already, follow up with a phone call to their offices or another email requesting an update. Your emails and phone calls, along with the hard work of ASPCA attorneys Stacy Wolf and Debora Bresch, are working - Assemblymembers have mentioned the public's concern to us!! Let's keep it up and prevent the bill from slipping through at the last minute from some political horse-trading.

HOW TO REACH YOUR ASSEMBLYMEMBER

You can find your assembly member's name and contact info by going to http://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/ Enter your zip code, then click on the name that appears. Email is in the righthand column.

A QUICK SUMMARY OF THE ISSUES

A.11492 would give the City of Elmira special permission to operate and fund a Trap-Neuter-Return program. If A.11492 passes, it sets a harmful precedent that a municipality in NY State cannot run a TNR program without special permission from the Legislature. Neighborhood Cats' legal staff, along with Ms. Wolf and Ms. Bresch, believe special permission is not necessary and Elmira can go ahead and run a TNR program right now and not be in violation of state law. There is no reason to set such a bad precedent.

SAMPLE LETTER

Dear Assemblymember ___________,

I'm writing concerning A.11492, which may be up for a vote today!

Last week, the Senate passed a bill that says "notwithstanding" Agriculture &Markets Law section 374, the City of Elmira can operate and fund a Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program.

TNR is a method for reducing and managing feral and stray cat populations through sterilization and vaccination for rabies. It is endorsed by The Humane Society of the United States, the ASPCA and many other leading animal welfare organizations.

This bill tells municipalities in NY State unequivocally that it is illegal for them to run a TNR program without special permission from the Legislature. This is extremely harmful because it codifies an interpretation of section 374 that is questionable at best and it does this to the detriment of any localitiy in the state (other than Elmira) that either currently helps to fund, or plans to help to fund a TNR program.

This will damage TNR programs currently funded by NY municipalities and could significantly dampen the growth of TNR state-wide. Please help us defeat its passage in the Assembly!!

Respectfully from your constituent,
[Your name]
[Your address]

Sunday, June 22, 2008

stop wildlife killing


AnimalResources and the Feral Cat Blog! seek, support and promote nonlethal and nontoxic solutions for all species!

Excerpt from the letter signed by 30 organizations that
WildEarth Guardians sent to Congress:

Re: Request to cut Funding for the USDA-APHIS-WS’s Wild Carnivore-Killing Program

We the 30 undersigned organizations, and on behalf of our 10.9 million members across the nation, respectfully submit the following request that lethal predator control funding be discontinued for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) -Wildlife Services (WS). Most Americans strongly support protection of wildlife, endangered species, and carnivores. Several reasons for discontinuing federal support for predator control exist. Predator control activities are (1) generally ineffective and ecologically harmful; (2) fiscally irresponsible; (3) inhumane and against the public’s interest; and (4) a national security hazard.interest; and (4) a national security hazard. It is time for a change that reflects these facts and that embodies a more enlightened set of values, the weight of public opinion, and public safety.

The letter is downloadable here:

See also:

WILDLIFE SERVICES' 2006 ANNUAL TABLES / Program Data
in particular: Animals Taken by Component Type and Fate

WildEarth Guardians
What Our Taxes Pay For

Predator Defense Institute:
The USDA's War on Wildlife

Big Wildlife:
GOVERNMENT KILLING SPREE AGAINST WILDLIFE

Previous Feral Cat Blog! Posts on the USDA Wildlife Service:

USDA Animal Damage Control
Saturday, April 08, 2006

August 20, 2005
Scroll down to:
More predators killed to protect endangered species
Oregon

USDA / APHIS / Wildlife Services ~ 2003 Annual Tables
Wednesday, June 01, 2005

feral cat news today!

Google links for feral cat news and related news TODAY!
[right sidebar under Profile]

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Feral Cat Blog! Purpose
[right sidebar below Resources]

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

A prevention AND solution action for cities, counties, communities is to immediately implement or support comprehensive cat management programs that promote CONCURRENTLY:

* spay neuter, identification, and containment-as-possible for 'owned' cats and
* Trap-Neuter-RETURN-Manage (TNRM) for unowned cats
* covered dumpsters and garbage containers

See
Cat Management in Communities for further information.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Neuter/Spay Assistance and Information ~ Oregon, Washington, Nationwide

Saturday, June 21, 2008

elmira NY trap neuter return fund, law questions

Since 2001, ~Barb, AnimalResources has proactively, purposefully, and specifically provided news, information and resources to help resolve animal issues, save animal lives and hasten progressive initiatives. Information sent to select New York feral cat people from May 27 to June 18 related to the recent Feral Cat Blog! posts Urgent! TNR in NY State faces severe threat TODAY!!! included news articles, city of Elmira city council contacts and related meeting info, New York State home rule and feral cat laws, and source of other NYS grant funds for Trap-Neuter-Return:

Senate OKs city's cat program
Elmira a step closer to being able to trap, spay or neuter feral population.
Star-Gazette - June 18, 2008 By Dan Osburn
ALBANY -- The state Senate on Tuesday unanimously passed a bill that would allow the city of Elmira to humanely deal with its growing feral cat population.

NY Senate Approves Elmira TNR Program for Feral Cats
WENY - June 17, 2008 Renata Stiehl

Trap, Neuter, Release Program Moves Forward
WETM TV - June 10, 2008 Contributor: Katie Graham

State may let Elmira trap, neuter, return cats
News 10 Now - 06/05/2008 by Web Staff
Watch the Video

A new way of animal control
News 10 Now - 05/30/2008 By: Kat De Maria

City Council to Vote on Stray Cat Issue
WETM TV - May 27, 2008 Contributor: Katie Graham

Elmira City Council Agenda
REGULAR MEETING RE: AGENDA, 7:00 PM Tuesday, May 27, 2008
[excerpt]
IDENTIFICATION OF CONSENT ITEMS
2008-179
Act on resolution requesting Senator George Winner and Assemblyman Thomas O'Mara, along with Assemblyman James Bacalles sponsor and support state legislation to amend the New York State Agriculture and Markets Laws to authorize municipalities to fund Trap-Neuter-Return programs in New York State to help control the feral and stray cat population growth in urban areas.
Downloadable: http://www.cityofelmira.net/meetings/council_2008_05_27.pdf

5/27
Called several people in Babylon New York. The Babylon funding for Trap-Neuter-Return referred to as a state grant was discretionary monies from NY State funds that any constituents can request from their NYS legislators, called an Omnibus grant in NYS. Assemblyman Sweeney had obtained $35,000 for Babylon NY for animal shelter general operation and to start their TNR program in April 2008. Sweeney is chair of the NYS Assembly Committee on Environmental Conservation.

Info from AnimalResources files:

City of Elmira Mayor and Council Contact Info

City of Elmira, New York
City Hall Third Floor
317 East Church Street
Elmira, New York 14901
(607) 737-5644
http://www.cityofelmira.net/index/index.html

John S. Tonello
Mayor
Elmira City Council
Mayor
John S. Tonello (D)
City Manager
John J. Burin
First District
Susan J. Skidmore (R)
Second District
Carol M. Mechalke (R)
Third District
John Corsi (R)
Fourth District
Mark S. Hitchcock (D)
Fifth District
Robert C. Bailey (R)
Sixth District
James E. Hare (D)
http://www.cityofelmira.net/offices/mayor.html

Elmira Leash Law
WENY-TV, NY - Dec 17, 2007 Julie Browers

Home Rule law in NYS
CELDF

animal law new york state
Monday, July 03, 2006
Animal Law in New York State
a downloadable brochure from the New York State Bar Association, July 2006

input Rhode Island spay neuter legislation

Shelter inundated with homeless cats
Warwick Online - Thu, Jun 19 08
By BRENNA MCCABE

[excerpt]
Despite state spay and neuter legislation put into place two years ago, more and more cats can be found clawing at the doors of Rhode Island animal shelters, and Warwick is no exception.

[excerpt]
Debbie Niosi, cat adoption coordinator for the Warwick shelter, said that most of the cats they put to sleep are feral cats, or stray domestic cats that are almost impossible to tame.

[excerpt]
Though it may seem like a miniscule jump in numbers, the increase in the cat population has been enough to keep the shelter overwhelmed.
Corvin said the number of cats in comparison to the number of adoptions, “doesn’t balance out.”

[excerpt]
Two years ago, the state passed a law mandating that all cats more than 6 months of age be spayed or neutered. If owners want to breed and sell kittens, they have to apply for a permit, which costs $100 for each cat every year.
In order to receive a permit from Animal Control, the owner must agree to wait to sell the kittens after they turn 8 weeks old, and they must also be immunized. Those who fail to abide by the guidelines are given a warning, and later receive a $75 fine for every 30 days the kittens are not properly spayed or neutered.
The law was meant to prevent the number of stray cats from rising, but so far, Corvin said cat overpopulation is still a statewide issue.

[excerpt]
Though cat hoarders make issues worse, Corvin suspects the increase in cat population in Warwick may also stem from the rise in local foreclosures.

[excerpt]
As far as alternatives for the felines, Niosi said foster owners, a temporary solution for the problem, aren’t really an option at the Warwick shelter.

[excerpt]
Other shelters in the states are taking new approaches to combat overpopulation.
The Providence Animal Rescue League offers a free spay/neuter program called “Spay Your Momma,” where owners can bring in their “momma cats” with its litter of kittens and they can be spayed for free, as long as the litter is given to the league. PARL then attempts to find homes for the litter.

[excerpt]
Harvey said the economy and the number of foreclosures in Rhode Island played a huge role at PARL as well, with feline surrender rates up 35 percent over the peak of last year’s numbers.

[excerpt]
The problem of cat overpopulation is no longer just a statewide concern, but a nationwide issue.

[excerpt]
Corvin said people just need to help enforce the laws that were put in place in Rhode Island, and it’s too early to tell what the next step is.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The above article is lengthy, informative, and appreciated. It touches on some of the many complex issues related to Cat Management in Communities. Detailed analysis would be needed before making any conclusions about the statewide spay/neuter legislation or cat overpopulation at this point.

The problem of cat overpopulation has been a national issue, a problem statewide in every state, for MANY YEARS. The frontline stakeholders for animal issues in communities and nationally have done little to address cat problems, in particular both "owned" cat and homeless cat issues which must be addressed simultaneously. Two critical programs a community needs are truly low-cost and accessible spay/neuter and Trap-Neuter-RETURN-Manage (TNRM.) Effective adoption and foster programs are also important; not sure why an aggressive foster program is not an option at the Warwick shelter.

Statements are frequently made such as "cats have surpassed dogs as favorite American pets" with add-ons like "according to the APPMA 2007-2008 survey" or other recent survey citations. The fact that there are more cats is not a revelation! This happened in the mid-80’s, 1985 according to the Pet Food Institute. Such statements are in the category of
420,000 cats! Bob Christiansen gave ample evidence of the cat problem and its solutions in his 1998 book, "Save Our Strays: How We Can End Pet Overpopulation and Stop Killing Healthy Cats and Dogs", an excellent blueprint that has been available to us for a decade.


Previous Feral Cat Blog! posts:

MUST fix rhode island cats
Friday, June 09, 2006 with links to previous

Importing Savannah cats may be banned: Australia

Savannah cats blocked
Melbourne Herald Sun, Australia
Gerard McManus
June 21, 2008 12:00am

[excerpt]
THE importing of a new breed of super-sized pet cats is likely to be banned after a review announced by federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett.
Savannah cats are a cross between an African serval and a domestic cat and would be the largest pet cat in Australia.
But Mr Garrett says there is a risk that possible interbreeding with feral cats will create a new breed of hunting animal that will decimate native species.
[excerpt]
Last night Mr Parker, of Savannah Cats Australia, who has spent five years on plans to breed the cats and sell them for about $5000 each, accused Mr Garrett of not doing his homework.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Related Feral Cat Blog! post: Australian law loophole on wild-pet hybrids

Maddie's campaign northern Nevada: PetsLoveVets.com

National Animal Welfare Foundation Launches Pilot Campaign in Northern Nevada to Improve Pet Care
Unprecedented Effort to Encourage Veterinarian Visits
Veterinarians Also Assist with Behavior Problems, the Top Reason
People Give Up Pets, According to a New Survey of Nevadans

[excerpt]
RENO, Nevada, June 16, 2008 — Maddie’s Fund®, one of the country’s largest animal welfare foundations, is launching an unprecedented campaign in Northern Nevada to promote regular veterinarian visits for pets. The campaign, Pets Love Vets, aims to help pets live longer, healthier lives by educating residents about pet care and connecting them with local veterinarians.

Pets Love Vets will feature a paid television advertising campaign running from June 16 till mid-July on Northern Nevada network and cable stations. Advertisements will direct local residents to www.PetsLoveVets.com, where they can learn more about milestones in their pets’ lives and find trusted veterinarians in their areas by zip code search.

[excerpt]
Maddie’s Fund selected Northern Nevada as its pilot site to complement current pet welfare activities underway by local veterinarians and shelters. For example, the University of Nevada, Reno, conducted a survey from November 2007 to February 2008 of more than 600 Northern Nevadans to determine rates of pet ownership, spaying/neutering, and other opinions and experiences.

[excerpt]
Pets Love Vets is Maddie’s Fund’s second project in the Northern Nevada area. In February, the SPCA of Northern Nevada launched a low-cost spay/neuter program for low-income residents in order to reduce the Northern Nevada animal shelter population.

http://maddiesfund.org/press/press_releases_06_08.html

Friday, June 20, 2008

Update on anti-TNR funding bill NYS A.11492

See also reference materials from:
elmira NY trap neuter return fund, law questions
Saturday, June 21, 2008

~ ~ ~ ~ ~



from Neighborhood Cats:

For a full analysis of the issues surrounding A. 11492 (the bill that would effectively ban municipal funding of TNR programs), please see the attached memo authored by Stacy Wolf, Esq., Senior Legislative Director for the ASPCA. Ms. Wolf is in Albany fighting hard to defeat this potentially disasterous bill and your phone calls and emails to your Assembly members are helping!!

The bill has not yet been called to the floor for a vote - however, this could happen at any time before the close of the legislative session on Wednesday. So we need to keep the pressure on. If you've already written or called, then follow up by asking what your Assembly member is doing about this. It's very important to defeat this bill!!

What You Can Do

Because the time is so short, I ask that you:

1) Call (and have your members or contacts call) your state assembly member and Speaker Silver and tell them not to pass A.11492 (contact info is available at http://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/. Enter your zip code, then click on the names of the legislators that appear)

2) You can also email your state assembly member and Speaker Silver (again contact info is on the assembly site) You can cut and paste this sample letter if you like:

SAMPLE LETTER:

Dear Assemblymember ___________,

I'm writing to express strong opposition to A.11492 (O'Mara) which has already passed the Senate and which may be voted on at any time in the Assembly.

Last week, the Senate passed S.8430 /A.11492, a bill that would amend Agriculture &Markets Law section 374 to essentially say that "notwithstanding" the language dictating that municipal shelters can only release cats for adoption or owner redemption, the city of Elmira can run a Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program.

TNR is a method for reducing and managing feral and stray cat populations through sterilization and vaccination for rabies. It is endorsed by The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), The Humane Society of the United States and many other leading animal welfare organizations.

This bill tells municipalities unequivocally that it is illegal for them to fund a TNR program without an express exemption in the statute. This is extremely harmful because it codifies an interpretation of section 374 that is questionable at best and it does this to the detriment of any localitiy in the state (other than Elmira) that either currently helps to fund, or plans to help to fund a TNR program.

This will damage TNR programs currently funded by NY municipalities and could significantly dampen the growth of TNR state-wide. Please help us defeat its passage in the Assembly!!

Respectfully from your constituent,
[Your name]
[Your address]

3) Pass along this message to other TNR, or other animal advocates in NYS who may wish to be heard.

Thank you!
Bryan Kortis
Executive Director
Neighborhood Cats
212-662-5761
www.neighborhoodcats.org

test baiting schemes to trap feral cats in national parks

US Geological Survey
Patuxent Wildlife Research Center

Park Oriented Biological Support
PTS: 3210BG4.19.0
Title: PWRC-Development of methods to improve trapping of free-roaming cats in National Parks

Objectives: [excerpt]
Specific goal:
Develop baiting schemes within the limits of resources of the National Parks to maximize cat trapping success and minimize non-target catches. These new methods will allow National Parks to monitor feral cats effectively.
excerpt:
2006 Statement of Work: Test baiting schemes to improve cat trapping in National Parks. Procedures will be tested at Catoctin Mountain NP, Prince William NF, and National Capital Parks East
2007 Statement of Work: Continue testing the baiting schemes

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Feral Cat Blog! Resources Addendum:

Catoctin Mountain Area National Park
Thurmont Maryland

Prince William National Forest
Triangle Virginia

National Capital Parks East
NCP-East offers a wide array of historic, natural, and recreational areas of that are a part of Washington, D.C. and its eastern environs. The park includes 12 major park areas at 98 locations.
NCP-East extends north to Ann Arundel County at the northern end of the Baltimore/Washington Parkway, through Prince Georges County, and southeast to the southern part of Piscataway Park in Charles County, Maryland.

CA AB1634 mandatory spay neuter bill amended

Spay-neuter bill gets gutted in committee
Capitol Weekly, CA - June 19, 2008

excerpt:
AB 1634, from Assemblyman Lloyd Levine, D-Van Nuys, originally called for spaying or neutering of any dog or cat over six months of age, with exceptions for breeders, working animals and some others. As amended in the Senate Local Government Committee, the new version calls for the sterilization only of a dog that has been taken into the shelter system three times or a cat that has been in twice.

Australian law loophole on wild-pet hybrids

Call to change laws on wild species
Sydney Morning Herald, Australia - Jun 18, 2008


Excerpt:
The Humane Society International (HSI)
says the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act should be amended to provide the pest species committee with more powers.
"With many of Australia's native species already under threat from feral cats, HSI is bewildered as to how the federal government could even consider allowing the import of a hybrid supercat to be sold as pets in Australia," the society's Australian spokeswoman Dannielle Annese said in a statement.

[Excerpt]
The committee will report to the Senate on November 27.

anchovy possible link in toxoplasmosis

Anchovy links cats to marine mammals
Friday, 20 June 2008
Brooke Borel
Cosmos Magazine

[Excerpt]

Toxoplasmosis, the sometimes fatal disease caused by the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii, is found only in cats in its infectious form, and only the fertilised eggs of the parasite – called oocysts – cause an infection.
But over the past decade the disease has also killed a vast number of marine mammals, leaving scientists puzzled over how the parasite found its way from felines to the sea.

Some researchers have theorised that fresh water runoff from streams, stormwater drains and sewers have carried cat faeces to the ocean, and that new products like flushable kitty litter may have increased the amount of faeces in runoff. But this doesn't explain how the parasite has spread across entire oceans.

Now new data from researchers at California Polytechnic State University in the U.S. suggest that anchovies, an important prey for many marine animals, may be the missing link. The team reported their results at the 108th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology in Boston, Massachusetts, last week.

"If anchovies are really serving as hosts [to T. gondii], then this could be an explanation for how oocysts are getting from the near shore environment to the open ocean," said Gloeta Massie, a lead researcher in the study.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

san nicolas island feral cats: HSUS press release

Here is the HSUS press release of June 18 that went online today - see also my Feral Cat Blog! post of yesterday, San Nicolas Island feral cat eradication plan:

The Humane Society of the United States Urges U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Not to Shoot Feral Cats on San Nicolas Island
Nation's Largest Animal Protection Group Proposes Joint Cooperative Program to Accomplish objectives through a Non-Lethal Spay-Neuter Program


The Humane Society of the United States urges U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to abandon its proposal to shoot feral cats and cruelly trap them in attempts to save seabirds and native fauna on San Nicolas Island, off the coast of California. The HSUS hopes the FWS will join them in a truly cooperative, non-lethal program to accomplish its objectives.

As part of the public comment period on the environmental assessment required by law whenever a major federal action significantly affects the quality of the environment, Nancy Peterson, The HSUS' feral cat program manager, sent a letter to the FWS asking it to seriously consider the more effective and humane alternatives to what the agency is proposing as its "Preferred Alternative." The comment period ended Tuesday.

Briefly summarized, The HSUS contends that environmental assessment is faulty because:
it doesn't sufficiently consider humaneness;
it doesn't consider a full range of methods for capturing the feral cats, including Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR);
it fails to fully analyze alternatives to eradicating the feral cat population.
it omits important information, such as previous unsuccessful attempts at feral cat eradications;
the agencies involved failed to consult with animal welfare and feral cat groups.

To see the complete letter sent to the FWS, please click here.

Instead, The HSUS proposes that the FWS implement a plan of trapping the cats humanely with box traps as opposed to cruel leg-hold traps; behavioral screening for adoption of young and moderately tame cats; surgical sterilization of all cats and management of sterilized cats who cannot be adopted either in an enclosure on San Nicolas Island or at another site.

The HSUS, a mainstream voice for the welfare of all animals, has a long history of involvement with inter-species conflict resolution actively promoting effective non-lethal strategies. To that end, The HSUS is offering the services of Jane Garrison, an acknowledged expert on feral cats, and The HSUS' Rural Area Veterinary Services, which has more than five years of experience setting up mass spay/neuter clinics around the world. RAVS could help set up a TNR type project on San Nicolas Island to accomplish the FWS objectives through non-lethal techniques.

RAVS could offer, at no cost to federal taxpayers, experienced veterinarians and students who could sterilize about 90 cats per day. The HSUS' Emergency Services division and regional office staff would help with humane trapping and construction of an enclosure to protect the cats, the birds and other wildlife including the island foxes.


-30-

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 10.5 million Americans, or one of every 30. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the web at humanesociety.org.

Urgent! TNR in NY State faces severe threat TODAY!!!

See also reference materials from:
elmira NY trap neuter return fund, law questions
Saturday, June 21, 2008

~ ~ ~ ~ ~


from Neighborhood Cats - for NY residents:

Please take a moment to send a copy of the email below to your Assembly Member ASAP!!!! You can find your assembly member's name and then contact info by going to http://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/

Enter your zip code, then click on the name that appears. Email is in the righthand column. If you can, please also make a phone call.

In short, we need to defeat a bill that is up for a vote imminently - A. 11492 would, in a backhand way, make it illegal for any municipality to fund a TNR program unless the Legislature specifically passes a bill to allow it. Action is needed now to stop this!!

Please copy and paste the letter below and add your name and address at the bottom. thank you!!!

Bryan Kortis
Executive Director
Neighborhood Cats
212-662-5761
http://www.neighborhoodcats.org/

LETTER:

Dear Assemblymember ___________,

I'm writing concerning A.11492, which may be up for a vote today!

Yesterday, the Senate passed a bill that would amend Agriculture &Markets Law section 374 to essentially say that "notwithstanding" the language dictating that shelters can only release cats for adoption or owner redemption, the city of Elmira can run a Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program.

TNR is a method for reducing and managing feral and stray cat populations through sterilization and vaccination for rabies. It is endorsed by The Humane Society of the United States, the ASPCA and many other leading animal welfare organizations.

This bill tells municipalities unequivocally that it is illegal for them to fund a TNR program without an express exemption in the statute. This is extremely harmful because it codifies an interpretation of section 374 that is questionable at best and it does this to the detriment of any locality in the state (other than Elmira) that either currently helps to fund, or plans to help to fund a TNR program.

This will damage TNR programs currently funded by NY municipalities and could significantly dampen the growth of TNR state-wide. Please help us defeat its passage in the Assembly!!

Respectfully from your constituent,
[Your name]
[Your address]

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

San Nicolas Island feral cat eradication plan

Early June 4 I sent the announcement of the newly released Environmental Assessment for San Nicolas Island Seabird Restoration Project and opportunity for public comments to feral cat leaders and others. See also my 2005 alert on this blog for the first public comment opportunity regarding the San Nicolas Island feral cat eradication project in the Draft Montrose Restoration Plan: Primary and compensatory restoration.

A news article was published in the Ventura County Star on June 5, Feral cats may be eliminated from San Nicolas Island, followed on June 6 by Biologists want island cats killed in which the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) criticized the plan. An action alert dated June 13 came out from Born Free / Animal Protection Institute (API.) Other alerts were from PETA, who unfortunately advocated more-humane but still killing and Alley Cat Allies (ACA,) the national nonprofit dedicated to ending the killing of cats. Animal People News included an article in the June 2008 issue (not yet online.)

The comment period for the EA closed June 17. Finally completed and sent my comments early that afternoon. I urged a redirection to nonlethal and nontoxic solutions for all locations and all species, pointed out inadequacies and inaccuracies in the San Nicolas Island EA and proposed feral cat killing plan, and suggested the alternatives of exclusion and containment fencing in conjunction with trap-neuter-return (TNR.)

This morning comments submitted by Alley Cat Allies were available to download and I received the comments submitted jointly by the HSUS Feral Cat Program and Wildlife and Habitat Programs. ACA and HSUS provided excellent responses to the San Nicolas Island EA content and plan for feral cat eradication. The HSUS has proposed a cooperative program with the USFWS -- a wonderful nonlethal action plan and offer of assistance including trap-neuter-return of the SNI feral cats.

Examples of a few innovative and successful partnerships between feral cat and wildlife groups have long been listed and promoted on the sidebar of this blog, and on Cat Management in Communities under the TNR and Wildlife section.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Evaluating Efficacy of Spay/Neuter Programs

February 4, 2008
Developing Methods
Evaluating the Efficacy of Spay/Neuter Programs. On January 22, 2008, a National Wildlife Research Center (NWRC) scientist met with two representatives of the Animal Assistance Foundation (AAF) to assist in designing studies to evaluate the efficacy of spay/neuter programs for reducing the number of free-roaming dogs and cats. The AAF has funded spay/neuter programs in Colorado for more than 30 years and would like a structured assessment of how well the programs are working. The study is planned to begin in spring 2008 for rural communities in eastern Colorado. The proposed study design would match similar communities that serve, variously, as controls (no spay/neuter program), recipients of a spay/neuter program in year one, or recipients of a spay/neuter program in years one and two. This design would assess program efficacy over least four years. Measured variables will include animal shelter intake rates and euthanasia rates, as well as indices of free-roaming dogs and cats. Indexing procedures could include track stations, camera stations, and even observations at feeding stations.
Source: USDA / APHIS / Wildlife Damage / National Wildlife Research Center News

Always happy to see any evaluation, assessment, analysis, studies, surveys or research regarding animal issues; such information is particularly sparse regarding spay/neuter. See this section on my Neuter/Spay webpage:
Spay Neuter Reports :: Spay Neuter Studies :: Spay Neuter Research :: Spay Neuter Analysis.
The involvement of the National Wildlife Research Center with a spay/neuter study is of interest. Cats and dogs, including feral, are most often considered domestic rather than wildlife (depending on whose perspective you endorse.) Wildlife Damage has relied heavily on lethal control and management of animals. The NWRC which is under Wildlife Damage self-describes as a leader in non-lethal wildlife control. The NWRC is headquartered at Colorado State University in Fort Collins and the Animal Assistance Foundation provides grant funding within Colorado. I had saved in my files that interestingly, in fy 06-07 the AAF provided $50,000 to the Alliance for Contraception in Cats and Dogs ACCD (a national / global group currently headquartered in Portland Oregon) for a survey of veterinarians regarding non-surgical sterilization. Current and past Colorado groups funded for spay/neuter are
listed here.