Here is SOS Director of Cat Rescue Peggy Lynch’s report for June 27 from the site of the Trap, Neuter, and Return effort at WRLH, FOX 35.
We trapped for 3 hours tonight and managed to get 1 adult and two small kittens. I think the heat may have been a factor, for when we were packing up at 10 PM more and more cats were coming out. But we were all pretty beat down from two nights of trapping and the temperatures. We will be trapping again Saturday morning at 5 AM to see if we can get some “volunteers” for our Saturday spay/neuter slots. We will also be trapping again Sunday evening.
It is slow going but at least we did not leave empty handed. Channel 8 came out and covered an hour of our trapping session for the 11 o’clock news tonight.
This endeavor has been a wonderful joint effort with volunteers from SOS, SPCA, CARE and Somebuddies and other individuals all coming out to help. It is a true testament to what we can do when we all join forces.
There have been some misunderstandings stemming from recent events regarding the approach to this colony. The initial reaction to Critter Control trapping and euthanizing 3 cats left everyone in shock and very uneasy. Our natural and emotional reaction was to try and remove the cats from danger. However, the media spotlight on this particular situation has had a positive result in FOX backing down…somewhat. What we quickly realized was first, removing 40+ cats from this location was going to be a long, laborious and essentially futile effort given the nature of feral cat colonies and what is widely known and published about them. If you remove the cats more will come and fill the void. There are still ideal conditions for feral cats on properties adjacent and near this site. There are also other colonies in the area. The other compelling issue is it sends a distorted message to the community as a whole. SOS has received 2 calls just today from homeowners who heard the cats were being removed, asking for our assistance in removing cats from their neighborhoods. Neither of these individuals were interested in TNR assistance when we offered it.
Removing cats sends a message that the solution to the feral cat problem is to threaten the cats so some humane organization will come in and take them away. We all know this is not possible, and it could potentially undermine the stability of existing colonies that are being tolerated by neighborhoods and businesses. If we send the message that removal is the way to go we will lose the hard fought strides that have been made in finding humane and practical TNR solutions .
There are varying opinions on what is best for these cats, all stemming from a pure and deep love of animals and wanting to protect them from harm. So there are no bad guys here. We are all the good guys and we can respectfully disagree and still work together. The dialog, debate and collaboration is healthy and has yielded pearls of wisdoms and some very creative ideas for dealing with all facets of this dilemma.
I have nothing but the utmost respect for everyone who loves animals and is willing to act. We are demonstrating the power we have working together to make a difference, stop inhumane acts and raise public awareness.