Letter to the Editor

Reader urges all to visit website for cats

Sunday, October 19, 2008

To the Editor:

What are feral cats? Who are these cats and how did they get here?

Feral cats exist in every community and they usually live in family groups called colonies. Feral cats are not socialized to humans and are therefore unadoptable. Thousands are routinely killed in animal pounds and shelters each year. If you want to help a feral cat, get educated about a program called Trap-Neuter-Return, a humane method of care that ends the breeding cycle and creates a safety net for the cats and our community.

Alley Cat Allies' website (www.alleycat.org) is a great source of information on Trap-Neuter-Return and the importance of spay and neuter for all cats.

Americans would probably be shocked to learn that being killed in an animal shelter is the number one documented cause of death for cats in the United States. That's right -- more than 70 percent of cats that enter animal shelters are killed. And nearly all feral cats brought to shelters are killed right away, because while feral cats are the same species as companion cats and are healthy, they are not socialized to humans and cannot be adopted into homes.

It's time to put an end to animal control practices that rely on catch and kill. Not only is it cruel, it is expensive and our tax and donor dollars are funding it. Catch and kill is also not supported by a majority of Americans, according to an Alley Cat Allies survey conducted by Harris Interactive.

Cities across the country are realizing that rather than endless catch and kill, our tax dollars and donations would be much better spent on Trap-Neuter-Return for outdoor cats and low-cost spay and neuter for all cats. Now it's our community's turn. I urge you to visit www.alleycat.org and education yourself on the true cost of lethal animal control.

Tammy Rothrock,