As a former stray I was alarmed to read this blog post about the possibility that up to 20,000 cats are at risk in the State of Hawaii, within Kauai Co Council in particular. Hawaii is known to many of us as a place of golden beaches, sunshine and an holiday refuge – but it seems that after a recent apparently ‘anti-cat’ $30,000 study (see this article) there is a strong risk that the many feral cats may be killed.
- If you think I am being a little bit over the top, check the list of ‘recommendations’ in the blog post. ‘Killing‘ is mentioned as an alternative THREE times. Several of the other measures would impact wholly negatively on family pets that may escape, or be allowed outside.
YesBiscuit is the blog that posted about this comments :-
In effect, the recommendations target outdoor cats for extermination – potentially including indoor cats who escape their homes – and punish colony caretakers with licensing fees and unreasonable restrictions making it impossible for them to reduce the colony size over time. The TNR program as outlined is destined to fail by design. This is what you get when you commission a report from people who want to kill cats.
Read their blog post, commit to writing to expressing your concern, and urge the Council to do the following for feral cats :-
- Urge the Council to work with the Feral advocates and local pet owners to see what can be done.
- One feral advocate “….. lamented that experienced TNR supporters were barred from participating during the decision making work session of the task force, resulting in a lop-sided set of recommendations favoring cat eradication”.
- Read the article – it is helpful and reasonable. There is also an interesting discussion at the bottom, in the comments, with a respondent who does not believe TNR works. It is a credit to the blog that it allows informed discussion with pro and anti both getting a say.
- Remain reasonable at all times when you write or email – focus on the negative impact to the State’s economy that this news will have worldwide. Do not fall into the trap of ranting like a crazy fanatic, it does not help the cats.
- Colleague Jackson Taylor in FB pointed out the following :-
Large cities like Chicago, New York have realized the importance of having a viable feral population in the fight against rats. Thus they have revved up their TNR programs. Worth mentioning to the Council.
- Anyone wishing to get in touch with polite comments supporting TNR and opposing cat extermination and the criminalization of cat owners should email: Councilmembers@kauai.gov
UPDATE:- Blogger Savannah’s Paw Tracks has an update featuring Hawaiian cats and news in her post Island Cats at Risk.
Feral cats – petitions
One last thing Suggestions have been made about raising a petition. However, I was told by the Barbi Twins (FB and Twitter) that petitions do not work. They are ignored and have no effect on the people they are aimed it. Writing to the Council means they have to respond. These days people think a petition solves everything, it doesn’t. The only things that works is urging representatives to act directly.
I was a stray once, in Hawaii I might be a stray whose days are numbered – please act now – in 2016!