tagged w/ feral cats
Los Angeles Times...
Getting a handle on feral cats
A nonprofit group in South L.A. employs a trap-and-neuter service to bring down the feline population over time.
PHOTO: Stray Cat Alliance founder Christi Metropole is shown with some feline friends.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
By Ricardo Lopez, Los Angeles Times
November 19, 2011
The 90037 ZIP Code in South Los Angeles has about 60,000 residents.
And by some estimates, almost 12,000 feral cats.
Colonies of the strays roam the alleys and backyards of these low-income neighborhoods.
L.A.'s mild weather means the cats come into season frequently, breeding like wild. Add to that residents' inability to seek veterinary care when most are struggling to make ends meet, rescue groups say.
"I can hear them right outside my window when they're fighting and mating," said Cydney Fellows, a retired high-rise window washer who lives near Vermont Avenue and 22nd Street.
Sometimes she is awakened in the middle of the night by the dozen or so cats that frequent her apartment building. "I've been living here for almost 10 years. I've never seen so many stray animals in my life."
Officials say that the city's Animal Services Department is stretched too thin to trap any cats and that when residents take them into city shelters, many are euthanized.
But one nonprofit group is hoping to decrease the number that are killed. And even more ambitiously, the Stray Cat Alliance hopes to trap and neuter at least 7,000 cats within this roughly two-square-mile area, using a grant from a private company.
"When people are struggling to put food on the table, they don't focus on feral cats," said Christi Metropole, the nonprofit's founder. "We're stepping in to fill a need. Animal Services doesn't have the budget, and residents often don't know what to do."
The group's strategy is simple: trap, neuter and return the cat to the spot where it was captured.
This method, Metropole said, results in zero population growth. Eventually, as cats die, the population will dwindle through natural attrition. The cats that remain lead healthier lives and don't fight as much because they've been neutered, she said.
In recent weeks, Metropole's volunteers have begun canvassing the neighborhood, educating residents and encouraging them to help trap cats. On Saturday, there will be a small rally to officially launch the capture effort, dubbed "I Spayed LA."
Carol Brookshire's home, directly west of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, is the ZIP Code's "trap depot."
"My yard was overrun with cats and kittens, some diseased," Brookshire said. She remembers the band of cats that occupied her avocado tree-lined backyard when she moved here six years ago.
Now they're all neutered, and she has volunteered her home to be the headquarters for nighttime trapping missions.
In her garage, she demonstrates how the steel crate traps work. She admits it takes a bit of finesse to trap. Location and bait are important. Foods with strong scents, like sardines and rotisserie chicken, do the best job of luring cats from their hiding spots.
After a quick surgery at the nearby Animal Rescue Center, a nonprofit animal hospital, the trapped felines are returned to their homes within a couple of days.
Opened in January, the hospital offers low-cost medical services for residents' pets and partnering rescue groups. Some of the cats are put up for adoption if deemed suitable.
During a drive around the area, Metropole pointed out the handful of strays roaming the sidewalks along Exposition Boulevard. She remains undaunted by the sheer number of cats she wants to trap and neuter, instead mulling over future efforts.
"We just want to be able to move on to the next ZIP Code," she said.
.Los Angeles Times...
Getting a handle on feral cats
A nonprofit group in... more
Advocating for Stray and Feral Cats – A Quick Guide
You don’t have to do Trap-Neuter-Return in order to help cats. You can make a difference in cats’ lives by working for change at the local level. Help build the movement to expand humane care for cats and end the killing by raising awareness and educating others about feral cats and about what’s going on in our nation’s animal shelters.
Five Ways to Advocate for Cats in your Community
Learn about issues facing cats.
Every day, Alley Cat Allies is on the front lines, mobilizing individuals and communities to support cats and press for changes that will end the killing and improve the lives of cats. Stay up to date on urgent legislative issues facing cats as well as upcoming events by joining our FeralPower! e-action alert list.
Want to get started now? Visit our online Action Center. With just a few clicks of the mouse, you can protect and improve the lives of cats by signing petitions and sending letters directly to your elected officials and decision makers.
Write an editorial for your local paper.
Each time an article appears in the paper about feral cats, or cats in general, it’s an opportunity to write a letter to the editor. Use your letter to educate the public—on the basic facts about stray and feral cats, Trap-Neuter-Return, the truth about shelter kill rates, and local programs and groups. Your letter will show others that there is a public movement on behalf of cats. Ready to send one today? Use Alley Cat Allies’ letter to the editor templates.
Distribute literature in your community.
Help educate your community by placing literature in locations that animal lovers frequent. Displaying brochures at your local pet store or veterinary office can help educate people with pets. For a display stand and pack of brochures, visit our Marketplace.
Educate your elected officials.
Don’t wait until feral cats are an agenda item. Teach your local elected officials about feral cats and Trap-Neuter-Return and encourage them to enact policies that protect and improve cats’ lives. Use our tips for organizing for strategic change.
Promote feline-friendly practices at your local shelter.
Encourage animal pounds and shelters in your community to adopt socially-responsible approaches that serve both the animals and the public. These include improving community education programs, refusing to accept feral cats into shelters, and providing free or low-cost neuter services for the public. Read our full list of humane practices that shelters can use to protect cats’ lives.Advocating for Stray and Feral Cats – A Quick Guide
You don’t have to... more
National Animal Control Association Comes Out Against Gassing Animals
by Ledy VanKavage September 20, 2010 11:30 AM (PT) Topics: Shelters & Adoption
The National Animal Control Association adopted a new guideline condemning the use of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, electrocution, gunshot, and blunt force trauma for animal shelter euthanasia of dogs and cats. Their new policy reads: "NACA considers lethal injection of sodium pentobarbital, administered by competent, trained personnel, to be the only method of choice utilized for humane euthanasia of animal shelter dogs and cats."
Obviously, we all hope to see a time when there are no more homeless pets, but this policy is a good one and it's been a long time coming.Throughout the years, there have been a variety of barbaric methods used to kill dogs and cats. In the 1800s drowning and clubbing were the most common methods of death for shelter dogs. (If you read The Lost Dogs by Jim Gorant, you'll find Michael Vick and his co-defendants were fans of these inhumane methods.) Indeed, there are vivid illustrations from that time depicting iron cages filled with dogs being lowered into New York City's East River amidst a cheering crowd.
Tell the American Veterinary Medical Association: Stop Supporting Gas Chambers
To replace the drowning and clubbing with a quicker and less painful death, a steel chamber was developed into which gas could be introduced to asphyxiate the animals — the gas chamber. Yet, gassing animals takes as long as 30 minutes or more and isn't always painless. Several animals are crammed into the gas chamber at once, causing panic and, often fights, to break out in their last moments. Some animals, like Quentin of Stray Rescue fame, come out of the gas chamber alive, amidst piles of dead bodies.
Lethal injection may not have been available to shelters in the 1800s, but these days it's widely accessible and recognized as much faster and more humane than the gas chamber — hence NACA's policy.
Unlike NACA, the American Veterinary Medical Association continues to support gas chambers, despite the myriad of problems with them. The American Veterinary Medical Association Guidelines on Euthanasia state, "Carbon monoxide used for individual animals or mass euthanasia is acceptable for dogs, cats, and other small mammals, provided the commercially compressed CO is used." They also list various precautions that must be taken, like trained personnel, high quality chamber construction, placement in a well-ventilated environment, a specific flow rate and a well-lit view port to observe the dogs and cats dying.
The majority of pet lovers, and I bet the majority of veterinarians, are horrified by the use of gas chambers and would not want their pets euthanized in one. Just last week, Stephanie Feldstein described 93 dogs being killed by a breeder in a homemade gas chamber.
The AVMA should follow NACA's lead in condemning the use of gas chambers in our nation's shelters. Ask your veterinarian to contact the AVMA, too, and urge them to rescind their policy recommending carbon monoxide for mass euthanasia of dogs and cats. Until we become a nation of No More Homeless Pets, the very least open admission shelters can do is give our abandoned pets a humane death.
Photo Credit: Best Friends Animal Society
Ledy VanKavage has worked extensively on behalf of animals for over 25 years. She is currently the Senior Legislative Attorney for Best Friends Animal Society.National Animal Control Association Comes Out Against Gassing Animals
by Ledy... more
Katherine Heigl pledges $1 million to help animal shelters
September 24, 2010 5:17 p.m. EDT
Photo: Katherine Heigl plays with a pooch at a press conference on September 23.
* Katherine Heigl donates $1 million to help no-cost spay and neuter programs in L.A.
* More than 50,000 of 80,000 shelter animals in L.A. County were euthanized last year
(PEOPLE.com) -- It's more than just puppy love. Katherine Heigl is behind a $1 million initiative to help no-cost spay and neuter programs in the Los Angeles area.
The Jason Debus Heigl Foundation, named in memory of the actress's late brother, will work with the Cesar Millan's Millan Foundation, the City and County of Los Angeles and various other organizations on the project, called the Compassion Revolution.
Heigl, who herself has six dogs, three of them rescues, told PEOPLEPets.com at the press conference to announce the pledge that she and her mother had felt hopeless and overwhelmed by the pet population crisis in L.A.
Over 50,000 of 80,000 shelter animals in Los Angeles County were euthanized last year, according to the Heigl Foundation.
"How can we change the results for these animals?" she said. "[Shelters are not only] euthanizing sick, old dogs. It's gotten brutal, you know. It's inhuman, really."
The Heigl Foundation wanted a solution -- training and education on how to reduce the pet population compassionately, instead of having to put down healthy animals. Heigl says that her upbringing influenced her when it came to the importance of spaying and neutering.
"When I was growing up, my mother and father had zero desire for any one of our animals to have a litter," she said. "I think it's a lot of work, it's a lot of energy. Then, as an adult, because of the way I was raised and because I had the means to do it, [spaying and neutering] goes without question.
"But there are a lot of communities that don't have that education, weren't raised that way and don't see their pets that way," she added. "They have no idea that a litter of 10 means a litter of, like, 400 in the future. We can tell them and educate them, and provide a way for them to spay and neuter their pets."
For more information on the initiative, visit compassion-revolution.com.
See the full article at PEOPLE.comKatherine Heigl pledges $1 million to help animal shelters
September 24, 2010... more
Craig Grant bought a tree farm far away from the city and turned it into a sanctuary for all the cats he has rescued. He lives there with the cats and provides lots of love, care and companionship. The farm was named Caboodle Ranch and is now a permanent home for all the homeless, rescued cats. Each of them has a sad story of their past, but now they are living in heaven. http://www.makeahistory.com/index.php/bizzareweird/5511-cat-shelterCraig Grant bought a tree farm far away from the city and turned it into a sanctuary... more
2 years ago
2 years ago
New Pit Bull Law in San Bernardino
Starting Friday People Living in Unincorporated Areas of San Bernardino County Must Spay or Neuter their Pit Bull Dogs or Face Fines.
By JULIE BRAYTON
Updated 8:00 AM PDT, Fri, Aug 13, 2010
Pit bulls and pit bull mixes are among the top three breeds of dogs being admitted to inland shelters. Yet, fewer than 10 percent are actually being adopted.
Animal rescue groups have worked to save the dogs.
"Since January 1 this year, we have been able to get 400 dogs out of here (the shelter) and about 40 cats, but quite frankly it hasn't really made a dent. People by the droves keep dumping their animals here because they're not spayed or neutered," according to Kim Sill from Last Chance for Animals.
Starting Friday, Aug. 13, a new law takes effect requiring pit bull owners in unincorporated areas of San Bernardino County to sterilize their dogs, or face stiff fines.
A first offense fine is $100, the second offense $200, and a third offense within the same year costs $500.
"We feel that there is an overpopulation problem resulting from pit bulls, and state law does allow us to establish breed specific legislation or laws to control pet overpopulation of any given breed," according to Brian Cronin of Animal Care Control.
But the new law targets pit bulls because more than one person was fatally attacked by the breed in recent years here. It's fashioned after pit bull legislation first introduced in San Francisco, a city that experienced the same thing.
"The idea of spaying or neutering is to lower the population, because right now every shelter around is way too overcrowded. The minute we can get that under control then other possibilities can happen," according to Teri Seymour of the Humane Society of San Bernardino Valley.
The county is offering $50 and $100 vouchers to help pit bull owners defray the cost of surgery, and comply with the new law.
First Published: Aug 12, 2010 6:17 PM PDTNew Pit Bull Law in San Bernardino
Starting Friday People Living in Unincorporated... more
December 12, 2008 at 12:15 pm by Sarah Irani
9 Reasons You Should Never Buy an Animal from a Pet Store
When my husband and I were about to move to our new place, I told him I’d like to get a cat, so we planned to adopt one. We didn’t get that far, however, because as soon as the landlady unlocked the front door to let us in to our new place, a skinny little black cat scurried in and made herself at home. She’s been with us ever since.
Speaking of black cats, there still prevails a superstitious bias against dark-colored animals and they are often passed over for adoption at animal shelters. Unless you have all-white furniture and the dark shedding fur would cause you major grief, consider bringing a black dog or cat home with you.
There are some other important and compassionate reasons to consider adopting a pet over buying from a store.
Puppy mills. Most pet stores get their puppies from factory-style breeding facilities called puppy mills. Puppy mills are high-volume breeding facilities where many dogs are kept in squalid, caged conditions until they’re ready to sell. They often have health and socialization problems.
Save a life, make a friend for life. It’s sad but true ““ space is limited in animal shelters and if that sweet little creature doesn’t get adopted within a certain amount of time, it will have to be euthanized. There are some no-kill shelters, but they are in the minority.
Save money. It costs much less to adopt from a shelter than to buy from a pet store. What you pay to the shelter generally includes vaccination, de-worming and spay/neuter services. You’ll also get some guidance and advice for the care of your new pet!
AKC papers don’t guarantee health. Purebred papers from the American Kennel Club guarantee only the purity the breed ““ nothing more. Even if a puppy is purebred, it might have hereditary health problems. If you are looking for an AKC-certified pet, look beyond the anonymity of the pet store or the internet and visit a reputable breeder in person to find out more about the puppy’s parentage and living conditions. These days there are rescue organizations for nearly every breed, so it’s not necessary to adopt a mutt if you want to rescue an animal.
You can find purebreds at a shelter. If you’ve got your heart set on a particular breed, give animal shelters a chance; purebreds show up there all the time.
Good karma. Many years ago, our family cat went missing and although my mom scoured the local shelters for him, he was never found. In the meantime, however, she came across a scrawny little ball of fluff that caught her eye and tugged at her heart. She brought him home, took care of him, and now he’s the biggest, fluffiest Maine Coon you’ll ever see. He and my mom are inseparable. She saved his life and he’ll never forget it.
Socialization. A pet store animal has probably never been in a house before, whereas a shelter animal most likely has. Most shelters screen for good behavior and temperament and will be honest with you about the animal’s personality and needs, whereas a pet store only wants to make a profit. Most shelter animals have been left behind because of a cross-country move, a new baby, or expense. These animals have likely been housebroken and know how to manage their way in the world of humans. They’ll certainly be happy to have a new home.
Don’t support animal over-population. There are already so many domestic animals in this world that need a home. Pet shops and puppy mills support over-breeding of these animals for profit. It’s estimated that 6 to 8 million pets are euthanized every year! Rescue a spayed or neutered pet instead and give it the loving home it deserves.
Shelters offer a huge selection of animals. Many shelters rescue more than just dogs or cats. Birds, horses, guinea pigs, hamsters, reptiles, farm animals and all kinds of other critters may be your ideal companion, too.
Image: Conway L.December 12, 2008 at 12:15 pm by Sarah Irani
9 Reasons You Should Never Buy an... more
Cat ownership in WA is under siege by local cat laws newly introduced by the Shire of Swan and soon to be implemented by the City of Joondalup. Cat owners will be penalized by fines if their cat unwittingly trespasses onto a neighbors property without their permission. The ultimate penalty is the trapping of your beloved moggy by a neighbor in a trap supplied by the shire and the impoundment and possible euthanization of your cat if you can’t locate it within 7 days.
Location map of City of Joondalup, Western Aus...
The legal trapping of cats opened up by these new local cat laws will only encourage vigilantes who hate cats to have an ‘open season’ on cats in their neighborhood. The Cat Haven, a well known Perth based cat rescue group have already reported incidences of cats caught in traps being drowned in lakes. A horrible death for any animal with no chance of escape and astonishingly still a set of laws introduced in such poor format by local councils that policing these laws is almost impossible.
Very little forethought went into the ultimate outcomes that these laws would fester, if councils honestly thought that residents of their shire would act responsibly under these new laws they have already been witness to the folly of their naivety. With cats being drowned in traps and my own experience of having my cat Simon being trapped by a neighbor in my own street and taken to the pound with no consultation with the shire. I managed to rescue my cat Simon on Day 6, it was clearly a lucky day for him will your cat be so lucky?
Parts of these laws have validation with responsible cat ownership including limiting the number of cats per household, sterilizing cats, micro-chipping or identifying your cat with a collar & identification tag and keeping your cat indoors from the hours of 9pm to 6 am is also very doable.
What these laws fail to take into consideration is the intrinsic nature of cats and the impossibility of cat owners to always control some of their inherit behaviors which have allowed cats to survive well prior to their domestication.
Cats are highly independent creatures who value their freedom, they have instinctual drives to patrol their territory and to chase off any intruders entering their territory. Cats have very strong maternal instincts and are predatory in nature and mark their territory with their scent to keep any other animals out of their area. Cats rely on these instincts to get through life and expecting them to change these behaviors is literally asking them to stop being a cat.
Cats cannot be trained like the dog species and forcing cat owners to achieve the impossible by preventing their cats from occasionally wandering into a neighbors yard is simply ludicrous! The harsh penalty of trapping cats, impounding them and having your cat euthanized as a result is a sickening and heart breaking reality now for cat owners and their families. That this type of action is being implemented by your local shire and your neighbors is just disgusting.
You can protest against these new local cat laws by visiting www.aussiecats.com and having your say.
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* Cat wanders into police parking lot, is euthanized (seattletimes.nwsource.com)Cat ownership in WA is under siege by local cat laws newly introduced by the Shire of... more
Animal adoption is less expensive and more humane than municipal euthanasia programs, said an Austin lawyer and “No Kill” advocate visiting Baton Rougeans trying to sustain a “No Kill” initiative.
“I started like a lot of people start in the animal welfare world,” said Ryan Clinton, 34, who grew up in Baton Rouge. “Stumbling on a stray dog or cat or two or three or four in the neighborhood.”
Municipal animal shelters think “No Kill” too expensive, Clinton said, but “the budget of a shelter has shown to be unrelated to whether a shelter becomes ‘No Kill.’”
“There’s a long tradition that says spay/neuter is the only answer,” Clinton said. “The shelters say they do hard work all the time. But it’s spay/neuter, adopt out a few, kill the rest. It’s been that way a hundred years.”
Nonprofits and individuals pick up the tab for adoptions and spay/neuter in Austin, Clinton said.
“We have a good rapport with Hilton Cole (head of Baton Rouge’s Animal Control and Rescue Center),” said Patricia Calfee, a Baton Rouge Area Foundation project manager, who has worked with animal welfare people here on a “No Kill” initiative.
Figures provided to Calfee by Cole show 8,222 animals (3,855 cats and 4,367 dogs) put down by the East Baton Rouge Parish Animal Control and Rescue Center in 2009.
Cole is on medical leave, said Richard Byrd, operations manager at the center, but a figure in the neighborhood of 8,000 sounds right.
About 80 percent of the stray cats and dogs brought to the center each year are killed, Byrd said.
“But that’s changing drastically,” Byrd said. Adoption, foster homes, spaying or neutering saved 550 dogs and 152 cats through October 2009, he said.
The kill rate in Charlottesville, Va., is less than 10 percent.
“We could do that in Austin,” said Clinton, who with his girlfriend has provided a foster home for 14 animals.
Charlottesville has 2,000 foster homes.
Clinton estimated that Austin would euthanize 6,000 to 9,000 dogs and cats this year, but thinks just a few years ago it was as high as 14,000.
“Thirty-five percent of animals impounded in Austin die, and it was higher in past years,” he said.
A 10 percent kill rate is achievable, he said. A certain percentage of animals that end up at a municipal animal control center can’t be saved, Clinton said.
Clinton founded http://www. FixAustin.org, a “no kill” advocacy group.
He’s a volunteer foster “parent” and legal counsel with Austin Pets Alive.
Yelp BR is modeled after Austin Pets Alive, said BRAF”s Calfee.
To contribute to the “no kill” initiative, send contributions to Baton Rouge Area Foundation, The ‘No-Kill Baton Rouge Fund, 402 N. Fourth St., Baton Rouge, LA 70802.
Clinton’s research shows 40 million Americans looking for pets this year. “With only five or six million animals going into shelters,” he said, there’s no reason millions of animals can’t be saved.
“The loss of an animal means opportunity for adoption,” he said. “Adopt a pet as opposed to buying from a breeder or a pet store or convincing a friend to let his animal have a litter.”
Clinton, who’s with the Dallas-based law firm Hankinson Levinger, is the son of Ralene Cerise and Jim Clinton.Animal adoption is less expensive and more humane than municipal euthanasia programs,... more
L.A. begins a robust search for an animal services manager
Establishment of 'no-kill' facilities is expected to be a key part of a demanding job.
[These are among the 54,129 dogs and cats impounded in Los Angeles in 2009. Almost a quarter of the dogs and more than half the cats were put down. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times / December 9, 2009)]
Wanted: a general manager who can run Los Angeles' municipal animal shelter system.
The successful candidate must be compassionate but business-minded, able to inspire the army of staffers who care for the city's abandoned animals and lost pets; to survive interrogation by the L.A. City Council; and to appease the legions of devoted volunteers, rescuers and advocates in the city's humane community.
The new steward of the city's Department of Animal Services should be steeled for the fact that one of the "services" the agency offers is euthanizing animals. But the new manager must also be ready to devise a plan to transform the shelter system into a "no-kill" program that will pledge to euthanize no healthy animal for lack of space.
Warning: The man who last held the job tried hard but satisfied no constituency. He endured criticism from animal welfare advocates, a public upbraiding from a city councilman and near-mutiny by department staffers before he quit last June. His predecessor, who lasted only 13 months, was fired by the mayor and targeted by animal rights activists who smoke-bombed the lobby of his apartment building.
"Francis of Assisi would have trouble in this town," said Bill Dyer, a veteran animal welfare advocate who invoked the patron saint of animals more than once when speaking of the general manager's job.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa made a point during his first campaign of telling animal welfare advocates he would take their concerns seriously. But the department's last general manager, Ed Boks, who left the job June 30, endured criticism from the moment he started in early 2006.
This time Villaraigosa has initiated an elaborate search process.
The city hired a search firm, sent an e-mail survey to 450 so-called stakeholders in the animal welfare system and set up a focus group. In what one source called "a brainstorming session," the mayor met with a small group of animal welfare experts -- including "dog whisperer" Cesar Millan and Francis Battista, one of the founders of Best Friends Animal Society, a national animal-protection nonprofit that runs its own sanctuary.
The city put out an official bulletin last week requesting applicants and listing more than a dozen sought-after qualities. ("Be confident and courageous in the face of criticism.")
There is general agreement that the goal is to stop euthanizing animals. But that may require a thorough rethinking of the agency, said Battista, who wouldn't reveal the details of his meeting with the mayor.
"The animal shelter system is an outgrowth of rabies control, and it's been nibbled at from the bottom by rescue groups," Battista said. While still protecting the public from dangerous animals, it needs to "change to being proactive. It needs to own the idea of being a compassionate humane organization."
Battista doesn't think the new general manager necessarily needs to come from the world of animal sheltering. (Some believe that the new agency head absolutely should not come out of municipal sheltering.)
Scott Sorrentino, who heads the Rescue and Humane Alliance, a coalition of animal welfare groups, echoed Battista. "The idea of adoptions and all this work that the humane community does is fairly new in the mission of the department," said Sorrentino.
"First and foremost, a new general manager needs to believe that no-kill is possible," he said. "If you come into this job and on an elemental level do not believe no-kill is possible, you're just setting a course for failure."
Carl Friedman ran San Francisco's Department of Animal Care and Control for 21 years, from 1988 until his retirement last year. During that time, his shelter system went from killing about half its impounded animals to euthanizing 15% -- none for lack of space. Still, he refuses to use the term "no-kill." Instead, he said simply, "You have to save as many animals as possible."
Friedman, now a consultant to the beleaguered San Francisco Zoo, is not interested in the L.A. job. He attributes much of San Francisco's success to partnerships with rescue groups and the local Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which help find people to adopt stray animals.
Also, he said, "you need an aggressive spay-neuter program and you need an education program: Don't breed them."
He recalled a woman years ago going into a shelter saying she wanted to adopt a dog but not get it spayed until the dog produced a litter of puppies. "She said she wanted to show her kids the miracle of birth. I said, 'After that, bring them down here and I'll show them the miracle of death.' "
San Francisco is a smaller city than L.A. Last year, according to Friedman, it took in about 12,000 animals.
L.A., by contrast, impounded 54,129 dogs and cats in 2009. Almost a quarter of the dogs and more than half the cats taken to the city's six shelters were put down -- for untreatable illness, intractable behavior or dearth of space. A staggering 4,930 were neonatal animals that could not be kept alive without bottle feeding or a nursing mother. Most of those were kittens.
And that is despite the city's success last year at increasing the number of foster volunteers, performing free sterilizations (800 at six special community events), opening another spay-neuter clinic and completing about 26,500 adoptions of canines and felines, according to interim general manager Kathy Davis. A total of 31,000 dogs and cats did make it out of the shelters alive last year.
"Truly it takes a village to make sure animals get treated and handled the way our community wants," said Davis, who is quick to make clear that she does not want the job on a permanent basis.
"Are we ready for a new general manager? We've been through a pretty bad break-up," she said. "Like any relationship, there are trust factors. A lot of things went on. My question is, are we ready? Are we ready to let go of the baggage and embrace a new leader?",0,2872176.story
L.A. begins a robust search for an animal services manager... more
Best Friends Animal Society challenges recent Los Angeles court ruling as dangerous precedent for cats and birds
Best Friends Animal Society is trying to change the focus of national dialogue about the universal problem of free-roaming cats.
Community cats are in every neighborhood and townSources estimate there are between 50 and 80 million homeless felines in the United States. They hide in alleyways, dart between houses and lurk behind businesses. Many of them are completely unsocialized, while others are tame housecats left on the streets when homes are vacated. In neighborhoods throughout the United States, free-roaming, community cats are part of the landscape.
Meanwhile, there is a lively national discussion about the best way to help these cats and reduce their numbers. There also is a raging debate on the extent of these cats’ impact on wild life and more specifically native wild birds, as well as litigation related to this particular issue in Los Angeles.
A recent ruling by a California judge (Los Angeles Superior Court -- Case #BS115483) has barred the City of Los Angeles’ Department of Animal Services from their nominal support of the humane community cat management policy known as trap/neuter/return (TNR). TNR demonstrably reduces the number of unsocialized (and therefore unadoptable) cats entering and being killed in U.S. shelters, and is universally advocated as the only workable method of controlling community cat populations.
The ruling favored the bird groups, but not necessarily the birds they seek to protect. Gregory Castle, interim chief executive officer for Best Friends Animal Society said, "The irony of this misguided court ruling is that banning TNR means there are more cats breeding out there to hunt birds. TNR actually helps reduce the number of community cats thus helping the birds."
The traditional practice in most areas of the country was to round up homeless cats in response to complaints and take them to animal control facilities where almost all of them were killed. TNR involves humanely capturing homeless cats in live traps, sterilizing and vaccinating them before returning them to their original location, where volunteer caregivers feed and watch over them.
According to Castle, TNR has proven to be the most successful method of humanely dealing with cat overpopulation, as well as the costs to municipalities to deal with the problem.
”Go into almost any shelter in this country and what you’ll see more than any other animal are cats,” Castle says. “Most of them have no future, and once they enter the shelter system, they rarely come out alive.”
Castle, who pioneered several feral cat initiatives in the state of Utah, points to a failure of communities to deal with the problem in the most sensible way -- encourage and facilitate the ability of cat lovers to limit cat colony populations through TNR management.
Continued...Best Friends Animal Society challenges recent Los Angeles court ruling as dangerous... more
ONE person's idea for a feral cat house.~y2009m11d15-Its-time-to-think-about-keeping-our-outdoor-kitty-friends-ferals-and-stray... more
The massive invasion of introduced species like the cane toads are only one of the pressures on Australia’s small and increasingly endangered species — others include large grazing (non-native) herbivores, ferocious late-season wildfires and feral cats.
A New York Times article today, (September 19, 2009), noted the following:
It’s estimated that there are between 4 million and 12 million feral cats in Australia, the progeny of former house cats. Just in the Kimberley — a region of northwestern Australia that is about the size of California — feral cats are eating as many as 300 million small mammals, especially small nocturnal marsupials, a year.
What is happening is a population crash. Scientists surveying native mammals in northern Australia, widely regarded as an oasis of biodiversity, report that they are finding it almost impossible to catch native mammals. During a recent study, it took an average of 1,000 trap-nights to trap 3 mammals.
Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/19/opinion/19sat4.html?_r=1The massive invasion of introduced species like the cane toads are only one of the... more
Feral cat colonies are a disaster for native wild birds as well as presenting a pervasive threat to public health. To protect native wildlife and human health, all feral and free-roaming housecats must be either eliminated or provided an indoor-only home.Feral cat colonies are a disaster for native wild birds as well as presenting a... more
Authorities say several feral cats have been found beaten, burned and mutilated in the Bronx.Authorities say several feral cats have been found beaten, burned and mutilated in the... more