link to petition here: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/745/991/332/help-save-kauais-community-cats/
Help Save Kauai’s Community Cats!
- author: Martha Girdany, Kauai Community Cat Project
- target: Kauai County Council
- signatures: 161
we’ve got 161 signatures, help us get to 1,000
PLEASE sign this petition urging Kaua’i County Council to NOT develop and pass an ordinance that will outlaw feeding and caring for community cats — stray, homeless and feral cats.
Right now, community cats are being poisoned and shot at various locations around the island, and Kaua’i Community Cat Project (KCCP), Kaua’i Humane Society and the Humane Society of the United States are offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrators. With this story in the news now, it’s time to energize supporters and friends of community cats to make the Garden Island a friendly place for these cats.
Kaua’i is home to a large number of community cats, some of which were born in the wild, while others were once pets that have been abandoned by their owners. Kaua’i County Countil sponsored a Feral Cat Task Force (FCTF) that ran from August 2013 to February 2014. Council’s charge to the FCTF was to come up with a recommendation to deal with these cats. Both wildlife and cat advocates were part of the FCTF, and the only thing both sides agreed upon was that there should be fewer community cats. However, there was NO agreement on how to decrease the numbers of cats. Many wildlife advocates proposed rounding up cats and killing them, while cat advocates assert that these actions are neither acceptable nor effective. The FCTF recommendation to Council was to pass an ordinance that would make it ILLEGAL to feed community cats in five years, with the UNSTATED implication that such cats would be rounded up and killed. This recommendation fails to recognize that many community cat caregivers manage their colonies by trapping cats and getting them sterilzed, to prevent more cats.
While KCCP recognizes the impact that community cats can have on endangered species on Kaua’i, we also believe that TNR (trap-neuter-return) is the most effective way to reduce the number of these cats on our island. These cats are not socialized or adoptable, so they do not belong in animal shelters, where virtually 100% of them are killed. Instead, these cats shold be sterilzed and returned to their outdoor homes.
Certainly, it will take time to reduce the number of community cats through TNR, but once a colony caretaker has sterilzed all of the cats in his/her care, the number in that colony will stabilize. AND, because the caretakes knows that colony, he/she knows when new cats migrate in and then traps those cats for sterilzation. Killing large numbers of cats does reduce the population for a time, but other cats will migrate in to fill empty spaces in colonies, AND people will continue to abandon/dump cats. Trapping and killing is also very expensive because it is labor intensive, while TNR costs Kaua’i County almost nothing because volunteers do it — providing labor and food and sterilzation costs themselves. Many visitors to our beloved island enjoy seeing cats during their visits, and they would not be happy to learn that the County is rounding up cats and killing them.
Thank you for reading this long petition! Please sign our petition and SHARE with friends who have visited Kaua’i.
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