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The Failure of Feral Cat TNR Programs to Protect Wildlife and the Public Health

Rabies is not the only concern when it comes to feral cats and TNR programs.

No, I do not want all feral cats trapped and "exterminated" which has been erroneously stated about me. Although that would most certainly help stop the rampant spread of rabies in Westchester County it is simply not the right thing to do. 

Local, county, and state politicians need to work with animal rights organizations to establish feral cat sanctuaries where wild cats would be cared for properly away from the public. This sanctuary solution is an idea I've been pitching for years in the North County News, to former Yorktown supervisors Don Peters and Susan Siegel, and most recently to county executive Rob Astorino and the assistant commissioner at the Department of Health Peter DeLucia. 

Cat advocacy groups need to start pushing sanctuaries as the solution to the unnaturally occurring huge numbers of feral cats because the TNR program absolutely endangers the health and safety of humans as well as other forms of wildlife...try asking some birds, rabbits, and squirrels what they think of feral cats. The health hazards feral cats pose to humans even extend well beyond rabies and include toxoplasmosis which is spread through cat feces, ringworm, cat scratch fever, and salmonellosis. 

Most importantly the 1 rabies shot given to wild cats through the TNR program does not provide sufficient rabies protection according to New York State Law and for TNR promoters to pretend that it does is unconscionable! In addition to sanctuaries laws would need to be established to prevent the feral cat cycle from reoccurring such as mandatory spaying/neutering, visible identification of owned pet cats, cat licensing, and prohibiting the feeding of all wildlife, just to name a few. 

Simply put, we need a solution to the feral cat problem that protects cats, wildlife AND people and TNR is definitely not it.                                     

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Mary Ann N. October 01, 2012 at 01:25 PM
First you must stop the spread of rabies by raccoons. I've read the United States Department of Agriculture will begin distributing an oral rabies vaccine for wild raccoons in selected areas in the southeast. Maybe this same approach can be used for cats. Robin "Add mandatory microchipping of feral and domestic cats to the list of laws needed to be enacted." How exactly will micro chipping of feral cats help this situation?
Reality Bytes May 30, 2013 at 09:54 PM
I think the worst part of all, anyone associated with TNR aren't adhering to the mandatory REQUIRED BY LAW SIX-MONTH QUARANTINE for any animal when harvested from the wild and intended for any sector of the pet-trade. This is why rabid kittens are now being adopted direct from shelters without the REQUIRED BY LAW 6-MONTH QUARANTINE (Like this one, of hundreds, for example -- Google for: rabid kitten adopted wake county) The 10-14 day holding period for bite & scratch cases is ONLY meant to see if they were infectious at the time of the incident, but DOES NOT IN ANY WAY prove that that cat does not have rabies. The incubation period for rabies can be (on average) from 21 to 240 days. And in some cases as much as 11 months. One rare case being 6 years. This is why when you take your pet to another country they MUST quarantine your pet for a MINIMUM of 6 months to be relatively sure (not 100% certain) that you are not bringing rabies into their country. Giving a rabies shot to an animal that already has rabies and has not been quarantined for AT LEAST 6 MONTHS FIRST does NOTHING to ensure that that animal does not have rabies! But these TNR advocates, and the veterinarians and shelters and local government "officials" that support them? EACH AND EVERY ONE IS IN *DIRECT* *VIOLATION* OF WELL-ESTABLISHED *NATIONAL* & *INTERNATIONAL* *RABIES-CONTAINMENT* *LAW*. They ALL need to be sued -- fast, hard and so deep that they never recover from it. Now add on top of that that anyone who feeds these cats is training them to approach humans for food (contrary to them always claiming feral cats run from humans). What happens to the child or foolish adult that reaches down to pet or try to pick up that now seemingly friendly "cute kitty"? The wild animal lashes out and bites or scratches the hand that has no food for them. Google for: FERAL CAT ATTACK RABIES Don't be surprised at the number of search-hits you get or the horrendous stories that go with them. The number of suspected rabies cases and the then required mandatory rabies shots for each individual costing them well over $3000 out of their own pockets, has been growing as exponentially fast as cats breed. Ask a cat-feeder to pay for your shots and lost work-time and suffering? Neither they, nor shelters, nor the local government who supports TNR carry ONE PENNY of liability insurance for the deadly dangers they are bringing to their communities by allowing them to feed and TNR stray cats. Two recent reports even document rabid cats entering a home through their pet-door and one even came through their ceiling searching for human-supplied foods -- one attack so bad it required hospitalization for the family.
Reality Bytes May 30, 2013 at 09:55 PM
How many of these zoonotic diseases that cats carry, have TNR'ed cats been tested for and vaccinated against? These are just the diseases cats have been spreading to humans, not counting the ones they spread to all wildlife. THERE ARE NO VACCINES against many of these, and are in-fact listed as bio-terrorism agents. They include: Afipia felis, Anthrax, Bartonella (Rochalimaea) henselae, Bergeyella (Weeksella) zoohelcum, Campylobacter Infection, Cat Scratch Disease, Chlamydia psittaci (feline strain), Cowpox, Coxiella burnetti Infection (Q fever), Cryptosporidium Infection, Cutaneous larva migrans, Dermatophytosis, Dipylidium Infection (tapeworm), Hookworm Infection, Leptospira Infection, Giardia, Neisseria canis, Pasteurella multocida, Plague, Poxvirus, Rabies, Rickettsia felis, Ringworm, Salmonella Infection, Scabies, Sporothrix schenckii, Toxocara Infection, Toxoplasmosis, Trichinosis, Visceral larva migrans, Yersinia pseudotuberculosis. [Centers for Disease Control, July 2010] Sarcosporidiosis, Flea-borne Typhus, Tularemia, and Rat-Bite Fever can now also be added to that list. Businesses have even been ruined by some of them. Like those in Miami being shut-down due to feral-cats spreading hookworm in all the beaches there. The most surprising in my research is that people have already died from cat to human transmitted plague in the USA. Fleas and rats not even required if you have cats around. The cats themselves are carriers and spreaders of the plague. Totally disproving that oft-spewed myth about lack of cats causing the plague in Europe. Cats would have made it worse.
Reality Bytes May 30, 2013 at 10:03 PM
The ONLY veterinarians and groups supporting the COMPLETELY INHUMANE practice of TNR are those that financially benefit from all the hundreds of thousands of dollars that PetSmart and other petfood companies hand-out as "seed money" cash-grants and pleas for donations by exploiting suffering animals. The more suffering cat-mouths that they can all keep alive to torture to death by "attrition" and torture all wildlife to death with their cats, the more they all benefit financially. This is ONLY about the money being made by letting cats and animals suffer to death. THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING HUMANE NOR ECOLOGICALLY CORRECT ABOUT TNR. ALL respectable veterinarians and others with the least bit of credible education and morality speak out strongly against TNR. Educate yourselves as well about this morally reprehensible TNR "business". You can start the process by Googling for these postings (include the quotes for each full search-string): "The TNR Con-Game" FACT (Lists and dispels some of the most prevalent lies told by TNR cat-hoarders.) "Be cautious about using any cats taken from outdoors for adoption or you could be held criminally responsible" (Why rabid cats are now being adopted right from shelters. Is YOUR liability insurance up to date and will cover this? I didn't think so.) "Here's another fun aspect of TNR that TNR LIARS never bother to tell anyone, except for telling fellow TNR liars." (TNR con-artist liars are now clipping cats ears only without sterilizing nor vaccines to save money and protect any stray cat from being trapped and euthanized, proof is included in that post.) and "Licensing and laws do nothing to curb the problem." AND "I don't see anyone dumping cats where I live anymore." AND "irreversible consequences to" (This posting contains the ONLY method that actually works 100%, is affordable by anyone or any size of community, and is a PERMANENT fix in less than a year.) Bonus Info: Now you'll know the underlying reason why cat-lickers do this in the first place. Even they aren't aware of why they are more than happy to throw their cats under the wheels of moving cars and still claim they love cats, and why they can't stop themselves from doing so. Google for (include quotes): Cats "Human Territorial Behavior By Expendable Proxy"
Kiley Blackman September 24, 2013 at 09:42 AM
'Reality bytes,' you're actually Sheldon from the 'Big Bang Theory,' aren't you? C'mon, admit it. Try to speak truth - there's not 'mandatory 6 mo quarantine' for cat adoptions, you're a miserable liar like your protege. And the word is 'rescued,' not 'harvested,' who raised you, Martians?? Ugh.

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