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Oct. 16 was National Feral Cat Day — a day to think about the outdoor cats in our neighborhoods. Strays are cats that have been lost or abandoned by their owners and are friendly with people, making them adoptable. Feral cats are not adoptable because they are not accustomed to being around people.
The best solution if you find a stray (and you don’t want to give it a home yourself) is to contact the Humane Society at (276) 728-4038 or email@example.com. At the very least, for both strays and ferals, please consider adopting the Trap-Neuter-Return policy.
Our community should know that Trap-Neuter-Return for feral cats is a win for the cats and their human neighbors. TNR improves the lives of the cats by making them healthier and ending the breeding cycle, which means no more unwanted kittens! It also ends yowling, fighting, spraying and roaming.
More than 70 percent of cats who enter animal shelters are killed. And nearly 100 percent of feral cats brought to shelters are killed right away. It is the No. 1 documented cause of death for cats in the United States.
Animal control’s traditional method — catch and kill — is cruel, endless and costly. Our tax dollars and donations would be much better spent on TNR for outdoor cats and low-cost spay and neuter for all cats.
Numerous studies have repeatedly found that the primary cause of bird population decline is rampant development and related pollution, which destroy bird habitats and sources of food. An Ohio State University study concluded that urbanization is the chief cause of declining populations of migratory birds. A 2005 study by the U.S. Forest Service estimates that six times more birds are killed annually by flying into buildings and power lines than by cats.
TNR for outdoor cats is a humane method of care and a responsible program. I urge readers to visit www.alleycat.org for a great resource on TNR and working with local shelters to save cats’ lives. Become an advocate for change in our community!