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"Ethical" question

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
There are some people I know that are doing something I don't approve of. I don't know what if anything I can do about it. They are my husband's friends. I think they have good intentions, but, the situation is out of control. The wife, we'll call her Lisa, started to feed strays years ago, but not take them in or adopt them out. The strays and food attracted more strays. The strays bred. In essence they have created a feral cat colony. They don't spay or neuter or vaccinate them. Once a year they put wormer in the food. That's it. When the toms kill too many kittens Lisa goes out and shoots as many toms as she can find. I couldn't count them all, but there are at least 30 cats and kittens. A lot of them don't look very healthy. I took one of the kittens once, a few years back and had to put it down because it was so sick with FIP that the vet said it would die anyway, and badly. I don't know what to do about them. I think what they are doing is wrong. Feeding strays is great, but, creating a feral cat colony....letting them breed out of control (inbreeding is of course an issue)....not vaccinating ( lots of illness).....letting the kittens be out there in the winter. They have about 10 cats inside the house. They take perfect care of them. What a constrast. I don't know how they can do that. All that suffering right in their front yard, all that comfort right inside the house. They talk about saving strays....but the strays they save are the ones they bred in their yard. The only thing I think could be done for the majority of these cats is simply spaying/neutering, maybe ordering some vaccine in bulk once a year. I think they could afford it, at least the toms. Other than the kittens, these cats are really wild and there are so many. I've talked to her about spaying/neutering or at least neutering the toms and about how she can order vaccines (except, can't get rabies) but she doesn't want to hear it. I don't want to call in the authorities, for one I don't know if they'd do anything, and for another, I don't want the cats to be killed. These are not barn cats. There is no barn. It's residential. What should be done here? Are they really wrong?
post #2 of 24
Quite terrible.
If you proceed to talk with her, take the killed off tomcats as example. If she, instead of shooting them, did spayed them, then ALL would be alive, the male cats and the kittens...
This was a problem she herself did caused. And the colony a perfect exempel where a TNR-programme would be an excellent solution and everyone happy.

But it seems as these people dont listen, impossible to talk with them?! Then I think you must go through the authorities.

Do you have the animal police there? Like they have on the TV-programmes??
The best would be if the authorities talk serious with her. And gave her the choice; an ultimatum: TNR - here you have suitable adresses, why even some help from us - or killing off AND fines.

Something like that. Try to speak with the authorities...

Perhaps if major of your city did talk with Lisa?? Or even your local cop?
post #3 of 24
I'd the SPCA or maybe even the humane society.. If nothing else.. I think she had a one time good intentions,,, but without taking appropriate care of these animals, she has caused a problem versus a solution..

Good luck.. You wouldn't even have to tell her it was you who called if it's residential, I'm sure a neighbor could be upset over this as well.
post #4 of 24
Although that sounds terrible, that is what many many people are doing across the country. I think it is simply a matter of education. Try to contact AlleyCatAllies, and see if there is a TNR group nearby. Also check with local rescues, to see if they will help cover the costs of spay/neuter.

Shooting tomcats or neutering them does little to stop the procreation. When the girls go into heat, a tom will find them. Getting hooked up with a TNR group will stabilize the colony, and she will get to keep all the cats. But they will stop fighting, and stop being so sick. And of course, stop having feral kittens!

Try to contact AlleyCatAllies, and print out some info to give the person. Several years ago, that was what most people were doing with feral cats, I think. It is just recently that we have a better plan.
post #5 of 24
I agree with Beckiboo....it's very important that she not only feed the cats..but also provide them the medical attention they need (including spaying/neutering). The best way to stabilize a colony is to trap the entire colony and spay/neuter them. Yes...a few "newbies" will probably show up...but they can easily be identified and then spayed/neutered. I do not think calling the humane society is the best option since we do not know whether these cats are feral or strays.

Below is a link to TNR groups by state:

http://www.alleycat.org/orgs.html

Katie
post #6 of 24
Perhaps in their case there are few resources for TNR??

I agree that shooting cats is wrong. I'm in a dilemna myself. I see a lot of strays around my area. There was a guy living down the block who used to feed them on his porch and he moved away leaving them to forage on his own. These are turning into ferals now. I've befriended one and plan on neutering him and possibly bringing him in. I know there are low cost spay/neuter clinics, but they are not close to us and I don't drive. So the only thing I can do is feed the cats. The one cat I plan to trap I will take to my own vet 4 blocks away and spend nearly $200 on him I'm not rich...I'm not even working! I contacted several organizations and some did offer to assist me for $50 a cat to take to the PAWS clinic (rabies/distemper shots would be extra $) and there are perhaps a dozen feral/strays out here!
Yes, I am married, my husband could perhaps help me out...if he was an animal lover..which he is not. We have 2 cats already which he barely tolerates. So I am in a real jam here. I can not build any shelter for the cats as I am in a condo.

But the real problem as I see it is this...I am the only one in the neighborhood concerned about the strays! Nobody cares...I've been telling people about the growing number of ferals and they just shrug their shoulders. I can't be the only one willing to TNR the neighborhood!
post #7 of 24
Quote:
But the real problem as I see it is this...I am the only one in the neighborhood concerned about the strays! Nobody cares...I've been telling people about the growing number of ferals and they just shrug their shoulders. I can't be the only one willing to TNR the neighborhood!
I would contact Alley Cat Allies about your situation and see if they know anyone in your area that can assist you:

http://www.alleycat.org/index.html

Katie
post #8 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by FishTreatsMom View Post
Perhaps in their case there are few resources for TNR??
that's my situation. i live in a small town, & haven't been able to locate any organizations that would be willing to lend me a trap. then, i'm single, so the cost of all the neutering would be difficult without a low-cost clinic somewhere nearby - haven't found one of those, either. but i can't just let them starve, either.
post #9 of 24
Laureen,

In my case I have a trap, because I bought one from Ace Hardware a couple years ago. My indoor cat escaped then and I trapped him back. It took me 11 days to do it but I got my cat back.

But one of the problems we have is there are not enough of low cost spay neuter clinics. Many vets won't handle ferals nor will they be willing to do the surgeries low cost. Most vets are for profit. I live near Chicago and the closest low cost clinic is 10 miles away, I can't imagine where you'd find a clinic in a rural area or small town!
post #10 of 24
So PAWs of Chicago cannot assist you:

http://www.pawschicago.org/animalwel...ter_return.htm

Katie
post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by laureen227 View Post
that's my situation. i live in a small town, & haven't been able to locate any organizations that would be willing to lend me a trap. then, i'm single, so the cost of all the neutering would be difficult without a low-cost clinic somewhere nearby - haven't found one of those, either. but i can't just let them starve, either.
Laureen....I would also contact Alley Cat Allies...in fact, I would join their feral friends network:

http://www.alleycat.org/feral_friends.html

I would also join the feral cat yahoo group:

http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/feral_cats/

a LOT of people who TNR do not have a group or even work with a group so sometimes you have to get creative. Ask at the vet clinics if they know anyone who brings cats in traps to be spayed...and see if you can combine your efforts.

When you feed only....you are not only encouraging them to stay...but also to mate. So that small group of cats you were feeding becomes a larger colony. That is why it is so important to TNR (trap, NEUTER, return) so that the population stabilizes.

Katie
post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by TNR1 View Post
Laureen....I would also contact Alley Cat Allies...in fact, I would join their feral friends network:

http://www.alleycat.org/feral_friends.html

I would also join the feral cat yahoo group:

http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/feral_cats/

a LOT of people who TNR do not have a group or even work with a group so sometimes you have to get creative. Ask at the vet clinics if they know anyone who brings cats in traps to be spayed...and see if you can combine your efforts.

When you feed only....you are not only encouraging them to stay...but also to mate. So that small group of cats you were feeding becomes a larger colony. That is why it is so important to TNR (trap, NEUTER, return) so that the population stabilizes.

Katie
actually, the only alley cat allies organization in denton [closest to me] only works with cats found on the UNT campus. next closest is dallas [60-90 minute drive, depending on traffic]. i am seriously considering buying a trap - i found one online for $30 which is quite affordable. it's the spay/neuter fees that are gonna be a problem. cheapest i've found so far is $35 for females/$25 for males. now, this is not bad, but i know i've got at least 3 females - 2 had litters this summer & one of the kittens is a torbie. also, this price means a considerable drive. with only one trap, i'm thinking that means several trips? most of the kittens have disappeared, but both of the moms seem to be fixtures - i'd really like to get them fixed before spring of 07. if i get the trap, maybe i can use some of my income tax refund for the spay fees.
post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by laureen227 View Post
actually, the only alley cat allies organization in denton [closest to me] only works with cats found on the UNT campus. next closest is dallas [60-90 minute drive, depending on traffic]. i am seriously considering buying a trap - i found one online for $30 which is quite affordable. it's the spay/neuter fees that are gonna be a problem. cheapest i've found so far is $35 for females/$25 for males. now, this is not bad, but i know i've got at least 3 females - 2 had litters this summer & one of the kittens is a torbie. also, this price means a considerable drive. with only one trap, i'm thinking that means several trips? most of the kittens have disappeared, but both of the moms seem to be fixtures - i'd really like to get them fixed before spring of 07. if i get the trap, maybe i can use some of my income tax refund for the spay fees.

The link I provided for the Feral Friends Network is for a national organization (Alley Cat Allies) that does have contacts for individuals and groups that work with feral cats..so I would certainly contact them.

Katie
post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by TNR1 View Post
The link I provided for the Feral Friends Network is for a national organization (Alley Cat Allies) that does have contacts for individuals and groups that work with feral cats..so I would certainly contact them.

Katie
thanks... i did join both of the groups at the links you provided.
i'll check that one again. no, it's the same one i looked at before. here's the list:
Texas Aggie Feral Cat Alliance of Texas - College Station
Ahimsa of Texas - Roanoke
Animana Birth Control Veterinary Center - Houston
Athens Little Darlings – Athens
Austin Feral Cats - Austin
Barn Cats, Inc. - North Texas
EPVMA Feral Cat Program - El Paso
Feral Cat Alliance Of Texas - College Station
Feral Cat Connection - Houston
Feral Friends - Dallas
Feline Friends of Destin - Destin
Friends of the Animals at Cedar Creek Lake - Gun Barrel City
Hill Country Cat Control - Horseshoe Bay
Homeless Cats Accord - Austin
Homeless Pet Placement - Houston
Hopkins County Animal Protection League - Yantis
Humane Society SPCA of Austin and Travis County - Austin
KittiCo Cat Rescue - Dallas
Long Drive Dog & Cat Hospital - Houston
O'Malley Alley Cat Organization - Lufkin
O'Malley Alley Cat Organization - Nacogdoches
Pet Helpers, Inc - Lockhart
Safer (Stray and Feral Rescue) - Mesquite
San Antonio Feral Cat Coalition - San Antonio
Shadow Cats - Round Rock
Spay-Neuter Assistance Program S.N.A.P.
SPCA of Texas - Dallas/Ft. Worth

Street Cat Rescue - Round Rock
UNT Feral Cat Rescue Group - Denton
UT Campus Cat Coalition - Austin

i'll see if they send me anything else after they review my application.
post #15 of 24
Laureen...not everyone who is doing TNR is part of a group or even listed on the Alley Cat Allies website. Did you join the Feral Cat Yahoo group?? I know there is someone in Texas (not sure right now where exactly) that has been working with feral cats.

Katie
post #16 of 24
Help is in the strangest places... I was working and catching up with a rescuer of dogs .. She has a lovely boxer that she has fostered for about 7 months ... As we talked I mentioned that I was needing a trap and possibley a discount for fixing of my ferals ... She said to call a local group that does mostly dogs and is out of there homes ... They have traps and wont charge me for the trap use and have vouchers... all traps are in use but I am getting on the list...
post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by TNR1 View Post
Laureen...not everyone who is doing TNR is part of a group or even listed on the Alley Cat Allies website. Did you join the Feral Cat Yahoo group?? I know there is someone in Texas (not sure right now where exactly) that has been working with feral cats.

Katie
yes, i joined the yahoo group & put in an application for the alley cat group.
post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by laureen227 View Post
yes, i joined the yahoo group & put in an application for the alley cat group.
Let us know if you hear back from ACA. If not, I volunteer at their spay/neuter clinic and can talk to them about this at the next clinic.

Katie
post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by TNR1 View Post
Let us know if you hear back from ACA. If not, I volunteer at their spay/neuter clinic and can talk to them about this at the next clinic.

Katie
will do!
post #20 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by TNR1 View Post
So PAWs of Chicago cannot assist you:

http://www.pawschicago.org/animalwel...ter_return.htm

Katie


Apparently not. I emailed to the clinic director there who said she would see if she can get a volunteer to come and help me and I never got a response back.
post #21 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by FishTreatsMom View Post
Apparently not. I emailed to the clinic director there who said she would see if she can get a volunteer to come and help me and I never got a response back.
I would email her again and ask if she was able to find a volunteer....as with all of us..sometimes it isn't always easy to stay on top of every email.

Katie
post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by FishTreatsMom View Post
Apparently not. I emailed to the clinic director there who said she would see if she can get a volunteer to come and help me and I never got a response back.
Check their website again. They speuter ferals for just $17 each! You would save that much on food in a year, by preventing them from having additional litters! And it sounds like you could just go get the traps, and bring the kitties in yourself, without waiting for one of their volunteers! Makes me wish I lived even closer to Chicago than I do now! My vet charges $25 per feral, and only does the surgeries once a week, with an appointment!
post #23 of 24
I, too have aproblem with a cat colony. I live in a rural area. I called All of the vets in a 30 mile radius to me. They pretty much told me I am on my own with this situation. Since this is a farming community the vets think that the cats are either the farmers problem, or the farmers friend. I couldn't get any help. I used to have close to 30 cats/kittens that I fed and tried to shelter. Of course that number varied depending on the season. For whatever reason I only have 7 left. One adult male and 6 kittens. All of the others have packed thier little bags and left home. Quite frankly with winter coming I am worried about them all. What is TNR? And what does the Alley cat organization do? Thnkas
post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beckiboo View Post
Check their website again. They speuter ferals for just $17 each! You would save that much on food in a year, by preventing them from having additional litters! And it sounds like you could just go get the traps, and bring the kitties in yourself, without waiting for one of their volunteers! Makes me wish I lived even closer to Chicago than I do now! My vet charges $25 per feral, and only does the surgeries once a week, with an appointment!
I would do most of the work, but I don't drive to begin with. And even if I could, my husband has the car from 7 am to 7 pm 5 days a week when he's either at work or commuting.

The problem with even getting volunteers is you have to drop off the cat between 6:30 and 9 am and pick the cat up the same day during rush hour traffic. PAWS is 10 miles away and Anti cruelty is 14 miles away.
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