We visit Petaluma frequently via RV. Until this ordinance changes, we will not be returning, and we will advise our traveling friends to find another place to stay.
1) Cats are opportunistic feeders, and if fed they do not threaten the environment in which they live.
2) Aggressive data on cat predation of birds has proven to be inaccurate.
3) It has been proven in many communities and areas around the world that trap-and-kill does not work, and that the only effective method of feral cat control is to stabilize the population by TNR, which has also proven to be the most cost effective method of control.
Substantial research based on experiences around the country now exists to support these statements and this position. Petaluma's problem appears to be one of lack of education and research. Of course, people are always the problem - that's why the feral cats are there now. Had the community required spay and neuter of companion animals of their guardians - and provided subsidies and education to begin with, Petaluma would not be facing the problem it is. Now that the problem is there, the answer is not to kill the animals. The vacuum effect has been well documented. The cats will come. Apart from being cruel - it won't work in the long run and is money ill-spent.
This is what I wrote when I signed the petition.
Thank you for bringing this to our attention MA.