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Take Action Now to Stop Trap and Kill Program in Southern California

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Take Action Now to Stop Trap and Kill Program in Southern California

For twelve years, volunteer caregivers have been effectively carrying out a TNR program at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, CA. Through their efforts and at no cost to the hospital, the population of feral cats has been reduced by 63%, bringing the number of cats to less than 75.

On January 15, 2004, hospital employees received a memo with their paycheck indicating that they would be subject to “disciplinary action†for feeding the cats. Administrators claim the cats have fleas which pose a health hazard and they have already begun trapping and killing the cats.

The hospital has approved the lethal operation despite repeated offers from Alley Cat Allies, hospital employees, and local activists to continue the Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program and specifically address the hospitals concerns. These "concerns" have been resolved at similiar facilities around the country. In Defense of Animals has offered to supply free flea treatment for the cats.

How You Can Help:

Your faxes, e-mails, and phone calls are needed today to stop the killing.

The Chief Executive Officers of the hospital and the Director of the Los Angeles Board of Health need to know that a nonlethal (sterilization) program that includes TNR is the most effective population control method and that their decision to starve and kill the cats will not solve their problems. Compassionate people around the country oppose their decision. Please ask that they place an immediate moratorium on the feeding ban and killing of cats on the hospital grounds.

Tecla Mickoseff, CEO and Ken Trevett
Harbor-UCLA Med Center
1000 W Carson St.
Torrance, CA 90509
FAX 310-328-9624
VOICE 310-222-2101
EMAIL tmickoseff@dhs.co.la.ca.us and ktrevett@rei.edu Supervisor Don Knabe
500 W Temple St,
Los Angeles, CA 50012
FAX 213 626 6941
VOICE 213 974 5555
EMAIL Fourthdistrict@bos.co.la.ca.us
Supervisor Yvonne Brathwaite Burke
500 W Temple St,
Los Angeles, CA 50012
FAX 213-680-3283
VOICE 213-974-2222
EMAIL seconddistrict@bos.co.la.ca.us Jonathan Fielding, M.D., Director
Public Health
313 Figueroa Dt.
Room 806
LA County Department of Health Services
Los Angeles, CA 90012
FAX: 213-240-8117
VOICE: 213-975-1273

You can include the following points in your letter:

• Eradication has been attempted throughout the U.S. for many decades. Communities that deal with feral cats by trapping and removing (either killing or relocating) them have now as many, if not more, feral cats than ever because full-scale trap-and-remove schemes require a much larger allocation of resources (both funds and staff) on an ongoing basis than communities can afford to dedicate to them.

• Public resistance to the killing of healthy animals is growing ever stronger. It goes beyond a simple refusal to cooperate and has grown into active interference of municipal efforts to harm cats. Without community support, a thorough trap-and-kill campaign cannot be executed.

• Review of the available data concludes that TNR is the only viable solution for reducing outdoor cat populations and a study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (JAVMA) backs up these findings. That study found in examining eleven feral cat colonies in Florida that TNR plus aggressive adoption programs resulted in removal of 47% of the original cats over a four year period with no new kittens born in year four.

For further information on Trap-Neuter-Return programs, please visit http://www.alleycat.org/pdf/buildingthebody.pdf

Contact Campaign Coordinator Amy Santiago at asantiago@alleycat.org for more information on how you can help.
post #2 of 12
OMG , how awefull .
post #3 of 12
Aw Katie, this is awful.

I'll see if I can find the time to put something together this weekend.
post #4 of 12
That is horrible!
post #5 of 12
Maybe some of you might use it as a template if you write your own.

It has come to my attention that Harbor-UCLA Medical Center intends to
eradicate the cats on their premises due to fears they pose a health hazard.
As someone who has worked with an Orange County shelter (xxx) since 1996, I am familiar with issues surrounding feral
cats and would like to share some facts with you that I hope will encourage
you to reconsider your plan to trap and euthanize the cats and instead
implement a Trap-Neuter-Release (TNR) scheme that would allow the
sterilized cats to live out their lives on the premises.

* While feral cats are likely to have fleas, the fleas are easily managed with
products that, if my information is correct, are being donated for free by
manufacturers who have become aware of this situation at Harbor-UCLA
Medical Center and would prefer the cats not be euthanized. Additionally, it
is unlikely that fleas will travel into the hospital where the cats do not go,
especially because few people come in physical contact with the animals. A
feeding station that is away from the entrances and flea control products
would resolve your concern about fleas.

* More than 90% of rabies cases occur in wildlife, not in feral cats. All human
cases of rabies in this country during the past decade were contracted from
wildlife. (Source: Dr. Julie Levy at a hearing of the Florida Fish and Wildlife
Commission, 30 May 2003)

* Feral cats are healthy cats. Feline diseases such as feline leukemia virus
(FeLV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) are low. According to articles
published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Association (JAVMA) in
2002, one study of 5,323 cats over forty months revealed that less than
0.4% of them (twenty cats) had to be euthanized due to illness or
debilitating conditions. Incidences of FeLV and FIV in feral cats are similar in
number to incidences in owned cats in the United States: between 3% and
5% only.

* Feral cats will never let strangers approach close enough to touch them
and thus the danger of bites or scratches is nil.

Eradication has been attempted throughout the U.S. for many decades, and
research shows that it is not an effective permanent solution. This is because
no professional trapper can catch ALL the ferals in a colony. The cats will
learn to be wary of traps because their colony members are disappearing.
The last few will be impossible to catch, and they will continue breeding.

Before employees began feeding the cats, the cats showed up. Naturally
there is a sustainable food source for them that draws them. If the present
colony is eradicated, a new batch of strays/ferals will discover the grounds
and recolonize them. You will be back in the same situation very quickly.

A sterile colony will not grow and will even diminish over the years. This is
because the locally available food source has been "claimed" and is being used
so new cats cannot move in. A study published in the JAVMA examined
eleven feral cat colonies in Florida and found that TNR plus aggressive
adoption programs resulted in removal of 47% of the original cats over a
four year period with no new kittens at all born in year four. As you see, with
TNR, the resulting colony at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center is likely to be half
the size of the current colony and remain constant.

Feral cat caretakers will assume the responsibility and the cost of sterilizing
and maintaining the colony. They will also put in the manpower hours to
trap the cats for free. This is much cheaper than hiring an exterminator year
after year to euthanize the feral cats.

Public support of TNR and resistance of extermination means Harbor-UCLA
Medical Center will suffer in the eyes of many if an extermintion program
continues. Studies show that up to 22% of American homes feed stray cats
and are sympathetic to them. Most (85%) would refuse to support any
program that would lead to the euthanasia of the animals. Without
community support, a thorough trap-and-kill campaign cannot be executed
and will inevitably fail.

There are thousands of TNR programs in North America alone. I would urge
you to reconsider your inhumane, ineffective, and costly policy of
extermination in favor of an ethically responsible, effective, publicity-positive, and
affordable policy of Trap-Neuter-Release (TNR).

Alley Cat Allies (http://www.alleycat.org, 202-667-3640), a national
organization that advocates and assists with TNR programs, would assist you
in implementation of TNR and answer any questions you have. Please
contact them or myself for further information.

post #6 of 12
I am sympathetic to this cause, being from Southern California originally, but I have moved this to the proper forum and would ask anyone reading this to become involved in any way they can.
post #7 of 12
Just sent this to all of the emails listed -
Dear all,

I have read with horror about your plan to trap and kill cats at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. It has been proved numerous times in the past, that killing feral cats is not only inhumane, it is also ineffective and thus a complete waste of public funds. The only solution to your problem is a proper plan of TNR (Trap, Neuter and Return). That will help you control the cat population and ensure that they are all vaccinated and healthy.

As for the flea risk - cats are very clean animals and if you make sure they have a good quality of life, they will be an asset in the fight against rats and the parasites that they carry (which are far more of a health hazard then cat fleas!).


Anne Moss
www.TheCatSite.com - Largest Cat Website on the Net!
www.Meowhoo.com - Your Beeline for Everything Feline
post #8 of 12
Ok, I just wrote everyone on the list, thanks for bringing this to our attention. Since I have graduated and have no job I have nothing better to do then inform people like this..
post #9 of 12
To all concerned individuals,

This is to let you know that we have suspended our efforts to reduce the feral cat population on the grounds of Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, and are meeting with representatives from In Defense of Animals to try to find a mutually satisfactory resolution to our problems.


Tecla A. Mickoseff
Chief Executive Officer

--I like their euphemism "our efforts to reduce the feral cat population." Ha! But this is great news nonetheless!
post #10 of 12
That is awesome that they are willing to work with people to help!!!
post #11 of 12
Let's hope they hold true to their claim and that it isn't a smokescreen!
post #12 of 12
Nothing like a little public outcry to make a business back down!
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