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Kansas Destroying Feral Colony!

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
the link:

Message from SHeeren: What a HORRIBLE news report! Diseased cats!? Instead of using the problem to get people to spay/neuter Channel 9 is frightening people into killing feral cats! Not only does Channel 9 need to hear from us but Overland Park Animal Control could use some education!
post #2 of 8
Hey Sheeren! I didn't see it, but I hear the story was pretty one sided. That ferals are a nuisance and barring their abilities to catch rodents, they have no value (they are diseased and leave cat poop behind DUH). The rescue groups in KC have already posted out the telephone number with a request to call in and protest. The Feral Cat Committee is also plotting a counter story to bring to the TV station. There are also some rescue friendly reporters at that station also.

I am linked to a lot of rescue groups that do TNR in the KC area (my group has done about 18 in the last week). If they catch wind of a trap and kill, they will be screaming LOUDLY!

You live in KC area?
post #3 of 8
Here's some behind the scenes on the story from a rescue person in the city:

There was a story on Channel 9 news tonight about feral cats at an Overland Park apartment complex. Many current and former members of Heart of America Humane Society are familiar with the feral cat situation at the Clines apartment complex because of J___, who has been caring for the oldest colony at the complex for about 5 years.

The news story said OP has trapped over 60 cats, but none of them are from the colony J___ has cared for, so they are apparently from one of the other colonies in the complex.

J___ has pleaded with Overland Park several times over the years asking that they trap cats at this complex, and they have declined to do so. Meanwhile the colony has continued to reproduce faster than she has been able to find homes for kittens and residents have moved out leaving their cats to join the colony.

Now Overland Park has suddenly demanded she stop feeding the cats
immediately or they will issue a warrant, cite her, and she will have to go to court. She is naturally concerned about the welfare of the cats. I am hoping they are asking her not to feed so the cats will be hungry and more easily trappable. I plan to call them tomorrow to inquire about this and ask if they will take several cats she says are so tame she can just pick them up, then just trap the rest.

Currently there are 2 black kittens outside that are tame enough for her to pick up, a male and a female, and she believes they would be immediately adoptable. There are also 5 6-month cats including 2 probably-pregnant females who will need trapped, and she believes 3 of these would be adoptable and the other 2 would need fostering/socialization before being adoptable.

In addition, J___ has been fostering 2 black males in her apartment, and HAHS has generously offered to cover spay/neuter, rabies vaccination and FIV/FeLV testing for these two cats. I am hoping to find fostering situations for these two cats that will eventually get them into homes.

I wanted to let those who know J___ and of her feral caretaking that the story on the news is affecting her directly so you can keep a positive thought for her and in case you can offer any assistance with finding homes or fostering situations for any of the cats or have other suggestions.

And another response to the story with phone numbers and e-mail addresses to contact the TV station:

Those of you who saw the Channel 9 news piece tonight on feral cats
in an Overland Park neighborhood may want to let the station know
what you thought.

I found the report unfortunately one-sided. It portrayed the cats
as disease carriers. There was no mention of the root cause--
irresponsible people who do not spay/neuter and/or who abandon their
cats. The report reinforces and perpetuates the attitude that
caused the problem in the first place--people regarding animals as
disposable property. One business owner who has apparently
benefited from the cats's rodent control also found their "scat"
unpleasant. He was glad "they" were getting the cats out of there.
Trapping and killing leaves a vacuum that other cats will soon
fill. T&K does not solve the problem.

Anyway, if you saw the report and want to comment...you can call the
station at 816-221-9999 or email them. It is
www.thekansascitychannel.com/news/ Hit the home tab and
then "contact the station" at the top.
post #4 of 8
What frickin' idiots.

According to the report, the problem is the cats have "ocular discharge" and "nasal discharge" (common URIs - suprise!!!) and that they could possibly infect house cats.

One, house cats should be inside, not outside. If your cat is at risk of getting a URI, then it's certainly at risk of getting hit by a car, licking up some antifreeze from the driveway -- doing any number of things that are harmful.

Second, how common are URIs? Pretty common. We should start putting people to sleep for sinusitis and the common cold.
post #5 of 8
OMG I love this group of people in KC! Here's an update - the wheels are turning and people here are speaking up and getting organized to help these poor babies! An update from one of the folks active in this effort:

Thanks to all who replied to me personally or posted messages to the group. Both Pet Connection and HAHS have offered to take the cats appropriate for adoption and fostering, we're making arrangements to take them up on those offers, and I have a call in to Overland Park AC to see if they're willing to work cooperatively on the rest instead of continuing their previous/current plan.

One replier asked what has stopped J___ from trapping cats before, so I wanted to reply to the group since others not familiar with previous efforts may be wondering the same thing. When OP declined to trap years ago, J___ tried trapping, but it didn't work because she is very soft hearted and didn't realize it works best to stop feeding to have hungry cats for trapping to work (these cats are very wary and street smart). So she concentrated on rescuing kittens as they were born and personally adopted out over 120. I got acquainted with her because we both work on different aspects of the HAHS newsletter, and gradually learned about the cats. 2 years ago we were talking about how many cats were there, and I did some math in my head and realized how many there would be in the spring if each female gave birth, and I about fainted. I asked HAHS if they could help, and they designated this as their Spay Day project that year and
gave us about $250 for spay/neuter services. I also got 4 certificates from PARS, HAHS friends and personal friends donated, and so did Family Tree Nursery, and we "fixed" and tested/vaccinated 13 cats and got them out of there. R___ did a fabulous job of socializing the ones who needed it so they could find forever homes. And All Creatures Sanctuary in central Missouri took one FIV+ cat (not an official "colony" member, but a resident leave-behind). PARS loaned J___ 2 traps, but she was still very nervous about withholding food, and when a kitten got caught in the door of one and was killed...well, suffice it to say this trapping effort faded away. As a
result of all this, J___ has resigned herself that withholding food is
necessary, and I learned that it takes much more than money to solve this type of situation.
post #6 of 8
I leant my "spay recovery cage" to the woman that has intervened in this the other day and talked to her about what is happening. Animal Control went out without any warning to the tenants and trapped 14 cats the other day. They were supposed to warn tenants so that they could keep their cats inside that day. She took it to a higher person and they agreed to put a halt on their trapping until such time as the rescue workers have a plan put together to TNR them. If they can't return all of them, they will look for rural areas to relocate some of them (e.g. barn cats). I offered to take a few as necessary.

I also had a friend of a friend call me to ask for help placing a calico girl she pulled from the complex. She found her outside, was afraid she was going to be trapped and euthenized, so took her into her garage to save her life. I found her a foster home who will spay and adopt her out.

So slow and steady progress on this front.
post #7 of 8
How frustrating that you are having to deal with this! But, thank goodness there are people like you out there helping to save these cats.
post #8 of 8
I agree....I'm glad that there are groups of people willing to extend themselves for these cats!!

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