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Another article to take issue with....

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Again, it continues to amaze me how these guys can't even come close to getting it right.

Of course, the greatest irony is this story about non-native predators (domestic cats) is written by a white male hunter...in a magazine for white male hunters...which are certainly non-native predators!

(The day a guy dressed in bright orange camo, holding a shotgun, constitutes a native, natural part of the environment, I'll eat my shoe)


Wildlife experts agree that some free-roaming cat populations, especially in rural areas, need to be controlled. However, because cats are domestic animals, they fall under a hodgepodge of jurisdictions. And proposed control programs elicit caterwauls of protest from animal lovers.
Proposed "control" programs (which are actually "kill" programs) elicit protest because they are often ineffective, costly, randomly implemented, and exist as "maintenance" programs in which cats are only killed once there are complaints. By then, the population is probably already outside of a "kill" program's control.

Feeding programs also create a "vacuum effect" that attracts more feral cats-as well as people looking for a place to abandon unwanted cats.
This is an obvious misuse of the term. The "vacuum effect" refers to trap-and-kill programs that lead to repopulation of an area, not the effects of feeding.

When it comes to abandoning animals...which is worse? Someone that abandons a cat in a colony, where it will be spayed or neutered, or someone that abandons it in a remote area, where it will simply generate an entirely new population?

We would have to assume that if an owner is compassionate or irresponsible enough to abandon a pet, rather than have it euthanized or take responsibility for it....that aspect of the owner's personality didn't change simply because TNR is going on elsewhere.

Cat welfare organizations such as Forgotten Felines and Alley Cat Allies are adamant that these "homeless" cats have the right to live out their lives unmolested by humans. They advocate programs in which feral cats are trapped, vaccinated, neutered, and released back to their colonies, where, proponents say, feeding programs turn them into benign felines.
A complete lie and misrepresentation. No one says the animals are turned into "benign" felines. It's not genius to realize that a fed cat has less reason to hunt than a cat that survives by hunting...even when they hunt for practice and instinct (ironically, in a story written by a hunter). The underlying motive of TNR is to reduce the cat population in a humane, effective manner...not simply protect cats from harrassment.

Ironically, animal rights groups such as the Humane Society of the United States and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals also disparage "neuter-and-abandon" programs, but for a different reason.
First, the animals are not abandoned. They are monitored under the watch of caretakers and volunteers .

Second, if we look at PETA's own feral cat page, a few things emerge. First, that one reason they cite for "trapping" ferals is the cruelty of humans. I don't know when human crimes of torturing animals became a good reason to kill them, but it strikes me that something is wrong with the logic there.

This is the PETA page quote, which is used as partial justification for why it is sometimes acceptable to euthanize animals:
In one feral cat colony, half of the 32 cats were shot by a man who claimed that they were “attacking†his children.(2) Cats in another colony were shot with darts.(3) A loose dog killed several cats in another colony.(4)
How many of us believe that 16 feral cats -- afraid of humans -- were attacking his children? Yeah, right. Why these absolutely ludicrous claims are given any credibility is beyond me.

Second, they also cite information from the ABC, so we all know how much credibility that has.

Third, the mention diseases such as rabies, and TNR expressely vaccinates for rabies. They mention FIV and FELV, though some TNR programs test for those diseases. No TNR program that I know of would release a sick cat, and I expect most euthanize when the animals are unrecoverable.

Third, PETA amazingly recommends releasing some ferals into a home after they've had a week to adjust. ???????? That seems to betray the true circumstance of most ferals, which is that they are not going to socialize in a week's time unless they are the youngest of kittens.

From PETA's page:
Please do not allow the prospect of euthanasia to deter you from trapping cats. If you leave them where they are, they will almost certainly die a painful death.
....which obviously isn't the case in TNR.


As for HSUS, they host various pro-TNR stories on their website...what's their stance?

And when animal rights groups espouse killing unwanted animals, it is a sure sign that the problem is already out of control.
Actually, neither group espouses killing unwanted animals. PETA suggests that euthanization might be an acceptable alternative to having a free-roaming cat tortured by cruel humans or suffering from incurable or painful sickness. That's not exactly a controversial stance.
post #2 of 8
Scott...I find the more good we do getting the word out about TNR...the greater the extremes the wildlife "advocates" feel they must go..and you are right...they do twist things around A LOT.

post #3 of 8
Scott...I can understand your anger. If you are working with ferals you are spending your hard earned money and time to help out all you can. I honestly think some of these so-called organizations are jealous of the fact that TNR actually works. I have not had a cat fight in my colony since I got them fixed. You have probably seen the same thing happen to colonies that you take care of. I will not read articles like these because, yes, they make me angry and it is obvious that they are toting the "party line" instead of getting down into the dirt and helping out and seeing how it works out. I just discovered that my MotherCat who was missing for four months, showed up with two kits today. I am glad she is alive and well and I know that this means more work for me and more money spent (what is money by the way?) but I am willing to do it because I just love this family of ferals. I have seen that TNR works. I don't need some "expert" to try to tell me different. You are doing a wonderful job at whatever it is that you can do to help the ferals. Don't let anyone take that warm, soft, happy feeling away when you look at your babies and they are grooming themselves because they are full of good food and water and they know that they are safe.
post #4 of 8
BTW...they can put articles in magazines...but I'm in the petstores toting that TNR works. Do you think the people who find feral cats are going to buy field and stream...or do you think they are going to go to a petstore and talk to someone like me?!

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Well, unfortunately, I think Field and Stream is going to be a popular magazine in any rural area or among any groups of "sportsmen."

The articles then appear online, get indexed by the search engines, and then become part of "conventional wisdom," rather than dissected for what they are.

It also provides other authors with material to site to back up their own claims.

Frankly, I simply find it upsetting that you can have such an article and it doesn't even mention TNR, other than a few skewed suggestions that, for example, Alley Cat Allies and Forgotten Felines simply believe feral cats should be left alone...which isn't the case.

The author then uses this quote:

It's a very contentious issue," says University of Wisconsin wildlife ecologist Scott Craven, co-author of the Cats and Wildlife report. "A lot of people believe very strongly that we have a responsibility to protect free-ranging cats,"
Which, to my knowledge, is not the goal of TNR at all. It's not an issue of "protecting" feral cats from any interference. TNR is purposefully interfering in the lives of feral cats, sterilizing and vaccinating them, with the sole caveat of *not* killing the healthy adults. The author and Craven make it seem like the "cat supporters" are simply protecting the cats from interference, forcing a "hands-off" policy at the expense of wildlife, which isn't truly the case.

Obviously, the author is aware of Alley Cat Allies, so he could have had no shortage of information on the real goal of TNR, which is curtailing population growth -- or reducing populations -- while treating the existing cats humanely.

Yet the article only quotes one of the Wisconsin authors.
post #6 of 8
Scott...I'll let whoever at the ACA clinic tomorrow know about the article...I'm sure they already know...but I'll remind them and see if they have a plan to respond.

post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

No worries....it's from 2002.

But when I run across these, sometimes I send a note to the author like what I wrote above.

Unfortunately, these older articles stick around for years on the Internet...and they can be misleading...
post #8 of 8
Thanks to Scott, Katie and all those recognizing the importance of correcting misinformation in the news media and for your steadfast education efforts. Much appreciated!
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