A painless injection is preferable to TNR
I read with interest the letter from the co-founder of Feral Cat FOCUS regarding trap, neuter, release programs. May I focus on the word “humane?” She wrote that TNR programs are widely recognized as “life-saving.” Saved to what kind of a life? Has anyone involved in the TNR programs ever spent some serious time in areas where cats are literally starving, freezing to death, used as dog fighting bait, etc? Most of these cats have no shelter (how many survived the last blizzard?) or feeding sources. I would hardly call this type of environment “home” or having them exist that way “humane.” In spite of the positive and rosy pictures painted regarding cat colonies, many people really do not want them around.
Even if the sterilized cats are perfectly healthy (why are felines that test positive for leukemia deemed sufficiently healthy to be released?) when returned to the streets, what becomes of them when they become ill? And, realistically, they do. Do they just one day decide to go in some corner and drop dead instantly? Or, more often than not, do they face incredible suffering on a prolonged path to death, with death being their only relief? In a macabre sense, those killed by vehicles, the drivers of which hardly bother stopping, are the lucky ones; their deaths are mostly instantaneous.
Though we all agree that the feline overpopulation problem is enormous, our views of what is “humane” differ greatly. Perhaps approaching the issue from more than just one angle would be much more realistic. A painless injection is far more merciful than any fate our feline friends meet when released back on the streets.
Evelyn T. Bakowski