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TNR programs will not solve feral cat problem

I feel compelled to speak out regarding a letter writer’s passionate view regarding trap-neuter-return of feral cats. TNR programs advocated as alternatives for euthanasia for controlling populations of feral cats are controversial.

Foremost, the whole idea of comparing these “wild” cats to squirrels or birds is fundamentally flawed. Even though ferals are fearful of humans, they are not some pseudo wildlife species. They are domesticated creatures and are not a natural part of our wildlife system. Free-roaming cats pose a threat to wildlife. The writer states that a bird will fly away from danger. It wants to live. Perhaps the bird is being stalked by a cat; after all, cats are predatory animals.

The only reason the cats are out there is they have no choice. If life outdoors is so good and they live healthier lives after sterilization, why don’t the staunch advocates of TNR let their own companion cats outdoors to roam and bond with nature?

Yes, I agree that people have a strong will to live, and that is why they seek treatment for disease. Animals also have a strong will to live, yet veterinary treatments are out of the question for ferals because they cannot be handled and regularly vetted. They experience injuries, diseases, infections and abscesses, often resulting in painful, lingering deaths. TNR only eliminates the profusion of kittens. It does not resolve the health, sanitation, nuisance, safety and humaneness issues of free-roaming cats.

Perhaps it is time to work toward cat licensing and containment laws. Cats cannot be rightfully protected until they are included in animal control laws. I believe we owe that to them.

The debate between TNR and euthanasia continues. Each has its place. To solely cling to the view that TNR is a panacea for solving the vast overpopulation problem is not realistic. To denigrate euthanasia is the ultimate perversion of the “good death.”

Connie Eaton

Hamburg