The treatment of feral cats (homeless) will only change when their status in society is elevated. These cats, many abandoned through no fault of their own, are seemingly not worthy of compassion. Even people claiming to be animal lovers and supporters want this “vermin” gone.
The thing that is incomprehensible is how these people can blame the victims (the cats) yet turn their heads blindly away from those who victimized the cats through abandonment and failure to spay and neuter. Even more disconcerting is how animal welfare groups, that claim to be against the killing of animals, continue to support trap-and-kill.
There are two choices to address the community cat issue: trap-neuter-vaccinate-return (TVNR) or trap-and-kill. Don’t be fooled when someone says they’re trapping and relocating because ultimately what they are doing is a death sentence for these cats. They most often are trapped and taken to an “animal shelter” where they have a certain death sentence.
Most of our “shelters” simply kill these cats. If the cat exhibits behavior such as hissing or seems aggressive, they are classified as feral cats and receive the automatic death sentence because they are deemed unadoptable. No one considers that the cat is showing signs of fear and being in a new and unfamiliar place. Where is the compassion in this?
The alternate to this is for the “shelter” to have in place a TNVR program.
This brings us to the No Kill Equation of which TNVR is a big part. The Equation consists of 11 Elements, created by animal advocate Nathan Winograd, that are necessary for creating a No Kill Community. Here, any healthy or treatable companion animal is not put to death when it enters a shelter.
Her are the 11 Elements:
Trap-neuter-release (TNR) programs for free-living cats allow shelters to reduce death rates
No- and low-cost, high-volume spay/neuter
Cooperation with rescue groups
Comprehensive adoption programs
Medical and behavior rehabilitation programs
Public relations/community development
TNVR is the lynchpin to making this work. To achieve success here, a new approach is needed. The old way of trap and kill has not lowered the number of feral cats. TNVR has.