A Dark Day for Cats

Some days I am embarrassed to be human, and the last couple days are among them. The South Newton Township, about an hour away from us, has decided to have a professional trapper come in, capture all cats who are in the open on two days in September, and kill them.

The precipitating event involved a preschool child who got bit by a rabid cat, an event that no one wants to have happen. But let’s face it, cats aren’t the only creatures to carry rabies, and the township didn’t decide to go out and trap all the raccoons and other creatures, just the cats. By the sounds of things (and this is conjecture on my part) the township has a problem with feral cats (as do many places) and this event just allowed the powers that be to respond to that concern. They have responded in the most inhumane and ineffective way possible.

Trapping and killing all the cats they can find in two days will not solve the problem for the township. It never does. If somehow they actually captured all the cats (very unlikely) then all they have done is to create an open space for lots of other cats to come inhabit.

TNR (Trap, Neuter, Release) programs are so much more effective—from a cost perspective as well as the humanity of it—than what South Newton is planning. That has been proven over and over. Right here in Central Pennsylvania, by the very successful Steelton Community Cat program that in a few short years trapped, neutered, treated (shots and medical care) and returned the feral cats. They now have a shrinking population of cats, and the cats that are there are in better health and being cared for (and they’re not making babies either.). The Steelton program was so successful, and cost-effective, that three other townships, including my own (Derry) have adopted the model and are getting their feral populations under control and healthier.

South Newton’s decision is one of the most appalling I’ve seen in years…very disheartening…and I hope they don’t go forward with it. If you are distressed by this as well, here is a link to a change.org campaign to let South Newton know that this isn’t the way to go.

Breaking news: Alley Cat Allies has offered South Newton Township a free rabies clinic for all township animals if they will rescind their decision to kill all outdoor cats. Let’s hope that the township sees the wisdom in this!

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23 thoughts on “A Dark Day for Cats

  1. It’s so simple and humane, yet they’re going to kill those babies. Raccoons are much more likely to carry rabies. And here in Florida a black bear has to be destroying property just to be moved to another area. But the cats get killed.

    1. It is, indeed, a total over-reaction. One news report said the little girl is doing fine. I think they are just looking for an excuse to kill the cats. Really awful.

    1. Absolutely warrants a hiss…many of them. Thanks for letting folks know not only about this but the many other activities that are hiss-worthy out there too.

  2. I am always ashamed to be human.i have tried to sign the petition and it won’t let me at the moment I will keep trying,i don’t think being Australian makes a difference to whether I can sign!

    1. Wish I knew the answer on the petition, but thanks for trying. Being out of the US may, indeed, be the problem…not sure.

      And yes, it is easy to be ashamed of being human with stuff like this going on. Really awful…but I am hopeful that it will not happen.

      1. I will keep trying all day I am sure I have signed onlines from overseas before..might be our cold morning computer hehe..I hope it does not happen..unless a rescue gets in first and scoops them up..i mean if they can trap them then they can fix them also,after all it won’t solve the problem.
        The problem starts with not having mandatory desexing laws and licences for keeping cats..a desexed cat cannot perpetuate the cycle of more cats that are feral..sheesh!

  3. Hoping that Alley Cat Allies convinces the powers that be to abandon their sad plan to kill the feral kitties! I signed the petition. Prayers and thoughts.

  4. I’ve signed the petition. This is absolutely heinous. I hope Alley Cat Allies is able to help change the outcome. My heart goes out to you and the kitties at risk. 😥

      1. I hope so! I’ve shared the petition link on my Facebook page. Hopefully, it will generate some more signatures. 😉 I’ve got all my kitties paws crossed for the ferals out there!

    1. But hopefully the Township will accept that alternative tonight. Fingers and paws crossed for the meeting that starts in a couple hours.

      1. The township supervisors reversed their decision tonight. No capturing and killing the cats. Hooray!

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