Friday, November 30, 2012

Ethics for Magical People: Feral and Stray Animals (2 of 2)

ACA suggest for the control of feral cats in a particular area to Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) them. Besides preventing further breeding, neutering also deters cat fights, territory marking, and yowling. Returning the cats prevents the vacuum effect from happening. In addition, ACA suggest that each colony have a “minder” to provide veterinarian care and to remove any new cats for further evaluation. The minder keeps the cats from getting sick and spreading their illnesses to humans.

One thing that the HSUS cautions against is to ban the feeding of feral cats by people. Feeding bans have been used by communities to either drive the cats out or starve them to death. However, the hungry cats will move even closer to human homes to raid their garbage cans. Often malnourished, these cats, infested with parasites, pass them onto unsuspecting people. Also, dead cats provide havens for disease transmittal.

I saw the success of ACA’s work with the feral colony living near the dumpster behind my doctor’s office. Their minder neutered the cats, fed, and housed them on site. She would check for new cats, which usually turned out to be strays. After five years, the colony died out naturally, and remains cat-free.

For feral dogs, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) urges that the dogs be sterilized and vaccinated. This will keep them healthy, less aggressive, and not prone to attacking people. The IFAW advises against a “shoot-and-kill” policy which does little to decrease the number of dogs. The object is to prevent the breeding of more animals, and the entry of new dogs. One solution to animal overpopulation is to spay and neuter feral animals, and keep them in their home territories.

Cesar Millan, the “Dog Whisperer,” and Randy Grimm of Stray Rescue of St. Louis (MO) agree that feral dogs should be rehabilitated. As pack animals, feral dogs can be encouraged to join the human pack. One of my neighbors works with abandoned dogs and trains them. Two of the feral dogs that she rehabilitated became therapy dogs for autistic children. My other neighbor has a pit bull, which was rehabilitated, as a pet. (This particular dog was used as a breeder for a dog fighting ring, and later abandoned as a bait dog.) In these three cases, once the dog became habituated to humans, the animal made an excellent pet.

Giant snakes and lizards can only be kept by herpetological societies since they are so dangerous. Kaplan believes that stricter licensing combined with higher pricing will deter people from buying reptiles that they will not care for. Since many of these reptiles are wild captures, they cannot be returned to the wild because of exposure to captive-bred animals. In response, many herpetological societies do extensive educational programs with these animals at schools to raise awareness and money for the care of abandoned reptiles.

“Shoot to kill,” removal, and euthanasia does not work to solve animal overpopulation. Measures that address both the vacuum effect and overbreeding at the source do better. Grimm stressed that it is a problem without an owner, which keeps it from being resolved. Millan noted only when packs of feral dogs start to roam in more upscale neighborhoods, will the problem be addressed.

To curb the numbers of unwanted animals, people must to be willing to pay taxes for better animal control. Andrei Poyarkov, a Russian specialist on feral dogs, also emphasizes that efficient garbage collection is needed, as well, to deter feeding places for feral animals. Through the media, people can be persuaded to get their pets from shelters, and to spay and neuter them. Through a network of increased animal control, education, spaying and neutering, and TNR will the numbers subside.  Until people address the problem, the nightmare that now happening in Russia will occur elsewhere.

Organizations Consulted.
Alley Cat Allies, 2012,

American Humane Association, 2012,

Baltimore (MD) Humane Society, 2012,

The Humane Society of the United States, 2012,

International Fund for Animal Welfare, 2012,

National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy, 2009,

Stray Rescue of St. Louis (MO), 2012,, .

Works Used.
Alexandrova, Lyudmila, “Moscow’s Dog Owners Say No to Dog Hunters,” 29 October 2012, Itar-Tass News Agency,

Doig, Will, “The Secret Lives of Feral Dogs,”, 14, January, 2012,

Eremenko, Alexey, “Russian Doghunters Have No Nightmares,” RIA Novosti, 28 August 2012,

Jouvenal, Justin, “Fight over Ferals Boils Down to One Question: Do Alley Cats Live a Good Life?,” “The Washington Post,” 24, May, 2011,

Kaplan, Melissa, “Herp Care Collection,” 2012,

NYC Feral Cat Initiative,” Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, 2012,

Mott, Marilyn, “U.S. Facing Feral-Dog Crisis,” National Geographic News, 21 August, 2003,

Helping Pets and People in Crisis,” Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, 2012,

Wilkes, Joe, “Stray Dog Epidemic Hits U.S.”, Cesar’s Way, 22 February 2012,


Nature Advocate said...

Stray-Cat Feeders TRAIN Feral Cats To Attack Humans

These cat-lovers always like to claim that feral cats run away from humans, and therefore aren't the cause of all the thousands of new rabies cases.

Google for: feral cat attack rabies

(Don't be surprised at the numbers of search-hits you get, nor the thousands of horrendous stories that go with them. The numbers of rabies cases or required rabies shots caused by feral cats has been exponentially growing as fast as the cats breed.)

These cat feeders are TRAINING these disease-infested cats to approach humans for food. And what happens when that child (or foolish adult) doesn't have food and reaches down to "pet the cute kitty" or pick it up to try to take it home? The cat lashes out and bites or scratches the hand that has no food for them. That means MANDATORY $1000+ painful rabies shots for the child (or any adult that is just as ignorant and naive). Paid for out of their OWN pockets -- because NOT ONE of these cat-feeders carries ONE penny of liability insurance for the deadly danger they bring to their communities.

These are just the diseases they've been spreading to humans, not counting the ones they spread to all wildlife. THERE ARE NO VACCINES against many of these, and are in-fact listed as bio-terrorism agents. They include: Campylobacter Infection, Cat Scratch Disease, Coxiella burnetti Infection (Q fever), Cryptosporidium Infection, Dipylidium Infection (tapeworm), Hookworm Infection, Leptospira Infection, Giardia, Plague, Rabies, Ringworm, Salmonella Infection, Toxocara Infection, Toxoplasma. [Centers for Disease Control, July 2010] Sarcosporidiosis, Flea-borne Typhus, and Tularemia can now also be added to that list.

A FEW examples:

Cat-Transmitted PLAGUE:

Totally disproving that oft-spewed myth that cats in Europe could have prevented the plague. No rats nor fleas even required. Cats themselves carry and transmit the plague all on their own.


Flea-borne Typhus:

Hookworm -- ruined Miami Businesses:

The ONLY difference between rats and cats these days is that people who own and love pet-rats aren't severely mentally unbalanced and trying to hoard feral-rat populations on other people's public and private properties -- while also relentlessly petitioning all their lawmakers to do so.

Pet-rat owners, and all other types of pet owners, at least have THEIR sh** together.

If only the same were true of all these mentally-ill TNR cRat-hoarders.

(I still think it's their cats' Toxoplasma gondii parasites in the cat-lovers' brains that make them so unfalteringly blind to their own stupidity, hypocrisy, and absolute absurdity.)

Nature Advocate said...


FACT: Trap & Kill failed because cats cannot be trapped faster than they exponentially breed out of control.

FACT: TNR is an even bigger abject failure because these man-made disasters cannot be trapped faster than they breed, they also continue to cruelly annihilate all native wildlife (from the smallest of prey up to the top predators that are starved to death), and the cats continue to spread many deadly diseases that they carry today FOR WHICH THERE ARE NO VACCINES AGAINST THEM. Many of which are even listed as bioterrorism agents. (Such as Tularemia and The Plague. Yes, people have already died from cat-transmitted plague in the USA. No fleas nor rats even required. The cats themselves carry and transmit the plague all on their own.)

FACT: THERE IS ABSOLUTELY _NOTHING_ HUMANE ABOUT TNR. Nearly every TNR'ed cat dies an inhumane death by road-kill, from cat and animal attacks, environmental poisons, starvation, dehydration, freezing to death, infections, parasites, etc. And if very lucky humanely shot to death or re-trapped and drowned (the most common methods used on farms and ranches to protect their gestating livestock's offspring and native wildlife dying from cats' Toxoplasmosis parasites). This doesn't begin to count the thousands of defenseless native animals that cats skin alive and disembowel alive for their daily and hourly play-toys. The only difference in destroying cats immediately and humanely instead of trapping, sterilizing, then releasing them to an inhumane death; is that money isn't going into an HSUS or SPCA board-member's pocket, veterinarian's pocket, cat-food company CEO's pocket, or a drug-company CEO's pocket. And that's the ONLY difference!

FACT: Cats are a man-made (through selective breeding) invasive species. And as such, are no less of a man-made environmental disaster than any other caused by man. Cats are even worse than an oil-spill of continent-sized proportions. They not only kill off rare and endangered marine-mammals along all coastlines from run-off carrying cats' Toxoplasma gondii parasites, they destroy the complete food-chain in every ecosystem where cats are found. From smallest of prey gutted and skinned alive for cats' tortured play-toys, up to the top predators that are starved to death from cats destroying their ONLY food sources.

FACT: Hunted To Extinction (or in this case, extirpation of all outdoor cats) is the ONLY method that is faster than a species like cats can exponentially out-breed and out-adapt to. Especially an invasive species like these cats that can breed 2-4X's faster than any naturally occurring cat-species.

FACT: In _TWELVE_YEARS_ Alley Cat ALL-LIES of NYC have only reduced feral cats in their own city by 0.08% to 0.024% (as the months go on that percentage becomes more insignificant), allowing more than 99.92% to 99.976% to exponentially breed out of control. Here's how Alley-Cat-ALL-LIES' deceptive math works: If you TNR 4 cats and 3 get flattened by cars this translates to 75% fewer feral-cats everywhere. Alley Cat ALL-LIES can't even reduce cats in their own city, yet they promote it as a worldwide solution. Then even bigger fools fall for it and promote it.

FACT: Their mythical "vacuum effect" is a 100% LIE. A study done by the Texas A&M University proved that any perceived "vacuum" is just the simple case that CATS ATTRACT CATS. Get rid of them all and there's no cats there to attract more. I proved this myself by shooting and burying hundreds of them on my own land. ZERO cats replaced them FOR 3 YEARS NOW. If you want more cats, keep even one of them around, more will find you. That university study also found that sterilized cats very poorly defend any territory. Non-sterilized cats, being more aggressive, take over the sterilized cats' resources (shelter & food if any). If there is any kind of "vacuum effect" at all, it is that sterilizing cats cause non-sterilized cats to restore the reproductive void.

Va. Carper said...

Many thanks for pointing out the other side of this thorny problem. I do know that TNR and feral cats are very controversial, and merit a debate. Dr. Michael Fox, known vet, does agree with your point of view about feral cats.

Va. Carper said...

As for me, the only animals I had as pets were reptiles, so the cat problem is a new one for me.