Thursday, February 5, 2009

WTF! Trap, Neuter and Release????

Give me a break, please. First we are told that the "feral" cats must be returned to their old stomping grounds after altering. Now the Whino and "No Kill" say to just take them any old place and turn them loose. Does this man have any concept of what cats are all about, does he care about them at all?

We all know, at least those of us with any sense, that cats taken to a new place and released will run, and run, and run. First, they have gone through the trauma of being trapped, then an operation, and now you want to turn them out into a world they don't know anything about. They don't know where to hide, or where they can be safe enough to sleep, or anything else. It's bad enough that these poor cats are doomed by "caregivers" to a miserable life outside, but to do this to them is unspeakable.

I refuse to use the word "outside" to describe a cat. The "feral" cat movement, in my humble opinion, is the ultimate cruelty for cats. First of all, there are very few truly feral cats around. Try to imagine tiny kittens, born outside, trying to survive. It would be almost impossible for them to do so with cars, punks, hawks, dogs, and the like. The "feral" cats of the old TN&Return are actually tame cats, abandoned outside. These cats can be reintroduced back into a home, but they are too numerous in the eyes of TN&Return/Release. So instead they chose to do what they do, throw some food out in the middle of the night and go to bed feeling that they are not guilty of adding to the problem. It was designed to relieve the guilt people feel for the problem, not to help the cats.

So the supporters of the old regime of TN&Return/Release continue to tell us that these are feral cats, they can be outside. Excuse me, but don't all animals learn to hunt for survival from their parents? But these cats weren't taught, they don't have the skills necessary for survival on their own. That is why TN&Return/Release feeds them. It seems a conflict in terms to say that cats can't survive on their own yet they need to remain outside without those skills. Just doesn't make sense to me.

And think also about the wildlife, not in the sense of the cats killing native species but rather the feed stations attracting wildlife. The wild animals come in to get the food and you know the story. People get pissed, run the risk of rabies, the animals get killed on the highways, etc. But these people that set up the feed stations don't care, as long as they can sleep at night.

I say we do start a movement of TN&Retain. I bet we could get the cities to go along with it. Look at all it offers, gets the cats off the street, keeps them from the shelters, hey, it is a win-win movement. Any votes out there?


Anonymous said...

I told you: You are nothing but brilliant, brilliant, brilliant.

God, you're hilarious. After all you've been through, You can still keep your truth-telling, wisdom and sense of humor.

I'm so glad you have your own website. You've got a reader from now on. Forget that Muzikan terrorist.

Honesty Helps said...

Just read a posting on Craigs List about the Rancho cats in LA. The city want the cats to go because they are nuisance. There is a day care center close by and the children are having problems with allergies, disease, etc. from these colony cats coming into their area. The City has tried to work on the TN&Return program with these cats but they continued to increase from 130 to over 200. But this posting says that this colony
under Trap Neuter & Return IS 45 YEARS OLD!!!!! Does that not go against what TN&Return teaches? No shit it does.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely Right. It's utterly maniacal. But, if the cats are going to die a horrible death like the example of the dog in that letter the shelter manager wrote taking a look behind the scenes, I would rather to the TNR thing, as much as I hate it. Trap, neuter, Release is another animal altogether, unless the cats are in danger where they are. Then you just dump them somewhere unknown to them. That is still better than the torture the cats would have to go through if in fact they do not die painless deaths under anesthesia and the pentobarbital, and if their veins are being ripped up in the process. That is not euthanasia. That is torture.

I tend to think that is not the way it is done, but I've never been in a shelter to see how euthanasia is practiced and do not have the slightest idea how ferals are euthanized at the shelter. I may be talking out of my rear bumper for all I know.

Anyone have any experience working at a shelter and really seeing first hand how it is done?

Honesty Helps said...

If you have ever taken a feral to the vet, then you know how they act. There's no easy way around it.

Anonymous said...

No...I have never been there when a feral has been held down, only when a semi-feral is held down in order to draw blood for a full blood panel. That in itself is really tough for the poor little guy. Sometimes I want to opt to just put them to sleep and go all the way than to have to have them pinned down to draw the blood. It's just so hard on them, you know?

I can only imagine how difficult it is to hold a feral cat down. How do you even get to hold them, even if they're wrapped in a towel, like you have to do some semis when you need to get their nails clipped. Ferals are gone-whoosh before you get a chance to touch them. How someone is able to restrain a feral long enough to in order to stick a needle into them and push the meds into the vein, I will never know....

One vet tech who doesn't use anesthesia says that they just pappoose them and that it is really the quickest and the most humane way. I just can't picture it in my head though, except that a vein is torn in the process and the handlers get their own veins ripped trying to hold the ferals down in the process. Seems to me that it is a waste of time, and time means money, the longer you have to work to hold an animal down in order to stick a needle into them. Staff ends up in the hospital, and it takes longer to do the job...painful for both, you know?

Wouldn't it be cheaper, less risk, more humane, and less stress for both the animals and the techs if the animal were sedated first?

You can take your time on this one. I know it is very stressful to even think about it, and I don't want you to have so much stress in your life, for goodness sake. I'm not helping by asking such questions and commenting on things I don't know the first thing about. You're talking with an ignoramus here on such things, so I don't want you to spend more energy on this things that we can do nothing about if you don't have to. Your own health is more important now. OK?

Forgive me if I sound combative. It's just ignorance. This is coming from someone who has never ever worked in a shelter before and will never ever know what it is like for lack of time and an eventual heart attack. It's bad enough dealing with your own animals as well as those on the street who have been abandoned out here. Oh, there I go again. You can tell me to go away when it's too much, ok? I respect your thoughts and experience tremendously.

Anonymous said...

Honesty. This is a very deep topic that will take discussion and healthy debate.

I'm in such a great town. Local businesses have developed a successful local community outreach program for homeless pets. They also reach out to residents to foster. The creatures need a safe place to live out their lives. I'll stop here with these thoughts.

What area of Los Angeles is this colony located?

Anonymous said...

Honesty. The last poster here (#6) asked you to reveal the specific area where the colony that was being discussed here was located.

Did you write to the poster to discuss the details of this colony?

HonestyHelps said...

That colony is Los Alamitos or something like that and it was reported in the LA newspapers as being 45 years old.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone on this blog ever placed an animal cruelty report against commenter #5 for inhumane treatment against feral cats?

HonestyHelps said...

Actually that is the accepted practice with ferals. Although Indy's council voted to use sedatives prior to euthanasia, they received info that this would place the staff in jeopardy to do it that way. Does it appear inhumane to us? Yes, but it really isn't. The vast majority of shelters and plenty of vets do it this way because it is easier on the cat and on the staff. Instead of handling a feral twice, it is only handled once this way. What bothers us sometimes doesn't mean it is inhumane. Have you ever tried to handle a feral cat? Even a tame cat can be hard to handle.

I'm not sure about the law in this regard. Maybe I'll look that up.

Anonymous said...

Something about TNR and the way in which things have radically changed. Before, the shelters used to push people to TNR. Now, the Animal Cruelty Task Force is going after the very people who did exactly what the shelters told them to do at that time. The shelters can't breathe the word TNR anymore because they've been sued. So, the ACTF is going after the people who were doing exactly what the shelters were telling the public to do, by doing TNR.

The ACTF is going after people who are maintaining more than three cats and ordering those people to cut down to the three-cat limit, fortwith, under penalty of prosecution, and/or impoundment.

They are forcing people to illegally abandon their cats, starve them and dehydrate them to death, impound them so that they can wait endlessly at the shelters until they get sick and are then killed, or dump them on somebody else's lap---other people who already have more than the legal limit but haven't been caught yet, or have them killed yourself by letting them go outside to be used as food for the coyotes, while the cats are torn up, evicerated, and beheaded alive.

Either that, or take them to a vet yourself to have them killed yourself. The ACTF and their band of rescue people who are putting complaints against people who have more than three cats, but are not 5013c's are working together to intimidate, harrass, and threaten people with prosecution and impoundment if they don't do either of the above. We know the cats aren't going to be adopted out to wonderful homes because rescues were refusing those very same cats when they were kittens adn there was too much competition among them. These were LAAS fosters. Now, the ACTF, with the help of rescuers, are going after these "hoarders" and getting into their homes by using hugely exaggerated and fabricated complaints against these people for "hoarding" an insane number of cats "all living inside the home under unsanitary conditions." They worm their way in and succeed in getting perfectly healthy fat cats (who have been recently vaccinated against FVRCP, FELV, and Rabies, mind you), just because they exist and the are being "maintained" (fed, and given a decent home and are provided with veterinary care when needed...proof in the medical records, but who cares!) What is crimminal now is providing for those fat, healthy, happy cats, who are living in a clean, uncrowded home.

Great work the city is doing now, and the rescuers are all involved with LAAS and ACTF to go after everyone that has done everything they were told to do by doing TNR and joining feral cat caretaking groups to spay and neuter and maintain these cats. Now if you maintain more than three, you are a crimminal and your cats die.

They all worked together to have six of my cats killed for no reason at all, except that the letter of the law states, and has always stated, no matter the changing policies (policies that change as often as you change your underpants), that the animals you are legally allowed to maintain is THREE.

THE ACTF and their little rescuers are all happy now that they've killed my cats. They did their good deed as rescuers and good, law-abiding citizens.

Thanks very much for ripping up my cat to pieces, for ripping up her abdomen, and tearing her heart right out of her body, along with the rest that are being forced out of their homes due to the "maintenance" law.

HonestyHelps said...

First of all, it appears you have been breaking the law regarding household limits. And my advice there is don't do the crime unless you are willing to pay the price. And the price here was the cats. You want to blame the someone else for your bad decisions about following the law???

Second, yes, the shelters are being "force" to move these cats out to anyone including hoarders because of the fucking "No Kill" movement. You can blame Nathan Winograd before you blame anyone else. And you can share that blame if you are one of his followers.

Third, I agree with going after those people who have no regard for our laws. It is because of these people that there is the problem of cats. It is not because of the Task Force that people abandon their cats, it is because people know those crazy cat ladies will take care of them. If those crazy cat ladies weren't doing that, then people might do something different with their cats. You can thanks the TNR movement for creating this suffering.

You probably thought you would solict sympathy here but not to happen. Do I feel sorry for the cats, definitely but not for you. You made the decision to break the law, you are the one that caused your cats to die, not the Task Force. They were only upholding the law that you should have respected. If each of us felt we were beyond the law, what would it be like in this world?

So where does that leave you? Heed the law it is there for a reason. What if you decided that the rules of the road didn't apply to you and you went speeding along at 100 miles an hour and that caused a wreak and someone gets killed? Who or what would you blame for that? The police because they charged you with murder? The state because they had these laws that say you don't drive 100 mph? The car that let you drive 100 mph? Who would you blame for not heeding the law?

You feel guilt and therefore you are trying to find a way to eliminate that guilt by blaming everyone else but yourself. If your cats died because you knew you were over the limits, then you can only blame yourself.

HonestyHelps said...

If you want sympathy go to this website, he'll give you all you want.

He thinks it okay to break the law too when it comes to cats.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Pat. I had no idea how you deeply you felt about the crazy cat ladies. I don't know any of your information, but you know everything about me due to your expertise.

Was it you who turned in all of my information to LAAS and had ACTF come over to my house to kill my cats?

You can say yes, if it was you. I'm not going after you in the way Winograd and his followers have gone after you to destroy your life. I'm not like that, and I think you know that.

It seems that all while I was talking with you, you seemed to hate everything I was doing, but you didn't tell me. I want to ask you, Pat. Did you turn me and my cats in?

You know everything about me, and I know nothing about you, except that I confided in you as a friend who understands.

I am not going to LA Animal Watch for sympathy, Pat. I would like you to be honest with me, however.

I have never had any problems with my neighbors, so this fabricated lie came out of the blue in December and it worked to get the task force after me and my cats. If it was you, Pat, you succeeded. If it wasn't you, I will believe you. But it was rescuer's language that was used to get what they wanted.

You sound very adamant in your response about your feeling that I was soliciting sympathy. That isn't the case. My cats were healthy, Pat. There was nothing wrong with them or in the way they were being cared-for. If this was your doing, I want you to know that I am very upset and want you to know how unjust and unfair this is to someone who regarded you as a close and dear friend.

I'm not seeking blame, Pat. I am searching for the person who had my cats killed. All I want is the truth from them. Can you tell me that much?

If the answer is no, I will believe you. If the answer is yes, I will understand why. You have fully explained yourself in the previous response.

HonestyHelps said...

First of all, I am not Pat. And no, I didn't turn you in, I have no idea who you are.

And yes, I do feel that about crazy cat ladies who have colonies. I really don't have a problem with those caregivers who bring them in from the cold. The problem would be that they can be breaking the law if they go above household limits. If everyone choses to break whatever laws, then it would be a mess. I feel especially strong about those of us who help the animals staying on the side of the law because otherwise it works against what we want to accomplish. We have to keep ourselves clean in order to be credible.

Anonymous said...

Ok. Thanks for your thoughts.

HonestyHelps said...

Sounds like you have pissed someone off, probably someone who hates cats or you. I do respect that you were trying to do the right thing with their shots, etc. The mistake you made is not adhering to the law. And the biggest reason to do that is just this, what happened to you. Rescues are worried all the time about retaliation from other rescues or pissed off people.

If you do find out what happened, can you get back and post?

Anonymous said...

I just came across your blog and was so excited to see someone stand up to Winograd's whacky statements. I'm also sick of breeders saying there's not an overpopulation problem.

However, your opposition to TNR is disappointing. I live in SC (in a county where 10,000 cats and dogs are euthanized annually). Feral cats (as opposed to tame strays who have been socialized by humans and subsequently abandoned) brought into AC are euthanized by heartstick within an hour. They are unadoptable--it is very naive to think many people are going to take in cats that have never been handled by humans and will go beserk in your house.

Most cat lovers would rather see them in a managed colony where at least they have a chance to live.

When I moved across the street from an apt. complex with a colony of around 30 intact strays, I did TNR with the help of a local animal welfare organization. Kittens were immediately adopted out, but all adult cats (tame, semi-feral, and feral) were returned to he colony. I listed tame cats on internet pet adoption sites and within 6 months all were eventually placed. I adopted 2 semi-ferals myself. Two cats were hit before I could trap them (unneutered males roaming) and 2 TNR'd cats did disappear. Now the colony is down to 4 extremely feral cats. I feel bad that they will never get indoor homes... but I am so glad I didn't listen to the PETA declarations claiming TNR is animal cruelty. I could not live with myself if I had taken that entire colony to the pound.

I also wanted to mention some of the comments here are a bit bizarre and suprising uninformed compared to the rest of the website. Feral cats don't get close enough to people to cause allergies---it's the ones sitting in your lap that can make you sneeze. Also TNR'd cats carry no more diseases than owned cats that are indoor/outdoor and are less likely to spread it to humans. If you get ringworm, it's from petting the friendly neighbor cat, not the feral that won't get within 20 feet of you. Other diseases like FIV and FeLV are species specific, so the children at the daycare center were in no danger of contracting feline viruses.

Then someone mentioned vet techs holding down feral cats. My god, that's suicidal. No one does that. True ferals have to taken into the vet in humane traps and sedated before procedures like neuters, dentals, etc.

As far as bringing a feral cat in from the cold..that's easier said than done. You can't pick up an unsocialized adult cat, bring it inside, and have it curl up in front of your fireplace.

With all this said, I strongly prefer cats be kept indoors (too many hazards in the world, including gun-toting birdwatchers who shoot every cat that walks through their front yard). It saddens me every time I release a feral, but he should at least get a chance to live. Many stay healthy for years, esp. if the caretaker is conscientious, i.e. feeds daily, puts oral parasite medication in food every so often, and retraps if a cat needs vet care. As I write this, I have a feral cat in a humane trap in the next room. He was TNR'd 4 years ago. He looked great for most of that time, but now appears to have a bad tooth. I retrapped him and am taking him to the vet. If he needs a dental, I'll do it. If the vet says it's something more serious, I'll opt for euthanasia. But even so, he got 4 years of life that would have been snuffed out by the anti-TNR people.

Ferals and semi-feral cats do pose a unique problem to the animal welfare community--for those of us who deal with 100s of stray cats every year, ferals are a different entity than tame cats. Sadly, too many people are giving ferals the death penalty just for being ferals. Please reconsider your stance against TNR as well as posting an extremely biased link about downside of TNR (or at least balance it out with an Alley Cat Allies link).

Anonymous said...

One more comment about TNR and birds. In the 4 years I've been feeding a feral colony, I have only seen a grand total of 2 dead birds. I feed the cats well...too well--some are actually overweight, but I'm just not seeing all these dead birds that I hear bird lovers complaining about.

Admittedly, the ferals kill a lot of lizards and some small snakes around there just for sport, and I do like lizards. Still cats have a lot more personality than lizards or birds, so they remain higher on my totem pole in the whole scheme of things.

HonestyHelps said...

Anon:08, you just ain't looking good enough. It is accepted that cats kill even when they aren't hungry. How dare you discriminate and think that cats should live while others die!!!

HonestyHelps said...

Anon: 28, so most cat lovers would rather see them in a colony so they can live, huh. Well what about bird lovers, lizard lovers, small creature lovers, don't you think they want those creatures to live too and not be killed by an introduced non native species for which they have no defense?

Talk about selfish people.

Oh, and you feel bad that they can't come inside. Why can't they? Because you have deemed them feral? And what is your training to make this determination?

I too have experience and I know that what you say isn't the truth. It is your truth because you want to feel good about yourself. TNR and what you do is the most cruel thing and you should be ashamed of yourself, not patting yourself on the back.

Anonymous said...

The problem with this blog is that it is like FOX News, very one-sided... actually that's the problem with most sites dealing with animal welfare issues.

Some sites are created by breeders with an agenda will claim overpopulation is a myth, but these breeders are in favor of TNR.

Alley Cat Allies is the biggest advocate of TNR, but they are against MSN laws that would help reign in breeders.

I agree with about 90% of what you've posted, but you feel no qualms about trapping and murdering ferals. Surely that makes many not take anything else you say seriously. You come across as a lunatic bubbling over with some irrational rage.

The result of all this bickering is nothing gets done. We all need to be open to each other's ideas. TNR, mandatory s/n (esp. for dangerous breeds), more low cost clinics...all sound good to me. Every animal that is fixed is a victory in the war against animal overpopulation.

And I know what a true feral is from 10 years of doing TNR. It's not rocket science. I also have ferals and semi-ferals in my house, taken from areas that were too dangerous to return. It took 3 years before I could pet some of the ferals. People however want instant lap cats. You could not pay most people to put ferals inside their homes. And I have been highly criticized for taking ferals in. "Experts" who have never trapped the first cat say it's cruel to put a feral inside. Tell that to the feral cat who lies on my living room couch all the time. He still doesn't like to be petted but he lives better than most people in this world.

However, I cannot take every feral cat I come across home. I do truly hate releasing the cats because I know a percentage will not make it (and I feel damn sorry for those lizards also:-). But TNR is a compromise between the primitive solutions of animal control and eccentrics who feed without sterilizing.

At a nearby apt. complex, Animal Control came in and residents there (mostly college students) smashed their traps and released trapped cats. Animal Control was able to remove and kill about half the cats, but of course, several females were left and the colony was replenished in no time. Then a "cat lady" started feeding them because they were eating out of dumpsters. She had 17 cats on her front porch the day I was called over there. I went to the the manager and said if she's going to feed them, she needs to have them vaccinated (in compliance with state laws) and sterilized. Instead of smashing my traps, the residents helped me trap. Some fostered the tame cats until permanent homes were found. As expected, several semi-ferals settled down enough to be adopted. The cats left are truly feral...after years of being fed by the same caretaker, they will not get any closer than around 10 feet away from her. Some act wilder than raccoons, but I see them playing with each other and soaking up the sun on spring days. They don't deserve the death penalty just for being feral.

I wish there were sanctuaries for ferals and more non-lethal solutions. That would be my dream.

Ultimately, opposition to TNR results in nothing getting done and a booming stray cat population--and more birds killed for that matter.

By the way, Animal Control in my county now pays little attention to feral cat complaints due to the large number of roaming pitbulls, a real public health hazard, not an imagined one. So do you really think you are going to get a bunch of cat ladies to do the work of Animal Control?

The colonies you speak of that are gaining cats are run by incompetent caretakers. You've turned a blind eye to success stories and any logical arguments for TNR (hence my comparison to FOX News...fair and balanced, my ass). If a new cat joins any of my colonies, I trap it within a week and spay. These people who feed colonies that end up with 100s of ferals apparently don't, and I'm all for slapping them with fines until they get off their butts and trap the entire colony efficiently.

HonestyHelps said...

Anon:19 Stuff it. Murdering ferals, what gives that idea? I campaign for TN & Retain, hardly the agenda of a murderer.

And why can't you take them in? Excuses, just so you can pat yourself on the back as a good guy for throwing out food and water instead of doing the hard work of helping them.

You would like to believe there are success stories. Where does that propaganda come from, the biased sources such as Alley Cat Allies, the ones who gain the most by planting these lies.

Forget it, you subscribe to outside hoarding in my book.