“No-kill” movement for feral animals a grave danger to wildlife and even people? (updated)
Growing movement said not to work, resulting in disappearance of wildlife and spread of disease-
There is a new movement of sorts that does not believe that feral animals, primarily feral domestic cats and dogs should not be killed . . . at all. The “no-kill” movement has made surprising advances in cities and towns. At the same time the movement is widely disliked by wildlife conservation groups, and even animal-rights groups.
When is comes to the killing of animals, the beliefs people hold show a huge variation. Oddly, though this obvious fact does not occur to most. A person will often think of their personal view as the norm with those on one side unethical, even vicious killers. The same person will think those who want less killing are hopeless softies, a bunch of “bleeding hearts.” A result of this is that controversy over killing or not killing animals generates extreme emotion.
The no kill movement hopes that by trapping feral cats, for example, neutering them, and providing them with “feeding stations,” run by “caregivers,” they will slowly disappear. This is called “TNR” There is, however, almost no evidence that such an approach works even slightly for the world’s most invasive small predator – felis domesticus.
Wildlife conservation groups usually strongly oppose the no kill movement. They argue not only does TNR not work, they make the feral animal, especially cat situation worse. Hordes of feral cats hang around feeding station areas. They are soon joined by non-neutered cats. Almost all small wildlife disappears, including native predators. What little remains is infected with spillover cat diseases, most notably toxiplasmosis gondii.
There is increasing interest in toxiplasmosis, a parasite that breeds in domestic cats, and infects 20% of the human population, and has be shown that in rats and mice actually exerts mind and body control over the rodent by making it fearless of places where cats live. Most recently it has been shown that the parasite actually makes rats relatively immune to certain diseases that would harm cats.
There is also much clinical evidence that toxiplasmosis infection in humans affects the brain and human behavior. The parasite has a preference for living non-destructively in human and animal brain tissue. Some research even suggests T. gonii influences human culture. Birth defects, however, have been the chief human concern so far. It is surprising though that “alien mind control” has not been raised more often as an issue.
As for this writer, I always smile when I notice that coyotes are working our neighborhood. They just love wandering cats.
– – – – – –
Feral cats, Cougar and Bobcats share diseases-
The article on the “no-kill movement” for feral cats sparked a lot of discussion. There is an an amazing amount of science that has been done on the issue of feral cats, and especially on the diseases the cats carry. One study this year showed that in urban areas in California and Colorado, feral cats share diseases with bobcats and mountain lions. Researchers sampled the blood of a large number of all 3 species in the areas of shared habitat and tested for Toxoplasmosis, Bartonellosis (cat scratch fever) and FIV, or feline AIDS.
All three diseases were passed back and forth by indirect contact. The one lethal disease for all three, FIV (Feline AIDS), was especially high among the cougar. Here is an article in Science Daily about the study. Domestic Cats, and Wild Bobcats and Pumas, Living in Same Area Have Same Diseases.
Toxiplasmosis does not kill the 3 species, or even make them very sick. Its importance is that they are the definitive reservoir (host) for the T. gondii parasite which sickens humans and many species of wildlife, including some endangered species. Non-felines with toxiplasmosis are, however, just intermediate hosts and cannot pass the disease on like felids do.
Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan's Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of "Hiking Idaho." He also wrote "Beyond the Tetons" and "Backpacking Wyoming's Teton and Washakie Wilderness." He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.
243 Responses to “No-kill” movement for feral animals a grave danger to wildlife and even people? (updated)
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As a note, I decided to write this after receiving a news release essay “No-Kill Movement Means Death for Birds” by Travis Longcore, Ph.D. from the American Bird Conservancy, doing research on the no-kill movement and cleaning cat crap off of every pair of shoes or boots I wear outside.
It is very easy to do web research on the effects of cats and reading about toxiplasmosis is like reading science fiction, but it is non-fiction.
Lets change the animal from a feral cats and dogs to wild and old horses. Those same wildlife conservation groups and animal-rights groups that have little problems with killing feral cats now have a huge problem with horse slaugher.
Do I ever wished that we had local horse slaughter. I have a 23 to 25 year old horse that has never served me well and I would love to sell it for a few dollars to a packing plant. Hay at $200 a ton I do not want to feed or board it this winter.
This is part of an email which came recently from a horse owning (about 8) relative conveying her thoughts regarding horses in the US.
“The BLM finds it increasingly hard to entice people to “adopt” these animals especially due to the current economy. It costs a lot of money to take care of a horse. If the animal has been in the facility for any length of time, it’s adoptability decreases significantly. Also, the number of adoptions remains fairly consistent whereas the horse and burro populations continue to escalate. I would prefer to see them slaughtered rather than spend years in a holding pen. BLM rounds up thousands but place but a handful each year and the rest lead a miserable existence. I have thought of adopting a ferrel horse but there are so many strictures, I will not place myself into the clutches of the federal/BLM dictates.
As I have mentioned before animal rights activists have lobbied for and our congress has passed unrealistic laws making it illegal to sell horses for slaughter. This has had unintended consequences by increasing the pressure on our rangelands as unwanted domestic horses have been turned loose because people cannot afford to care for them, no one else wants to buy them, and they cannot sell them for slaughter. This is especially true of any horse that is marginal due to age, temperament, or injuries which makes it unsound, etc. These laws have effectively castrated a necessary outlet for the disposal of unwanted horses by bleeding-heart dumbbells. Domestic horses are less capable of fending for themselves than their ferrel counterparts and much more likely to suffer and die due to unfamiliar and harsh living conditions. In my opinion these laws have exacerbated rather than curtailed inhumane treatment of horses.
Currently, under varied pretexts horses are shipped to Canada or Mexico for world markets. The laws aren’t stopping the horsemeat trade but does make for cruel and very grueling conditions for the horse when they are shipped thousands of miles in overcrowded transport containers which all too often are not designed for them. I believe it would be much better if the US regulated the humane slaughter of horses and burros within our own borders.”
I certainly support horse slaughter houses within the USA.
In theory, the idea is great. reality is different….fact is, our country requires euthansia of any animals to be at least humane…and no one has found out how to make slaughter of horses humane.
First, horses are much more sentient than cows and, being flight animals, they panic and fight in the chutes that funnel them to the kill where they smell the blood and hear the screams…so the have to be forces along the entire distance by electric prods.
When they reach the chutes, their anatomy makes it difficult to dispatch them with one shot from captive bolt…it takes 4 or more for 7 out of 10 animals by USDA stats and, also by usda stats, ‘humane’ slaughter requires that the bolt suceed in 92 % of the animals…which it never has with horses.
Furthtermore, testimony by veterinary experts before congress has pointed out the the recesses nature of the horse’s brain in its skull means that even if its a great first shot, generally the animal is only stunned…this is the reason why employees on the line wear both helmets and chest protection…because its very common for the horse to wake up just in time to be there mentally while it is eviserated and skinned alive while hanging from one back leg.
I’m quite impressed my the pratical and nicely macho toughness of the slaughter proponents on this thread but find myself wondering what kind of human being could seriously advocate this kind of “euthansia” for any nusiance animal…i’ve already posted elsewhere about the keystone role horses have in western range ecology. environmetnalist that believe horses are not native to the american west are merely drinking blm coolaid…and the fact is there are a mere 27000 horses left on the range, while there are still 3 million cows out there destroying it. check your facts…
Good points, Debbie Catalina.
For a model on how we as a society can manage wild horses, see the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary. It’s one of my favorite places in the world.
Surely you jest. How are you going to care for 25,000-35,000 wild horses that require substantial range or cut hay to meet their basic daily caloric nutrition just to stay alive, at a few sanctuaries? Then those horses will procreate – make more horses – unless they are neutered. All this costs $$$$$$.
++keystone role horses have in western range ecology++
Not quite sure what you mean by keystone role here. But horses have been nothing short of a disaser role in range ecology on a couple Indian Reservations and public lands because they can’t get rid of them, while they chew up vegetation and over-graze just as cows do, but there is, at present, no commercial market for them. Horses left wild and allowed to procreate are an invasive species, no better than the impacts left by abandoned cats being discussed here. Horses have no predators to control their numbers, and few people will even take them for free, as has been shown by the largely failed BLM horse/burro program, which continues to drain taxpayer money.
And, as for the alleged technology problem for swiftly killing horses in slaughter, and making it less stressful for the animal, I would bet there are engineering and animal psychology fixes for that, especially at new slaugher facilities that are awaiting implementation. So, let’s be clear, here. In truth, the argument is just a bunch of bunk to advance your advocacy position for horses in the wild, and you will sell it to anyone who doesn’t have the desire to peel back the layers of the onion.
I support the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary and I wish we had more like it.
Ask them what they think of overgrazing and I think they’d say that it could be a problem without good land and wildlife management.
No jest, no bunk, no sales; just a good place in the world where wild animals can live their lives without so much interference from people.
Humane horse slaugher requirements by Temple Grandin (Ph. D and Professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University), recognized authority on the subject:
Her rationale: Humane slaughter in the US over inhumane slaughter with no oversight whatsoever in Mexico or Canada.
Practical, cost-effective and humane solution for a problem that won’t solve itself.
It is patently clear, on the substance of your comments, neither you nor debbie catalina has a clue as to the scale of the wild horse problem and the degradation caused by them on rangelands.
The Yakama Tribe, in Eastern WA, has about 12,000 and they want to reduce their number because they have adversely affected deer habitat, a species upon which the tribe relies. Nobody talks about it, but I bet there is quite a bit of horse flesh that finds its way to the dinner table, as an alternative.
Please read this article, and become more educated on the topic. It is two years old now, but nonetheless every bit as relevant because there has been no change in the situation except there even more wild horses today:
Scott, since you are concerned about the “No-Kill” religion.
This psychotic and delusional “No-Kill” religion (conceived of, based on, and fueled by their own relentless fear of death) is the DIRECT CAUSE of the most heinous, widespread, and longest lasting animal abuse in the history of humanity.
There’s far worse things than death. Read it and weep if you think saving more animals’ lives is going to give them a life worth living.
Reply to Woodsman: here’s a quote from the blog you referenced:
I totally agree with this blog, but what you’re writing is a different story.
Reply to WM: I don’t have a solution for every problem, and haven’t tried to say I do. Sometimes there’s a solution with TNR and it can be good. Sometimes euthanasia is necessary. Sometimes euthanasia is a part of TNR. Reality is so much more complicated than a debate between extremists can ever be.
Scutt said: “I totally agree with this blog, but what you’re writing is a different story.”
You don’t even realize what that passage that you quoted is saying. Your point of view is that myopic, is it? What part of re-abandoning cRats fits that passage that you quoted in ANY way?
Well, if there’s one thing I learned is that cRat-lovers are dumber than any cRat. This is why their cRats can so easily OUTSMART them to get outside and away from them. That’s what “outsmart” means. It means the one doing so is smarter than the one outsmarted. Scutt, can you comprehend ANY of this yet?
Like I’ve told others in the past:
Don’t waste 15 years of your life trying to reason with moron cat-lovers. It wasn’t until I STOPPED trying to reason with cat-lovers, and on advice of the sheriff, finally did what needed to be done — SHOOT ALL CATS — that my land, all the wildlife on my land, and my life itself started to return to normal. I no longer have to go out twice a day on cat-patrol to shoot more cats nor waste more time and energy burying them to protect wildlife from the diseases they carry. Much to the chagrin of manipulative TNR LIARS that spew their psychotic “vacuum effect” bullsh**. NO CATS have replaced them. The native predators and all other native wildlife THAT BELONGS HERE replaced them.
Learn from this. You can argue with the Toxoplasmosis parasites in the cat-lovers’ brains until you are blue in the face and your whole planet is destroyed by their cats, but it’ll never get rid of the cats that have destroyed your life and all the native wildlife.
Just do what needs to be done — DESTROY THEM.
The sooner that everyone totally ignores people like this Scott and anything they say, the sooner the problem will come to an end. You don’t ask a deranged invasive-species advocate on how to protect your valuable native wildlife and stop the global ecological disaster they have created and perpetuate. Just as you don’t ask your local career thieves for advice on where to hide your valuables from their daily goals and activities. I listened to cat-lovers for FIFTEEN YEARS with their empty promises and lies, while ALL THE WILDLIFE ON MY LANDS WERE DESTROYED BY THEIR CATS. The problem was 100% solved in less than 1-year after I learned to totally ignore ANYTHING a cat-lover might say and just shoot and bury every last cat found away from their required supervised confinement. Learn from this! And you too will put an end to the cat problem caused and perpetuated by these cRat-loving cretins.
There is a method of humane euthanasia for any size of animal (including humans). You know those “gas chambers” that most pet-fanatics are up in arms about? Death by hypoxia (loss of oxygen), is actually THE MOST humane method of all, even more humane than death by chemical injection. Death by hypoxia providing us with such descriptive phrases as “rapture of the deep” for drowning victims to describe the intense sense of bliss that is experienced all the way to death, totally unaware that they are even facing certain death.
Don’t believe me? Watch this interesting BBC documentary on the science of death and killing. Where even the researcher subjected himself to a high-altitude chamber (loss of oxygen) to experience what it would be like to die by hypoxia — while under careful monitoring by others to stop the experiment just short of death.
BBC – Horizon – The Science of Killing – http://www.bbc.co.uk/sn/tvradio/programmes/horizon/broadband/tx/executions/
Yes, it looks like hypoxia can be another humane method of euthanasia–but that’s not the primary question before us here. We know there are humane methods of euthanasia. The question before is us when to use them.
CO2 can also be used for euthanasia by hypoxia. And that is approved by the AVMA.
I did some quick math for those needing the most humane method possible when ridding their lands of cats, in case they still don’t believe that drowning cats is humane (which it is, once they get past the discomfort of holding their breath, they still die in a complete state of euphoria after that).
Use CO2 paintball cartridges fitted with a valve and a hose. A 16-gram paintball cartridge produces almost exactly 400 cubic-inches of CO2 at 100% concentration at atmospheric-pressure. A 30-50% concentration is used for humane euthanasia, respiratory arrest in under 1 minute, death in under 5, as reported by AVMA’s own findings, published in their own reports of “humane euthanasia”. ( http://www.avma.org/KB/Policies/Documents/euthanasia.pdf pg.8) Adjust # of CO2 cartridges required according to the cubic-inch confinement space of the cat. One 16-gram CO2 cartridge can fill an 800 to 1200 cubic-inch space with 50% to 30% concentration (respectively, the larger the space the lower the concentration). This would be an enclosure of 8″ to 12″ X 10″ x 10″ for one 16-gram CO2 cartridge to provide a 50% to 30% concentration. (Being overly redundant so the average reader does not misconstrue this information.)
Be sure to follow that 30%-50% concentration guideline. Less concentration of CO2 does not ensure death, or in a timely manner. More concentration ( >70% ) can cause discomfort by combining with mucous tissues to form Carbonic Acid and cause bradycardia before death.
Also see: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9306311
You ask when to use humane euthanasia? Whenever an animal’s quality of life is such that they are suffering or can no longer be cared for and/or they will eventually face an inhumane death later.
In the cases of destructive invasive species (i.e. cats), then on-site, every time they are found away from supervised confinement. Shooting an animal, when done correctly, is also humane. The very same laws and principles that apply to humanely hunting animals also applies to cats (cats being just another animal). Not ONE of the hundreds of cats that I had to shoot and bury to stop them from destroying all my native wildlife took more than 3 seconds to die, most died in under 1 second. And NONE of them even had enough time to make a sound. Just outfit your rifle with a good scope and a laser-sight (properly adjusted). An instant, humane, and legal kill each and every time.
Why is this so difficult for some of you to understand?
Reply to Woodsman: when I referred to the controversy about when to euthanize, I was referring to this article about the “no-kill” movement for feral animals. Obviously you’ve got the rules figured out for your own purposes, but this article is about how we as a society don’t always agree what the rules should be. In other words, even considering the best euthanasia possible, people don’t agree in every case that euthanasia is the best solution. A lot of good people choose to help feral animals through different kinds of TNR instead of killing them. Their results often show that they’ve helped wildlife in the process (by permanently reducing feral animal populations).
Obviously, different commenters here are writing about different situations. For instance, your situation allows shooting, but my city doesn’t. For instance, the cats someone else is writing about might be threatening wildlife populations, but the cats I’m writing about might be controlling pests in the city.
One reason why this is all so difficult to understand is that we’re not trying to understand any other point of view.
So I’m trying to understand Elk, you being a hunter, why you can’t just put this old horse down and take advantage of the meat, its last contribution so to speak, in a life that from what you say, didn’t serve you well.
Nancy, I will pass on that idea.
Once, many moons ago, when I was in the Military, and had spent about 25 days in field maneuvers the unit I was with came out and was driving through Munich on the way home, when we stumbled across a KFC store. To our surprise they had ribs on the menu. After getting a bucket of Chicken,and a bucket of Ribs we proceeded on.
As the ribs were opened I thought that they looked like no other ribs I had ever seen but they did taste good.
Horse of course, and I have wondered off and on what Americans resistance to horses as a food source springs from.
I am with you Jeff, I can’t understand why Americans are so opposed to horse meat, back in the 70’s it was actually legal to sell horse meat and I had many a good meal that included horse meat.
++Do I ever wished that we had local horse slaughter. I have a 23 to 25 year old horse that has never served me well and I would love to sell it for a few dollars to a packing plant. Hay at $200 a ton I do not want to feed or board it this winter.++
Maybe you shouldn’t of bought the horse. I see that a lot out there.
Horses get old and they no longer have the utility when they were younger. It may be cold to you but it is reality to horse people.
If you can’t afford to keep horses when they no longer have “utility”, why buy the horse in the first place?
We don’t think that far ahead. We as humans just have to gratify an immediate need – I want that. Never mind planning for the future, we don’t seem to be very good at that. Granted, situations change where someone may lost their income and can’t keep a large animal anymore. But at least honor your responsibility to the best of your ability – find a shelter, a new home, or anything other than abandonment and excuses. That goes for any animal or pet, they are not inanimate objects but living things. Without the horse, this country would never be where it is today, and for that alone the horse deserves special honor.
if the horse has servred you well, it deserves at least a humane exit. As for what is reality fo “horse people”, i’ve been riding all my life, trained and bought and sold horses. those that could no longer afford to feed i had the decency to give them as gentle an exit as i would give my dog or my cat. As you say, hay is 200 a ton (280 a ton here in oregon). you can’t tell me that you can afford 200 a tone on an ongoing basis but when the time comes you can’t afford a one-time fee to responsibly dispatch an animal that, by your own admission, served you its whole life…
Debbie thank you, animals are not just here to serve us but for those that they do serve they deserve humane treatment as you point out. To live with and be around an animal that works for you for years and to not give a moment’s thought about its demise seems quite cold hearted. As you say how much could one vet trip cost for a humane ending, if you could not let the animal live out a retirement. People are cold hearted
Yes, people are cold hearted, you would be amazed at cold hearted they are in other countries. When I first went overseas, I was appalled at the cold hearted nature of humans, Especially against other humans.
You are a jerk elk275.
YOU should never have any type of animal. Horse people do not (not all) think or feel the way you do.
If ranchers would get “their” cattle off of public lands then maybe the wild horses wouldn’t have to be hazed.
Humans have fu&ked with Mother Nature enough. Oh, & by the way ….. those wild horses have been around here way before the White Man came to this country KILLING everyone & everything.
Feral cats (& dogs) are the result of ignorant people just letting their cats go because they don’t want them anymore. Yes, feral cats can be managed – I have done it & so have hundreds of other folks.
you are misinformed of the role of the wild horse. the horse evolved in horse america, and evidance continues to mount that remnants of the original horses were here when spannish let theirs go. The horse, vastly different for cows, deer, sheep etc occupies an important keystone role in western range…witness the coincidental increase in devastating wildfires and remeoval of 92% of wild horses from their original range. It’s not only little old ladies with dewy eyes that want the horse…the range needs the horse like the range needs the wolf. Read the evidance with an open mind and see for yourself.
Please educate yourself.
The horses that exist in North America today are from species that evolved in Eurasia, brought over by European invaders. (And since you have already proved to be clueless, I should mention that invading humans are not invasive if of the same species, i.e. Homo sapiens. There is only ONE species of humans on this planet, many cultural differences, but only one species.)
The North American horse species was hunted to extinction by early Native American tribes long long long ago. (This is why I now know them to be no better than any other human race as stewards of the land.) The Eurasian horse species are therefor invasive species.
“(This is why I now know them to be no better than any other human race as stewards of the land.)”
You so sure? They seem to coexist with beavers/wolves/cougars/bears/coyotes/etc. fairly well for millenia….and now?
A reservation is a smallish section of land compared to wide open areas centuries ago….not the same paradigm (a la island biogeography) with or without horses.
There is an equal argument that the natives were not guilty of killing off horses (or other equus), but only hunted what they could get close to (feel free to search). Mammoths, camels, etc. went with the same argument, that they could not find all the remote populations to bring them to extinction. Hell, look at us with coyotes and all our modern stuff now. Humbling.
I ‘get’ that you are caught up in a DEFINING THE SPECIES argument also, and don’t leave open any other possibilities than species in determining tendencies. Whatever floats your boat, Woodsman…there may be other things you haven’t looked at. Genetics doesn’t say what’s in your head and heart, just your gonads.
The original North American Horse had been removed from the landscape when the Spanish brought the current horse we see these days, there are not the same and the current horse is an invasive species.
You can’t just say there’s “almost no evidence” and then pretend it’s true. TNR programs have succeeded when they’ve involved whole communities in the solution to the problem of feral cats. I’ve read about a number of them. A quick search just now found a couple of good links for readers to follow: and .
You’re smiling about coyotes killing people’s pet cats?
I read the studies you suggested and did further search and read those too.
I appears that TNR can reduce feral cat populations if pursued in a very diligent way, but it is slow and costly. This is a worldwide problem. We should not pretend TNR will make a dent in it.
Trap and euthanize (TE) is quicker and less costly, even using professional (i.e., paid) trappers according to the study I read today. This means TE can save more birds and other animals, reduces dangerous cat fecal material outside more quickly, and costs less. Feral cats do not live long lives under the best of circumstances. It is not at all a convincing argument that neutering, deworming and vaccinating them, then releasing them to roam free, makes the world a better place. I think on the contrary.
Due to inadvertent human intervention, domestic cats have probably become the most successful (in terms of population size) small predator in history of the planet. I favor intact ecosystems with native birds and wildlife around, not an artificially large population of an exotic species.
Now I don’t hate cats. We have had a number of them, and I was a bad citizen. I let them roam and kill and fight, though always neutered. For that I apologize. I was uninformed and intellectually lazy. I felt very bad when our roaming cat got feline AIDS and had to be put down at age ten. My spouse even wrote a tear-bringing short story about it — “Killing my Cat.”
It’s an excellent and humane solution. Cats are intelligent and inquisitive creatures. To just slaughter them is cruel.
The problem is not feral cats and dogs, but rather over-development and stupid people.
I rescued two feral cats myself (one that was starving at a gas station, who’d just survived the worst Chicago winter in 40 years). I only let them out supervised (I do not let them hunt)If they got lost, and their collars came off, and some idiotic shoot-first program killed them (a lot of rural folk seem to like to kill stuff, and quite frankly I’m surprised at Ralph’s attitude here as it comes off as more coyote-tournament-guy than reasonable conservationist), there would be hell to pay for all involved, I’ll tell you that much.
While it is true that overpopulation of humans is the #1 problem that we and all other species face today; this doesn’t excuse all the responsible, wise, and intelligent people from cleaning-up and stopping all the ecological disasters caused by those phenomenally stupid and criminally negligent people that should have never been born in the first place.
Cats are a man-made (through selective breeding) invasive species. And as such, cats being a product of man’s intervention, are no less of a man-made environmental disaster than any oil-spill, radiation-fallout, chemical-spill, or other environmental disaster _caused_by_man_. Cats are _not_exempt_ from having to be removed from every natural environment, wherever and whenever they are found away from supervised confinement. Just as you would do all you can to remove Zebra Mussels from any waterway where they don’t belong. Or Burmese Pythons and African Cichlids from every habitat where they exist in N. America today. Burmese Pythons and African Cichlids started out as pets too. Many of our destructive invasive species pests started out as PETS discarded by criminally-irresponsible humans. (Or from pets’ habitats, e.g. Eurasian Watermilfoil that is annihilating native aquatic life in many regions of the USA came from people irresponsibly dumping their pet-fish aquarium water into lakes and streams.) And guess what happens to all those other non-native pets that became destructive invasive species? They are destroyed on-site by any means possible — no questions asked — none required.
Cats are even worse than an oil-spill of multi-continent-sized proportions. They not only kill off rare and endangered marine-mammals along all coastlines (just as all oil-spills do) from run-off from the land carrying cats’ Toxoplasma gondii parasites, they also destroy the complete food-chain in every ecosystem where cats are found today. From smallest of prey that is gutted and skinned alive for cats’ tortured play-toys (not even used for food, just for senseless play), up to the top predators that are starved to death from cats destroying their ONLY food sources. (Precisely what cats caused on my own land not long ago.) They don’t destroy just birds. They destroy everything that moves — directly or indirectly. They will even destroy valuable native vegetation by destroying those animals that are required pollinators for those plants or those that act as seed dispersers for those plants (as many smaller rodent and bird species do) or those that act as pest-control for those plants. Cats can and will wipe out whole ecosystems eventually — animal and plant.
Cats need to be made to disappear from all non-native habitats — PERMANENTLY. And the sooner the better. They are breeding out of control at an exponential rate. The reason for “the sooner the better” is that you can only hope you can halt the problem before it is beyond the reach of any method you eventually choose. Luckily, I caught the problem in time where I live. It seems nobody else is faring as well — their time is being wasted by cat-lovers trying to stop them from doing the right thing. Asking or listening to any deranged invasive species advocate for advice on how to clean up the ecological disaster that they created and perpetuate is about as useful as asking your local career thieves for advice on where to hide your valuables from their daily activities. Ignore anything they might say and you too will solve the problem where you live.
I guess this incomplete sentence is supposed to indicate that city folk don’t know anything, and should leave country folk in charge of everything.
Nope, city folk are in charge of deciding how they want their cities to be.
Scott your statement about city folk is coloser to the problem than you think.
It’s the city folk who are fed propaganda about wildlife but know nothing about wildlife other than what is in print and they believe its the only way.
As for poisoning fish that has been going on for a while. I don’t agree with it! On the other hand there is to many bucket biologist that have caused the problem. Even what was considered native cutthroat are being poisoned because they do not have the exact DNA, what a joke!
This is a double edge sword..
++As for poisoning fish that has been going on for a while. I don’t agree with it! On the other hand there is to many bucket biologist that have caused the problem. Even what was considered native cutthroat are being poisoned because they do not have the exact DNA, what a joke!++
Couldn’t agree more.
Live and let live. Acknowledge mistakes, do better. Move on.
I don’t like killing and I don’t agree with killing feral cats just because they are killing other animals to survive, but on the other hand, the feral cats are killing animals that other natural predators rely on for their survival. I wish there was a better way, but many seem to think the only way to get rid of feral cats is to kill them. Killing should not be considered the first option.
A biologist friend of mine in Michigan did several spot light surveys looking for small predators on a National Forest. To his surprise they found over five times as many house cats as all other predators combined, The list included opossums, stripped skunks,red fox, bobcat,raccoons, grey fox and coyotes. The surveys were conducted in remote areas with the closests residences over 5 miles away.
So rubber fish are fine, and pose no threat to the continued existence of the population?
What school is that, the school of I want to catch as many right now as possible, damn the future?
If there’s something more important the genetic diversity of a population I haven’t heard about it. Teach me.
” The no kill movement hopes that by trapping feral cats, for example, neutering them, and providing them with “feeding stations,” run by “caregivers,” they will slowly disappear. This is called “TNR” There is, however, almost no evidence that such an approach works even slightly for the world’s most invasive small predator – felis domesticus.”
Ralph about the above quote, you wrote there is almost no evidence that trap and neuter works. I can’t argue that it works or does not… but I suspect an argument could be made about whether or not other strays would fill the niches of the animals that are killed? So does killing stray cats and dogs really reduce numbers or just perpetuate a vicious cycle of killing that also allows humans to get off scot free when they do not take steps to spay, neuter or be responsible owners of pets?
Its a topic I struggle with. My feelings are impacted by my own personal experiences seeing stray dogs and cats roaming in the Caribbean in hoards, and in some third world South and Central American countries, as well as in Russia. To kill animals that are not convenient or that are thought of as varmints, cuts to the core of whether or not animals are expendable because humans deem them to be, regardless of the suffering or pain of the individual.
I absolutely detest seeing cats loose. I 100% agree they are extremely destructive. And stray dogs can also be destructive. Yet the problem is not the animals, its directly related to a culture of people who are largely ignorant about responsible pet ownership. And allowing the animals to be killed further perpetuates the belief that these animals don’t deserve kindness or to be treated respectfully.
I’ve seen so many starving homeless animals that are just as individual, wonderful and loving as the pets we all talk about on this blog. I remember in St Maarten, a beautiful tiger colored mother cat just about to give birth. She was starving yet she was happy to get the tiniest bit of affection from me. She chose that over tuna sometimes. I was attending a jazz festival where my boyfriend was playing, so I was there for awhile. I’ll never forget how grateful that cat was for the tuna, the cool spot at the hotel and for some basic affection. On leaving I paid someone to take care of her kittens, and to find them a home, which did happen. Another time, a smallish lonely dog in Puerto Rico tried to board a helicopter with me as I was leaving to shoot a documentary. I was heartbroken when I could not take him with me. The dog was there waiting when we returned from the shoot, two weeks later. I was unable to get the papers to bring him back to the states, but worked until I found a home for him. He was trusting, sweet and desperate for affection and food and water. I read a year later that the government had paid a contractor to round up thousands or more of these sweet, frightened dogs. Many of the dogs were thrown off bridges while alive, to kill them. (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21272083/ns/world_news-americas/t/witnesses-puerto-rican-pets-hurled-bridge/). I had nightmares for years. I remember thinking that animals have no protection from humans if they are considered a nuisance. I wondered who could throw a live animal off of a bridge?
I once rescued a dog from the bushes of Megans Bay in St Thomas. It took me 3 months to get her to trust me. One of my friends was care taking the Porsche estate. When I had to return to Boston at the end of the summer to complete my last year of law school, I was desperate to find a home for the dog, as she was still somewhat wild and just learning to trust. I spoke to Marlena Porsche, the heiress of the Porsche family, and she agreed to adopt the dog. That dog had been kicked about, chased relentlessly but she still had some ability to trust.
I also adopted several other dogs while living in the Caribbean. One was the ugliest dog I had ever seen. She helped me through some real hard times in my life and when my husband I moved from the Caribbean to DC, she came with us. She died at 17.
These animals only crimes are that they were discarded. They are just like the pampered and loved dogs that everyone here brags about. Only they live on the streets trying to make their way. As for the Caribbean, I know from friends that the spay and neuter programs are having a positive effect in reducing the populations of unwanted cats and dogs. More importantly they seem to be having an effect in teaching people responsibility about caring for their animals, and helping them to see animals as living, sentient, feeling beings.
One might argue that the people who view wildlife as nuisance species, those who write about killing wolves and coyotes, and see nothing wrong with disposing of them by any means have a similar thought process about killing stray pets. They consider certain animals as varmints, period. I’m reluctant to justify treating animals as expendable, to treating any animal inhumanely. I think it perpetuates a bad mindset, a philosophy that permeates our society and that justifies permissible cruelty.
I don’t have the answer but I know that looking at the homeless animals I’ve seen over the years makes me want a solution that incorporates compassion and humanity. I’d like to see strict penalties and fines for people disposing of animals as if they are trash and mandatory neutering and spaying of all pets until the problem is resolved.
I don’t remember too many stray dogs in Frenchtown, or Charlotte Amalie area, prior to a hurricane (forgot name) that hit in the early 90’s (worked FEMA relief). It’s bad now though. Cats have always been an issue there though. I hate that anyone feeds feral cats and dogs as it makes a welfare state. I’m more from the ‘school of hard knocks’ so I believe everything needs SOME suffering to build character…yes, us included.
Introducing meso-predators to remote island environments is just wrong….no exceptions. It’s probably going to be one of our most lasting legacies though….along with our spreading depleted uranium in odd distributions. We’ll make an interesting puzzle for someone in a few million years.
Domestic cats have had a devastating effect on the wildlife of Hawaii.
Between Feral Cats and the Mongoose Population, they have created one of the MOST endangered species on the earth, when I lived in Hawaii, there were 44 nene’ Hawaiian Goose
I was very fortunate to spend many hours with one of the groups of nene’, despite the fact I got reprimanded, in other words AWOL, but it was well worth it.
No matter where you are in this world, feral animals are a problem, that has been created by US! They need to be controlled.
Ralph you said, “I favor intact ecosystems with native birds and wildlife around, not an artificially large population of an exotic species.” I agree wholeheartedly. But I want fair treatment for strays also. Spay and neuter programs for strays does have to involve whole communities and yes thats when its effective. Thats why its becoming effective in the Caribbean. One of the benefits of these spay neuter programs is that they also address the underlying problem of ignorance about animals whether wild or domestic. In the Caribbean, at least, there is a great disregard for wild animals as well, including sea turtles. Without spay and neuter programs, if we approach the issue of killing individual animals wholescale, it reinforces the notion that people bear no responsibility for the overpopulation nor do they own any level of care or consideration to feral animals and this notion often extends to the populations of wild animals as well, at least from my experience in the Caribbean. I’ve also found it to be true here in Cape Cod. I suspect its a problem in many rural areas.
Cape Cod was a very different place in the 60’s when I was a child. It was unruly and wild. The people who settled here, like my Dad, were often artisans making a living from the ocean, or as carpenters. I was very fortunate to have an extremely unusual Dad. He was a single man who lived in the hard scrabble world of commercial fishing. We also lived in a tourist area of Cape Cod. Back then people would come for the summer, when they left some used to leave their animals in the ignorant belief that they would survive in the woods. I guess they thought the animals would live in some extended vacation mode. Instead they were left in a barren, desolate landscape in frigid cold with no way to survive.
I now think that almost every stray ended up at our doorstep. My Dad developed his own kind of trap and neuter. It started in the basement where he would lure them in from the cold. They would become somewhat habituated – enough so – that the local vet could come and neuter them. Some of these animals remained feral but they were basement bound from then on. With food and my Dad’s gentle encouragement some would become pets and migrate up the stairs to harass the dogs. Some never left the basement prowling around content to be with the other cats. At one time there were 18 cats, until they started dying off slowly of old age. By that time, my Dad had begun to let people know that it was not ok to leave cats.
The one I remember best was a grey tiger who had gotten a collar around one leg. It was awful, a flea collar around his neck had become looped under his right leg and it had deformed the way he walked and developed. He was absolutely wild. For 2 years, no matter the weather, he would come onto the deck snarling and clawing his way toward the food my Dad would leave for him. Dad would stay out there waiting and talking to him. My father and the cat would watch one another through the window, through snowstorms, through the hot summers. One year, one cold wet spring day the cat decided to come close enough so Dad could put the food in front of him. It took another few months for the cat to let my Dad touch him and then finally to pick him up. It took a long time for the cat to heal after we got the embedded plastic flea collar out. After the collar removal and neuter, the cat never left my Dad’s side. He threatened the siberian huskies, ran other dogs out of the yard and ruled. By then Dad was in his 70’s and he’d sleep on the front porch watching the birds. The cat slept under his chair, never leaving the porch unless to challenge anything that came near Dad. My father affixed a big bell on the cat, in case he might try and stalk one of the beloved birds. By then the cat was never allowed outside alone or off the porch for the safety of the cat and other animals. he and my dad were both old by then.
Thankfully over the years people became more educated about leaving their cats, no doubt in large part to the dire warnings they received from my Dad. My father was not shy about going door to door at the start of the summer or toward the end, to warn neighbors or visiting tourists about his readiness to report people who left their animals to the “authorities”. I remember the look on their faces when my father would knock on their doors launching into his warnings, often out of the blue. They might be caught unpacking after a long trip and instead of a run to the beach for a swim they would encounter dad and get a lecture about the local wildlife. He also let them know what he thought of people who their cats out to kill “his” birds, squirrels, opposum, or chipmunks. And I often heard him warn people about what might happen to them should they touch any of the coyotes, foxes, racoons or skunks in the neighborhood. He was known to patrol the neighborhood on foot or to shout directives from the front porch as people went to the beach. He made a formidable image, in his fishing boots, and rugged clothing, with his calloused hands and sunburnt face. He used a lot of colorful language and had a wicked grin that could be hard to interpret. The message was don’t mess with my wildlife. Don’t harm, injure or mess with them, and that included driving slow on the roads to and from the beach. And he meant it when he said it.
this is where I come from. i value wildlife, all life really. spay and neuter and provide a home.
If you can adopt and care for a feral cat or dog, not easy if they are really feral, I would say you have done a most excellent thing.
I know that very few will have such a good thing happen to them. I’m glad you did.
My second feral was really hard to convert, but consistent food over a year did the trick. He was literally starving and received immediate medical attention at our vet (including a neuter, poor bugger).
He still “huffs” when I pick him up, but he is very affectionate. He still eats cautiously (like a doe drinking at a pond) and has some other quirks, but he’s just an awesome creature.
Cats often get a break because they’re just far more intelligent than most other creatures, including dogs, and rivaling monkeys (when conceptualizing problems).
When I’m bird Hunting I always shoot feral cats. It’s amazing how many are around with lazy ass ranchers not getting them fixed. We trapped 24 this year at work and took them to the Humane shelter. Not sure what they did with them. We are in the city limits so we can’t kill them, and I don’t have time to take 24 cats to desert to kill them. I’m allergic to Cats and hate them filthy Bastards!
Yeah kick the rancher, ever think those cats are there because some city dweller dumped the cat or dog off thinking they’d have a good home.
I caught a guy, that lives in the city of Kalispell, dumping 9 cats today on the N. Fork road, about 1/2 from the house, it happens all the time up this way.
Add some snow and you would have had some real friends.
Well Bob, we already have a few inches.
And may it be deep every where but where you have to plow.
I’m 2 inches on my way to the normal 30.
Well, of the comments above, I think the bad person was the man dumping 9 cats near savebears’ place.
He and I had a very nice conversation, then I took the cats from him and took them to the shelter in Kalispell, I knew if I didn’t take them, he would have just gone down the road and dumped them somewhere else..
To add, I did turn his plate number over to the authorities.
Craig you are one angry mean man from your posts
After some of the messages you have posted the last few months, I would urge you to take a look in the mirror for an angry person.
Thanks Louise, and thanks Ralph for appreciating Louise’s perspective as an animal protector. That’s how communities work. A TNR program gives a community a compromise solution that everyone can accept and take part in, and it helps to spread the news that we all need to be kind and responsible. Without it, we’ve got extremists on one side supporting more strays and extremists on the other side just killing them.
I will submit TNR “solutions” are merely a high maintanance and never ending, feel good patch. Not even close to a long term fix for the problem. I want to know how one sorts the fixed ones from the ones that are not, under the “neuter, feed and let live out their life,” scenario.
JB, hit on an important aspect, TNR supporters seem to ignore. Let me restate his gritty thought here:
++But I’m also for forcing some responsibility on pet-owners. TNR works in principle by reducing births, it fails in practice because ASSHOLES KEEP ABANDONING CATS. Let’s stop fighting amongst each other and keep the “spotlight” on the people that are causing the problem.++
Yes, people are negligent in their responsibilities to cats. That’s the big problem. I don’t think I’d like to see a plan that would effectively “force responsibility.” Most kind souls just take on those responsibilities themselves: medical care, fostering, placement, adoption, even feeding and caring for feral cats that are too shy to come indoors. I think some of the good people who run TNR programs keep track of feral cats, and which ones have been spayed, neutered, immunized, etc.
Granted people will keep abandoning cats, then why not permit the free ‘cat control’ of coyotes, rather than shooting the coyotes….as opposed to shooting/killing/’euthanizing’ cats. In the end, you are just descending a trophic layer by aiding cats (either deliberately or inadvertently) and ridding the ecosystem of coyotes at the same time. The coyotes (and arguably even wolves too) are providing a free service that is being ignored by people too eager to shoot them…and eventually the cats too. Why fight biology with metal (lead)? Fight biology with biology.
Uh, duh, people don’t recruit coyotes to control cats because people are scared of coyotes. People are eager to shoot coyotes because they’re scared of coyotes.
Thank You Scott for your info.
you miss the point.
these are FERAL populations. Most likely several generations removed from the status of “pets”. we can go thru several exercises of “if” but that will not address what reality is
Jeff E I don’t miss the point. I am conflicted about killing non native animals. I happen to feel as Kathleen does, “We owe something more to all sentient species”. Having said that I hate seeing cats run loose but I don’t hate cats, I hate the ignorance of people that allow this to happen. I’d like to see laws to levy stiff fines on owners who let their cats run loose. I think all dogs and cats should be licensed and that they should have to be spayed or neutered at six months. And that means the fancy designer full bred dogs too. Humans and their pets are overpopulated, over 6 million dogs are euthanized in the US each year, we are a nation of ignorant and irresponsible people who wreak havoc on the environment by over breeding pets and then we kill them when they get out of hand.
Boy, I am sure glad that Ralph posted this subject, it has been very educational about several that post on this blog..
“I hate seeing cats run loose”
Louise, what, in your opinion, does the term “feral” mean?
A good alternative to “stiff fines” are affordable spay and neuter services and the education that accompanies them (e.g. http://www.mnsnap.org/)
I am happy to read your thoughts here. They echo my personal ideas about this huge problem. Perhaps if people had to deal with\dispatch these unwanted and often sickly and diseased animals they would consider the spay/nueter/euthanization issue in a brighter light.
For your dollar, what charities best represent the greatest need for charitable giving?
Thank you for your kind and caring concerns on this important issue.
Oh gosh – I remember that on a visit to the Caribbean. You could buy cat food at the market for them, which we did.
The bottom line is: it isn’t their fault, animals who were abandoned. It’s up to us to find a humane solution, not take the easy way out when our mistakes come back to bite us.
I have one cat who is almost 15 now, and her kidney function is starting to decline. We bring her in for what I guess you’d call “kitty cat dialysis”. One morning Animal Control stopped by with a beautiful little puppy just begging for a little affection, and of course got none from the Animal Control officer who brought him in, to be put down I would imagine. I hope not. I felt just awful about it. We can’t abandon our pets, and should be responsible owners about spaying and neutering. I hate seeing people with little “accessory dogs”. Of course there will be times when an animal must be put down, but it should be a last resort imo. We tried adopting a little feral guy, had him neutered, but he was desperate to be wild and got out! You could see how he would jump at windows, wanting to be outside.
Here’s an article about wild horses being native or not. Not very sensitive comments by the BLM.
well good, perhaps they can add feral hogs to the list also, that should keep the busy. /sarc off
Some scientific studies on the effectiveness of TNR are here http://www.alleycat.org/Page.aspx?pid=667
Also see Vox Felina http://www.voxfelina.com/about/ which provides “…critical analysis of claims made in the name of science by those opposed to feral/free-roaming cats and trap-neuter-return (TNR).” This site is footnoted, linked, and cross-referenced. Start here to see the rigor with which these posts are formulated: http://www.voxfelina.com/2012/10/usa-today-free-roaming-cats-at-center-of-renewed-health-bird-threat-debate/
Invasive species that are also sentient present a terrible dilemma for animal rights people. As a native ecosystems champion who has worked tirelessly to restore my own property from spurge, knapweed, cheatgrass, et al., I flinch when I hear other AR people say that feral hogs, for instance, should be left alone to live their lives. And what about Asian carp? Yes, these are sentient creatures, but to accommodate them is to condemn natives (animals AND plants) who can’t compete to death and possibly extinction. “Leave them alone”–it’s just not that easy when you understand how invasives wreak havoc on native ecosystems. (Not that they introduced themselves. Gee, which large-brained species always has a hand in messing things up? Hint–it’s not the species that ends up paying with their lives.)
But cats aren’t zebra mussels or Asian carp. Cats, who’ve been associated with humans for at least 9500 years, are domesticated companions whose circumstances–those that bring them to feralhood–are a human moral failing. We owe significant humane effort to cats and dogs. We owe something more to all sentient species.
I’d worry more about the 20 million birds hunters poison and kill every year with lead bullets.
Should we kill all the rainbow trout and brown trout, too?
Is there some kind of trade off here in your mind?
I say yes, let’s remove rainbow, brown and brook trout and replace them with native trout in the streams where they are not the natives. Removing lake trout from Yellowstone Lake, to me, is the most critical need.
Ignoring one problem because there are others is a slippery slope. We don’t have to choose between stopping feral cat predation and stopping lead poisoning. We can do both. But if you want to rank them in terms of the estimated mortality then feral cats far out rank lead poisoning.
The HSUS estimates there are 50-70 million feral cats in the U.S. If each of those cats kills just one bird a year, a ridiculously conservative estimate, then 50-70 million birds are killed by feral cats every year. A more accurate assessment of the avian mortality caused by feral cats would even further dwarf your estimate of 20 million lost to lead poisoning.
Add the toll on reptiles, amphibians, and small mammals that would be better utilized by natural predators.
And I assure you those deaths are far more humane than lead poisoning deaths.
I know all about the horrors of lead poisoning. I have worked with the birds most affected and seen it first hand.
We should all have the capacity to address multiple issues. Your dismissive attitude towards the ~100 million wild animals killed because people abandon pets to the wild comes across as very anti-wildlife.
“I’d worry more about the 20 million birds hunters poison and kill every year with lead bullets.”
I encourage hunters to use non-toxic ammunition on feral cats.
Since when Did you become a sh!t disturber?:-)
“Since when Did you become a sh!t disturber?:-)”
Since certain twits on this forum, and in my daily professional life, piss and moan about wildlife managers ignoring non-game species, and then turn around and support anti-wildlife policies like TNR.
Possibly MY longest run-on sentence.
Not for the point of argument, as I agree with you, I can understand individuals not wanting cats killed. That said, dogs have been subjected to this type of management in rural areas for a long time, in particular when harassing wildlife.
As per page 22 of MN hunting regulations: no persons may allow their dogs to chase or kill big game. Between January 1 and July 14, a dog that is observed wounding, killing, or pursuing in a way that endangers big game may be killed by any, I repeat any, person. A peace officer or conservation officer may kill a dog that endangers big game at any time of the year. The officer or person is not liable for damages for killing the dog.
… Dogs may not be shot if pursuing big game during the fall hunting seasons, except by a conservation or peace officer.
That’s, like it or not, MN. Be responsible for your dog, or there are consequences.
Nothing In the regs for cat’s that I can find, but I’m sure cats get popped in some areas. However, I don’t think most folks go running for their guns if they see a cat going after a red-backed vole or deer mouse.
I about choked on my soda ma’iingan. Thanks for that. I think I’ll stop reading here and go to bed laughing.
Mile it is lead shot not lead bullets, a big difference.
No it’s not, Elk275.
Yes it is Mike, do some more research
Mike what is the difference between shot and bullets? What shoots bullets and what shoots shot?
The effects are similar, Elk. Lead bullets fragment in a carcass, and raptors and other animals digest those fragments and then suffer the worst death known to mankind.
Mike, I am leaving to go elk hunting in a few minutes. Don’t get uptight. I am taking my Kimber 308 with 150 grain Barnes TTX all copper bullets. This day is for you. :-}
++with 150 grain Barnes TTX all copper bullets++
An excellent choice. I have killed two elk with 150-grain TTSX bullets. Both fell on the spot, no suffering. I have no reason to ever shoot lead again.
I think we got your point about the benefits of non-toxic ammunition. I think it came up as a solution to another wildlife-management problem that also needs to be solved (in addition to the subject of this discussion: the problem of feral cats hunting and killing wildlife).
I was wondering if you guys have experienced bullet failure from the Barnes bullets. We shot a big bull on Monday morning, it took 4 shots to take him down. Not one of the Barnes bullets expanded at all??? They looked like you could reload them again! You ever seen that?
Given how important science is for influencing policy on everything from climate change to tax policy to whether kids ought to be vaccinated, it is always disheartening to see scientists succumb to the same kind of ideological polarization that has so badly infected our political institutions (something I would imagine the author would be very familiar with given his background).
The author should not confuse the unpleasant experience of cleaning crap off his boots with science. I believe the study he is referring to is Lohr, et al in Conservation Biology. Please read the raw study. The conclusions were drawn from a mathematical model built on numerous assumptions, not on empirical data. I encourage everyone to look critically and objectively at the assumptions in the model and determine for themselves whether they are good assumptions or not. For instance, is it wise to assume that professional animal control officers make somewhere between the minimum wage to twice the minimum wage? Is it wise to suggest that the economic value of every individual bird is synonomous with what someone might be fined for an illegal take of a migratory bird? If so, would it not follow that fines for animal cruelty against feral cats might not be a good measure for placing an economic value on feral cats? (The answer to both of those questions, if we care about basic economic principles, is no – illegaly killing a feral cat may result in a hefty animal cruelty fine but that doesn’t mean that the cat was worth that much to the economy, nor does the economy lose between $1 and $15,000 every time any bird dies, regardless of impact on overall population, as Lohr et al suggest).
The raw science on this topic could certainly benefit from additional studies, but there is plenty there already to demonstrate that sweeping, unconditional statements about TNR’s efficiency or inefficiency are both unwarranted. Whether cats are sterilized or killed is far less impactful from a population perspective than how many are sterilized or killed and whether the sterilize/kill rate is sufficient to offset the reproductive capabilities of the remaining unsterilized/unkilled cats. This is perhaps the most basic mathematical element of the issue and it is excruciatingly painful to see it ignored in all of the ideological back and forth.
Travis Longcore is the President of my local Los Angeles Chapter. He has done a lot of fantastic work for birds and other wildlife. On an unrelated topic, he made two comments that I wish he and others would apply to this topic: 1) Science is not normative and 2) We tend to gravitate toward binary evaluations of things that aren’t binary in nature. TNR should not be evaluated as a binary switch that either works or does not work. It needs to be evaluated in the context of setting and all of the variable factors that come into play (please read Stoskopf and Nutter, JAVMA 2004 for perhaps the most rational discussion of this issue I have seen).
My limited personal experience with TNR was in my own neighborhood. We reduced a group of roughly 20 unsterilized cats down to two unsterilized cats remaining. Despite Lohr et als mathematical model, it is not going to take 30 years for this group to have been completely eliminated from the outdoors. Already, bird predation has been drastically reduced (and for the author, cat poop, also). Changes in city policy as the result of an LA Audubon lawsuit (elimination of financial assistance, restriction of information) would make it less likely for me to achieve this result today. We too often assume that where TNR is banned or suppressed that lethal control will magically fill the vaccuum, but there is no more evidence that that is true than there is about the efficiency of TNR.
I recognize that my experience is highly anecdotal and that we were only successful because we achieved a near perfect trap rate (we missed one male who has not been seen in several years). Anyone who thinks that sterilizing one or two cats before setting up a feeding station has made a positive impact on reducing cat populations is certainly ignoring math and science, and groups like Alley Cat Allies certainly need to be called out for perpetuating such rosy notions. What I wish is that our wildlife scientists could put their own emotion aside long enough to remember what anecdotal evidence is themselves, and apply it to their own analysis. We have to stop taking one or two individual examples and pretending that they prove that TNR works or does not work, rather than getting to the actual factors that dictate which approach is best for a particular situation. This is what our wildlife scientists should be doing (actual science), as opposed to playing the role of ideological warriors.
This is not just important for reducing the number of outdoor cats and the resulting predation on our native wildlife. It is important because the scientific principles that we use to evaluate this issue are critically important for other issues, upon which are future depends. Every time I see a professional scientist cite the absolute mockery of basic economic principles in Pimentel et al (BioScience 2000, Ecological Economics 2005), as Lohr et al does, or completely misinterpret the relative trap rates cited by Andersen et al (JAVMA, 2004), I cringe and worry about the future of this planet. Yes, I understand that cat advocates may be doing it, too, and they may even have done it first. But as most of us learned very early in life, that really isn’t the point.
My news article is not science. It is not a scientific paper. It is a news report on a political/social development that is controversial, interesting to readers, and for which there are some scientific findings.
Yes indeed much of the critique of the effectiveness to TNR came from the paper by Lohr et al. Yes, it is based on a model, not data from an actual comparison of the two methods of feral cat control.
To me the model’s assumptions seem to be very conservative in terms of the benefits of removing cats, and, so more credible rather than less in its conclusions.
As far as cat crap on my boots, I did not want folks to think only of the unpleasantness of removing it, but of the health effects of tracking the stuff into the house. Nevertheless, I think we should question why removing the fecal material of any carnivore is so unpleasant, and I think a hypothesis is that it is more dangerous. There might have even been genetic selection in favor of people who went out of their way to avoid the feces of carnivores (and omnivores too).
For those who want to read about the study, here is an article about it.
Hawaii: An Island Paradise Overrun with Cats. It is not where I got my information.
“With this consideration, future researchers should focus on developing a more effective TNR program, methods to promote increased public support of euthanization programs, or methods to decrease feline abandonment”
I know a lot of us have seen the graphics of what one unspayed female cat can produce in a relatively short lifetime, times her offspring’s productivity in their lifetimeetc. So, I wonder if it shouldn’t be a combination of TE & TNR, concentrating more on females. Has anyone studied the ratio?
Instead of feeding stations and free roaming, set aside enclosed areas/sanctuaries (after they are trapped, spayed or neutered) where they can either be care for by the organizations who want to see them safe and alive or, adopted out. I know that sounds like your basic animal shelter but not really when you see how confined most of these cats are who end up in no-kill shelters, for the rest of their lives.
The cost of having a cat fixed has increased tremendously so it shouldn’t be a surprise that the numbers of abandoned, usually half grown kittens (the cute factor wears off about then) has also increased. Work with local vets to slash prices for ANYONE having a cat fixed. Or, better yet, set up clinics that do nothing BUT spay & neuter cats & dogs. Its not that complicated, especially neutering male cats (and dogs)
sounds like a good approach Nancy.
Well no matter how you look at it Louise – whether it be cats, dogs, horses, pigs and even pythons – WE (mankind) created these problems we’re seeing today with over populations of feral animals and WE need to be stepping up to the plate in communities everywhere, to address it.
Look at the money being spent (and the corporations getting rich) off our desire to “have” pets.
And this is just cats & dogs. Doesn’t begin to cover exotics or vanity livestock.
The HSUS has “attempted” for years, to get a handle on puppy mills yet there are more and more of them, every year. And where do those inbred, genetically inferior, mentally altered (due to the conditions they’re raised in) dogs end up eventually? At the local Humane Society!
There are hundreds of thousands of people out there with big hearts willing to do what they can for abandoned and feral animals but unfortunately there are that many, or more, who could care less, they are just in the “monent” and fail to see the consequences of not being responsible for that life.
I hear you. I don’t have the answer, like I said I struggle with it. I know I am infuriated when I see loose cats. We’ve got two in the neighborhood now. I have not seen any for years, and in the last week I see two well fed and collared house cats loose, harrassing the birds, chipmunks and squirrels. I’ll be searching for the owners tommorrow. They were hunting animals, and it pisses me off. But the cats are just being cats, the owners should be jailed.
[please note my original post should have said “down to two sterilized cats”]
Could you provide more detail regarding which estimates in the Lohr study you find to be conservative and why? Do you think the study is applicable primarily to a certain set of conditions or do you believe that its conclusions can be applied universally (in other words, regardless of whether we are talking about a nature preserve in Hawaii or a back alley in Manhattan)?
I tend to think that it is counter-productive to discuss this issue in ideological terms, regardless of whether it is in the form of a scientific article or a news item, as you call this. If we actually want to reduce the number of outdoor cats, then we have to approach the problem objectively and mathematically, and we have to use parameters in each setting that are actually applicable to that setting.
I think the Lohr study was probably done in response to the Best Friends Animal Society “calculator” designed to show communities how much money they would save on TNR. It also makes several unrealistic assumptions and ignores key variables such as resources, trap rate, etc. These things don’t cancel each other out, however, rather they compound on one another.
++My limited personal experience with TNR was in my own neighborhood. We reduced a group of roughly 20 unsterilized cats down to two unsterilized cats remaining. Despite Lohr et als mathematical model, it is not going to take 30 years for this group to have been completely eliminated from the outdoors. Already, bird predation has been drastically reduced (and for the author, cat poop, also). ++
TNR, the ultimate cruelty to cats. I have seen the results of these colonies. A kitten stuffed down the throat of the mother cat, a half skinned cat still alive, skinned by the neighborhood punks. TNR is nothing more now than outside hoarding. What happens when one of those colony cats needs medical attention? I know for a fact you can only trap a cat once. TNR is immoral and unethical. Do real rescue, bring them in and work with them if you want to save them. Otherwise you are nothing more than a torturer of cats if you practice TNR.
So correct me if I am wrong but were cats and mongoose not released wholesale in Hawaii as a means of attempting to control the rat populations, introduced earlier by ships from elsewhere, that were overrunning the islands with no natural predators?
So if the cats and mongoose are gone the original problem still remains.
It’s clear from Ralph Maughan’s comments that he’s not terribly familiar with the No-Kill movement, Trap-Neuter-Return, or toxoplasmosis.
According to Maughan, “almost all small wildlife disappears, including native predators. What little remains is infected with spillover cat diseases, most notably toxiplasmosis gondii.” Where is the evidence? In fact, there’s plenty of evidence to the contrary (some of which, interestingly, is often cited by TNR opponents who don’t actually bother to read the work). For example:
A study conducted in the mid-1990s found that five of nine ground feeding bird species, surveyed in one area with cats and on without, showed no preference (Hawkins, 1998). And because the researcher was unable to do any surveys before the cats were there, he was unable to demonstrate any causal link between the presence of the cats and the absence of the four species. Indeed, Hawkins’ scat analysis suggests that predation on birds was minimal: just four percent of 120 scats contained feathers.
Maughan’s comment about the disappearance of native wildlife is, almost certainly a reference to the often-cited–but rarely read–1974 paper by William George. In fact, what George wrote was this:
“I am not suggesting a cause-and-effect relationship exists between the historical increase of cats and the historical decrease of raptors; however, cats, which are as efficient in their way as guns and DDT, accompany and add another dimension to man’s encroachment into wildlife areas” (George, 1974).
And, as I discussed in some detail in a November 2010 blog post (http://www.voxfelina.com/2010/11/raptor-sheet/), George’s concerns have proved largely unfounded.
Regarding toxoplasmosis, there’s much more to the story than Maughan suggests. Domestic cats, for example, are not the only definitive hosts—big cats also carry and spread the parasite. A 1995 outbreak of toxoplasmosis in Victoria, BC, was traced to cougars in the area of a local water reservoir (Aramini, Stephen, & Dubey, 1998).
Maughan makes no mention of the risks of eating undercooked meat—another well-recognized transmission route for T. gondii. He also overlooks the role of hunting in the transmission cycle:
“Prevalence of T. gondii in wild game and venison in the USA is very high and hunters need to be aware of the risk of transmission of infection to humans and, more importantly, spread of infection in the environment. The viscera of hunted animals need to be buried to prevent scavenging by animals, especially cats” (Dubey & Jones, 2008).
Before weighing in on such a complex issue, I think Maughan need to do more than a little “web research on the effects of cats”–which apparently got him no further than the usual biased, misinformed scaremongering.
Since he seems to be interested in the issue, though, I’d like to pose the same question I’ve posed to many TNR opponents (including Travis Longcore):
Please explain how restrictions or outright bans on TNR will help protect the wildlife you claim to want to protect.
Peter J. Wolf
• Aramini, J. J., Stephen, C., & Dubey, J. P. (1998). Toxoplasma gondii in Vancouver Island Cougars (Felis concolor vancouverensis): Serology and Oocyst Shedding. The Journal of Parasitology, 84(2), 438–440.
• Dubey, J. P., & Jones, J. L. (2008). Toxoplasma gondii infection in humans and animals in the United States. International Journal for Parasitology, 38(11), 1257–1278.
• George, W. (1974). Domestic cats as predators and factors in winter shortages of raptor prey. The Wilson Bulletin, 86(4), 384–396.
• Hawkins, C. C. (1998). Impact of a subsidized exotic predator on native biota: Effect of house cats (Felis catus) on California birds and rodents. Unpublished PhD Dissertation, Texas A&M University.
…it seems that the biological strategy of cats to survive and propagate is working…
“Indeed, Hawkins’ scat analysis suggests that predation on birds was minimal: just four percent of 120 scats contained feathers.”
But it’s common for well-fed free-roaming cats to kill and not consume prey.
“Domestic cats, for example, are not the only definitive hosts—big cats also carry and spread the parasite.”
Big cats are not an invasive species – we’re talking about feral and free-roaming Felis domesticus here.
“Maughan makes no mention of the risks of eating undercooked meat…”
Again, thanks for your concern but this is just another red herring, undercooked or not.
“The viscera of hunted animals need to be buried to prevent scavenging by animals…”
Native predators, in most cases do not consume the viscera of their prey – they leave it on the landscape for scavengers.
Your entire post is an attempt to deflect focus away from the toll on wildlife that is extracted by free-roaming cats.
The toll on wildlife by hunters using lead bullets is staggering. 20 million animals slowly poisoned and tortured simply by failing to use non-toxic alternatives.
This should be the focus. But again, certain posters hunt or have family members who hunt, so this issue gets ignored here.
Feral cats need to hunt to live. Humans do not need to hunt to live. These days, it’s an exercise in machismo. 20 million animals are slowly tortured and killed because machismo’s need to shoot lead bullets.
Mike, stop with the generalizations. I hunt to live, I have not purchased any meat this year so far, the meat in my freezer is wild! You might not have to hunt, but I do!
You live in the year 2012 Savebears, you don’t need to hunt – that is whole point. We are not in the 1700/1800’s anymore.
Yes, I do need to hunt, I don’t have the money to spend on meat that it seems many here do, it saves me one heck of a lot of money by hunting. I live in an area that I can hunt on my property, so I have no travel costs, I butcher my own meat, so I have no processing costs, I rarely go to a grocery store. We also grow our own vegetables and put them up for the winter.
You do understand, that there are many less fortunate people in Montana that depend on their ability to hunt to feed their families right?
What I find very telling is someone assuming to know what I need!
Feral cats do not need to live their hard cruel lives, and they live at the expense of wildlife. They should be trapped and euthanized, and I mean euthanized, not clubbed or shot by kids with BBguns.
In a few places where there really exist committed cat “caregivers” with resources and little or no wildlife, except maybe other invasive species like starlings and sparrows and mice, then perhaps trapping, neutering them and releasing them might be acceptable — if they are generally disease free.
You want to ban lead bullets. That is a different issue. You are arguing for that by conflating two unrelated issues. I mean what happens to feral cats has no empirical connection to what happens to the manufacture of birdshot.
How many are killed by vehicle collisions! How many insects are killed on your windshield? Oh my god mike your a killer and inhumane! Think of the poor bugs! Better start walking and don’t step on any bugs, KILLER!
Peter J. Wolf,
I think your knowledge of toxiplasmosis is probably limited to what you can find that seems to vindicate feral domestic cats.
Of course this parasite infects other felids. Cats of all species are the reservoir of the parasite, and the only reservoir. They are the only animals that permit production of the oocysts (eggs) that allow the parasite to complete its life cycle.
That an infected cougar might contaminate a water supply is not surprising, and does not vindicate feral cats in any way. Consider, however, the amount of infected domestic cat scat available compared to that produced by cougar, bobcat and lynx. Which of the four are exceedingly common? Which are wildlife (my interest)?
Humans and hundreds of other animals are intermediate hosts that will never produce T. gondii eggs. Nevertheless, the intermediate infection rate can be high even though they do not spread it. The primary way humans in the U.S. become infected is by cat feces. It is not by eating undercooked pork or infected deer or elk. This is a problem elsewhere.
As I told those worriers about wolves who thought they might get the dog tapeworm (Echinococcus granulosus)from them, stay away from their scat. That is easy to do given the rarity of wolves, and the number of sylvatic transmitted cases in America are near zero, but it is not easy for humans walking about a suburban, city, or exurban area to avoid cat feces (so back to my crappy shoes and boots! 😉 ).
I mentioned T. gondii a number of times because the parasite is so weird, kind of spooky sitting there in your brain cells. I hope you don’t suppose toxiplasmosis is the only zoonosis from feral cats. I will likely present a whole host of other cat diseases that infect humans and/or other animals.
Many an animal can transmit zoonotic diseases, including birds. Would you like a list of all those zoonotic diseases?
Would you like a list of animals that children (and stupid adults) are most likely to go up to pet and hug and try take home with them?
Proximity is very much an issue when deciding which are and which are not the most dangerous zoonotic diseases (you freakin’ bible-home-schooled MORON).
You obviously don’t know feral cats, Woodpecker. Go try to pat or hug one.
Go do some reading on the animals that can transmit diseases to humans. Watch out for those bird droppings, and stay clear of dogs…
You obviously don’t know how to use Google.
See if you can find out how to open a google search page. Then type in:
(feral OR stray) cat attack
rabies (feral OR stray) cats
If nothing else, and you don’t want to educate yourself on how some feral-cats will go up to humans for food; then attack them if touched or grabbed; then at least count the number of hits. Is this too far beyond your capabilities? Must be.
We can thank ALL feral-cat feeders for training disease-ridden feral-cats to approach humans. Is that YOU “Caretaker”? How many of your disease-infested cats have you trained to approach humans for food? And then attack them when they don’t get what they are after.
Catching on yet to what a dangerous and deadly pestilence that YOU ARE to society?
++“Prevalence of T. gondii in wild game and venison in the USA is very high and hunters need to be aware of the risk of transmission of infection to humans and, more importantly, spread of infection in the environment. The viscera of hunted animals need to be buried to prevent scavenging by animals, especially cats” (Dubey & Jones, 2008). ++
BINGO. But of course, this will get swept under the rug, because certain posters have family members who hunt/hunted.
Talk about biased.
Instead, let’s take it out on intelligent animals.
And WHERE did those wild animals get T. gondii? FROM YOUR FREE-ROAMING CATS. Herbivores can contract T. gondii IN NO OTHER WAY.
The VERY same way that all livestock get T. gondii, from your cRats roaming around stockyards and farms.
Know where you can sweep that little tidbit of information? Guess.
I can’t speak to this issue generally but I do know that spaying and neutering has made gains in reducing the number of feral cats in Cheyenne. From an ethical standpoint, spaying and neutering is obviously preferable. As mentioned, there has been a certain amount of hypocrisy in determining which non-native species are desirable and which are not. Do these wildlife groups have a position on eradicating the non-native mountain goats that are threatening bighorn sheep herds in the Tetons and areas of Colorado?
C’mon folks, this sounds waaay too much like we’re talking about wolves. Cats have been shown in numerous studies to have tremendous negative impacts on birds in island populations. However, I’m willing to bet most applications of TNR occur in urban settings. Can anyone show me an example of urban cats as a cause of bird extinctions? A colleague of mine has shown that nest-predation on song birds in urban areas is actually lesser than rural areas because predators are subsidized by anthropogenic resources. Moreover, we know that bird diversity is hugely reduced in urban settings, where they are more likely to encounter urban-adapted species (many of which are invasive-exotics!). Like most issues, there is more nuance here than people want to admit. Personally, I’m all for going “Rambo” on cats where they’re shown to negatively impact ANY imperiled species. But I’m also for forcing some responsibility on pet-owners. TNR works in principle by reducing births, it fails in practice because ASSHOLES KEEP ABANDONING CATS. Let’s stop fighting amongst each other and keep the “spotlight” on the people that are causing the problem.
what, in you opinion, does the word feral mean?
To me, “feral” designates a domestic animal that is unowned. “Free-roaming” cats are those that are owned and people let roam outdoors.
I feel that having the conversation drift into responsible ownership is missing the point entirely in as much as Feral is what a animal is that is born into the wild and usually several generations removed from human “ownership”.
In essence the ownership of the animal is a non-factor because there has never been an owner.
Generally speaking these animals pose extreme risks in everything that has already been brought up and should be humanely euthanized. The TNR movement is nothing more than a feel good red herring that is accomplishing little of nothing.
This is my meaning too. To me ‘feral” applies equally if the domestic animal is an escape or lost or is a many generation descendent of livestock or a pet.
The question of generation does make a difference how you treat the animal,however.
I have to disagree.
The definition I agree with is”Feral cats that are born and living outdoors, without any human contact or care….”
And yes I understand that there are always exceptions to the rule, but my point is that the overwhelming majority of feral cats are NOT those dumped or abandoned, but are active wild populations. I would hypothesize that only 1 of 10 or less of abandoned or dumped cats live more than a few months if not weeks in the wild; no skill sets.
And of those populations that are thriving, they are the result of generations of wild breeding and have no human component at all.
The gnashing of teeth and flailing of arms about the “owners” is a dead end argument.
Actually, I think the cat ISSUE is largely a red herring. Why? Because there are a few places where cats have been shown to have a tremendous impact; but the places we have most feral cats (and the places where there are lots of people concerned about feral cats) are already teaming with introduced species of plants and wildlife. They are heavily-modified from their “natural state”.
It becomes a conservation issue (for me) when people suggest that we spend valuable resources on cats, that could be spent somewhere else.
Me personally, I’m for removing feral cats from the wild (by adoption or lethal means). But efforts should be focused where cats are impacting native species. In many (most) urbanized settings trapping with lethal removal will not accomplish any conservation goal, and until we create laws with teeth, cats that are removed will simply be replaced by others through abandonment.
For me, the issue is about where you put your priorities.
..and I believe the main thrust of the supporting articles were of the situation in Hawaii….
Yes they were, but I wasn’t responding to the articles, but the comments posted below–and I’ll add, many other places on the internet (including TWS’s blog). All I’m asking is that people start their cat control efforts by asking whether cats are actually causing a problem (in the given area) and if so, is spending money on option X (whether lethal or otherwise) likely to have any appreciable effect on THE PROBLEM.
The “kill ’em all” vs. “save them all” argument is as stale and unproductive with cats (and other invasive species) as it is with wolves (and other predators).
….now if those damned neutered feral cats would just start working on the Europe starlings….
Our neighbor lets their cat roam free. We live in a relatively urbanized area in the city of Columbus (OH). The only birds I’ve seen evidence of this cat killing are starlings and cardinals (the former an introduced species and the latter a prevalent urban adapter).
As a Cardinal fan, baseball, all the more reason to be rid of feral cats. That aside, from memory, male cardinals staking out territories are one of the first signs of spring. Beautiful bird with equally wonderful song.
cats can also become feral when there were owned, are then let loose to fend for themselves and become wild.
I so agree. This is (another) human-caused problem by indifference to another living being. I am always left shaking my head when people complain about animals being killed in shelters, and who give no consideration to how the poor animal ended up in that situation in the first place – by being abandoned, neglected or unspayed/neutered. We need to continue to educate in this regard. That said, I do hope there is a humane solution.
The other thing I worry about is that it gives ammo to the anti-wildlife crowd to blame disease that may crop up on a wild animal to justify their removal, when there may be no definitive proof as to how the disease originated in the wild (such as wolves and parvo, elk and bison with brucellosis)?
A little observation:
I live in a rural/farming area, and I’ve had my little 2 acre property and yard for more than 25 years. Neighbors’ cats do roam and I have seen them hanging around my well-established bird feeders watching them, and in my garden. I have also seen hawks land in the trees near the feeders. In all my time living here I have only come across two dead birds, and I have never seen a cat or hawk take one. I am lucky to have a lot of wildlife in my little microenvironment – frogs, all kinds of beautiful insects, voles, mice, squirrels, rabbits, foxes, racoons, all kinds of birds including wild turkeys, deer, woodchucks, coyotes, and even black bears have been seen in the area (not at my birdfeeder tho!) I keep my yard not overly manicured with a wild “outback”. I love it and wouldn’t trade it for the world.
I have to say I am usually dismayed with articles on this website and how they do not come close to reflecting the primary literature (scientific research). In this case, Dr. Maughan is on point. “The Wildlife Professional” recently donated an entire theme to this subject and then another one more recently on wildlife disease – also multiple references to cats and taxoplasmosis.
Open access link to that magazine….http://issuu.com/the-wildlife-professional/docs/feralcats
What’s next? horses? Dogs? Trout?
Kill ’em all, I don’t like ’em. Harrrumph!
Let’s worry about what WE do, first.
Stop buying freaking gas guzzlers. Stop using lead bullets. Then we can work our way down to kitty cats and canine hobos.
Why don’t you worry about what YOU do! let the rest of us worry about ourselves.
If you’re not worried about climate change and how it affects our grand kids and beyond, you don’t have a soul.
Mike, I didn’t say a thing about climate change, but now that you mention it, I do my part to slow down climate change.
But the subject matter here is feral animals and the amount of damage they do to native animals.
Savebears with Mike its a moving target!! I think they should do something about these damn feral horses out west. They run native game off of water holes, breed out of control with ZERO wild predators!
Cougars would disagree….but keep shooting them and the horses too….That will show ’em.
Advocates of TNR and people that give their cats outside access view the cats as the priority and the toll on wildlife as tolerable. Wildlife conservationists view wildlife as the priority and the killing of cats as tolerable. It’s frustratingly hard to reconcile these differing value systems.
The majority of cat predation in the continental U.S. is on non-endangered wildlife. This mortality is often considered compensatory, having no effect on the overall population. But at least for birds, most human-caused mortality is characterized that way when viewed in isolation. When one considers all the threats (feral cats, pesticides, vehicles, windows, windmills, etc) together common sense tells me they can’t all be compensatory. Either way, it’s still unnecessary mortality caused entirely by the poor behavior of humans.
Cats have been documented preying on a number of endangered species in the U.S. (piping plovers, roseate terns, Florida scrub jays, Key Largo wood rats, etc). I have seen feral cats waiting outside the cave entrances of endangered bat colonies to prey on the bats as they fly in and out. Their toll on birds in Hawaii and islands throughout the world is well documented. These offending cats are not kept in the wild by human enablers or ignored by those with different agendas; they are removed from the wild by wildlife conservationists.
People shouldn’t be abandoning their companion animals to the wild. But catching the offenders is limited by chance and resources. Domestic cats shouldn’t be in the wild. Even when the procedures of TNR are done consistently by qualified people the cats are still killing wildlife. Cats that are pets should be kept indoors. Cats that are feral should be caught in have-a-heart traps and then either adopted or euthanized.
I meant to submit this as a stand alone comment, not in response to any particular response above.
Every communtiy has “cat ladies”, which are usually older women who collect and feed cats. It would be interesting if it could be shown that they are all infested with Toxiplasmosis and that that is the reason they hoard cats. It would also be interesting to see if some of the posters on this blog are infected also.
I have thought exactly the same thing, and I have thought further that anyone who is arrested for animal neglect in the case of living with dozens of ill fed, uncared for cats, should be checked for T. gondii infection (and others too because they are often unwell).
A fine or brief incarceration is of no use.
Larry and Ralph –
You guys are ascribing the manifestation of cognitive dissonance in cat caretakers to infection by a parasite. What is the reason for cognitive dissonance in wildlife scientists on this issue and for everyone from climate change deniers, opponents of child vaccination, opponents of sex ed, deniers of evolution, and both Republicans and Democrats on numerous issues?
I encourage you to take a scientific, rather than speculative, approach to your theory. Given the many ways that one can become infected with the parasite, it would be interesting to see how many of the most rabid opponents of TNR might also be infected. It would also be fascinating to learn how the parasite affects humans differently from mice. A parasite that reduces fear of its host is quite amazing in and of itself. If you could demonstrate that the parasite is sophisticated enough to cause humans to sterilize cats (something that would normally be counter-intuitive to propogating the host species) because the parasite is smart enough to calculate that that is the most politically viable option to preventing the mass eradication of the host species, then I have no doubt you would win the Nobel Prize.
In the meantime, I would suggest to all that the polarization of cognitive bias that we see on both “sides” of this issue represents the single biggest threat to the future of the human race and our planet. It isn’t that we are any dumber now than we were in the past, rather that we now have means of mass communication that amplify our dumbness and with which more thoughtful, nuanced approaches to complex issues simply can’t compete.
I have to some extent believed this is true, even in the last 50 years. Humans, it seems, just push a button on a machine, of some sort, that has at its core 0’s and 1’s, instead of doing mental tasks. Anyone still remember (if you ever learned it) how to do the mathematical square root of a number, manually,or how about multiplication/division of a number longer than say 3 numerals, including a decimal?
Then there is some guy/gal in a cubical somewhere trying to figure out where to take the new technology with O’s and 1’s, but has not the social skills to interact with other humans.
“but has not the social skills to interact with other humans.”
That’s the part that scares me the most. Imagine a ‘group of Einsteins’ and none can communicate their knowledge to the next generation. Useless.
I recall an experiment I did with students~20 years ago where they were given problem sets of 20 multiplication problems, with the numbers to be multiplied each being three digits. They were to do the problem sets upon awakening, in class, and prior to going to bed. They were to time themselves and we would check for accuracy of the problem sets. Only had a few students at the time who could not do the multiplication, though I would submit, with the obnoxious overuse of calculators, far more students would be stymied by this process today.
His argument is based on the fact that for more than 99 per cent of human evolutionary history, we have lived as hunter-gatherer communities surviving on our wits, leading to big-brained humans. Since the invention of agriculture and cities, however, natural selection on our intellect has effective stopped and mutations have accumulated in the critical “intelligence” genes.
The ‘use it or lose it’ theory. 🙂 Having nothin’ to communicate is still nothin’, good social skills or not.
I believe the book “Survival of the Sickest” by Dr. Sharon Moalem
devotes a section to this very supposition. The book is both enlightening and informative and tough to put down.
This book looks like a great read. Thanks for posting
If the feral cat issue was indeed a red herring then we would have solved all the bigger problems while all the kitties have been running amuck. If bigger problems continue unabated it will not be due to focus being spent on free-roaming cats. The actual involvement for most people would be minimal. It costs us little to keep our cats indoors, speak out against letting cats roam free, and supporting legislative attempts to solve the problem. In my view our inability to solve the smaller problems reflects our inability to solve any problems. Wildlife conservationists have to multi-task all the time due to the myriad of threats. For every problem there’s always a few people who want to let it slide and deride those trying to solve it. That can really add up over time.
I mentioned earlier having seen feral cats waiting outside the cave entrances of endangered bat colonies. I have also seen evidence of feral cats killing endangered piping plovers and Guam rails. The bats, plovers, and rails are what I think of whenever I see a cat outside.
It shouldn’t have to be cats killing endangered birds in Hawaii or some other far away islands for us to be willing to address the issue. Firstly, feral cat predation on endangered species in the U.S. is not confined to Hawaii (see http://www.research.ufl.edu/publications/explore/v08n2/extract7.pdf and http://www.pinellascounty.org/animalservices/pdf/Cat-Predation-Impacts-Report.pdf). Secondly, far more of our “common” species are declining than most people realize. Even in the environments heavily altered by people there are wild species that have adapted and the cats are killing them or eating their potential prey.
I don’t know how anyone would consider native wild species, whether adaptable or endangered, so expendable.
“I mentioned earlier having seen feral cats waiting outside the cave entrances of endangered bat colonies. I have also seen evidence of feral cats killing endangered piping plovers and Guam rails. The bats, plovers, and rails are what I think of whenever I see a cat outside.”
Evidence of cats killing a species is not evidence of a population-level impact. This is the same argument used by people who oppose wolves and other carnivores: “See, they killed an elk, therefore they must be a problem and we should get rid of them” (paraphrasing, of course).
“It shouldn’t have to be cats killing endangered birds in Hawaii or some other far away islands for us to be willing to address the issue.”
And here you’ve missed my point entirely. Predation by feral cats is not a single issue, it is many issues and each context may call for a different approach. In many (most?) places, killing cats does not deal with the root of the problem–abandonment, a human behavior. TWS and other conservation groups have chosen to frame the issue as lethal control v. TNR. This framing isn’t helpful because it (a) may not be meaningful in every context, and (b) neither TNR nor lethal control deal with abandonment. TWS and other conservation groups missed a chance to coopt help from animal rights groups by working against abandonment; instead, they chose to pick a fight about TNR which isn’t really meaningful so long as abandonment continues unabated.
“I don’t know how anyone would consider native wild species, whether adaptable or endangered, so expendable.”
I’m a pragmatist, not an ideologue. Individual animals are expendable, populations and species are not.
“Evidence of cats killing a species is not evidence of a population-level impact…”
It’s been well established that populations of the endangered species I mentioned in the quote you referenced have been impacted by cats. The impact on piping plovers was clearly evident in the links I provided. It’s even more obvious in this link about Guam rails (ko’ko’):
“Feral cats are limiting efforts to reestablish ko’ko’ on Guam and to establish a non-essential experimental population on Rota. Of 315 ko’ko’ released on Rota, 16% are believed to have been predated by feral cats. On Guam, 50% of the ko’ko’ released were believed predated by feral cats. Therefore, extensive control of feral cats is needed to help recover the species.”
It’s a difficult matter in Guam and the nearby islands becasue the locals do not have the same views of pets as we do. There are no cats indoors, just cats that roam freely. Changing that cultural attitude is unlikely and there’s some local resistance to removing these cats from the wild. Many of the NGOs funding the work don’t want to be connected to killing cats. In other cases, the removal of just a few cats can make an immediate difference. A piping plover nest I was monitoring was abandoned simply because a cat walked by. 2 cats were trapped and that pair of plovers re-nested and fledged 4 young. For the endangered bats it took months for another stray cat to show up. The time in between was the pup rearing season and the absence of that fat cat made a huge difference for the population. All these efforts at various sites can add up to make huge impacts on the population.
“And here you’ve missed my point entirely…”
Not exactly. I agree with you that abandonment is the start of the problem. But I don’t think we need to wait until the abandonment issue is solved (which it likely never will be) in order remove as many cats from the wild as possible. I don’t believe that it is futile to do so, because I have seen that it’s not.
“I’m a pragmatist, not an ideologue….”
I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt that you’re not implying I’m an ideologue. I realize that a cardinal killed by a cat in your neighborhood will be replaced just as a cat that is trapped will be replaced. But not every situation is like that and I really don’t care about how many individuals it takes to impact a population to your satisfaction. I’m going to continue to trap the 3-4 stray cats that show up on my property every year. I’m working to eliminate birds striking my windows at both my house and workplace. I‘ll keep driving the speed limit with the brights on and the radio off as I drive home at night through wildlife hotspots. In the springtime I’ll stop and help turtles that are trying to cross the road to reach nesting sites. I won’t be saving entire populations but I’ll be saving individuals with little cost to me and no detraction from my ability to deal with bigger conservation concerns. That seems pretty pragmatic to me.
I’m with you aves, any time it’s on an island, they need to go. Unfortunately, people on islands tend to be the exact ones that resist change….and obsess over cats. Figure that one out, huh. Anybody that studies island biogeography can see most bird species are going to go down rather quickly unless we ‘modify’ islander’s views.
“I agree with you that abandonment is the start of the problem. But I don’t think we need to wait until the abandonment issue is solved (which it likely never will be) in order remove as many cats from the wild as possible. I don’t believe that it is futile to do so, because I have seen that it’s not.”
Actually, I think you’re still missing my point. If you start with the premise that cats killing birds is BAD, then all cats must go. My premise–the premise on which wildlife ecology and management are founded–is that we manage POPULATIONS not individuals. This means active management (which costs money) should occur in places where: (1) there is a demonstrated population impact and (2) the impact is to a species of concern (i.e., T&E or at least rare). Else, I would argue, our money is better spent on something else.
Remember, the way TNR is supposed to work is by reducing recruitment. Populations are affected by births, deaths, immigration and emigration–TNR is supposed to reduce births. TNR doesnt work (in some areas) because of abandonment–i.e., unsterilized, abandoned cats make up for those breeders that have been spayed/neutered. Thus, if you tackle the abandonment problem in an area, you also potentially make TNR efficacious.
“I realize that a cardinal killed by a cat in your neighborhood will be replaced just as a cat that is trapped will be replaced. But not every situation is like that and I really don’t care about how many individuals it takes to impact a population to your satisfaction. I’m going to continue to trap the 3-4 stray cats that show up on my property every year.”
My support/opposition to TNR and/or lethal control has nothing to do with my individual satisfaction–by all means, kill all the cats you please! It has everything to do with being HONEST about what can be achieved with which method, and at what cost to taxpayers. The fact that you remove cats for free is a service (and I commend it); but where it requires resources, those resources should go to places (like Guam–an island) where there is a demonstrated impact on populations. It is especially wasteful to spend money on lethal methods and or TNR where bird populations are not negatively impacted and where the abandonment problem has not been dealt with. This logic should be obvious to people who aren’t just arguing for argument’s sake.
You are in total error. (bible-home-schooled are you? YEP!)
If only a dozen Asian Carp are found in a stream, does this mean we should let them be? It’s only a small population after all.
If there is only one tree infested with Emerald Ash-borer Beetles, what’s the problem with that if they haven’t destroyed every last Ash Tree in N. America yet? Why should we be concerned if they have no native predators that will keep them in check.
If you walk into a doctor’s office and he finds you have only one finger infected with flesh-eating bacteria … let’s leave it there. It too deserves to live. And it hasn’t eaten your whole body yet anyway. It’s “the circle of life”, is it not? (how’s that bambi-cartoon-education working out for you?)
If even ONE native bird, small mammal, lizard, or insect is destroyed by a man-made (through selective breeding) invasive species cat, that man-made cat species has proved it is destructive to important NATIVE wildlife THAT BELONGS HERE. That ONE cat has sealed the fate of ALL unrestrained unsupervised cats. They must now ALL be destroyed if found away from supervised confinement.
Population counts of destructive invasive species are relatively unimportant. The ONLY thing that is important is knowing their range of infestation, and if people will have the means to destroy them fast enough (this is the only time population counts come into play, to figure how much it will cost to destroy them fast enough) so they don’t spread any further than they’ve already gone.
Your reasoning doesn’t hold water. It’s not a matter of native wildlife population vs. native wildlife population. It’s a matter of AN INVASIVE SPECIES THAT NEVER BELONGED THERE TO BEGIN WITH. NOT EVEN *ONE* OF THEM.
You say that you want to know the costs involved when dealing with cats? I already did the math on that, believe it or not. (Using advanced calculus population-growth projections, and TNR costs in every region analyzed. As well as finding out the average cost of ammo in each region.)
I analyzed over 100 of the most “successful” TNR programs around the planet. Every last one cannot catch up to cats breeding rates, always trapping & sterilizing well below 0.4% of all feral cats in their regions. (An interesting magical threshold for some reason. I suspect it is due to the percentage of people that are able to be duped and conned into practicing TNR.) TNR is ALWAYS allowing more than 99.6% of all feral-cats in every region to continue to reproduce at an exponential rate. And even if they could catch up to their cats’ breeding rates? Then here’s the costs that must be sustained:
In most cases, every municipality; from township to large metropolitan area; must allocate anywhere from 1/10th to 1/2 $BILLION PER YEAR if employing TNR costs just to catch-up to their breeding rates — sustaining that expense YEARLY into perpetuity. They would have to afford substantially MORE THAN that to start to reverse their breeding rates. Whereas shooting them results in costs substantially lower, in the range of $2,000 to $75,000 for 1 year. Which ends up being a ONE-TIME-EXPENSE. Something that is attainable by the tax-base in most every area.
You are full of assumptions…and ideology, a particularly obnoxious combination. Your reasoning starts and ends with the simple premise that no exotic species should be allowed to kill native species. As you state so…ahem…eloquently:
“It’s a matter of AN INVASIVE SPECIES THAT NEVER BELONGED THERE TO BEGIN WITH. NOT EVEN *ONE* OF THEM.”
Most of our food supply is comprised of non-native (sometimes) invasive species that “NEVER BELONGED [HERE} TO BEGIN WITH”. (Pheasant, which are currently stocked by many states for hunters, are not native to the US; numerous species of sport fish are stocked in areas where they are not native.) All of these species in some way compete with native species in some portion of native species’ range. Tell me, do you pursue the annihilation of all non-native species with the same vehemence as you do cats?
Cats have population impacts in SOME places; in other places they don’t, or the species they impact are not of concern (since you appear to detest non-native, invasive species– European starlings, for example). I don’t relish the idea of wasting any resources on cats that could be spent on projects of greater significance. Especially when the real problem is abandonment. Meaning you can kill all the cats you want today only to see them replaced by more tomorrow.
So you can kill all the cats you like (I could care less). But until you deal with the real problem (abandonment) you won’t accomplish anything. Meanwhile, by acting like a pompous ass, you’re making enemies out of potential friends.
JB is correct:
I’ve solved the abandonment issue where I live, 100%. NONE of the cat-lovers around here are adopting any new cats that they let outdoors. Nor are people dumping them from other areas anymore (word has spread). I trained them all into letting them KNOW that ALL their cats will be shot on sight. No excuses, no exceptions!
SHOOT EVERY LAST CAT AWAY FROM SUPERVISED CONFINEMENT. _*ZERO*_ TOLERANCE.
Yes, it really is that simple. (And that amazingly inexpensive and rapidly effective.)
Licensing and laws do nothing to curb the problem. If cats are required to be licensed then cat-lovers just stop putting collars on their cats, as they did by me. And they won’t even bother getting them micro-chipped, especially not that They want absolutely nothing that can hold them legally responsible, liable, and accountable for the actions of their cats. It’s why many of them even keep cats in the first place. We’re not talking about the topmost responsible citizens of the world, you know. They don’t want that responsibility of what their cat has done coming back on them. If they had even one iota of a sense of responsibility and respect for all other lives on this planet we wouldn’t even be having these discussions.
On the other hand, I found something that DOES work, and works well, and works fast (well, relative to the years it takes trying to reason with deceitful and lying cat-lovers that accomplishes ABSOLUTELY NOTHING). Where I live cat-lovers have learned that _ALL_ cats, stray and feral, collared or not, ear-tipped or not (because TNR con-artist liars now just clip cats’ ears only without sterilizing or vaccinating them, to protect their hoarded cats from being trapped and euthanized), _ALL_ their cats are humanely shot on sight and buried whenever found away from supervised confinement.
The ONLY thing that works is destroying any of their cats found away from their supervision. They either learn to stop getting more cats that die under the wheels of cars or from animal attacks, or they finally learn how to be a responsible pet owner, respectful neighbor, and learn to keep their invasive species animal under confined supervision, as it should be. Win win win all around. You can either destroy their cat for them humanely, or let their lack of concern for their cat cause it to die inhumanely. By destroying their cat for them humanely you are showing them that you care more about their cat than even they do. A bullet is by far the most humane death that any free-roaming cat will ever meet. Anything else is all inhumanely downhill from there. Their only other options are being hit by cars, environmental poisons, cat & animal attacks, disease and parasites, freezing, etc., etc.
You can’t train a cat to stay home but I found that, in time, you CAN train a cat-owner into being a responsible pet-owner and a respectable neighbor. Most of them are so phenomenally stupid, disrespectful, and criminally irresponsible though that you have to make at least 12-15 of their cats permanently disappear before they even start to figure out what they’ve been doing wrong all during their sorry, useless, and pathetic lives.
If you live in an area where its not legal to use firearms to destroy any animal that is threatening the health and safety of you, your family, your animals, or property (as it *IS* legal in most every area of the nation — shoot to maim is animal cruelty but shoot to kill is a perfectly legal way to humanely destroy any nuisance animal on your own property); then check into laws regarding air-rifles with ballistics speeds of 700-1200 fps and using pointed vermin-pellets in no-firearms zones. Many of the newer ones even come with their own sound-suppressor designs built-in, being specifically designed for shooting vermin cats in urban areas, the demand is that great. Failing that, then there’s always the SSS and TDSS Cat Management Programs that are exploding in popularity worldwide. Shoot, Shovel, & Shut-Up; or Trap, Drown, Shovel, & Shut-Up. Both methods are legal on every square foot of this earth. No local laws were violated if it never happened! (Where cats have already learned to evade all trapping methods, then inexpensive generic 1-adult-strength acetaminophen (overseas a.k.a. paracetamol) pain-relievers are a more species specific vermin poison. But you really need to retrieve and dispose of that carcass safely so that native wildlife won’t die from the many diseases cats spread even after their death.)
As far as your domesticated animals red-herring reasoning: ANY domesticated animal that is found roaming freely away from SUPERVISED CONFINEMENT is retained until the owner can be found so it can be RETURNED to *SUPERVISED* *CONFINEMENT*. Failing that, the animal IS DESTROYED. If the animal is livestock, then it IS DESTROYED FOR THE DINNER TABLE.
If cats provided meat for dinner tables or fibers for the textile industry, or any other REQUIRED need of humans, AND were kept in confined pens or in controlled grazing areas and NOT allowed to destroy all native wildlife (cats having the largest prey-base of any predator on earth, destroying not only all the NATIVE prey but all the NATIVE predators that those animals depend on), then perhaps they would be allowed as a RANCHED animal. Where they can EASILY BE DESTROYED IF NEEDED just like any other livestock that is found to harbor some new disease. Or like minks are kept confined in cages so they can be skinned for their furs. Or gutted and dressed for the “feline” section of your local butcher’s shelves. Right alongside the poultry, pork, and beef sections.
UNTIL THAT TIME, and failing that, THESE HIGHLY DESTRUCTIVE DEADLY-DISEASE-SPREADING INVASIVE-SPECIES MUST BE DESTROYED ON-SIGHT IF FOUND ROAMING FREELY IN NATURE.
The OTHER invasive species that have been allowed to thrive have proved to coexist quite well along native species without further harm to them, and they DO have enough native predators that can keep them in check — especially man, in the cases of animals like pheasant. Now should there be a proliferation of pheasant that became as destructive to all other wildlife and habitats as dense as feral-cats in the USA have become, guess what happens? They become a “shoot on sight, open season” species. And to prevent further danger of that, they then become a “hunt to extinction” species.
Scott, you’re not here to be swayed by my opinion, nor do I try to sway the opinion of anyone like you. I use people like you to show everyone else why trying to reason with cat-advocates like you is a TOTAL waste of EVERYONE’s time, money, and lives. Ignore ANYTHING a cat-lover might say and just shoot every last one of their free-roaming cats. 100% effective!
See how that works, my little show-‘n-tell puppet? 🙂
“SHOOT EVERY LAST CAT AWAY FROM SUPERVISED CONFINEMENT. _*ZERO*_ TOLERANCE.
Yes, it really is that simple.”
–Actually, it isn’t. Roughly 3/4s of the human population lives in urban areas where firearms cannot be discharged without a special permit. Moreover, while your ‘scare my neighbors to Hell’ tactic may work in a rural area where all your neighbors are known, it ain’t going to work in places where the population density reach 250+ per mile/sq. This means pitting trap and kill programs vs. TNR programs in urban settings–neither of which will work if you can’t/don’t deal with abandonment. Finally, recent science has shown a “disarticulation” of predator-prey relationships with birds in urbanized settings; essentially, nest predation decreases and survival increases even with higher predator densities (cats included) presumably because predators rely on other anthropogenic resources.
For these (and other reasons) your Texas-style ‘shoot ’em all to Hell’ approach will not work in every area–especially urban settings (nor may it be needed). Importantly, this is true whether you type in all caps or not.
Again, me thinks your ideology has gotten in the way of your ability to reason.
I had read that study on disarticulation between predator/prey quite a while ago (nearly a year) when it was first published. Somewhat interesting, but only in that it was a study of the impact on birds and no other classes of animal life which cats impact even more greatly than birds. What those researchers failed to realize (in their typical isolated and pavement-born universe) is that in rural areas vast tracts of land are planted with plants that cannot be used as food-sources for most animals in most cases. For example, should farmers in several adjoining counties all decide to plant corn one year, this will feed some of the native animals, in great abundance. But only a few species. The next year all farmers might choose to plant only soybeans. How many native animals have learned to recognize or are even able to make use of soybeans in their diet? How many crows and turkeys eat sugar-beet foliage? Farmland is as much of a desert to most wildlife as your urban pavement. And it puts even further stressors on populations because animals cannot adapt to the whims of wallstreet’s crop-futures decisions. One year the deer, crows, raccoons, and turkeys are feasting in abundance in an area planted with corn. The next year they all starve to death in county upon county because corn is not being planted there this year.
Now add in the regular liquid-ammonia applications to millions and millions of square miles of land, and that land is effectively sterilized as if it was autoclaved, gassing-to-death uncountable numbers of life-forms that would dare to try to use that soil for reproduction or habitat between ammonia applications. Again lessening the amount of animals that search for soil-breeding insects and annelids that can be used for food.
Many rural people also supplement birds’ foods with feeders and “wildlife gardens”, but few realize why this is important, doing more-so for just the entertainment factor. Between those tracts of corn and soybean deserts, only narrow strips of disconnected forest and meadow might exist between owned properties that can act as viable habitat for all those species + birds. Birds in rural areas MUST depend on hand-outs too.
So, while that study was mildly interesting, it was easily dismissible because the researchers failed to take into account the full picture of what is really going on. And anyone who depends on the results of such a flawed and hole-filled story is equally in error.
You are also in error about firearms. Most municipalities permit the use of air-rifles. Air-rifles are not classed as firearms. This is why they are being designed today with 1200fps ballistics speeds (right up to, but not passing firearms speeds) and with built-in sound-suppressors. The demand for shooting stray and feral cats in urban areas is that great that they are designing air-rifles specifically for that purpose. They are pricey, but when you think of how many days and months and even years of your lives that you’ve already wasted on trying to reason with your cat-loving neighbor and getting absolutely nowhere (been there! done that! 15 years of it!), it will pay for itself on the very first cat you shoot. And in the years to come. NO cat-lover learns their lesson on their first permanently-missing cat.
And if you use the red-herring that it’s too dangerous for people to be shooting guns of any kind in urban areas. Fearing that all people who shoot guns are unable to hit their targets every time. Then I trust you are also doing everything in your power to disarm all your police and other law-enforcement personnel as fast as possible, lest you be seen as a hypocrite.
Out of the hundreds of cats I shot, I didn’t waste even ONE bullet. Not ONE bullet failed to miss its mark. One cat, one bullet, is all it took. If you care about animals and don’t want any of them to suffer, I assure you, you will only shoot when you are certain. I had never even shot a rifle before I found out I had to use one to solve the cat problem here. And even then I was able to not waste one bullet. I practiced first and outfitted my rifle with accessories that would help, to be certain. That 1-bullet/1-cat accuracy equally ensured by the use of a good scope and an inexpensive laser-sight. (Many people will even strongly zip-tie any old laser-pointer to their barrel and shim it with toothpicks or plastic shims for perfect alignment to the cross-hairs in their scope, I’ve seen it done, it works quite well.) I trust people in your area can obtain those enhancements as well to offset your unfounded paranoia.
(On the plus side, I found out that shooting cats revealed a hidden sharpshooter talent I never knew I had. I can now pick off a cat running at full-tilt in the dead of the night up to 90 yards away. The one time I did that it dropped in mid bound. Cats are EXCELLENT to obtain or hone any marksman skills. And that is ALL they are good for.)
You were saying? (dimwit)
First, the study in question (Rodewald et al. 2011) was not about feral cats or about rural areas–the research was about the survival of nesting birds in urbanized settings. The fact that it doesn’t consider what farmers are doing miles away does not make it flawed. The researchers found (like it or not) that predator density (again, including cats) doesn’t mean squat for nestling survival in urbanized settings–in fact, survival actually increased with predator density for some species. Thus, one questions the *need* for feral cat removal in this and similar settings. (Cats *may* impact other species in these settings, but again, that will be site dependent and the species may not be of concern; e.g., house mice, rats.)
Secondly, in all your rambling you still fail to address the fundamental problem–abandonment–which is arguably greater in urban setting (more people to abandon more cats). BTW, your tactic of scaring your neighbors while menacing a firearm will get you arrested in my neighborhood–and you would never be able to visit all of the neighbors (see my point, above).
Third, while pellet guns are legal to discharge on your own property (good point!), the urban matrix is a network of privately-owned lands. Many of these are .1 to .2 acres or less. So do you propose walking down the street and shooting any cat you see? And what happens when you kill a cat on the owner’s property? [Uh oh]. Moreover, you may consider that in some neighborhoods, walking around with any kind of gun (pellet included) will get you shot, either by police or gangs (and the latter won’t care that you were legal).
Again, your utter failure to acknowledge any of the shortcomings of your one-size-fits-all approach suggest a deficit in your ability to think critically.
P.S. Thanks for not “shouting”.
Since we’ll not agree on the biological issues, I’ll address the urban abandonment issue.
If cat-lovers KNOW that ANY cat of theirs, no matter the reason, will be either destroyed on site, or picked up and taken away to be euthanized if found roaming free, WITHOUT EXCEPTION, it will have every much of the same impact as shooting them all. You just have to enforce it for about a year before they start to learn. (And never remove that policy or law.) It won’t work if you just tell them by saying, “We passed a law” and then not enforce it vigorously. Their cats MUST BE DESTROYED if they don’t keep their cat under confined supervision.
And every person should be told that they have every right (which they do) to destroy any unwanted cats on their own property, without any legal repercussions whatsoever.
Cat lovers have lied and scared everyone into NOT shooting their cats by claiming it is a felony, etc., so people stopped shooting cats in their yards. You need to undo all their relentless lies. I’ve even ran into police departments online that aren’t aware of the laws and just uphold all the relentless lies told to them by cat-lovers.
If a cat is on the OWNER’s property, that cat is off limits from being destroyed on sight. That’s perfectly legal, and that’s where the cat should be. But the owner has to know that if that cat jumps the fence or so much as steps foot on public property, everyone has every right to capture that cat, or destroy it right there, or take it to be euthanized.
You don’t need to shoot their cats, but you do need to destroy their cats, with NO exceptions — until they learn.
And don’t even bother thinking of creating or promoting TNR programs or “No Kill” shelters. Guess what happens to everyone’s unwanted cats where they know they’ll be killed if they take them to the shelter? They sure as hell aren’t going to dump them by a known cat-shooter’s property. They’re not going to dump them in a town or county where the shelter has a 95%+ kill-rate. No. They drive a few miles and dump them where cat-lovers have created “No Kill” policies, and where that cat-dumper knows that some foolish old lady is going to run around spending her meager social-security buying food for their abandoned cat. TNR programs are doomed to fail, if for no other reason, than just by the influx of all the dumped cats from surrounding communities, all their cats that nobody wants but they don’t have the balls to kill them either. These outsiders’ dumped cats now overwhelming every no-kill shelter, and making sterilizing them all for TNR absolutely impossible (as if it being impossible even without dumped cats was bad enough).
You MUST let them know, that no matter what, letting ANY cat roam free means that’s an absolutely certain fatal consequence for that cat. And I stress again, you can’t just say it, you have to prove it to them. Time and time again until it sinks in. Read my post how neighbors by me kept adopting new cats and letting them roam free, even AFTER they knew all their other cats had been shot to death and I was still shooting their cats. Took about 6-7 months before they started to figure it out that I meant business. That what I had told them and what the sheriff told them really WAS happening to all their cats. Yes, they’re just that incredibly stupid and slow.
But even people as pathetically dense as they were finally figured it out. Hundreds of their shot-dead and buried cats later, but they finally learned! They don’t adopt ANY outdoor cats now. If they have any cats left at all, I’ll never know. I never see even one by their houses anymore.
Now, for the sociopolitical catch-22 that you’ve all caught yourselves in. No local lawmaker in an urban area will commit political suicide by passing such a law. If they do the right thing, they lose their cushy job. If they do the wrong thing, you’ll be drowning in a sea of diseased cats. This is why it is now going to fall on each and every individual to find any means possible to destroy every cat they see away from supervised confinement.
Hence, the worldwide popularity and explosion of two cat-management programs that can be adopted by any individual, any community:
SSS — Shoot, Shovel, & Shut-Up
TDSS — Trap, Drown, Shovel, & Shut-Up
Those are your two very best friends when living next-door to a cat lover. Legal on every square foot of this earth. No local laws were violated if it never happened! Many a raccoon, dog, car, coyote, hawk, cat-napper, etc, was blamed for a neighbor’s missing cat that is now acting as fertilizer for rose-bushes.
Just keep making their cats permanently disappear until the cat-lovers start to catch on — or realize that they keep adopting a costly and losing battle.
Make it NOT-fun for them.
Good luck! 🙂
You’re mistaking disagreement for misunderstanding. Where I have disagreed with you is when you have made generalizations, inconsistent statements, and either ignored or misrepresented what I’ve said. What you wrote on November 12, 2012 at 4:28 pm is case in point:
===“I mentioned earlier having seen feral cats waiting outside the cave entrances of endangered bat colonies. I have also seen evidence of feral cats killing endangered piping plovers and Guam rails. The bats, plovers, and rails are what I think of whenever I see a cat outside.”
Evidence of cats killing a species is not evidence of a population-level impact. This is the same argument used by people who oppose wolves and other carnivores: “See, they killed an elk, therefore they must be a problem and we should get rid of them” (paraphrasing, of course).”===
Most people would have considered losing any individual of an endangered species to cats unacceptable, realized that population level impact was implied, and seen the documentation of population level impacts in the links I provided. But you didn’t process any of that, you contradicted your approval of cat removal to protect endangered species, and compared me to the anti-predator crowd.
You also generalize about population level impacts but fail to specify what level of decline would be significant and to distinguish between local and overall populations. You don’t consider the cumulative effects that the myriad of human-caused mortality sources can have on populations. You overestimate the effort, money, and time that can, depending on the situation, go into removing cats from the wild through trapping or other means. You don’t realize that your rationale of leaving certain feral cats alone if they are not impacting populations is the same rationale used by irresponsible cat owners and feral cat enablers to justify continuing the status quo.
Wow, you just don’t get it do you. CATS ARE AN INVASIVE SPECIES. THEY MUST *ALL* BE DESTROYED IF FOUND AWAY FROM SUPERVISED CONFINEMENT.
Are you going to count how many Emerald Ash-Borer Beetles are in an area and let them frolic on the land just so long as they haven’t destroyed all the trees in the neighboring county yet?
Get a clue you mindless bible-home-schooled MORONS.
If even ONE native animal is destroyed by an invasive species cat, that seals the fate for ALL cats. They must then ALL be destroyed in ALL of their non-native habitats. And since cats are a man-made (through selective breeding) invasive species, this MEANS that they have NO NATIVE HABITAT ANYWHERE ON EARTH.
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Given the sociopathic rants and rude name-calling, it might be wise to quit giving this person a platform to continue spewing his hatred.
Aves, sorry, I meant the above for the person you were replying to. I hadn’t read all that senseless drivel from them. (These end of the thread, non-indented posts are sometimes hard to follow.)
To address Pronghorn’s feeble concerns:
I actually quite like seeing when these fringe LUNATIC TNR supporters try to get my posts censored.
Simple reason being: The very last bastion of the blind-followers of any wholly proved false and completely failed religion — censorship.
Just like TNR is a now 100% disproved religion; a religion based on nothing but wishful thinking, self-centered and self-aggrandized feel-good imaginings, and psychotic conjecture. AND ZERO FACTS.
Whenever these TNR lunatics try to get my posts deleted they have publicly admitted to the whole world that their TNR religion is 100% false and they’ve got no other way to defend their imaginary beliefs against truthful statements and hard-core facts based on reality.
They have single-handedly denounced the whole concept of TNR in their simple wish for censorship. But then, like I’ve always said, cat-lovers are always dumber than their cats. Why do you think their cats can outsmart them so often to get away from them? Even their own cats are desperate to not be around them!
I’m not a LUNATIC TNR supporter but I will censor your comments if you keep calling people names on this forum – Admin
And by the way, I was merely suggesting that we just quit responding, not that anyone–no matter how strident and offensive–be censored. That’s up to the site administrator, not commenters.
Look at that! [etc]. This comment has been removed as violating standards of comment decorum. Webmaster
++I actually quite like seeing when these fringe LUNATIC TNR supporters try to get my posts censored.++
I don’t know that pronghorn is one of those, as I haven’t seen any posts along those lines from her/him that suggest it. However, the cautionary note to cool your jets a bit is probably well placed.
You have summarily dismissed the rational arguments and comments of JB, a PhD, wildlife professor at a major university; I will attest the fact that he is no “dimwit.”
You have taken an unsupportable absolutist position that all unsupervised “CATS MUST BE DESTROYED,” wherever they are, without the reasoning to support it.
It strikes me you are every bit as polarizing and irrational as those you condemn. There are arguments for the middle ground, as aves, JB and others have suggested.
And, I don’t know what the law is in most states for destruction of private property, say a collared cat that is let out or actually escapes the house. However, I wouldn’t want to be in your shoes if you get caught thumping somebody’s collared prize tabby that accidentally gets out, without first trying to find its owner. My guess is in either a small claims court, or a court of general jurisdiction you would likely be liable for monetary damages. Probably worthwhile to take that as advice worth considering before you act with lethal force.
I also don’t know about the legality of a pneumatic/air/CO2 powered pellet gun shot within city limits, especially larger cities. They shoot projectiles that can damage things other than the intended target, just as easily as a .22 short or LR. And, not all cities have the same rules. Again, something to consider.
However, in the end, I agree with you that for the most part TNR does not work in the long run, and agree to some extent about the need to lethally control feral cats in areas where they are now, or can in the future become, a problem. The question is, when and where do they require that action? I’ll submit the answer is not always the same.
++Especially when you’ve already admitted how little you know about property and gun laws.++
Actually, what I admitted was not knowing what the controlling law was in a specific city/county/state. But I acknowledged it might just be different in different places, and I expect, well actually I know, it is.
Air rifle/pellet gun is not a firearm, but in many cities, like Seattle, discharging one within City Limits may constitutes “reckless endangerment,” a gross misdemeanor, subjecting the offender to fairly significant fines.
And then there is the target (thinking more geographically broad in a county for example). If someone’s dog/horse/llama/cow gets out of wherever it supposed to be, is not endangering someone’s life, and wonders on to your property you typically can’t just shoot it, without some consequence (if you are caught), just because it wondered there and you didn’t like it. How is a cat that escapes somebody’s house, and not really been abandoned, any different? If you kill it or take it, that is called conversion. It is a strict liability tort, and the legal remedy is money damages against the person who took/killed it.
Woodsman, I think you live by your own rules, some of which may be in violation of law, or give rise to a civil claim by a pet owner if you are caught. You may think you have a higher calling to operate outside the law, but society at large doesn’t think so.
When is everybody going to figure out….
You are being baited…BIG TIME!
Let it rest..
yes indeed Aves
“now if those damned neutered feral cats would just start working on the Europe starlings”
WM – when my area got smacked big time with snow this past week ( went from bare ground in my yard to 14 inches, in a 24 hour period) I cleared a spot out down to the ground, to put out some bird seed.
I normally don’t feed the birds, the winter snows usually comes in smaller increments, which usually give most birds enough time to either head south or adjust.
That afternoon I witnessed a magpie (they take quick advantage of a free meal) beating up on a starling, pounding it and tossing it around. I went out, fully expecting this starling to be dead and was surprised to see it still upright and breathing although its head was pretty bloody.
Night was coming on and the temps were expected to dip down to zero so I got a box, deposited the starling in it and brought it inside.
Didn’t quite look like a starling so after alittle research, I realized it was a juvenile starling and with the wacky weather we’ve had this year, it didn’t surprise me that starlings might of been nesting late.
The next morning it was not only alive but had managed to get out of the covered box and was perched on the rim of the bathtub (the bathroom was the only logical place to keep it, what with both cats and dogs in the cabin)
After a short chase around the bathroom, I caught it and got a closer look at its injuries. One eye pecked out but lungs good, as it protested….. loudly. So back in the box and wondering where to go from here.
Looked out the kitchen window a few minutes later and saw this starling’s 3 buddies (know that because 4 of them took shelter on the covered deck at one point during the snowstorm) sitting on the fenceline. So it was pretty much a given at that point…. got the starling out of the box, opened the door, opened my hand and off it went.
The 4 of them spent the rest of the day, taking advantage of the bird seed and, huddling like siblings, between feedings.
Yep, some people hate starlings but I don’t see many around here and the ones I do see (got a pair that come in every year) nest, catch insects & worms, raise young and are gone by this time of year.
I suspect you feel good about what you did. Who wouldn’t? Not to diminish the altruism of your acts in this instance, but here is something to think about.
Even where you are, in rural MT, you and the animals with which you interact live in a managed environment. First you put out seed to help stay the effects of an early snow (yeah animals die when such events occur, some starving while others take advantage of the fate of others); then you deprive a magpie, a natural predator/scavenger, from a meal; the young, perhaps weak or otherwised flawed, starling is prevented from an early but natural death by your intervention (maybe it will procreate adding the defect to the gene pool); the rest of the starling hatchlings are affected by the insertion of their nearly fatally killed sibling back amongst them; and somebody, maybe not you, built a cabin with a deck providing some protection from the elements for these birds.
I expected that sort of answer from you WM and all I can say is yeah, it did feel good to help out another species, cuz life’s precious, ya konw?
If that magpie had been interested in this starling as a meal, it would of carted it off, heck it weighed almost nothing and the magpie was gone when I got out there.
My guess? This young starling got in the way of a meal and this magpie gave it a sound, though not fatal beating, because it wanted that starling to know who the “top bird” was. And, this starling will no doubt (if it manages to grow up with one eye) instruct its young on the dangers of getting too comfortable around magpies 🙂
That magpie would of appreciated that free meal that you stole from him! I always love on the documentaries I watch they always paint prey and predator in a different light. Nature is vicious and cruel, you should not of intervened.
Oh geez, are you back already from you hunting trip Josh?
Yep we killed a good bull Monday morning. It was freezing cold! Saw cougar tracks everywhere so it seems we were not the only one hunting!
I am serious though, you robbed that magpie of a meal. Odds are the starling died in zero degree weather, magpie eats it. Part of nature. But obviously you know that you should never feed wildlife…..
The TNR CON-GAME
FACT: Trap & Kill failed because cats cannot be trapped faster than they exponentially breed out of control.
FACT: Trap, Neuter, & Release (TNR) is an even bigger abject failure because these man-made ecological disasters cannot be trapped faster than they exponentially breed out of control, and they also continue the 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 last 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 very lucky humanely shot to death or re-trapped and drowned (the two most common methods employed on all farms and ranches to protect their gestating livestock’s offspring and valuable 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. (Precisely what cats caused on my own land not long ago.)
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 a man-made 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: When researching over 100 of the most “successful” TNR programs worldwide, JUST ONE trapped more than 0.4%. Oregon’s 50,000 TNR’ed cats (the highest rate I found) is 4.9% of all ferals in their state. Yet, by applying population growth calculus on the unsterilized 95.1% they will have trapped only 0.35% of all cats in their state sometime this year. Less than 0.4% is a far cry from the required 80%-90% to be the least bit effective.
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 OVER 2 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.
FACT: During all this investigation I have discovered something that is unfaltering without fail. Something that you can bet your very life on and win every last time. That being — IF A TNR CAT-HOARDER IS TALKING THEN THEY ARE LYING. 100% guaranteed!
“Humane horse slaugher requirements by Temple Grandin (Ph. D and Professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University), recognized authority on the subject:”
The trouble is, compliance and putting humane methods into practice – I don’t think it’s always pracical in today’s world. Another unsettling piece of news I heard yesterday is that meat consumption is up in China with its newly prosperous population, much as it was when America, consumption being suggested daily. With so many people to feed on our planet, raising animals cannot possible be humane, nor healthy for our planet and a threat to wildlife, with only limited land.
Whether or nor our current wild horses are native to and related to the horses of the Americas (and I tend to think they are due to DNA links), they are integral to humankind and its history, and I cannot imagine a world without them – much like bison and wolves.
Oops, make that “much like what happened when America’s population became prosperous.”
++The trouble is, compliance and putting humane methods into practice…++
If you looked at Dr. Grandin’s paper, you probably saw the third party monitoring requirement – cameras showing what is going on at the facility in the various functional areas, and accesible by compliance monitors at ANY time. Not very expensive at all. And, USDA meat inspectors with surprise visits also help in that area. Combine that with some stiff fines and maybe imprisonment of offending corporate officers of companies/tribal operations and I think the compliance issue is a minor one.
In contrast, think of the less desireable alternative as animals go south to Mexico where certain techniques Dr. Grandin describes as undesireable are used regularly. And, there is no monitoring or US enforcement at all there. No doubt in my mind it can work, especially with proper funding.
And there is no reason a commercial market for horse meat could not become viable once again, and with higher visibility in the US.
USDA inspections? Right, they do such a good job in puppy mills and regular slaughterhouses. http://www.animallawcoalition.com/farm-animals/article/2112
Horses are not raised as meat animals and are full of carcinogenic drugs. A very instructive article from Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/vickeryeckhoff/2012/06/18/how-safe-is-that-horse-meat/
Beginning some time next year the European Union will begin strict enforcement of food safety laws that will shut down any U.S. horse meat market. “Horses, unlike traditional food animals in the United States, are not raised or medicated during their lifetime with the intent of one day becoming human food. Because American horses are not “intended” for the human food chain, throughout their lives they will often have received medications that are banned by the FDA for use at any time during the life of food animals. Click here for list of drugs prohibited for use in horses slaughtered for human consumption.” Veterinarians for Equine Welfare http://www.vetsforequinewelfare.org/medications.php
The heinous, ongoing abuses of factory farming and industrial slaughter make a joke of inspections, regulations, “humane slaughter,” blah blah blah and who’s naive enough to think it would be any different for horses? Eighty per cent of Americans are opposed to horse slaughter. Yet the exploiters reach for slaughter as their tool of choice so they can continue irresponsible breeding and culling of those who don’t measure up to their money-making standards.
What is your solution to the invasive species horse population problem? You can’t just be critical of what is being proposed without an alternative that solves, or moves toward solving the problem.
The focus of my comments were on the WILD HORSES AS INVASIVE SPECIES, AND WHAT TO DO WITH THEM. I don’t think there are many wild horses in EU countries destined for market.
And, by the way, those open range horses, thousands of them would have no source of the drugs referenced in the article. So that is irrelevant to that population.
Passport or origin documents on horses going to slaughter should be a part of any rules (as should be toxic testing), as they apparently are in some parts of Europe.
The horses put in service by humans that just need to be put down because of age, or have histories of veterinary care, especially near end of life, involving medications of concern, and maybe even throughbred race horses (anybody know what happens to them now, I don’t, but they probably have lots of drugs over their life) should be weeded out, for sure. Can we make fertilizer of those horses in the US, but still give them a humane ending, as an alternative to having their spinal cord cut with a puntilla (short knife) by somebody in Mexico, who strings the horse up on a hook while it is still alive, with no oversight whatsoever by US regulators?
Think about the options, Kathleen. Again, what is YOUR solution, and it can’t be do nothing, because that doesn’t seem to be working for those who are affected.
WM – please share…..who’s actually being “affected” here other than welfare ranchers whining and moaning about wild horses taking up too much of their incredibly cheap grazing rights ON PUBLIC LANDS and ranchers breeding their horses (like rabbits when their mares are in heat) hoping for that one great roping/ranch horse, or a horse with nice color, stockings etc. and discarding the ones (they call them canners) that don’t quite fit the bill?
The solution is simple – stop making excuses for ranchers who somehow think they’ve got the right to dictate how and where wilddlife and wild lands should exist.
I really don’t know that much about horses. But as an invasive species…they were here before the invasive cattle, and their dentition bespeaks the fact they evolved in grasslands.
I really don’t have a dime in this argument(horses)one way or the other, other than the fact when I was young, I wanted a horse, not a cow.
Actually, Nancy, anyone with a horse that needs to ultimately dispose of it anywhere in the US. As the previous post suggests its a national problem for horse disposal. As for the invasive species part, anywhere excess horses are the general consensus is they can create a problem that adversely affects private or public lands. Doesn’t really matter whether it is elk, deer, antelope or cattle habitat/feed. It seems it is purely additive, and horse removal helps whatever is there.
I thought you were more worldly than your cabin in MT suggests. Think a bit outside the box, and don’t get so focused on your neighbors and what you see around you. I mentioned before the Yakama tribe would like to start a horse slaughter plant as a means of employment for tribal members, and its a bunch better than sending horses of whatever origin to Mexico or Canada for less humane disposal. Can we at least agree on that part? Geez.:)
Thanks for a small chuckle Immer! I didn’t want a cow either….
I have a difficult time with wild horses. I love horses. But many consider the mustangs invasive. I hate the fact that there are so many being held by the BLM. It’s a mess, a complete mess. How bad would it be to just leave them on the land? Probably bad but its worse what they are doing now I think.
First, though some might want to side with the BLM that wild horses are an invasive species, that isn’t a foregone conclusion, since researchers and others in the scientific community claim otherwise. I don’t pretend to know, and frankly, don’t care; wild horses, like domestic feral cats, have special status–unlike Asian carp, say, or nutria, which are clearly invasive. (Or are they? “Hi, I’m a Nutria” video http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/20/opinion/hi-im-a-nutria.html ) Ida mentioned DNA links that call into question the nonnative status of wild horses–more here http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/greenspace/2011/06/wild-horses-nevada-blm-native-species.html
According to my horse expert friend, birth control works but has been used irresponsibly, in a heavy-handed manner to stop all breeding. (This experiment used a round-up and a cull–I’d call that heavy-handed, but did not vaccinate all the females http://myhorse.com/blogs/horse-breeds-information/wild-or-rescued-horses/colorado-state-university-researchers-try-birth-control-vaccine-on-wild-horse-herd/ ).
The BLM has called for public/private partnerships to work on the wild horse issue and yet rejected Madeleine Pickens’ proposal to create a wild horse eco-sanctuary–why? https://www.savingamericasmustangs.org/ Even so, other groups and alliances are stepping up to “help manage and sustain” the herds–the Spring Mountain Alliance near Las Vegas is one; they hope to develop safari-style tourism around the horses. http://springmountainalliance.org/
According to my friend, the population number most often used is 38,000 wild horses and burros…one animal for every 6000 acres if that number is accurate–and over 3 million cattle on the range. Which one is overpopulated?!? I don’t have sources for his numbers, but I don’t need them–we all know that exotic, invasive cattle have first right to our public lands over all other species, whether native or not.
The wholesale slaughter of any sentient animal–cattle, pigs, chickens, horses, cats and dogs–is a human moral failure, but we’re a speciesist species, so slaughtering others is just business as usual, and the call for ever more slaughter just never ends.
My comment has been in a moderation queue for an hour, so here it is without the attendant links, which might have been holding it up:
First, though some might want to side with the BLM that wild horses are an invasive species, that isn’t a foregone conclusion. I don’t pretend to know, and frankly, don’t care; wild horses, like domestic feral cats, have special status–unlike Asian carp, say, or nutria, who are clearly invasive. Ida mentioned DNA links that call into question the nonnative status of wild horses–-researchers and others in the science community agree.
According to my horse expert friend, birth control works but has been used irresponsibly, in a heavy-handed manner to stop all breeding. (One experiment, Colorado State U., used a round-up and a cull–I’d call that heavy-handed–but did not vaccinate all the females).
The BLM has called for public/private partnerships to work on the wild horse issue and yet rejected Madeleine Pickens’ proposal to create a wild horse eco-sanctuary–why? Even so, other groups and alliances are stepping up to “help manage and sustain” the herds–the Spring Mountain Alliance near Las Vegas is one; they hope to develop safari-style tourism around the horses.
According to my friend, the population number most often used is 38,000 wild horses and burros…one animal for every 6000 acres if that number is accurate–and over 3 million cattle on the range. Which one is overpopulated?!? I don’t have sources for his numbers, but I don’t need them–we all know that exotic, invasive cattle have first right to our public lands over all other species, whether native or not.
The wholesale slaughter of any sentient animal–cattle, pigs, chickens, horses, cats and dogs–is a human moral failure, but we’re a speciesist species, so slaughtering others is just business as usual, and the call for ever more slaughter just never ends.
Domestic cats have NO special status. Quite the opposite as a matter of fact. Why do you cRat-lovers consistently lie to others and deceive others so much and so often?
The law in the USA is that it is perfectly legal to destroy any animal, someone’s pet or not, that is threatening the health, well-being, and safety of yourself, your family, your animals, or even your property. Also true even in most densely populated cities, firearms laws permitting, if not then 700-1200fps air-rifles are commonly used. The only animals exempt from you taking immediate action, legally, are those listed on endangered or threatened species lists, and any bird species under protection of MBTA (the Migratory Bird Treaty Act). Even then variances can be given should there be sufficient problem but this requires further study by authorities. Since cats are listed in the TOP 40 WORST invasive species of the world in the “Global Invasive Species Database” ( http://www.issg.org/database/species/ecology.asp?si=24&fr=1&sts=sss ), this means they have no protection whatsoever from being shot on sight, they are not on any protected species list anywhere in the world. Quite the opposite as a matter of fact. (This is precisely how I managed to clear out every last one of hundreds of these invasive species vermin cats from my own lands. On the sound advice of the sheriff. Even he found that trying to reason with and warn the cat-lovers did no good. But shooting every last cat finally worked! My lands have been 100% cat-free for nearly 3 years now, for less than the price of a couple cups of coffee for the ammo.)
Shoot to maim is punishable under the laws that define animal-cruelty (these are the ONLY cases that cat-lovers cite to try to manipulate and scare everyone from shooting their only favorite animal). But shoot to kill is a perfectly legal way to humanely destroy an animal. The same laws and principles that apply to methods of humanely hunting animals also applies to cats. (Hint: outfit your rifle with a good scope and laser-sight, inexpensive on ebay. This will ensure a totally humane, instant, and LEGAL kill each and every time. Though use a fatal chest-shot, a head-shot is not always a sure thing.) Unlike cat-lovers’ psychotic beliefs, the reality is that a cat is just another animal. It’s NOT their baby, their child, their offspring. Even if they do view their cats that way, letting them roam free is no less criminally irresponsible than them telling their child to go play in the freeway and then blaming the cars for their child’s death. If they let their cat roam free, NO MATTER HOW IT DIES, that is THEIR fault and they can be charged with all laws that clearly define animal-neglect, animal-abandonment, and animal-endangerment. Not to mention being in direct violation of all international invasive species laws in existence.
In fact, here’s a publication from a study done by the University of Nebraska on the best ways to HUMANELY deal with a feral-cat problem wherever you live. This documentation INCLUDES the best firearms, ammo, and air-rifles required to HUMANELY destroy cats. deenawinter.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/ec1781.pdf
Besides, what difference does it make if the cat gets shot or ran over by a car, attacked by another cat or animal, drowned, or poisoned by plants animals or chemicals (inexpensive 1-adult-strength generic acetaminophen pain-relievers gaining in popularity, for being so species specific). The result is the same. The cause is the same — the fault of the criminally irresponsible pet-owner that let their invasive species pet roam free. They’ve already proved that their animal is 100% expendable. You can either destroy their cat for them humanely, or let their lack of care cause it to inevitably die inhumanely. They don’t care one bit how their cat might cruelly suffer to death if they let it roam free. Humanely destroy their cat for them before that can happen. A well aimed bullet is the MOST humane death that ANY stray or feral cat can ever look forward to. Any other death that they WILL eventually face is all inhumanely downhill from there.
Dr. Grandin certainly has an unique and interesting perspective. She is a unique and interesting person so I’m not too surprised! I often wondered if those methods she came up with would be cost effective.
Feral cats are a huge problem, we have duck leases and hunting leases near a couple major cities and the amount of cats we remove is staggering some years.. (by remove, I mean shoot) on one property we killed 43 in one year.
Only 43? Dang, I wish the problem here had been that light. I shot and buried HUNDREDS of them in only 2 seasons.
Now here’s someone who did even better than I did …
“ONE landholder shot 460 feral cats in two days as the battle to stop them destroying native wildlife in North West Queensland ramps up.”
Just for the record. You are from Australia, right?
It is my impression that feral cats have done a particularly great amount of damage in your country.
No, not from Australia. But cRats had done an equal if not greater amount of damage on my own lands in the USA. Annihilating nearly all the wildlife on my lands. Fox, raccoons, grouse, wild turkey, hawks no longer soared in the area, all snakes, all frogs disappeared, all owls, etc., etc. for over 15 years. One day a starving raccoon dragged her two surviving cubs to my door in the middle of the day. Right to my door. She couldn’t even make milk for her own cubs. Then I realized why – I had been seeing NOTHING but cRats on my lands for years and that’s why she came to me for help. That starving raccoon alerted me to just how bad the problem had become and why my woods and lands had become so silent for so long. Not even Spring-Peepers each spring.
[A very important aside: I have since discovered an important thing that nobody else has realized, and it explains precisely why these cRats can annihilate whole ecosystems. Native wildlife predators will run-away from bold-patterned cats. A universal symbol in nature: bold-pattern = toxic or dangerous, AVOID. This is how cats managed to overtake my lands and others’ lands. No native predator will touch cats with bold patterns bred into their coats. New studies recently published in Australia have found that encouraging Dingo populations has also done absolutely nothing to hinder feral cat populations there. This principle is equally valid there too.]
A cRat problem can sneak up on you if you aren’t aware of it, until it is nearly too late to do anything about it. This is why I now have a ZERO-cRats tolerance policy. If you see JUST ONE? Shoot it! NOW! You’ll be kicking yourself later if you don’t. That one will attract others and turn into hundreds again in no time.
This is also why I warn cRat-lovers about their moronic “barn-cat” programs for all their urban and suburban cRats that they don’t want. They think that if they just round them up and dump them off in the country that those cRats will live out idyllic bambi-cartoon-lives chasing butterflies. The only thing that re-homed cRats catch in the countryside today are well-aimed bullets as soon as they are spotted by anyone with a gun. Contrary to more oft-spewed cRat-lovers’ lies — stray and feral cRats that are dumped in new locations NEVER stay where they have been dumped. And even if they do manage to train one or two of the dozens of their cRats to return to their roost in the morning, all the rest of the 24 hours they are out annihilating all the native wildlife in the countryside for miles around.
Thanks to these criminally irresponsible barn-cat program cRat-dumpers, that’s a part too of why I had to shoot so many cRats. They only added to the normal cRat-shooting quota that all rural people already face to keep preexisting populations in check. A few people in the area thought they could set up cute little “retirement villages” for everyone else’s unwanted cRats. Now every last one of their hundreds of cRats are shot dead and buried — PERMANENTLY retired. They don’t adopt cRats around here anymore! 🙂
“At present there is much conflicting “information” about the amount of damage done by cats in Australia. Some authorities claim that cats are hunting native wildlife to extinction. Others claim cats are unfairly targeted, since overclearing and overstocking of land in the late 1800s and the introduction of the Red Fox for sport in 1910 had a worse impact on wildlife numbers.” http://www.feralcat.com/sarah1.html
Also, Aussies are killing their own native wildlife by the multiple millions–the kangaroo slaughter being called “the largest land-based wildlife slaughter in the world.”
The only sources posting that are Pro Feral cat organizations.
They are never ending scourage in my neck of the woods, I can’t seem to get enough bullets to take care of it. One of my bird dogs trees cats very well and she’s been getting a work out.
Ryan, a while ago I posted a Reader’s Digest version of the most successful methods that I invented to get rid of every last one within a mile around. I posted it at:
If you need any further clarification or help, let me know (here, so others might learn the best and easiest ways to destroy all cats).
I had to get quite inventive and creative to get every last one of these vermin cRats. It’s not easy, but it CAN be done.
And be cautious to protect your dog from having direct contact with any of these cRats. If you’ve followed my posts, you’ll have read how my feeding a shot-dead cat one time to some disease & toxin resistant opossum (fascinating critters, they’ve isolated something from their blood that makes any animal injected with it 100% resistant to the most dangerous bio-toxins on earth, read up on it), those opossum, alarmingly, died from some disease (or something) in that cat-meat. The LAST thing that you need or want is having your dog dying from someone’s disease-ridden vermin cats!
(And get a laser-sight; helps immensely on these furtive, small, quick, and wary vermin; can be had for under $15 on ebay.)
a bizarre thought train and somewhat serial killer like…focusing on killing a particular animal without weighing humane options. Glad you don’t live near me.
Poor poor manipulative and self-deluded Louise Kane. Tsk tsk.
I tried to appease the cat-lovers by me that were releasing cats for 15 years. Even going so far as to befriend them and give them many gifts over the years, even home-made pastries from my own fruit trees. Asking over and over again to do something about the hundreds of cats they were releasing onto the lands.
15 YEARS of trying to reason with them and all I got were lies and failed promises. Oh yes, all their cats were sterilized — LIE. Not ONE of the hundreds I shot and buried were sterilized. Oh yes, I’ll put a bell on the cats (my later finding out that does no good). LIE, only 2 of them had bells on them, about the size of a pea with no weight inside to make any sound. And so the stories, deceptions, and bald-faced lies went for 15 years as all my wildlife died from THEIR cat infestation.
So now I try to convey this much needed part of the solution — ignore ANYTHING a cat-lover has to say. Because while they are making excuse after excuse — the world is being destroyed by their cats — and they just don’t care.
May the rest of you have as much success as I did in totally eradicating the problem from your own lands. Learn from my mistake of trying to reason with cat-lovers for 15 year. But more importantly, learn from what I did that was an absolute 100% success — shoot every last cat you see.
“Think a bit outside the box, and don’t get so focused on your neighbors and what you see around you”
WM – unfortunately what I see around me, IS a huge part of the problem when it comes to stockpiles of either unwanted, abandoned or feral horses.
Opening the doors again to slaughter houses, that cater to disposing of horses, is like a green light to the insensitive assholes with a few acres of land, a stud and a few mares, who are in for the profit (and could care less about that less than perfect horse)
A win win situation instead of taking full responsibility for those lives.
Not just the “no kill” movement recommending TNR for community cats. Many animal welfare organizations are recommending this. Your National Animal Control Association also condones the practice (http://www.nacanet.org/guidelines.html#community). In Canada, mainstream animal welfare organizations are recommending TNR for community cats (Canadian Federation of Humane Societies and the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association among them).
It may seem to you, and others, that animal welfare organizations are helping community cats at the expense of wildlife, but that is not the case. TNR is recommended because it is considered the practical solution to reducing the community cat numbers sufficiently, over time, to address people’s concerns. There are non-lethal remedies to the concerns conservationists have (such as relocating cats from sensitive areas).
Surprised you would write “As for this writer, I always smile when I notice that coyotes are working our neighborhood. They just love wandering cats.” Nothing for you to brag about, except perhaps to conservationist types.
Shared a link to your article, as well as to Longcore’s spiel, to various Canadian groups, so that they can see how some in the US think.
How about if we relocate every last one of those cRats to your own backyard. That’s not a sensitive area, is it? Because if you relocate them by me, they get shot on sight. GUARANTEED! I have a box full of collars to prove it.
Hello, Woodpecker. Spamming as usual, I see…
Spam is considered posting redundant information to promote some money-making scheme. Did you not read ALL of the facts in that TNR CON-GAME list? Here’s the truncated version of the pertinent one, since you have the attention-span of a twitter-head gnat.
“FACT: THERE IS ABSOLUTELY _NOTHING_ HUMANE ABOUT TNR. …. 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!”
The only TRUE spammers in this issue are every last person who promotes TNR online.
Spam is unsolicited, one-sided material that doesn’t provide useful information, but instead attempts to overwhelm good information (that’s coming from reliable sources) with its own artificial volume and false persuasiveness.
Scott, see all the studies that PROVE that TNR is a complete waste of time. ZERO USEFUL INFORMATION.
Ergo TNR posts = SPAM.
“FACT: THERE IS ABSOLUTELY _NOTHING_ HUMANE ABOUT TNR”
This is an interesting argument. The fundamental premise seems to be that cats are ill-equipped to live in the “wild” (outdoors), therefore releasing them alive is not humane? Yet the same folks advocating this position would have you believe that cats are everywhere–an indication that they are, in fact, well-adapted to living in the NA wild.
Note: This contradiction also plays into a discussion we have had many times on this forum about how animals die (think about those folks who call carnivores cruel because of the way they “torture” their prey). Wild deaths are not pretty or humane, but yet we let wild animals persist.
I think a more effective argument against TNR is that cats that are trapped and euthanized are guaranteed a humane death, while cats that are allowed to live wild and feral will die like other wild animals.
The main reason I had to shoot so many cats is that demented cat-lovers were feeding them in the area and providing shelter for them in their left-open garages and sheds, just for their cats. I’m quite certain that if the cats didn’t have hand-outs and help from humans I would have saved quite a few pennies on bullets.
Now add in all the dozens and dozens of cats that they kept adopting from cat-adoption programs sponsored in cities, suburbs, and towns (just like many of those programs that are being promoted or ran by the complete morons replying in this discussion thread and elsewhere); and then they would release them again — WHILE THEY ALREADY KNEW THAT ALL THEIR OTHER CATS WERE BEING SHOT TO DEATH FOR MONTHS! (I told them so on many occasions, the Sheriff even told them so.) This is why it took even longer to shoot them all. Not until the brain-dead cat-lovers finally started to catch on and stop adopting cats did the shooting start to subside.
Adapt a cat and let it roam outside? IT DIES AS SOON AS IT IS SPOTTED OFF THEIR PROPERTY. This FACT seemed to have escaped them every day that they saw fewer and fewer of their favorite cats. The moron cat-feeders crying out pathetically sad as they went up and down the roads calling their cats’ names EVERY day, as the gun-shots went off daily in their adjoining lands.
I’m now thoroughly convinced that every last cat-lover is FAR FAR more stupid than ANY cat. Not only because of the above, but because if a cat can outsmart them to get outside (which always seems to be their excuse) — which of the two is smarter? These are the kinds of brain-dead morons that all the rest of us are up against in trying to stop this ecological disaster that THEY created and perpetuate.
And you’re wrong about all carnivores always playing with their prey. VERY FEW do that. And I know NONE that torture other animals to death and then leave the eviscerated animal to rot, not even using one bit of it for food. BUT *ALL* CATS DO. My long rural driveways (1/4 mile) were lined daily with cats’ left-over gutted-alive and skinned-alive play-toys. The only thing missing from these cats’ play-toys were the animals’ lives. That wasteful and senseless carnage stopped completely after every last cat was shot dead and buried.
And no, cats will not die like other animals in the wild. I proved on my own land that most all predators will run-away from any bold-patterned cats. Native wildlife perceives bold patterns in any unknown animal as a warning flag; that that animal is dangerous, toxic, or deadly; to avoid it at all costs if possible. (And sadly, Australians are just now starting to realize this with their failed Dingo experiments. But they don’t know why that failed — yet. I haven’t written to them to tell them why.) Cats left in the wild will primarily die from exposure, disease, cat-fight inflicted wounds and the resulting infections, road-kill, parasites, toxins, etc. Native predation is not and will never be a significant factor.
The ONLY predator that will be a significant factor in removing them from non-native habitats will be man with a well-aimed gun. Oh, and letting demented cat-lovers know that if they adopt a cat and can’t keep it confined, IT WILL BE SHOT DEAD ON SIGHT. ZERO TOLERANCE. Stopping the enablers stops the problem. Shut down the market for them (free or not)and all excess cats will be destroyed before they can ever become a problem for anyone or anything else ever again.
wow how can anyone hate an animal – hate anything- so much? I thought all the vitriol was reserved for wolves and coyotes. perverse obsession yuck
and back to the same cat rant….
“And you’re wrong about all carnivores always playing with their prey. VERY FEW do that. And I know NONE that torture other animals to death and then leave the eviscerated animal to rot, not even using one bit of it for food. BUT *ALL* CATS DO.”
And there you go making “all” and “none” claims. You just lost any credibility you had.
Curious Nature Advocate, oops 🙂 I mean Woodsman, still typing 135 words a minute?
The fun part is … that you have proved again something that I’ve discovered long ago. One more “FACT” that I often leave out of my cat-lover-liars list of facts.
FACT: TNR Advocates Are Psychotic Net-Stalkers.
ANYONE need only Google for: Loews Hotels Feral Cats, if they want to see just what kind of whack-jobs these people are. Worse than cats!
After reading what they did to the owners of Loews hotels, any sane person will realize why nobody wants to bring these TNR sociopaths and psychopaths right to your door. Consider the multiple screen-names my way of outing you as the net-stalking psychopathic loonies that you are. LOL
Though there is another more logical reason, many sites will only let you make one post or one per day. Not nearly enough to dispel all the lies that these TNR whack-jobs relentlessly spam and spew across the net. But I found it also *does* come in handy to show everyone else that they are net-stalking whack-jobs too. They themselves showed me that! LOL
Then is it any wonder why Loews and other organizations have been ground to a halt because of their behavior and misguided values?
Here’s another recent replay of the same thing that these cat-lover-sociopaths did to Loews Hotels: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-stray-cats-20121026,0,6245372.story
A $150 million renovation project for low-income housing, put on hold, jobs lost, money lost, homeless still homeless, just to save a few of their feral vermin cRats.
This is precisely why everyone is now learning to destroy all cats on their own properties as quickly and quietly as possible. Telling nobody beforehand about the cats even being a problem or that they are even there. Long before these cat-lover psychotics get wind of the cats. Because if you don’t? You’ll have more trouble than the cats were to begin with. The only thing worse than feral cats, are feral cat-lovers. You can legally shoot the former, not the latter. You need to pay lawyers and courts to get rid of the latter.
What’s the matter? Jealous of 130+wpm typing?
p.s. Thanks for giving me another reason and chance to prove to everyone exactly what what you cat-lickers are like. LOL
Wait now… all of Gothic City’s cats have been disappearing, and “cat lickers” are rising up in protest. Batman is on his way but who will win the dual, the Batman or the cloaked Woodsman? As the battle rages all of Gothic City prays for the day that decent cat lickers who restrain their kitties will be safe from the Woodsman. As Batman drives Woodsman toward the city limits, Woodsman shrieks “your kitties may be safe now but I’ll be back” ….swooshes cape over shoulder and slinks off camera right. Cat lickers yikes how dramatic.
“The fun part is … that you have proved again something that I’ve discovered long ago. One more “FACT” that I often leave out of my cat-lover-liars list of facts.
FACT: TNR Advocates Are Psychotic Net-Stalkers”
“p.s. Thanks for giving me another reason and chance to prove to everyone exactly what what you cat-lickers are like. LOL
Honestly Woodsman. Not stalking.
As I read thru your numerous posts, I kept thinking, where the heck have I seen these obnoxious, insulting rants before?
Did a search on this site – feral cats – and bingo!! There you were….and obviously, off the meds, again.
Paranoid: persistent, unalterable, systematized, logically reasoned delusions, or false beliefs, usually of persecution or grandeur. Sees himself as an exalted person with a mission of great importance.
I would recommend, you might want to buy a mirror to look into..
Feeling kind of sorry for the mighty cat hunter SB?
See, what they don’t get yet, is that you have to fight fire with fire. I go away when they ALL go away. Pretty simple, no? 🙂
(A 1-right-click reply for a fool, they’re not worth more than a 1-click)
You can look at it this way …. it took me 2 hunting seasons to get rid of every last stray cat on my land, feral, pet, it mattered not. This was done through relentless vigilance and accuracy. I realized that the ONLY way to prevent this from ever happening again was to apply the very same techniques now to those that had caused this local ecological disaster in the first place. To stop them, for myself and everyone else that has been tormented in life by people just like these mindless TNR advocates. I’m not going away until every last person that advocates the release of invasive-species cats has been stopped from practicing their criminally-irresponsible behavior. You can count on that.
I think it is hunters’ and wildlife watchers’ combined interest to preserve our wild places and their inhabitants as much as possible. Call us all wildplaces preservers.
Unfortunately, it may be a sad fact that in order to correct the past mistakes we have made by irresponsibly abandoning our pets and livestock in wild places, that humane euthanasia is the only (last resort or couse)solution – whether pythons, zebra mussels, our feral livestock and pets, unless something better can be found.
I make an exception for wild mustangs and horses because there is evidence that suggests they have a natural presence – sometimes we can use the invasive species tag as a convenience, and we shouldn’t for our wild horses and wolves.
The evidence so far presented about the wild horses is dubious at best.
aren’t you in DC today? I was hoping we would hear some news of your trip
Yes I am in DC, I unfortunately have been delayed as usual…If you or I were late, we get blown off, if they are late it is par for the course.
Oh thats too bad nothing worse then being stuck in an airport! have a safe trip
I just hope I can reschedule my meetings for Wed, if not, it will be a wasted trip and now I will have to fly into Seattle or Portland, OR, instead of back home, as we are spending the holidays with Family in Oregon. I hate to see my wife, have to drive that trip from NW Montana to OR by herself at this time of year.