For Immediate Release: November 1, 2010
Contact: ELIZABETH PAROWSKI, email@example.com or 240-482-1984; FRANCIE ISRAELI, firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-207-1134
ALLEY CAT ALLIES URGES BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA TO RECONSIDER NEW FERAL CAT COLONY GUIDELINES
Says new regulations will hurt Trap-Neuter-Return programs
BETHESDA, MD — Alley Cat Allies, the national advocate for stray and feral cats, urged the Brevard County Commissioner to reconsider new guidelines for feral cat colonies, noting that the guidelines may jeopardize extremely successful Trap-Neuter-Return programs in the county. The new guidelines would restrict caregivers from registering new colonies on public lands or on properties not owned by the caregivers.
“Trap-Neuter-Return has been working well in Brevard County for 11 years,” said Becky Robinson, president of Alley Cat Allies. “But the new guidelines may wind up discouraging volunteer caregivers, and more cats would end up being killed in animal pounds and shelters. Clearly this would be an enormous step backwards for the community.”
Trap-Neuter-Return is a humane program in which feral cats – who are not socialized to people, and can’t be adopted – are trapped, neutered and vaccinated at nearby veterinary clinics, and then returned to their outdoor colonies, where they are regularly provided food and water by volunteers. Trap-Neuter-Return ends the breeding cycle and improves the cats’ lives. Many communities across the country, including Brevard County, have embraced the program after decades of relying on the failure of “catch and kill.”
In a letter to the County Commissioner, Alley Cat Allies notes that “any change that makes [Trap-Neuter-Return] more restrictive will result in fewer cats neutered and vaccinated,” and that “if [colony] registration is more complicated and restrictive, fewer citizen volunteer caregivers will take part in the program, and the cats and surrounding community will suffer.”
Robinson said recent news stories reporting that the guideline changes were spurred by complaints about nuisance colonies were incorrect.
“The existing feral cat colonies in Brevard County are being managed well, and Brevard Animal Services Enforcement Agency has told us they are not aware of any ‘nuisance’ colonies,” said Robinson. “In some cases, complaints about feral cats were actually attributable to raccoons.”
Robinson noted that numerous humane deterrents are available to keep feral cats away from areas where they are not wanted, including commercial products like CatStopTM as well as homemade remedies like citrus peels and lattice fencing.
“Humane deterrents are inexpensive and work extremely well,” she said.
About Alley Cat Allies
Alley Cat Allies is the nation’s leading advocate for stray and feral cats. Their website is www.alleycat.org.