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Visitor essay: Not so simple as ‘lure, neuter, undertake’

by Stephanie Faulkiner

As a member of the Monongalia County Animal Welfare Community (MCAWN), I’m responding to the visitor essay written by the Animal Care and Management Points Supervisor for PETA (DP-11-11-23). MCAWN wish to make clear why lure, neuter undertake isn’t a practical answer to the very a lot “man-made” feline overpopulation downside in Monongalia County, in addition to each different county in West Virginia.

Out preliminary response was disappointment. Why would a fellow activist assault native boots-on-the-ground rescuers from their workplace in one other state whereas failing to even touch upon how reprehensible the precise mass killing of owned and neighborhood cats was?

Feral cats don’t exist due to rescuers. Feral cats exist due to irresponsible pet homeowners and non-existent animal welfare legal guidelines. Many pet homeowners don’t really feel the necessity to repair their cats as a result of they’re indoor pets, till they get out.

Feminine cats can produce as much as three litters a 12 months. These litters common 4 to 6 kittens. Feminine kittens can change into pregnant inside 4 months. One unaltered feminine cat has the potential so as to add one other 500-plus cats per 12 months to the inhabitants.

Many individuals learn statistics like this and say issues like, “For this reason I repair the females,” however male cats can reproduce with a number of females indiscriminately, so it’s crucial that each one cats be fastened when they’re the suitable age. Along with inhabitants management, it additionally makes them much less prone to develop life threatening illnesses like pyometra and testicular most cancers.

As rescuers, we don’t undertake cats out to individuals who plan to allow them to roam outdoor. As people, we perceive that if somebody has deserted their cat outdoor and we’re unable to take it in ourselves that it’s crucial to change and vet that cat to offer it one of the best probability potential at survival.

The unique letter acknowledged that rescuers do nothing to guard neighborhood cats from risks they face by residing outdoor. Whereas it’s true that we aren’t capable of shield them from predators (human and animal), automobiles and sickness, our proactive spay/neuter applications do scale back colony sizes. Many neighborhood cat caregivers present shelters with straw, treatment when out there and, when sources can be found, the extra pleasant cats are positioned into foster houses to be socialized in order that they are often adopted. We’re all too conscious of the plight of outside cats, and we’re doing the very best that we will for them.

Many animal safety payments have been submitted to the West Virginia Legislature. They’re all the time shot down or picked aside to the purpose that they take away protections which can be already in place. One would assume that a company with sources resembling PETA could also be extra inclined to assist foyer for our homeless animals as a substitute of attacking those that try to enhance their welfare and forestall extra of them from being born into struggling.

In 2022, PETA’s Virginia shelter acquired 1,740 cats, 1,728 of which had been proprietor surrendered. 1,374 of these cats had been euthanized, and solely 15 had been adopted. The rest had been transferred to different shelters. Why does PETA assume that neighborhood cat caregivers can undertake out fully unsocialized cats when it might’t even rehome socialized proprietor surrenders? Our group is open to workable recommendations, in addition to any sources that would successfully assist fight the issue at hand, however we actually don’t want a lecture.

Stephanie Faulkiner is a member of the Monongalia County Animal Welfare Community and the Advertising Outreach Coordinator for Spay Neuter Incentive Program of West Virginia (SNIP WV), a excessive yield, low-cost clinic positioned in Morgantown.