Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Can't Fix Stupid, So Fix Their Cats

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Can't Fix Stupid, So Fix Their Cats

Article excerpt

Every day, irresponsible people decide they no longer want that kitten (now a cat) that looked so cute when they bought it for their child's birthday.

So they get in the car, drive to a place where they've seen cats congregating -- maybe a farm, or a restaurant, or a vacant lot in another neighborhood -- and they dump their responsibility on someone else.

As we all know, the world has plenty of stupid, callous human beings, so now it's also full of wild-roaming cats. There is a solution, at least a partial one. We could round them up, neuter them and return them to where they were found.

We're talking about the cats, by the way.

For the humans, we're going to rely on education. That's why the trap/neuter/return solution is only a partial one.

Honestly, there's no easy answer.

The Florida Legislature is considering TNR as a statewide approach, embodied in a bill sponsored by state Rep. Holly Raschein, D-Key Largo.

The bill would let counties adopt TNR as an official approach, and it would offer some legal protection to the cat lovers and veterinarians who do the work now as volunteers.

Caroline Resnick of Animal Rescue Coalition, Theresa Foley of Venice Cat Coalition and Barbara McCarten of St. Francis Animal Rescue are good examples.

For years, they have coordinated efforts to trap wild cats, spay and inoculate them, put kittens up for adoption, return healthy cats to their original homesites and set up networks of caregivers to feed them daily.

The idea is that the vaccinations will eliminate diseases, the feeding will cut down on predation of wildlife, and the neutering will cause the population to dwindle through attrition, or, at the very least, hold steady.

As a tactic, TNR has gained momentum in the past 10 years, partly because it recognizes the unwillingness of many people to kill animals that have already been victimized by human insensitivity. …

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