This sign went up at Plumb Beach late last week warning park-goers that the National Park Service is planning to “dismantle” cat colonies on the federal parkland this Friday, June 13, now extended to June 20th. Plumb Beach feral cats are in danger and need your immediate action to save their home and their lives. This colony has existed at that park for over 11 years. Despite that the cats are all spayed and neutered and very well cared for, the National Park Services has decided that after all these years the cats must be "dismantled"; or more accurately put, collected and killed.
There is no relocation program for feral cats in New York or anywhere else that I am aware of. Big cities like New York are known for putting a gentle spin on words in attempt to disguise the true intent of their plan. Where will these cats go? What will happen to these unadoptable cats that thrive on survival outdoors? If you are not familiar with big city politics, BE WARNED! In this case the word "dismantled" is a play on words. Cities and counties across the country use words like "euthanasia" to inhumanely kill healthy, happy animals all day every day.
A feral cat is a domesticated cat that has returned to the wild, or the descendants of such an animal. It is distinguished from a stray cat, which is a pet cat that has been lost or abandoned. Establishing and maintaining feral cat colonies on any property in the United States can raise conflicts with State and/or Federal environmental laws, as the City of Los Angeles found out in 2009, when they had their TNR program stopped with a Superior Court order.
In Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR), volunteers trap feral cats, sterilize them through spaying or neutering, and then release them, though some keep kittens or cats which are more tame. Variations of the program include testing and inoculation against rabies and other viruses and sometimes long-lasting flea treatments. TNR programs are only now being introduced in some urban and suburban areas. Various long-term studies have shown TNR is effective in stopping the breeding of cats in the wild and reducing the population over time.
Many humane societies and animal rescue groups of varying sizes throughout the United States have some type of TNR program. The practice is endorsed by the Humane Society of the United States and the National Animal Control Association. While the United States Department of Defense does not formally advocate TNR, it does provide information to military installations on how to implement TNR programs. The main message from the department is that population control programs must be humane.
Plumb Beach, located along the beltline in Brooklyn, is the only home these cats have known. They survived brutal winters and hurricanes on that beach. They know of no other home. Feral cat caretakers are given 5 days notice to remove the a colony of over 25 cats. After many phone calls an extension of time was granted. The deadline is now June 20th, still an impossible task without your help. Anyone with media connections would be a tremendous help, a voice for the voiceless.
Why care about what happens to cats in New York when we have feral cats here in Cobb County Georgia facing certain death day after day? Every little win for feral cats, no matter the location, helps the next state, the next county, the next race to save a feral cat colony across the country. We learn from each others' successes and failures in our shared battle. We MUST help the Plumb Beach cats if we are to ever succeed in our own community the next time government decides to play executioner.
If you can take one minute out of your day to write a short email, or call the supervisor of the parks department for more time to come up with a solution for these animals, it would mean the difference between saving a precious little defenseless life or a certain death sentence. Please email or call the supervisor is Doug Adamo 718-354-4510. Email is Doug_adamo@NPS.gov.
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