|Urgent: Brackenridge TNR Programs Endangered by Harmful Council Proposal-Contact Council Today!|
Brackenridge Borough, an Allegheny County neighborhood, recently announced in a disturbing Post Gazette article that the borough council plans to introduce a proposal at the next council meeting to impose a fine for anyone who is caught feeding stray and feral cats within the borough. (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/valleynewsdispatch/s_729353.html)
As you will find from reading the article, the council wrongly assumes that criminalizing the feeding of stray and feral cats will address the problems the community is currently experiencing with managing the populations of feral cat colonies.
What the council doesn't realize is that cats are naturally predatory animals and stopping the free food handouts will not discourage the cats from staying in the area; these resourceful and skillful felines will simply begin hunting the local songbird and small mammal populations who are imperative in the local ecosystem. The feline population will continue to replenish itself with the offspring of fast breeding cats who would remain unvaccinated against rabies, causing Brackenridge's issues to only worsen as their numbers continue to grow.
The only effective solution, implemented widely in the United States and around the world, is a Trap, Neuter, Return (TNR) program. Only by spaying / neutering the existing cat population can there be a permanent population containment. Aggressively implemented TNR will address borough residents' concerns for managing the current population of cats as well as concerns over potential property damage and rabies risk, as altered cats receive rabies vaccinations and rarely fight, spray, or cause property damage. However, as you can clearly see in Council Dunlap's statements in the article, the council greatly misunderstands the purpose and need for TNR programs and desperately need to be brought up to speed on the only true solvent to their residents' complaints.
Voices for Animals will be sending a letter along with informational TNR packets to Mayor Thomas Kish as well as borough council members, and wishes to coordinate efforts with borough-supportive government and local TNR-savvy organizations as well as citizens in and outside of Brackenridge Borough who are willing to assist in orchestrating an effective borough-wide TNR project. Donations to VFA with a TNR Brackenridge memo will be placed towards the veterinary care of this worthwhile and solvable issue. With your help, we can significantly improve the lives of local cat populations and bring about a higher understanding on how to coexist with these skittishly self-sufficient kitties, existing in the wild currently through no fault of their own.
Council's proposal to criminalize feeding cats will hurt the local stray and feral cat populations, along with native wildlife! Without TNR, Brackenridge cat populations will continue to breed out of control, increasing the risk of spreading disease amongst each other and potentially others, all while songbird and native animals die out. Furthermore, impending laws on cats such as no feeding ordinances is a slippery slope to doom for community cats. When the ineffectiveness of anti-feeding policies are realized and the complaints continue to roll in, further ineffective actions such as round ups and mass killing of stray populations frequently follow these uneducated knee-jerk government responses. It is imperative Brackenridge is contacted with opposition to a feeding ordinance and a demand for the support of TNR efforts.
Contact Brackenridge Borough!
By phone at 724-224-0800.
Letters can be faxed to 724-224-4509
Letters can be mailed to Mayor as well as Council members at 1000 Brackenridge Avenue, Brackenridge, PA 15014.
***Please currently focus call and letter attention to Mayor Thomas Kish, as well as Council President Ronald Dunlap and Vice President Mary Lou Poli.***
Please also plan to attend Brackenridge Borough's next Council meeting, Thursday April 14th. Details to follow in a reminder email.
Be a friend to ferals! Donate and/or join us in our hands-on efforts to show this and all neighborhoods the effectiveness of TNR. Together, we can make a difference!