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Re: Announcing The Neighborhood Feral Cat Initiative
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Fighting like cats and dogs over feral felines


The Star-Ledger
by Paul Mulshine September 03, 2009

I was running on the beach the other evening with my dog Betty when I came upon a guy who had a dog's leash in one hand and a big stick in the other hand.

As our dogs got acquainted, the guy told me what the stick was for: To keep away rabid cats. It seems that the nearby town of Point Pleasant Beach had just had an outbreak of rabies among the feral cat colonies there. If any rabid cats showed up on the beach, this guy wanted to keep them far enough away so that he wouldn't end up needing rabies shots

This was news to me. I have long been aware of the big debate between cat-lovers and bird-lovers over the existence of feral cat colonies. But I had never before heard of feral cats catching rabies.

When I got home I checked the news on my computer. Sure enough, there were reports that rabid cats had attacked children in two incidents in recent weeks.

Any story involving animals is a good story, so on Tuesday evening I attended the meeting of the Point Pleasant Beach Borough Council, during which the council approved a $26,000 emergency appropriation for a so-called "TNR" program for the cats.

"TNR" stands for "trap, neuter and release," I learned from Councilwoman Kristine Tooker after the meeting when I sat down with her and Kristin Hennessy, who is the co-chair of the town's Animal Welfare Committee. But the most important letter was missing from that designation, Tooker said: "V" for "vaccinate."

Hennessy told me how volunteers trap the feral cats and then neuter and vaccinate them against rabies before returning them to the wild. This was the cheapest and most efficient way of controlling the cat population and fighting rabies, both said.

"Two cats in two years can make 50 cats," said Tooker. "Once all the cats are fixed and vaccinated, the population drops year by year."

That system seemed to be working until those cats came down with rabies, she said. That revelation set off a local version of a debate that's been going on nationally for more than a decade. The ongoing argument is between the trap-and-neuter crowd and the trap-and-euthanize crowd.

One thing both sides agree on is that the rabies problem began with raccoons. Tooker said that more than 400 rabid raccoons have been removed from Point Pleasant Beach and its neighboring boroughs since the spring. Cats rarely catch the disease, but with so many rabid raccoons in the neighborhood, Tooker said, it may have been inevitable that rabies would cross over to cats.

But what are raccoons doing in a town that during the summer is almost as densely populated as Manhattan? That's the real question.

Washing his paws in a mountain stream, a raccoon is a wonderful thing to behold. But in suburbia, he's just a rat in a tuxedo. The real question is why we're letting what should be wild animals move into our neighborhoods - and our garbage cans.

So I called someone on the other side of the debate, Greg Butcher. Butcher is the director of bird conservation for the National Audubon Society. Butcher told me the real issue here is the role of "meso-predators" in our ecology. "Meso" means "middle-sized," and it's a category that includes cats, raccoons and possums, all of which prey on birds.

We humans tend to think meso-predators are cute, he said. But cats catch about a hundred million birds a year, he said.

"They just don't belong in nature in the United States," he said. "They're not a natural species in this country."

That's particularly true of the Jersey Shore, he said, which is among the most important bird-breeding areas in the east.

"The dunes are a great place for birds to roost, sleep and save energy and the cats are out there catching them and eating them," said Butcher.

Butcher suggests that instead of killing feral cats, the cat-lovers could relocate them to "exclosures," fenced-off areas in the woods where they could live out their lives on a bird-free diet.

As for the raccoons and possums who have moved into neighborhoods, Butcher said people need to quit pretending there's anything natural about having woodland animals living in the back yard.

"If I were in charge of human health or the health of pets, I'd take all of those animals that aren't owned and get them out of the system," he said.

Me, too. Domestic animals belong in our houses. Woodland animals belong in the woods.

And we belong at the top of the food chain. As Butcher points out, we humans have altered the ecology by removing foxes and wolves from the food chain.

Someone has to be the big dog. And it's not Betty.

http://blog.nj.com/njv_paul_mulshine/2009/09/post_2.html

ALSO NOTE this article about a rabid kitten showing up in Monroe Township.

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2009 ... en_found_in_monroe_b.html





I posted this is a wrong thread before.
My apologies.

Posted on: 2009/9/5 17:10
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Re: Announcing The Neighborhood Feral Cat Initiative
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I highly recommend the workshop. It was informative and motivating. The organization has made it extremely easy to partake in the TNR program.

Posted on: 2009/4/5 16:39
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Re: Announcing The Neighborhood Feral Cat Initiative
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The March 28th workshop was a huge success and the next workshop on April 25th is full but we do have a waitlist in the event of cancellations. Next date is May 9th. Go to www.neighborhoodferalcat.org for information on how to register or email workshop@neighborhoodferalcat.org.

See what they are doing in New York City.

id=126100@wcbs.dayport.com" title="http://wcbstv.com:80/video/?id=126100@wcbs.dayport.com" rel="noopener external">http://wcbstv.com:80/video/?id=126100@wcbs.dayport.com

Posted on: 2009/4/3 23:47
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Re: Announcing The Neighborhood Feral Cat Initiative
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We had a very successful Trap Neuter Return training workshop yesterday and want to thank everyone who attended and particpated.

The next workshop is April 25th. Go to www.neighborhoodferalcat.org for details on how to register.

Posted on: 2009/3/29 17:28
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Re: Announcing The Neighborhood Feral Cat Initiative
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feral cat crisis in the Hudson County community and provide practical ways to deal with the issue through free Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR)


Return ! Why not just (TP-D) Trap and Put-Down ?

What do you think these feral cats eat and what about the spread of infection and disease to out domestic pets, natural wild-life and even humans?
Lets not show any sympathy here, they do a lot of damage.


How would a feral cat spread infection to your "domestic pet"? A cat will rarely get close to a dog being walked by it's owner. And if it's a pet cat you are talking about, it should be staying indoors in your home. As far as spreading disease, don't you think that the mice and rats that they kill would spread disease way faster? Ever spread the flu, cold or chicken pox to anyone? Maybe you ought to be "put down" as well.

Posted on: 2009/2/22 16:52
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Great cattery photo.

Posted on: 2009/2/22 15:57
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Posted on: 2009/2/22 14:37
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Re: Announcing The Neighborhood Feral Cat Initiative
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For my backyard, I put a litter box inside a large rubbermaid storage tote. On one side of the tote I cut out a square opening for the cats to go in. Believe or not, the cats use this litter box.

Now if you are not managing the colony and just want the cats away from your property check the options on this link:

http://www.neighborhoodcats.org/info/keepingout.htm


Good luck. PM me if you would like more assistance.

Posted on: 2009/2/22 13:03
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Re: Announcing The Neighborhood Feral Cat Initiative
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What if folks dont want these cats back? I love animals and all, but the FOUR cats living in my backyard have turned it into a huge kitty litter box. During the last snow I went out back with my three year old to make snow angels and he ended up with cat waste on him. And dont even get me started on the (song) bird carcasses they leave on the lawn. Feral cats are a major health hazard, spayed or not. If anyone has any advice on deterrents/keeping them away please share. I have already tried black and red pepper, that cat stay away powder and one of those expensive "cat stop" sound devices.

Posted on: 2009/2/22 0:27
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haha. Yes, we are forewarned. Thank you ECh.

However, I hope the people you are referring to who are letting their kitties out for play time have spayed and neutered them beforehand.

On the other hand, JC has an epidemic of people just throwing their cats out when they become an incovenience. And these kitties are usually not neutered.

Any cat feral cat TNRd is returned to the original location of the trapping after neutering.

Posted on: 2009/2/21 21:03
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This feral cat pick-up thing has got to be VERY
carefully managed.
We need to remember that many people here,
particularly old-timers, keep outdoor cats
as backyard pets and have done so for
generations. It is a Jersey City custom to
have "yard cats."
No one wants to have his/her yard cats bagged up
and carted away. Everyone on a block should be
consulted before any pick-up/trap cats
"program" gets going. There will be mega-big
trouble if pets go missing.
Someone messes with my kitties and out comes
my gun. Forewarned is forearmed!

Posted on: 2009/2/21 17:24
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Yes. Yes, it is.

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Posted on: 2009/2/21 17:01
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The origin of a feral cat is one of a domesticated cat just like a dog is a domesticated animal.

However, when cats are born outside a social human environment they do become wild or feral and are fearful of humans.

Life on the streets for these cats is hard but they deserve to live but that does not mean we should let them continue to breed.

Sterilizing the cats and managing the colony is the only effective way to reduce their numbers. Well fed cats do not rummage through garbage but sadly the starving ones do.

Don't worry, I think there will be enough cats around for a while yet to keep the rats at bay.

Posted on: 2009/2/21 4:06
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They don't eat rats and mice. They go for much easier meals. Meals that don't require much effort. Like my lunkhead neighbors garbage, for example. Apparently they've never heard of a garbage can, so they just put out bags. Guess what I wake up to EVERY Wednesday and Saturday morning... My neighbors garbage, strewn all over the place, courtesy the neighborhood cats. Apparently, this garbage must become magically invisible after being touched by cats because they'll never stoop so low as to touch their own garbage again. I get stuck picking up my neighbors used chicken bones, fish bones, used hygiene products, etc. and the whole 9 yards. Oh, it's such a joy.

It does not help that there is a crazy cat man who lives on my block. He built a barn in his back yard that the cats go in and out of at their leisure, and he puts dishes of food all over the neighborhood for them. I think his intentions are really good, but the cat population is absolutely out of control. There have got to be 20 (no kidding) cats roaming my neighborhood at any given time, including several pregnant ones.

I called the city, and when I told them about the barn part, they started talking to me like I was the crazy person, probably thinking I was making it up, or something.

Needless to say, nothing got done. Cats are still everywhere.

Thank goodness for this program! I don't want to see living creatures put down, but something really does have to be done to control the population.

Posted on: 2009/2/21 1:20
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I'm sorry but I really don't agree with this at all. Why are we interfering with wild cats? Maybe, I sound ignorant but it just doesn't make sense to me. I realize abandoned cats are another story, but why we would go around neutering wild cats is something I cannot comprehend. I could understand if we had packs of dogs running around like I've seen in some poorer countries but I think that most cats born in the wild survive just fine in the city. Why are we tampering with mother nature in this respect? I don't see that these cats pose a problem at all, on the contrary, they keep the rat and mouse population down! I'm sure you are well aware of how bad the rat problem is in Manhattan, just wait till the summer rolls around again. Moreover, in this city alone, you can see the vast difference between the rat population in areas that do not have stray cats, as opposed to areas that do, such as the Van Vorst area. I live in this area where there are many neighborhood cats and I have never once seen a rat. I can't tell you how traumatized I am from living in Manhattan and downtown Newark and seeing rats in the streets at night all the time. I am happy to live in this neighborhood and have always been happy that there are cats that roam free. I am not saying this to issue a challenge or anything, I am honestly against this. If you could kindly clarify I would greatly appreciate it, because I think there is something I am not understanding.

Posted on: 2009/2/21 0:13
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So cute.

Posted on: 2009/2/20 23:28
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Posted on: 2009/2/20 13:28
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Yes Parkman. Trainees will learn that the left ear of each cat is cut/tipped at a slight angle for the purpose of identifying these cats as already having been spayed or neutered.

Kudos to you for being proactive with TNR.

Posted on: 2009/2/20 13:07
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feral cat crisis in the Hudson County community and provide practical ways to deal with the issue through free Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR)


Return ! Why not just (TP-D) Trap and Put-Down ?

The fact is, if you return neutered cats to their original territory they prevent others from taking over that territory. There used to be 6 feral cats in our square block, with one female having litters every 4 months. Now, only the two healthy cats I take care of occupy the same area. It works.

Posted on: 2009/2/20 2:05
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feral cat crisis in the Hudson County community and provide practical ways to deal with the issue through free Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR)


Return ! Why not just (TP-D) Trap and Put-Down ?

What do you think these feral cats eat and what about the spread of infection and disease to out domestic pets, natural wild-life and even humans?
Lets not show any sympathy here, they do a lot of damage.

Posted on: 2009/2/20 1:44
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I know this is a great initiative since I have put 5 cats through it, but please inform your workshops that feral cats that have been neutered and returned to their territory, have one ear clipped to show they have been through the (TNR) program. The feral cats I have been caring for since 2002 would freak out if captured again especially now that they have come to trust me.

Thanks

Posted on: 2009/2/20 1:42
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Wow! This is great especially being that there are so many feral cats all over Jersey City!

Posted on: 2009/2/20 1:26
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Announcing The Neighborhood Feral Cat Initiative
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Companion Animal Trust, Inc., a New Jersey non profit corporation located in Jersey City, announces the formation of a new program entitled The Neighborhood Feral Cat Initiative. The mission of the Neighborhood Feral Cat Initiative is to raise public awareness about the feral cat crisis in the Hudson County community and provide practical ways to deal with the issue through free Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) training workshops, starting March 28th in Jersey City.

Feral cats are free-roaming cats that are untamed and unsuitable for adoption. These cats are either born in the wild or have been abandoned and become wild. If left alone, they keep reproducing, creating a crisis on many levels.

Free Monthly Workshops

The free monthly Trap-Neuter-Return training workshops begin on March 28th. Attendees will learn all the steps in setting up a managed cat colony including establishing good community relations, feeding, building and placing shelters, arranging vet care, safely handling feral cats, and trapping. All workshop attendees will become TNR certified and Hudson County residents will gain access to low cost spay/neuter and trap rentals.

The 2009 workshops will be held from 12 noon to 3pm in Jersey City on the following dates:

March 28, April 25, May 30, June 27, July 25, August 22, September 26, October 31 and November 28.

The number to call for reservations and location information is 201-884-9649. Leave a voicemail and someone will call you back. Volunteers and TNR coaches are needed and if interested in helping please call.

For further information about the workshops call 201-884-9649.

Trap-Neuter-Return is endorsed by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, The Humane Society of the United States, the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services and the New Jersey Animal Rights Alliance.

Companion Animal Trust, Inc. is an animal welfare organization whose mission is to protect and help homeless animals.

Posted on: 2009/2/20 1:22
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