That Iowa Town Lifts "Bounty" For Feral Cats Thanks to Protesting Animal Groups

@pyewacket (43962)
United States
March 14, 2008 10:28pm CST
As you know I did a discussion about how one town in Iowa (Randolph) was going to place a $5.00 bounty to round up the many feral/stray cats that were roaming around... Can see that discussion here http://www.mylot.com/w/discussions/1433925.aspx?p=2#2_16777106 Thanks to a fellow mylotter, she alerted me about a link to the Best Friends organization that because there was so much nationwide protest by leading animal groups, like Best Friends, ASPCA and so forth, that the now the Mayor, whose "brilliant" idea it was to do this bounty thing is lifting the bounty hunt for the feral cats. According to the Best Friends website article: (Quote) ..."An Iowa town has conditionally backed off on its plan to pay a $5 bounty for feral cats and instead will consider a proposal offered by a coalition of animal welfare groups, including Best Friends, Alley Cat Allies and Friends to Felines. Vance Trively, mayor of Randolph, agreed to meet with coalition representatives after mounting protests by animal welfare groups across the country, including Best Friends. Our Animal Help team, through the Best Friends Network, began marshalling volunteers and resources, and coordinating with local groups. For more details, read the full story of the effort. The coalition will meet March 17 in Omaha to draft the proposal, which will be discussed with the mayor, then presented at a special town council meeting in Randolph three days later. The plan is expected to include a trap/neuter/return/maintain component using a mobile clinic and Best Friends volunteers to trap the cats, perform spay/neuter surgeries and relocate any feral cats to safe, free-roaming colonies. Adoptable cats will be placed with rescue groups. Local organizations have come forward with offers of help, including Fry’s Country Bargains, the Animal Protection and Education Charity, and a local veterinarian who has committed to performing the surgeries. Town officials approved the bounty after receiving numerous complaints, ranging from a cat attacking a small dog to a dozen cats showing up at the food bowl when a resident tried to feed his own cat. There are dozens of stray cats around the small southwest Iowa town, which has a population of about 200. Under the bounty policy, stray cats without collars would be taken to a veterinarian in the nearby town of Sidney (Randolph has no vet clinic), where they’d be kept “for a time for people to claim them,” Trively told the Associated Press. Unclaimed cats would be euthanized and buried. “You can't just let them keep multiplying in town,” the mayor said. “One guy threatened to shoot all of them. I told him he couldn’t do that in town. Other people talk about poisoning them, but you can’t do that in town.” A representative for the Humane Society of the United States told the AP that the organization doesn’t have a problem with euthanizing stray cats, but in Best Friends’ experience, there are better ways to manage them. “Removing and euthanizing the cats is an ineffective way of controlling the feral cat population,” according to our Animal Help department. “It often results in what is known as the ‘vacuum effect’ – more cats show up within a few months and start breeding. This effect has been documented by several studies on feral cats and wildlife.” Since the bounty went into effect March 1, two cats have been turned in. One died from poisoning, but the other was adopted by Friends to Felines. It has been reported that the mayor canceled the bounty on the cats! Best Friends is collaborating with the mayor of Randolph to devise and institute humane alternatives to controlling the feral cat population. We are excited to work with the city to devise a solution that the citizens of Randolph can be proud of. Feral cat advocate organizations plan to make a presentation at a special City Council meeting next Thursday. The three main entities creating the plan are Best Friends Animal Society, Alley Cat Allies, and Friend to Felines. Best Friends Volunteer Manager Tiffani Hill was able to orchestrate some extraordinary volunteers to go to last night's meeting. The outpouring of concerned citizens and volunteers are making this possible. Holly Sizemore of No More Homeless Pets Utah has a PowerPoint presentation ready for next week's meeting. Please stay tuned! The Background Animal welfare organizations from across the country are mobilizing to help fight this short-sighted and barbaric proposal, which would put a $5 price tag on each cat brought in! This smacks of the ill-fated Wisconsin proposal to allow cat killing - start spreading the news and get everyone you know to get active against this proposal...." There are several links about this http://news.bestfriends.org/index.cfm?page=news&fps=1&mode=entry&entry=AF03F717-19B9-B9D5-9D77FDE589A869DA http://network.bestfriends.org/iowa/news/23641.html http://www.omaha.com/index.php?u_page=2798&u_sid=10282948 I can't agree more with this move that there ARE better alternatives...such as the TNR method (trap, neuter, release method) of dealing with stray or feral cats...and it looks like organizations like Best Friends and Alley Cat Allies are going to help out with this situation--thank goodness!
1 person likes this
6 responses
@jdyrj777 (6558)
• United States
13 May 08
I'm from iowa too. I do not live there anymore. I hope this town comes to a better idea than killing. Trapping and spay and neuter sounds a lot better. The cats are usefull to rids us of rat and mice population. Or at least keep it under control. I have 3 house cats that are manix. The male has been nutered. But i didnt spay the females. They don't go outside so what is the point. I feel spaying of the females is too invasive. Causes cancer in humans so what about the animals? However there are stray cats in the neighborhood here. One female had a litter of kittens in my window well of my basement apt. I want to try to find homes for the babies. They are pretty young now. While the mother is wild the kittens are getting used to me. I thought of nutering the males in case i can't find homes for them. Hopfully i can find homes for them. I plan to take pics of them and put them on craigs list.
@pyewacket (43962)
• United States
14 May 08
I actually don't necessarily agree that one shouldn't spay female cats...unspayed females can actually develop a lot of health problems later on as opposed to spayed females. And I would caution against posting photos to try and adopt out kittens on Craigslist...unless you know how to properly screen people that want to adopt a pet, there are just too many "nutcases" out there that adopt pets (especially for free) and either use them for rituals or sell them to labs...I know because I've been in contact with more pet rescuers than you can imagine...if you do adopt the kittens out, it would be better to take them to a shelter or pet rescuer...Look up Petfinder.com...then go to your state's listing and you may no doubt find a whole bunch of pet rescuers there on the list
@jdyrj777 (6558)
• United States
14 May 08
Well, the kittens that i wanted to find homes for are gone already. The mama moved them to a new location before i even took pic. The cats pics i have on my page here are my pets and are going no where. They are all house cats so i do not need to spay them as long as the male is nutered. I actually have people that want kitten but when i tell them to provide a male and sign a contract saying they are to find homes for all the kitten, put down any that are handicapp, and i get pick of the litter, if i desire. They dont seem interested anymore.
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (43962)
• United States
14 May 08
Just thought I'd provide a link to the health risks of an unspayed female cat...they can actually get cancer by not being spayed, not the other way around http://www.phsspca.org/SNiP/health.htm Also it's kind of unfair for your female cat to offer the idea of having her breed for kittens on purpose...there are so many unwanted pets in shelters precisely when owners allow their cats to have kittens and they wind up in shelters--as I said I know all this as I'm in contact with pet rescuers, and have done my own share of pet rescues--the statistics are, for every single pet to be adopted and finding homes in every single shelter, every single person in the US would have to adopt a minimum of nine, yes nine pets...that's how bad the situation is
@Lakota12 (42794)
• United States
16 Mar 08
Well at least he back down , and its great that they will get help form these programs finallly. This should have been ask before he put the bounty out .
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (43962)
• United States
16 Mar 08
I know they should have asked for some kind of help before making such a stupid bounty decision....glad the animal groups protested about this
@Lakota12 (42794)
• United States
16 Mar 08
yup now they can do somethign without killing them for bounty
1 person likes this
@4mymak (1796)
• Malaysia
17 Mar 08
i cant say that i am an animal lover... BUT.. i am against any type of cruelty against animal.. so i am glad things are working out for the town of Randolph, in Iowa...
@pyewacket (43962)
• United States
14 May 08
I'm glad too, that they decided a better method of handling the situation there
@daeckardt (6245)
• United States
17 Mar 08
That is great that they decided to take another method. I agree with your statement that the TRN method is better. When you just trap any cat, you won't necessarily be solving the problem that exists. You may be creating a different problem. On the same note, if an area tries one thing (as the mayor of that city had), it could lead to protests because the suggested solution might not be the best but was the best that he could think of.
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (43962)
• United States
14 May 08
Yes I'm glad to that the town decided on a better method for those cats...there was too much danger that people might have taken pet cats and turn them in for the five dollar "reward"
@BarBaraPrz (17543)
• St. Catharines, Ontario
16 Mar 08
That's good news.
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (43962)
• United States
16 Mar 08
Yup--it is
@deebomb (15347)
• United States
15 Mar 08
That is a lot of stray cats. I think that the neutering and returning at least pert of them is a good idea. This way the cats will help keep the rodents down. I'll bet that if they removed all the cats that the mice will be taking over the town
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (43962)
• United States
15 Mar 08
People don't realize how often cats can be beneficial in keeping mice and rat populations down...uh, gee, isn't how the plague started in the medieval period cause people killed all the cats and the rat population soared?