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Feb 14, 2011

Hi!, I need advice on how to handle a meeting that I have to go to in 3 days, which will be February 17, 2011.  It seems that some of the people living in the same community as I are unhappy about my feeding the feral cats. I have lived in this community for 11 years.  The cats that I am feeding are probably 5 or 6 generation.  There are about 6 cats that I feed 2 times a day.  An strange cat has come around for in the last couple of weeks. I am assuming this cat is very old because it walks around howling day and night.  Because of this the people I live close to have been complaining about me feeding them.  They have already called the pound trying to have them picked up and euthinized.  I talked to a lady that has only lived here a couple of nights ago.  She has a fear of cats and actually believes that these cats may try and run into her garage when she comes home at night.  I have been feeding these cats for 4 or 5 months and I still cannot get within 15ft of them. Most of the family of cats are males and there is one female. I believe the visitor cat is male because I saw it spray and therefore being in heat is not the reason while it is howling all the time.  It would not be so bad, except for this cat has a very loud voice. I know about the TNR program.  This is not good enough for these people.  They would like to see the cats destroyed.  Please give me idea of things I can say on Thursday night to defend their lives.  I am almost certain I will be the only one there that will be standing up for the cats.

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Posted: Monday February 14, 2011, 8:50 pm
Tags: cats feral [add/edit tags]

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Jeannette A. (146)
Monday February 14, 2011, 10:34 pm
Jane, I would start tomorrow morning trying to reach someone at the ASPCA (call (212) 876-7700 during normal business hours, Monday-Friday, 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. EST ) and PETA and the local Humane Society. Explain your situation to them and ask if they have an animal advocate who can help you frame your argument or even someone local who can work with you on this. Good luck...

back soon no-mail (388)
Monday February 14, 2011, 11:52 pm
Jane, I'm living in Sebia and my neighbors are not complaining because I'm feeding street cats. Jeannette gave you good advice. Thank you for helping cats!

Simon Pearson (97)
Monday February 14, 2011, 11:55 pm
I came across this site yesterday . It may have some use full pointers.http://kittico.org/tnr.html
If you can get people to give you a chance to prove that TNR works then you're half way there. There is plenty of evidence. Check the site. I hope that it helps.
Ill be alongside in spirit if not in the flesh.


Matloob ul Hasan (81)
Tuesday February 15, 2011, 12:04 am
I have the same problem. I feed 12+ cats at any given time and now a stray puppy has joined the group of cats. And people are not happy at all. My in-laws feed around 20 cats and their neighbors complain, too. I wish I could start a shelter for these animals since there is no animal shelter here in Pakistan.

Ellyn S. (45)
Tuesday February 15, 2011, 12:11 am
Hi Dana,

Ally Cat Allies has quite a bit to say about feral cats:

Get Informed: Discover the Truth about Feral Cats

http://www.alleycat.org/NetCommunity/Page.aspx?pid=434

Ellyn

Ellyn S. (45)
Tuesday February 15, 2011, 12:20 am
Sorry, I meant Jane.

Here is the Web site for ALLEY CAT ALLIES.

http://www.alleycat.org/NetCommunity/Page.aspx?pid=191

Kathy Chadwell (367)
Tuesday February 15, 2011, 12:33 am
Jeannette seems to be on top of this.
Thank you Jeannette:)
I've got some links for you for Texas law and alley cats org in Texas.
http://www.animallaw.info/topics/tabbed%20topic%20page/spusferalcatlegal.htm

Only thirteen states and the District of Columbia have any laws that even mention feral cats (California, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Nebraska, New York, Rhode Island, Texas, Virginia, and Vermont). Generally, the state laws that do address these issues simply (1) define feral cats and (2) enable local governments to adopt their own solutions The result of this approach, though, is that the law of feral cats can, and often does, vary drastically within the same state. (For further information on specific state laws, see the Detailed Discussion on this topic).

http://www.alleycat.org/NetCommunity/Page.aspx?pid=306

http://smu.edu/cats/construction.html

I don't envy you, you're going to have to argue about the good the cats do against the bad. They will complain about the disease cats cause with using flower beds for cat litter boxes. Remember these same cats keep the rodent population away which is far more dangerous to humans.
GodSpeed

Kathy Chadwell (367)
Tuesday February 15, 2011, 12:37 am
PS
My personal favorite animal rights group when it comes to law for animals. Contact them and see if they can lend you a hand on this issue.

http://www.animallawcoalition.com/

Red S. (0)
Tuesday February 15, 2011, 1:37 am
Hi Jane, I wanted you to know that I will be praying for you. I was going to provide you with some sites, but as I perused the comments I see the sites are already listed. Good luck!!!

William Koeppen (9)
Tuesday February 15, 2011, 3:21 am
The cats are afraid of people they will not run into anyone's garage for fear of being trapped , people should just mind there own bis.

Jill Vickerman (426)
Tuesday February 15, 2011, 4:36 am
Good luck, I also have a feral family, been feeding them for nearly ten years and got lots of trouble from people in the beginning - the SPCA helped me trap some of them and they spayed and neutered them, now, all the females are fixed and there are no problems in the neighbourhood, the people still dont like them, they blame them for everything that happens of course...but you have to stand up and tell them that the cats will change once you can get them fixed...its people who caused the problem in the beginning and you are one of the people who are trying to fix the problem, tell them that....good luck!

Jill Vickerman (426)
Tuesday February 15, 2011, 4:43 am
Another thing I meant to say, tell them that if they kill the cats that are there already then new cats will come into the neighbourhood. What you ave to do is TNR, then those cats will stay there and no more will come in to that area...well I do get a drifter come through every now and then, and from what you wrote, you have one too...but he is old and maybe he will move on, or if you can trap him maybe he can be seen to and fixed, once they are fixed you wont have any of that howling and fighting, I have seven feral cats, they live in teh field infront of my house, before they were all fixed I had big problems with the noise in spring and howling and fighting, I would worry about them all the time...but that doesnt happen anymore...Oh I hope that the people listen to you, plead with them, they have to understand!

june bullied (553)
Tuesday February 15, 2011, 7:06 am
poor cats. all they are trying to do is survive. bless them and you jane for helping them.

Dotti Lydon (116)
Tuesday February 15, 2011, 7:06 am
I am so sorry that I have no advice to offer. What Jeanette said sounds real good. Good luck and prayers. Thank you for what you are doing for these feral cats.

Anne K. (129)
Tuesday February 15, 2011, 8:06 am
I agree with Ellyn S. Alley Cat Allies focuses on situations like yours.

alleycat.org

Best of luck.

Deb E. (64)
Tuesday February 15, 2011, 8:49 am
Alley Cat Allies (online help) may be able to give you some really good arguments for TNR - the cat colony, if spayed and neutered, will keep more strays from showing up. That's one plus. And, they help keep any sort of mice or squirrel problems at bay.

C Littlestar (56)
Tuesday February 15, 2011, 9:58 am
Getting through to some of these groups and actually getting Help within 3 days is cutting it really close. What she needs is a SPEECH to say to the people in her Housing area.
The first thing you want to say is what JILL said. You wouldn't have this problem if the people who lived there before had not dumped their cats. YOU are trying to be a HUMANE human and care for them, so that they do NOT go after birds or cause destruction in the neighborhood. Then go on to say that it is a financial burden to do this, but you are trying your best. Would any of them be willing to contribute money in order to get them all trapped, neutered, and the one spay, if she isn't done already, because the one female may be multiplying quickly with all of her suitors. In fact, the old one may be yowling in order to gain her attention...if not yours, because he may have a health problem. Ask if any of them know of a VET, in your area, that would do a low cost/FREE neuter for them and check their Health status. They all need tests to see who may, or may not, be carrying disease. Ask them if they are willing to donate old towels and blankets, or food, to the cause.. OR, if any of them would be willing to take in one of the numbers, in order to alleviate the situation completely.
It is a HARD trap you are in...I KNOW...I lived in a very "snotty" beach community and it took over 12 years to get the neighbors to understand what I was doing and HOW it was beneficial to ALL OF US, by my doing it.
Very seldom did I get money, or donations from them, but I was associated with Humane Groups, so I was receiving help elsewhere. It is a matter of appealing to their emotional side. KNOWING what the laws are in your area is important...do research...find the limitations imposed. Contact all the help groups, like Alley Cats Org.
But for right NOW...put on your best acting face and PLEAD for UNDERSTANDING. It works...I saved hundreds of Ferals this way. It's SAD that we have to do this, but Humans are often too self engrossed to even think of the hardships of others. LET ME KNOW HOW IT"S GOING or if you need any other/more help...OK?

C Littlestar (56)
Tuesday February 15, 2011, 10:05 am
OH and while you're at it...read my last SHARE...it is a VENT, but it gives you an IDEA of what many rescue people, like myself, have to go through.
BE CAREFUL about calling a local SHELTER or ASPCA, as most of the groups are so overburdened with dumped animals, due to the financial mess we are all facing, that it is an automatic death sentence when they take in groups of FERALS. You need to know and accept this outcome if you do call. I was the one that 3 Shelters called to deal with Ferals...they had no time or resources to do it. Always think hard before you call a SHELTER. Even "no KILL" shelters are NOT keeping to that pledge...You just have to trust me on that one.

AniMae Chi (407)
Tuesday February 15, 2011, 2:59 pm
GOOD LUCK to you & the pussy-cats!

Susan D. (116)
Tuesday February 15, 2011, 3:02 pm
Hello Jane, I think Alley Cat Allies may be able to help or advise you. I tried to copy/paste from their website , not sure if it worked-- there are tel numbers, also do a search of the web, they come up straight away.
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resignd Cannot remove (139)
Tuesday February 15, 2011, 4:18 pm
http://www.abc.net.au/pm/stories/s357995.htm This article about removal of feval cats on Island in Tasmania that is now overrun by rats and mice. Sad how they reduced the cats, and cat were taking birds because there were so many. No neutering program was tried, and therefore seems the reason birds taken as cats needed food. Argument here for TNR program and implications of what happens when cats gone.

Here is another great link to a NYC Feral Cat rescue program that has advice on handling neighbors.
http://www.urbancatleague.org/Info.htm

I will keep looking but wanted to share this with you for now since you have limited time. The second one will help people anywhere with advice when you are not in the New York City area. Hope they have some good points.
I also read this link which was quite sad but maybe your community might see themselves in this and feel guilty about their position on this:
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100625084535AAcuRKk
You have a great heart and I know how resistant people can get when there are more of them than you. Hope you can find one other resident there who will side with you, a friend who can just sit next to you even if she doesn't want to speak, can be helpful in that they will be more concerned about how they look.
Love and hope to you

resignd Cannot remove (139)
Tuesday February 15, 2011, 4:59 pm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpEcxIgMhyQ&feature=relmfu
This is a terrific video (series of 3) on how to help feral kittens become domesticated. Other videos on the side related too. Not quite related to this but some of you who work with feral cats might like this.

resignd Cannot remove (139)
Tuesday February 15, 2011, 5:15 pm
http://www.alleycat.org/NetCommunity/Page.aspx?pid=538

Seems the other link regarding working with the community that I gave goes to Alley Cat so I searched that site which has multiple pages as someone expressed but this is a good overview. It does not list the reasons to keeping the feral cats, and I am searching for more examples of negative effects once they move. But as someone said once this group is removed another one will move in, so better to keep the small group neutered with shots and health exam and keep them to keep rodents down.

resignd Cannot remove (139)
Tuesday February 15, 2011, 5:29 pm
http://www.spayweekireland.ie/articles/tnr.html
Good article for the community about keeping feral cats after they have been caught and have medical exam, shots and neutered and released in area. Supports other cats will come in and replace them, etc. Might want to print this out and give as a handout to the members who attend the meeting. It says it all from the point of view of the community's benefit.

resignd Cannot remove (139)
Tuesday February 15, 2011, 5:35 pm
One more excellent article I just found which can also be shared with the community. They need to understand that getting rid of this group of cats, or letting them starve will not solve the problem. Better to have them healthy. And they should plan on sharing the cost.
Here is the new link I just found:
http://www.saveacat.org/faq.html#12

Susan S. (191)
Tuesday February 15, 2011, 5:37 pm
I saw a good article on care2 about someone who has made it her life mission to feed and care for feral dog populations. Our local SPCA in Kelowna feeds and support feral cats that like to stay near the shelter and don't make any effort to adopt them out because they realize that they prefer to be feral (wild and free). If the lady has a fear of cats perhaps you can get some veterinarians or cat experts to explain to her that she has nothing to fear. Good luck with your meeting. I will be praying that it goes well. People just like to meddle so please don't take her negativity personally.

Jane L. (22)
Tuesday February 15, 2011, 7:56 pm
I do not know what I have done if I had not been a part of Care2 and to have the support of all of you very caring people. I started off individually responding to everyone individually. At this point, I need to be reading all of the helpful links that you all have providing and trying to find out everything that I can in order to be ready for these people. If I do not thank you individually at this time, please believe it is not for lack of my heartfelt appreciation. I will let you all know what happens. Please pray for the welfare of these innocent animals.

Kathy Chadwell (367)
Tuesday February 15, 2011, 10:22 pm
Jane in a last ditch effort (& only if you feel you're losing the battle) you can always add,,, I've contacted PETA, IDA (In Defense of Animals) Animal Law Coalition, to see what the legal actions you have for the cats. Most communities and government officials don't like to have Animal Rights groups get involved. They know killing the cats would outrage animal lovers & give PETA a reason to contact them. Our other animal lawyers might even sue them. They don't want the bad press, so like I said, if it comes to that,, use it.

Deni Hall (77)
Wednesday February 16, 2011, 12:23 am
Sounds like you've gotten a lot of ammunition for your meeting! Don't you wish you could scoop all these wonderful people up & take them with you?!:) Good luck! You're in our prayers! Let us know how it goes..'kay?!

C Littlestar (56)
Friday February 18, 2011, 5:57 pm
REALLY wanting to know how the meeting went....

Jane L. (22)
Friday February 18, 2011, 9:39 pm
I will keep trying to fight for the feral friends. I am the only one out of the community that was there on the behalf of the cats. As a matter of a fact as long as Irving Animal Control is telling the HOA board not to allow feeding the cats, then the board is not even listening to me. I will be asked to leave here if I continue. When I left there, my heart just sank. People have even made up things like that the cats are laying on top of cars. That is a lie. I have already noticed that some of the cats are missing. These idiots are not willing to learn a new way of dealing with the overpopulation. They think that the cats should be destroyed. It really hurts...

C Littlestar (56)
Friday February 18, 2011, 10:06 pm
I am so SORRY. I understand COMPLETELY. One of my female Ferals, who I named Tommy, was just to the point of allowing complete lifting and holding (only took two years) and the neighbors that had bought next door were building a mini-mansion and completely HOSTILE toward me and the cats. So much so,that they had scooped up a pile of dog crap, from their dog, and threw it over the wall into my backyard. I picked it up and threw it back...and it went right through the opening of a window, not yet installed. I heard them threatening to kill my cats and within a week, Tommy was missing. I went door to door, very upset. Went up to the construction workers and asked if they had seen her and their response was..."Yeah, I think I did see her...maybe you should go crawl down into the dumpster, over there, and see if you can find her"...the SOB's !!!!
Some people just have no SOUL.
Don't be SAD...you are doing the best that can be expected. They are uneducated and inhumane.
We TRY, but we can't save the World....HUGZ
Get a call into Alley Cat Allies..you need HELP with this..they have branches all over the US.
We're here for YOU...don't ever forget that

Jane L. (22)
Saturday February 19, 2011, 4:17 pm
While looking on line for humane videos for feral cat control, I stumbled upon some very cruel people. I commented on some to tell them how big of an idiot that they are. I would like to share some of them here but not really sure how. I cannot watch the cruel videos but maybe if I posted some of them here I can at least bring these cruel bastards to light.

Jane L. (22)
Sunday February 20, 2011, 3:32 pm
I have already emailed Irving Animal Control/Services to let them know that what they are saying to the community is incorrect and that they only halfway support the cats. They say on there website that they participate in the TNR but do not say that people should feed. I am going to call them tommorow and find out how interested that they are in getting a visit from PETA.

Jane L. (22)
Sunday February 20, 2011, 3:46 pm
I emailed Feral friends because they have a link on the Irving website to let them know what Irving officers are telling the community

Jane L. (22)
Monday February 21, 2011, 9:36 pm


I had talked to Animal Services today and they told me that they are very much behind the TNR and that KITTICO would even do the spay and neuter for free. I had planned to go get a trap in the morning since they were closed today. They told me that I should just start trapping without getting the board involved. However, the board has snitches over here right next to me so I decided to do the right thing and let them know. After not hearing back from the board after I called them and sent countless emails, I called tonight and asked what was going on and he gave me some lame excuse how he was unable to get ahold of the other 2 members. I just got back from walking around the property two or three times around looking everywhere for any of the cats. Everyone knows thats the time that the cats are out running around. I did not see even one single cat anywhere. I can only assume that the board had a hit job out on them. I was wondering why it was so quiet.

Some ignorant people will just not listen. I hope it bites them in the ass. When I talked to the animal control manager, he told me that they were trying to get the TNR enacted into law in Irving.

Thank you to everyone for all of your support.

Jane

Jane L. (22)
Wednesday February 23, 2011, 9:18 pm
I purchased a trap today and because I could not get these two males to quieten down I went ahead and set the trap. Now one has been in there for an hour crying. I feel so guilty. I put food and water and also a little animal stuff with catnip. I probably should not have set it so early. Especially since animal services do not start taking calls until 8 in the morning. I feed horrible for the little guy. I know that if I let him out I will not be able to catch him again though. It still feels like crap.

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Jane L.
female , single, 1 child
Irving, TX, USA
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