Friday, June 1, 2012

Radio show to discuss feral cats

I got a news release this week from radio host Ron Green concerning an upcoming “Philadelphia Lawyer” segment on Saturday Salon, 10 to 11 a.m. June 9 on KPFZ 88.1 FM.

The topic will be “Feral and Community Cats: Lake County’s Trap, Neuter and Release Program.” Green’s guest will be Bill Davidson, director of Lake County Animal Care and Control.

As a cat lover, the issue of feral cats is of huge concern to me. Trap, neuter and release or trap-neuter-return (T-N-R) has the potential to save lives.

Lake County’s cat euthanasia rate is a distinction to be ashamed of: highest in California.

The Catsnip program, created by local veterinarians, has been operating since January. Guest commentary by Susan A. Cannon, DVM  and Chris S. Holmes, DVM, posted March 16 on the Record-Bee website, states that the Catsnip program will offer a limited number of free spay and neuter surgeries for community (unowned) cats for one year.

After that, the  veterinarians would like to see Lake County fund a minimum two-year pilot program in which vouchers would be offered for the spaying and neutering of community cats.

“Successful TNR programs have reduced euthanasia rates from 30 to 70 percent in Florida, New Hampshire, New Jersey, San Diego, North Carolina, Connecticut and Utah,” Cannon and Holmes state.

I hope Lake County does all it can to support TNR because the alternative scenario is unthinkable as depicted by Cannon and Holmes:
“If you take a feral cat to the shelter it will almost certainly die there. It is hard to make a case that they are somehow better off being brought to the shelter where they will sit huddled in a small cage, stressed and frightened, exposed to contagious viruses, for the mandatory three days before they are euthanized. The modern TNR program stops the reproductive cycle and gets them back to where they came from within 24 hours. They can live out their lives and the population will decline over time because of natural attrition.”
The Lake County Animal Care and Control website invites viewers to call 707-263-0278 to learn about free spaying and neutering of all community cats.

Green invites listeners to call in and participate during the June 9 show. The number is 707-263-3435. The show is also streamed live over the Internet via http://kpfz.org.

Published June 5, 2012 in the Lake County Record-Bee

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