.

Lakewood City Council Proposes Plan to Trap and Release Stray Cats

The idea is to reduce the number of feral cat colonies in the city.

To reduce the stray cat population, is eyeing a plan that would trap feral cats in a colony, neuter and release them back into their territory.

After discussions with the Lakewood Animal Safety and Welfare Board — the citizen-led panel that reviews animal issues in the city — council proposed a “trap-neuter-release” program.

The idea, as laid out in the proposal, would stabilize the size of the colony by eliminating new litters.

The measure was proposed by Council President Mary Louise Madigan and Councilman Tom Bullock.

“Proponents of TNR argue it is the only method proven to humanely and effectively control feral cat population growth, reducing nuisance behavior associated with feral cats,” Madigan said. “Some communities implementing TNR programs have lessened the number of cats flowing into local shelters, thereby lowering euthanasia rates.”

She said the LASWAB is exploring the possibility of the program in Lakewood, adding that the board could pursue grant money and recruit and train volunteers.

“Given their dedication, and given the success of other communities have experienced when (they) implement TNR programs," Madigan said, "we believe Lakewood should implement a TNR pilot project to learn whether TNR can be successful in our community.”

The resolution was referred to the public safety committee for further discussion.

Christina Cocchiarale Ward June 12, 2011 at 11:30 PM
Ok, you probably already read my last comment which I accidentally deleted. If not here goes....I don't understand people's thinking that putting a cat down is better for him or her. I don't get it and I will NOT be part of it and shame on the people who are. It's a life we are talking about. Yes, there are scary things that can happen to them; I think/worry about it just abt every single minute. But Killing a cat isn't the answer. We can all do the best we can at trapping & fixing & releasing or possibly finding homes. I will fight to the bitter end if the city advocates for killing cats just to get them off the streets. They better not put the money towards that. I won't be a part of that. I will, if they can help, trap & release. It IS a needless loss, you're right, to kill an innocent animal. I won't have that on my conscience and it's sad to whoever else does. Some of them might be pets. I am currently taking care of abt a 6 mo old kitten now trying to find her a home. So far nothing but she will NOT go to the APL. I'm trying to get her in a no-kill shelter. Waiting on responses. And in the winter at our house we have a little something on our porch that is insulated that a few cats can go warm up in...and they do. That's all I've got to say right now.
CatsIndoors June 12, 2011 at 11:37 PM
I have rescued many cats, found many homes, and when I did not have the means to do so, I have called animal control and some have been euthanized and those were all humane outcomes. I could never and would never in good conscience, re-abandon a domestic animal outdoors knowing the risks to the cat and what she will do to wildlife - THAT is unethical. How about you be the one to euthanize the countless wild critters that come into wildlife rehabilitation centers every year half-disemboweled? You cannot choose to send a cat to the shelter because maybe you feel like an agent of death rather than an agent of mercy? But how would you feel knowing how one of your releases died? What if the poor neutered male you just released got a urinary blockage, wandered off, and died a slow, excruciating death from renal failure? You cannot compare to humans - who are capable of making rational choices and have decision-making skills. Cats are sentient beings, but like I said, we are their caretakers and we are not choosing in their best interest by having them live and die outdoors - this will never increase the value of this companion animal. Euthanasia may be a sad outcome, but never an inhumane end. If the cats belong to someone else and are friendly, they should be sent back to the owners or put up for adoption - they should never go back outside. Why don't you just enclose your porch thereby truly providing them with protection and regular vet care?
Christina Cocchiarale Ward June 12, 2011 at 11:50 PM
If I had the money I would enclose my porch and pay to fix any injured kitties up. As it is I do that now. It's hard especially with one of our kitties on an inhaler & heart disease meds. I would feel horrible, yes, if something happened to that cat but I would feel worse for killing an innocent animal. period. My mind won't change. I know that there's lots of variables to this but I am not one for killing & again, if the city tries to pay for THAT part of it, I will fight it. I won't be a part of it. I worry about it constantly but taking a life doesn't make it any better, not knowing for sure if that cat would've found a loving home or not.
CatsIndoors June 13, 2011 at 12:02 AM
Then how can you be part of the killing of so much wildlife?
CatsIndoors June 13, 2011 at 12:03 AM
This was my response to your earlier post: I have rescued many cats, found many homes, and when I did not have the means to do so, I have called animal control and some have been euthanized and those were all humane outcomes. I could never and would never in good conscience, re-abandon a domestic animal outdoors knowing the risks to the cat and what she will do to wildlife - THAT is unethical. How about you be the one to euthanize the countless wild critters that come into wildlife rehabilitation centers every year half-disemboweled and euthanize them? You cannot choose to send a cat to the shelter because maybe you feel like an agent of death rather than an agent of mercy? But how would you feel knowing how one of your releases died? What if the poor neutered male you just released got a urinary blockage, wandered off, and died a slow, excruciating death from renal failure? You cannot compare to humans - who are capable of making rational choices and have decision-making skills. Cats are sentient beings, but like I said, we are their caretakers and we are not choosing in their best interest by having them live and die outdoors - this will never increase the value of this companion animal. Euthanasia may be a sad outcome, but never an inhumane end.
CatsIndoors June 13, 2011 at 12:03 AM
And this... If the cats belong to someone else and are friendly, they should be sent back to the owners or put up for adoption - they should never go back outside. Why don't you just enclose your porch thereby truly providing them with protection and regular vet care?
Christina Cocchiarale Ward June 13, 2011 at 12:09 AM
It DOES bother me abt the wildlife, true. But that's what cats do; that's a form of food for them. They're born & raised hunters. To be honest, the ones that visit my porch (at least when they're around) don't go after birds. Sounds odd, I know. And they Could maybe after they leave my house. But I've seen PLENTY of birds around them before & the ones I have now that come for food/shelter...they do NOT bother them. Believe it or not.
CatsIndoors June 13, 2011 at 12:32 AM
Christina, that is not a form of food for them. They hunt out of instinct - not out of hunger - two different mechanisms in the cat's brain. But, wildlife is a form of food for native wild predators - that is ecological balance - the domestic cat is a non-native, invasive predator and is responsible for the deaths of nearly one billion birds each year and even more small mammals, plus herpetofauna. The domestic cat has no natural habitat anywhere in North America. You may not see the carnage but this does happen - not to mention the myriad of diseases that can be transmitted to both wildlife and humans. I know your mind won't change, as neither will mine, but if not for the sake of wildlife, then for the cats, make a decision based on quality, not quantity. Help those you can by providing them a comfortably confined space, like an enclosed porch. They will tame easier, you may be able to adopt some out, you will be able to observe them and get them the regular vet care they deserve, and the beauty of all this is, you'd be choosing an outcome that does not destroy our natural resources. The cats do not hunt unless we let them.
Christina Cocchiarale Ward June 13, 2011 at 12:32 AM
My brother & sister-in-law are part of a TNR program in Cleveland. They are one among MANY who do this & the strays they've helped....well, I'd have to say most are still around. They can PROVE this by pictures they take a lot of. It's not a bad thing. It really isn't. Still troubled by the fact that others think it IS bad.
Christina Cocchiarale Ward June 13, 2011 at 12:36 AM
I do feel bad for the birds as well but I can't stop all of the cats. And I can't justify killing a cat because of a bird. Doesn't make any sense to me. I can't wait to see what the city has to say about all of this because to me, TNR is the best route to go. Giving them a chance. I'm obviously an avid cat lover & always will be I'm sure. Some aren't, and, well, I'm not sure what to say to that other than give a cat a chance. That's all.
CatsIndoors June 13, 2011 at 12:38 AM
That is just anecdotal evidence - not the science behind this method. Do some research, you'll see how bad this can be. http://www.abcbirds.org/abcprograms/policy/cats/pdf/Management_claims_feral_cats.pdf People think they are doing a good thing - but there is too much collateral damage from this method.
CatsIndoors June 13, 2011 at 12:42 AM
Of course you cannot stop all the cats, but that is no reason to put back the ones you do. We can't TNR them all or euthanize them all, but once you trap the cat, it becomes your responsibility. Cats will never go extinct - they are so overpopulated - but so many wild animals are threatened, endangered, or of special concern or in decline. They deserve a chance to leave freely without the added stress of cats.
Christina Cocchiarale Ward June 13, 2011 at 12:47 AM
I don't think nature's way is to kill something to let something else live. The cat deserves a chance no matter WHAT research may say. The cats deserve to live freely as well. Once I trap that cat, if Lakewood adapts the program, yes, it's my responsibility to get it fixed & release it. That's what TNR is all about. You mentioned before that what if a cat wanders off sick and dies a horrible death....what about birds? They can do that too. It's sad we can't save everything but we should do what we can and saving doesn't include senselessly killing an animal that COULD have a GREAT chance at life. I feed them & shelter them. They aren't MY cats persay but I help them out and will continue to do so even if the TNR goes through.Actually, whether it does or not.
CatsIndoors June 13, 2011 at 01:33 AM
Cats are not part of 'nature' - that is the point. The cat deserves a chance to live, but not at the expense of wildlife or public health. That is why they should be kept indoors or confined to a property. You don't seem to understand that wild animals have a native habitat - yes, that can happen to birds, and people will sometimes intervene and take those wild animals to rehab places if an animal gets hit by a car or weed-wacked or flys into a building or attacked by a cat or dog and so on. If saving does not include senseless killing, then you should never send a cat back outdoors to do that - period. Take full responsibility and own the animal, provide for the animal, and keep the animal from doing harm. Your response is typical from TNR folks - cats first, cats last, cat only. Nothing else matters.
Christina Cocchiarale Ward June 13, 2011 at 02:01 AM
My cats are all indoors and will stay that way. I don't know if you have cats but I hope you don't as you don't seem to care all that much about cats. I've saved birds from cats so don't tell me cats this, etc etc. I try to help EVERYTHING I come across whether a bird or cat. You obviously don't care much for cats and that's sad. Whatever the case, if you think senseless killing of a cat is ok then you're sadly mistaken. Way WAY back in the WAY old days there wasn't anything like this and many cats wandered. That's how it was and still is and to take the life of a cat away and using a poor excuse of "It's humane or it's the only way" isn't right and I hope one day you'll see that. I wonder if you'll be at this meeting on the 28th. I know many people feel the way I do. You're only one of whom I know that feels the opposite. Killing innocent animals is wrong. And hopefully you never actually do it because nobody will be thank you for it, especially the cat whose life you're about to take away.
Christina Cocchiarale Ward June 13, 2011 at 02:10 AM
So any cat you see on the street you're going to trap and have put down? You are definitely Not a cat person then. If you trap a cat and it's obviously sick then it might be ethical. But to take any ol' cat that is completely healthy without testing it first, is sadistic and wrong. UNethical. Establishing a neutered population of feral cats can keep intact feral numbers Low in the neutered population territory. I don't understand how you can like cats with this sort of belief you have. Test the cat first at least. You don't have the right, NOBODY should have the right just to dispose of a cat like that.
CatsIndoors June 13, 2011 at 05:27 AM
Very presumptuous of you. I have several cats, had one growing up. I care deeply for these animals which is why I'd never send them back outside. What do you mean you have 'saved birds from cats'? I thought you said the cats were not getting them? Did you take them to a wildlife center? Right - way back there were not so many cats. Now there are and we can't spay our way out of this problem. If you think I am the only one that feels TNR is inhumane you have not looked into this topic much.
CatsIndoors June 13, 2011 at 05:31 AM
You are entitled to your opinion, but you are meowing up the wrong tree. I am well within my right to trap a cat and have the ACO impound the cat. You, however, could be in violation of local laws and in fact, TNR is in conflict with the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and if endangered species are involved, the Endangered Species Act. Cats, btw, do not defend their territories. TNR takes away the two things that make a cat want to defend - breeding rights and lack of food.
Christina Cocchiarale Ward June 13, 2011 at 11:10 AM
I left a comment and now it's gone. I'm going to try to reply again & see what happens..... Oh, cats DO defend their territories. Not sure where you got your information but I've seen it time & time again as well as many other cat lovers I know. Especially with outdoor cats I see it. How could I be in violation of any local laws??? I've done NOTHING wrong. Do you mean with the TNR program? If so then why would Lakewood even be CONSIDERING it? Come on. Many other cities, and not just in Ohio, DO this to help SAVE cats. They don't want to senselessly put them down just because they are strays. I DID say I try to save everything (birds, etc.) but cannot. Not sure if that was in my deleted comment because not all of my comments are showing up on here & it's hard to have a conversation when that happens. I've been in contact with local wildlife officials abt all sorts of things. Then if you have cats or even outside cats around you, I pray for them & for you to Stop trapping cats & having them put down withOUT even testing them. How humane is that?? If they are sick, then fine. But if they are not then you Shouldn't do it. I just pray that you stop and actually THINK about what you are doing when you do it. There is NO way a cat would thank you about this. And you say you have cats and love them then how could you do this to another fellow cat? It shouldn't be in our rights to do what you are saying. I wish that would change but I somehow think it won't. Very sad.
CatsIndoors June 13, 2011 at 01:41 PM
No they do not. Studies have proven this. Why do you think dumping and immigration are able to occur? Neutered cats do NOT prevent others from joining the colonies. You could be in violation of existing ordinances that either require cat licensing or anti-roaming or limit the number of animals one can keep at a property or other local laws depending on the language and definitions. How noble of you to offer to pray for me. Pray for the wildlife instead - they need all the help they can get. Christina, that is the difference between us. I have looked at every aspect of this issue and I have studied this for many years - you apparently have not. Obviously we won't agree on this. I can ask the same of you...how can you love cats yet re-abandon them outside? How can you claim to care about birds yet subject them to the horrors of cat predation? Why is the life of any one cat more important than the dozens if not hundreds of wild critters she will kill? I hesitate to say this given your anthropomorphic description of cats, but no cat will thank you if she wanders from your property and dies a slow and painful death from some trauma or illness.
Christina Cocchiarale Ward June 13, 2011 at 04:44 PM
And there are studies that will say they ARE territorial. Ask any vet. Not sure where you got your information from. There ARE cats that don't let others join their colonies. I really don't know how you think differently. I've seen it personally but then again, you probably don't believe it. I pray for the wildlife as well as the cats. There are NO ordinances that have anything to do with TNR as we don't HAVE that program yet. I'm not in ANY violation so I have NO clue what you're talking about. There are cats around and they aren't mine. I can't help how many roam. How would I be responsible? I suggest you check your facts. And if you're into putting cats down, then I still pray you change your mind. It's NOT humane. Something is wrong if you think it is, to not give them a second chance. Very sad.
Christina Cocchiarale Ward June 13, 2011 at 04:49 PM
And who's to say that the cat will die a painful death? That's not always the case and you know that, or at least I'd hope you do.
CatsIndoors June 13, 2011 at 07:03 PM
Here are a few references: Ash SJ. Ecological and sociological considerations of using the TTVAR (trap, test, vaccinate, alter, return) method to control free-ranging domestic cat, Felis catus, populations. PhD Dissertation, Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, 2001. Haspel C, Calhoon RE. Activity patterns of free-ranging cats in Brooklyn, New York. J Mammology 1993; 74:1-8. Dobson R. Frisky cats abandon traditional values. The Independent. London, 2000;8. If you can cite a study - fine. Otherwise you don't have anything to substantiate your claim. Well known among colony caregivers is the fact that they have to be observant, if not vigilant, for newcomers (immigration due to food source) and for cats that get dumped/abandoned at colonies - obviously the neutered cats are not preventing others from joining. There are plenty of veterinarians, domestic and wildlife, who don't buy into TNR and realize the method does not work. You are misunderstanding me. As your current ordinance is, see Mary's post above, you could be in violation because you are harboring these animals and allowing them to run at large. We don't agree Christina. Humane to me is euthanizing these animals if indoor homes can't be found. I don't believe TNR is ethical , compassionate or humane bc of how most of these cats live and die and what happens to wildlife in the process. Pray all you want - nothing is changing.
Christina Cocchiarale Ward June 13, 2011 at 07:33 PM
I just don't understand why you wouldn't TEST the cat first then if it's sick let it go. It did nothing to you; why do anything to it? You aren't saving a cat; you're taking its life and for what? It's because you don't want it running around ruining things maybe? It can't be just because of your love for cats because that isn't love.
CatsIndoors June 13, 2011 at 08:35 PM
Have you not read any of my posts? I don't understand how you don't understand. IMO releasing a cat is completely irresponsible. I am not going to release a cat so that the cat may infringe on the property rights of those who do not want free-roaming cats on their property. I am not going to release a cat knowing what the cat will do to wildlife. I am not going to release a cat given the fact that there are a myriad of diseases that the cat can transmit to wildlife or humans (viral, bacterial, fungal, parasitic). And I am not going to release a cat because a life and death outdoors for a domestic animal is not humane. Releasing the cat is a feel-good, misguided, self-indulgent action that takes nothing into consideration except that the cat will avoid being euthanized. If the cat has a chance at adoption, the shelter can test the cat for FIV/FeLV if that is to what you are referring. I understand your focus - I do not share it. I am sure you can understand mine, although not agree with it.
Jason Ward June 14, 2011 at 08:36 PM
Bobbie, I agree with Perter. ... and if it's not using tax money, so much the better. Besides, I live where there are feral cats around and I barely notice them. Their quiet and harmless, like the squirels. I do not find cat poop in my yard - though I do find the occational dog poop left by irresponsible neighbors.
Jason Ward June 14, 2011 at 09:07 PM
Amy, like it or not feral cats are now native creatures. I understand your concern for diseases, but I think you're being a little paranoid. I've never seen cat poop in the sand box a Lakewood park, and 99 times out of 100, feral cats avoid human contact, and are usually nocturnal. Concerned parents should teach their children to leave the wild animals alone - cats, dogs, rodents, etc. I do agree that not all the ferals can be trapped, and some toms roam in from other places, but typically, they're territorial. At least the TNR idea is an effort to do the right thing. It won't be totally effective, but it will help. Also, neutered cats tend to be more docile, so if your worried about their behavior, it will help that too. In my opinion, the biggest culprits for spreading disease in Lakewood are the mosquitos. Lets let loose more bats and dragonflies.
Christina Cocchiarale Ward June 14, 2011 at 09:17 PM
I saw that 2 other people left comments. Received the information in my email yet it's not showing up here?? Either way, I hope they see this and just wanted to say that I'm glad someone else besides me thinks that cats aren't as bad as some people make them out to be. And yeah, mosquitoes are another concern that we should turn some of our attention to.
CatsIndoors June 15, 2011 at 12:51 AM
Victor, because they live outside, does not make them native - this is basic ecology. As for public health...here is just one example: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=fatal-attraction
maynard March 11, 2013 at 12:22 AM
well, I live in Lakewood as well, am a very responsible dog owner...and I beg to differ in a big way. At this time of the year I come home from walking my dog, with dog feces stuck in the bottom of my shoes, acquired from walking around "poop" covered treelawns that I have to walk across to pick up after my own dog! I also pick up loads of dog debris left on my front lawn, also left by inconsiderate dog owners...sadly, when I see many others out walking...the dog deposits and the owner keeps on walking...I have even yelled out my upstairs window at some inconsiderate goofy woman who was so busy looking around to see if anyone was watching her being lazy...it would have taken less effort to clean up after the dog!

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something