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davidinalameda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 01:36 PM
Original message
Tiny Iowa Town Rescinds $5 Cat Bounty
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...

Cat haters, nevermind: The tiny town of Randolph has rescinded a $5 bounty on feral feline.

Instead, the southwest Iowa town of 200 people has agreed to work with animal rescue groups on a catch, neuter and release program.

"We've told them to get it lined up to do it," Mayor Vince Trively said Friday.

The City Council approved the bounty after receiving numerous complaints about feral cats. Under the initial policy, which went into effect March 1, stray cats without collars would be taken to a veterinarian, and if they weren't claimed, they'd be euthanized. That caused an uproar among animal lovers.
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hyphenate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 01:41 PM
Response to Original message
1. Glad to hear it!
I work with several groups who do spay and release programs, and it's a wonderful alternative. The problem is, there are still WAY too many people ignorant on the topic of pet overpopulation, and there are so many animals euthanized than need to be.

Having such a bounty is cruel and unusual.
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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 01:43 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. And I do hope the heartless rats that ratified it are voted out.
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hyphenate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 01:50 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. Definitely!
The article says the mayor still doesn't want the cats in his town--what a schmuck. It's cat haters like that that suck pondwater.
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wellstone dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 01:43 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Unfortunately the impact of feral cats on
songbirds is enormous. The catch and release program does not address that issue.
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hyphenate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 01:53 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. No program can really address that issue
But killing cats is not one of the options for many of us. People really should have noticed all this a generation ago, but now it's too late for some animals.
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Lasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 01:59 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. Well yes, taking the cats out of the ecology does address that issue.
Sparing one feral cat's life, even if neutered/spayed and released, is a guarantee that many more animals will suffer and die.
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davidinalameda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 02:10 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. I don't understand people calling for taking cats out of the ecosystem
they're a natural predator of birds

if man takes a predator out of the ecosystem, won't that allow the prey to overpopulate?

you have wildcats out there and the species that have become our domesticated cat came in the picture

and a cat quickly becomes feral which I think shows that they have not become entirely domesticated despite 4000 to 5000 years of living with man
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Lasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 02:57 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. That is a good question. Please consider this:
Domestic house cats are not a natural part of ecosystems found in the US. All house cats are probably descended from a group of self-domesticating desert wildcats circa 8000 BC, in the Near East. Much like their big cat relatives, domestic and feral cats are very effective predators.

And so, feral cats have no place in any US ecosystem. I have come to realize in the past two years or so that even non-feral cats, if we decide to keep them as pets, should be kept inside or in a similarly controlled environment. Otherwise their impact on other creatures can be appalling.
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davidinalameda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 03:13 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. you make great points
but (LOL-there's always a but) I know that in my area, there are wild cats that closer in size to domestic cats rather than big cats

a secretary that I used to work with adopted a feral cat in San Francisco; he was a bit larger than a normal domestic cat

she found out that he was a hybrid-offspring of a feral and a wild cat

I agree that cats should be kept inside due to the threats to them

I think that smaller cats would have eventually made their way into the US even without human help; animals are amazing that way

I was just reading something that said cats may play a factor in bird decline but in many areas, they're a non-factor


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hyphenate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 05:05 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. Insofar as your logic is concerned
Human beings, other than those who were native to this continent, also do not belong in this eco-system. As predators, we have killed, eliminated, and toppled over the natural eco-system since we landed on this soil. We have helped to bring many different species close to the brink of extinction, and wiped out natural predators for the past 400+ years. And let's face it: cats don't come even close to wiping out any species faster than mankind has done.

Any bio-system needs a food chain in order to keep that fragile balance going, and there is really little here that we haven't completely put out of whack.

While cats are not native to the Americas, they came on the same boats with the Europeans who came here, and likely helped keep those people alive in the first place--ships at that time employed cats to keep the mice and rat pestilence down and keep the grains safe. Personally, I would prefer to have the cats around than disease-ridden vermin.

In addition, the population of birds globally has declined, not from feline intervention, but from human beings and loss of habitat. In fact, overall, human beings are indeed the worst predators on the planet.

Wiki says:

Bird conservation is a field in the science of conservation biology related to threatened birds. Humans have had a profound effect on many bird species. Over one hundred species have gone extinct in historical times, although the most dramatic human-caused extinctions occurred in the Pacific Ocean as humans colonised the islands of Melanesia, Polynesia and Micronesia, during which an estimated 750-1800 species of bird went extinct.<1> According to Worldwatch Institute, many bird populations are currently declining worldwide, with 1,200 species facing extinction in the next century.<2> The biggest cited reason surrounds habitat loss.<3> Other threats include overhunting, accidental mortality due to structural collisions, long-line fishing bycatch, pollution, competition and predation by nonnative invasive species,<4> oil spills and pesticide use and climate change. Governments, along with numerous conservation charities, work to protect birds in various ways, including legislation, preserving and restoring bird habitat, and establishing captive populations for reintroductions.


Cats have been associated with mankind for over 9,500 years, and will likely follow us into space when we finally have the technology to go there--I have no fear that there will be vermin for them to catch even in outer space.

People who don't like cats are determined to make them the world's greatest enemy. But cats have been, and always will be, our companion animals as much as any dogs, rabbits and other small animals are. And they earn their keep in many places where some pets don't even come close.

Feral or not, cats are hardly the dreaded hunters that some make them out to be--for every "kill" of a bird, there are thousands, if not many more, diseased rats, mice, voles, and other pests killed in the process. In fact, many birds themselves carry diseases, an uncomfortable truth in the present with West Nile.

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Lasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 10:33 PM
Response to Reply #15
22. Cats in space!


Cats have an impact on the environment. Humans have an impact on the environment. So humans should be treated the same as cats?

Cats are not the same as humans.
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tuckessee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 11:19 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. That's fake. Cats have not been to moon.
It's all a big scam. Done in a studio with doctored photos and bogus radio transmissions, etc.

For example, in the photo you posted the cat's shadow is cast to the forward left indicating the sun is behind the cat and to the right. Now look at the earth. It shows the sun to be to ahead and to the left.

Binary star system? I'd say not. Fake photos? I say "bingo".

Why would any cat go to the moon? There's no furniture or carpet to gack up hairballs on.

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Lasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 12:17 AM
Response to Reply #23
24. Don't belittle feline achievements with bogus conspiracy theories.
Where's your cat pride?



I know the photo is genuine because I found it on the internet and it didn't have a caption that included 'LOL'.
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bean fidhleir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 05:56 PM
Response to Reply #11
17. No, they don't quickly become independent. Generally they die unless re-adopted.
The dangers are too many in an urban environment, and the resources too few.
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bean fidhleir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 05:48 PM
Response to Reply #3
16. Fortunately, that idea is not supported
There is a large body of scientific literature that contradicts the conclusions of the studies of Churcher/Lawton and Coleman/Temple. Over 60 studies on feral cats have been written from different continents throughout the world--all showing three important points:


  • Cats are opportunistic feeders, eating what is most easily available. Feral cats are scavengers, and many rely on garbage and handouts from people. When the stomach contents of feral cats are examined, invariably the main diet is found to be human refuse, followed by rodents, and to a small extent, birds. Urban cats are connoisseurs of restaurant and other human food. It is cat's scavenging ability that allows them to survive as feral-living animals and live with us eating food off a saucer.

  • Cats are rodent specialists. Birds make up a small percentage of their diet when they rely solely on hunting for food.

  • Cats may prey on a population without destroying it. If this were not so, we would no longer have mice around.


Biologist Roger Tabor found that cats have low success as bird hunters and that the bulk of their diet is garbage, plants, insects, and other scavenger material. In short, cats are not impacting bird populations on the continents (The Wild Life of the Domestic Cat, London: Arrow Books, 1983).

Coman & Brunner concluded that "The common belief that feral cats are serious predators of birds is apparently without basis." (Coman BJ, Brunner H. Food habits of the feral house cat in Victoria. J Wildl Mgmt 1972;36:848-853)

Many international biologists agree that only on small islands do cats pose a severe threat to the wildlife populations. They agree with biologist C.J. Mead that "any bird populations on the continents that could not withstand these levels of predation from cats and other predators would have disappeared long ago."


http://www.animal-link.org/songbirds.shtml
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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 05:58 PM
Response to Reply #3
18. I think the new group of pesticides "carbofuran" (which may be involved in declining bee colonies)
is responsible for more bird kills than feral cats. Carbofuran is one of the most heavily used insecticides in the world and goes by the name Furadan.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbofuran
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joeybee12 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 01:46 PM
Response to Original message
4. Good! But that mayor still sounds like an ass. n/t
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patrice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 01:52 PM
Response to Original message
6. Glad for the cats! Sad for the birds! nt
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Peregrine Took Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 01:54 PM
Response to Original message
8. Great news - I wrote to them. What a moronic idea. Feral = homeless.
I've taken in homeless cats - they were fantastic, wonderful pets. I loved them so much - best cats I ever had. A mom and her son - I had them for 13 years. NO problem at all!
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tachyon Donating Member (520 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 06:39 PM
Response to Reply #8
21. Did you have them neutered?
...
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 01:54 PM
Response to Original message
9. That made it sound like they were allowing
teenagers with .22s to go out and shoot them. I'm glad it was catch and euthanize.

Most feral cats are unsuitable as pets. Unless they had close contact with humans from birth through the first few months, they have absolutely no reason to trust any human and plenty of reasons not to. I have tamed down a feral cat to the point she'd let me pet her, but she was never a loving lap cat. For that, you need early contact.

Letting neutered feral cats go is really the best thing. Although they do eat songbirds, they also eat vermin including bugs. Were all the feral cats to disappear completely, we'd be overrun quickly in areas where natural predators have been killed off or evicted by human habitation.

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LiberalFighter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 02:49 PM
Response to Original message
12. Do they have annual fees that pet owners must pay?
Like unaltered dogs $100 and altered dogs $5?

Any fines for pet owners not registering their pets?
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and-justice-for-all Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 06:30 PM
Response to Original message
19. I have had a feral cat neutered...
and he remained outside for a year. But, I got attached and now he lives inside.

It is a good idea to catch males and have them fixed, females are not so easy because they need to time to recover from the intrusive surgery.

I am glad they are not shooting to kill, that is completely unnecessary.
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tachyon Donating Member (520 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 06:38 PM
Response to Original message
20. None of the choices are very palatable. We love and keep cats, and dogs...
as many as we can afford - and most of our neighbors do too but we all have to now and then put abandoned strays away before they starve or become roadkill which still happens to far too many.
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