View Full Version : Animal Lovers Unhappy With Proposal To Kill Outdoor Cats In Nation's Capital

09-15-2015, 04:28 PM
It's been a good decade for outdoor cats in the nation's capital: veterinary care, community support. But now the local government is proposing to kill them.

The plan is laid out in a draft Wildlife Action Plan, put out last month by the District Department of the Environment, that designates feral cats as an "invasive species."

There's also a call in the proposed plan for "revisiting" a longstanding program through which the Washington Humane Society -- D.C.'s city shelter -- gives the cats veterinary care, and then returns most of them back to their colonies.

It's making folks who love cats worry that a return to the bad old days of euthanizing Washington's feral cats instead of caring for them may be at hand.

"This policy will do nothing but kill healthy animals for no reason," said the Washington Humane Society's Scott Giacoppo. "Animals are going to die and there's no need for it."

Since 2006, the Washington Humane Society -- D.C.'s city shelter -- has given feral cats veterinary care, returning most of them back to their colonies. (Kitties who seem well-suited to life as a pet are made available for adoption, and those who are too ill or injured to survive are euthanized.)

This sort of program is called Trap, Neuter, Return -- TNR -- and is seen by many as the key instrument in humanely maintaining, and even reducing, the size of outdoor cat colonies.TNR is credited with bringing down the number of cats euthanized in shelters across the United States, including in the nation's capital.

The ASPCA supports TNR as "the most humane, effective and financially sustainable strategy for controlling free-roaming cat populations."

The American Bird Conservancy, a vocal opponent of TNR, is listed as having participated in the current proposal's drafting process.

Giacoppo said that WHS was not consulted about the draft plan -- which he calls "poor policy" of dubious efficacy. WHS president Lisa LaFontaine laid out her critique of the DDOE proposal in this sharp letter, which criticizes the idea that killing feral cats is an effective way of reducing the cat population or of helping the city's other animals.

WHS performs all of D.C.'s animal control services and would be charged with carrying out the new plan. The Washington Humane Society's current TNR program, which began in 2006, is funded entirely through donations and grants.

"Doing away with an effective policy, a humane policy, a free policy, and replace it with a proven ineffective policy, a costly to the taxpayer policy, and an inhumane policy?" Giacoppo said. "I just don't get it. I don't get it."

Tommy Wells -- now chairman of the District's environmental agency, previously a D.C. councilmember who voted to support D.C.'s TNR program back in 2008 -- told The Huffington Post by email that it's premature to be calling for his head.

"There has been no change in policy. Just a review of the current practice and policy since cats have an impact on native species," he said.



tod evans
09-15-2015, 04:47 PM

09-15-2015, 05:54 PM
Angry Birds Conservancy: "Hey cats! Our grants own your grants, suck it mouse breath! Our lobbyists wear Birks not Crocs! We will reclaim what is rightfully ours from your artificially inflated population!"

Kitty Coaliton: "Meow off you winged rats, feral cats are of the people and we shall feast upon your elite number! You have your allotted areas! We've never had sanctuaries as you have!"

Both: "Holy crap! Wahhht is thaat!? AaaarrrrggGGHH!!! THe PAIN!!!!


Working Poor
09-15-2015, 08:26 PM
I guess the "rats" will be happy.

tod evans
09-15-2015, 08:29 PM
I guess the "rats" will be happy.

Shoot them too.....

09-15-2015, 08:33 PM


You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to tod evans again.

Ronin Truth
09-16-2015, 07:32 AM
I can kinda understand the cat lovers being unhappy/upset.

Other folks not quite so much.

09-16-2015, 07:52 AM
I guess the "rats" will be happy.

Bubonic plague is an infection of the lymphatic system, usually resulting from the bite of an infected flea, Xenopsylla cheopis (the rat flea).


Maybe we get lucky clean sweep of congress.

09-16-2015, 07:58 AM
The same thing happened in Europe in the Middle Ages.

The rats became so numerous that they were able to spread The Plague like wildfire.

But if there's a species Washington is dedicated to preserving, protecting and defending, that species is rats.