Tavares, Florida – May 19 marked the day that Lake officials unanimously voted to approve a second reading of the proposed change in the county ordinance to allow TNR [trap/neuter/return] of feral cats. The final vote will come June 9.
Advocates for the program showed much excitement stating on the community facebook page – www.facebook.com/TNRLakeCountyFL:
Yesterday was a big day for the free-roaming cats of Lake County!
Please refer to the page for much more information.
The proposed volunteer based program will significantly decrease the number of feral cats already in active colonies in a humane and effective way. Program cats will be trapped, sterilized, vaccinated, ear-tipped, microchipped, and then returned to the outdoor home from which they came. This allows the animals to carry on, unable to breed, and the colony eventually dies off.
Animal Services will not be running the program, nor will taxpayer dollars fund the program, in theory saving lots of dollars and in effect culling the population of these cats. The program will significantly reduce the amount of funds the county will need in order to euthanize these animals. Feral cats and their kittens brought to Animal Services are euthanized due to not being adoptable animals.
Models already in place have been examined and researched and guidance has been sought from Alley Cat Allies, based in Bethesda, Maryland [http;//www.alleycat.org]. Hannah Shaw, Campaigns Manager for Alley Cat Allies, whose mission is to transform and develop communities to protect and improve the lives of cats, has visited and consulted extensively with advocates and officials for the group.
Wildlife conservation groups say “not so fast”. Most contest that feral cats are a danger to native bird species, carry disease and threaten public health. Advocates of the TNR program defer readers to this article, as well as countless others: http://www.alleycat.org/page.aspx?pid=1012
Best Friends.org in Utah explains the philosophy of the program here: http://bestfriends.org/Resources/FAQs-About-Trap-Neuter-Return-TNR/
TNR Lake County, a division of L.E.A.S.H., Inc, will be implementing the program. In order to get things started, the non-profit group is asking for community assistance to raise funds and awareness. Whitney Luckhart, President of L.E.A.S.H., Inc. said she hopes the program will be in place by the end of the summer.
If you are interested in volunteering to assist the group, email them at TNR@LEASHInc.org, or give them a call at: 352.507.8678. Their website [not yet active] is www.TNRLakeCounty.org, for now please refer to http://www.leashinc.org/t-n-r.html
Donations can be made at: http://www.booster.com/tnrlakecounty or at http://www.leashinc.org/donate.html
SEE RELATED ARTICLE:
Please view slideshow of local feral cats already in colonies.
Much of this would be curtailed if people were responsible in their pet ownership, neuter and spay your animals, and please don’t DUMP them when you move! These feral cats are the result of human irresponsibility. Continued community support is needed. If you love animals and live in Lake County, be proactive to help this program. It is a worthy cause.
If you love pets, won’t you consider the gift of love called adoption? There are so many needy, homeless pets in high kill shelters. Don’t discriminate because the pet might be “older”, they are usually the best! Most are already trained and have mellowed past puppy stages. They are the most needy when they arrive at shelters. If you can’t adopt, consider being screened to become a foster. Fostering allows more animals to be helped as it frees up space in shelters, allowing more dogs a chance to find a home. Fostering also gives an animal the necessary tools and social skills to live in a new home. It is a win-win situation. Rescued pets often rescue us in the process of rescuing them. What do I mean? Ask someone who’s done it…..visit your shelters, volunteer your help and time, donate.
If you have a pet and you’re having a hard time caring for it, please be sure to seek as many avenues as you can prior to relinquishing it to a shelter. As stated, these pets are the first to be euthanized. Ask rescues or your vet for help! There are many people willing to go the extra mile to rehome your pet, you should also be willing to take these extra steps. Remember, much like a child, your pet depends on you. Just like it isn’t “ok” to leave your child on the side of the road, or dump them at some shelter, it isn’t “ok” to do this to your pet.
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