Speak Out: Controlling cats

In a letter to the editor, Gail Bottomley of Dover wrote “a previous letter to the editor questioned the ability of trap-neuter-vaccinate-return (TNVR) to reduce the free-roaming cat population and cited presumed failures. Documented successes in diverse communities have shown that this is simply not the case.”

• If there was a state-funded vet to just neuter feral cats maybe that would help. In our area we have feral cats and luckily one person could afford to pay for the trapping, neutering and shots through a program but it was still very expensive. — Mary E. Yoder

• I have been caring for a colony of cats for over a year now. The colony is a combination of feral (has not had direct human contact) and stray cats (previously someone’s pet that was abandoned or was lost). They all coexist peacefully together and are very sweet, shy cats. I contacted a wonderful pet rescue for guidance and support in helping these cats. They educated me on the benefits of TNR for the public and for the cats. Cats that are not spayed or neutered reproduce frequently bringing kittens into these less than desirable circumstances.

There are low-cost spay/neuter clinics that also test for potential sickness and provide rabies shots. This is a huge benefit to the cats and the community and assists in keeping the cats healthy while reducing the population. Cat rescues have amazing volunteers that provide their time and services towards this goal endlessly and selflessly. They provide a humane way of controlling the population and assess each cat/kitten to see if adoptable. Many of these abandoned cats end up in a new home with a loving family. I myself have taken in cats from this situation and they have been a joy to have in my home. I fully support TNR as a successful means in assisting cat adoption, promoting healthy feral cats and controlling the cat population. — Kelley O’Brien

• I can attest to the success of a TNVR program. For the past 13 years, I have helped manage a colony that grew to around 60 cats before spaying and neutering. While we found homes for about a dozen of the friendlier ones, the number of the others has dwindled to five cats over the years. TNVR works! Low-cost resources are available for spay/neuter. Communities need to work together to help these cats who (somewhere along the line) were abandoned. — Peggy Henry

• My daughter and I were paying to have stray female kittens spayed and returned to the community, but after some harsh criticism from a neighbor, we stopped doing so. It is expensive but the last two we had spayed cost $160 which was much better and was done at a vet clinic by Redners. If anyone is so inclined to help keep the cat population under control, please check it out. — Jacqueline DiPippa

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