Humanlike birth control needed for feral cats
Maui News Hawaii - June 25, 2006
After reading “Increasing population has shelter urging adopt a cat, please” (The Maui News, June 17), why doesn’t someone invent a birth control for feral cats like we have for humans?
Asking the public to catch and detain the cats only leads to certain death. It hasn’t worked so far.
I would like to read that someone is working on birth control and more research is needed so there could be a light at the end of the tunnel for these helpless and loving creatures.
Can anyone write an article to inform cat lovers if this possible?
Trap-Neuter-RETURN-Manage (TNRM) is an important component of the comprehensive cat management program needed in every community. A range of non-lethal solutions are necessary to address feral cats and other animal issues. Non-surgical sterilization may be one such tool. To learn more, here are several resources:
Non-Surgical Sterilization from The Alliance for Contraception in Cats and Dogs (ACC&D). On this website, you'll also find several publications about wildlife contraception.
What's New with Spay/Neuter?
NON-SURGICAL METHODS OF STERILIZATION
Below is the June 17 news article that the letter to the editor was in response to:
Adopt a Cat, please
By MELISSA TANJI, Staff Writer
Maui News Hawaii
PUUNENE – The number of cats being brought into the Maui Humane Society’s Puunene Shelter is increasing but the number of adoptions is decreasing.
That concerns Executive Director Jocelyn Bouchard, who said the increase in intakes and decrease in adoptions add up to euthanization of more cats.
It’s a situation that Humane Society workers hope to reverse with a campaign to promote “Adopt a Cat Month,” the month of June. Bouchard hopes to educate the public about cats and hopefully save some cat lives.
Just last month, she said the shelter took in 696 cats, approximately 22 a day. But only eight were reclaimed by owners and there were 83 adoptions.
“That’s over 22 a day coming in and about three on average going out. Not good,” she said.
Up to the end of May, the society has taken in 5,272 cats for the 2006 fiscal year ending in June. That compares to 4,800 cats take in during the same period in 2005 and 4,518 in 2004.
“So over the past two years we have seen a 14 percent increase in cat intakes,” Bouchard said.
Even with the number of cats climbing, Bouchard said the Humane Society has kept its euthanasia rate to a 9 percent increase – 171 more cats over the same time period.
The society staff is able to assess the cats being brought in and judge the space available – keeping cats that are physically healthy and well adjusted around longer in hopes they will appeal to a potential cat owner or be accepted by a foster home.
But there are fewer families looking to adopt, she said. At the end of May, there were 111 fewer adoptions than during the same period in 2005. That’s giving more impetus to the Humane Society’s campaign that began on Mother’s Day, May 14, to have 275 cat adoptions by the end of the fiscal year on June 30.
The campaign is having some success. By the end of May, there were 83 adoptions, compared to 52 in May 2005. But it will take 152 adoptions in June to reach the goal of 275 adoptions.
The growth of the cat population on Maui is a continuing concern. While Maui may be five years away from achieving “zero euthanasia” for dogs on Maui, Bouchard said there is no such end in sight for cats.
“This is not unique to Maui,” she said. “This is a very common problem, and a big problem is the feral cat population.”
She said unmanaged feral cat populations, cats that escape from owners or are released by irresponsible owners, are the cause of much of the problem. Feral cats that are not spayed or neutered contribute to the growth.
There are steps being taken to attempt to control the growth of feral cat colonies, including individual efforts by people who “adopt” cat colonies. The Maui County Council appropriated $14,920 in the 2007 county budget to support a Maui Humane Society project with the Feline Foundation of Maui to trap, sterilize and release feral cats. The nonprofit foundation also rescues and finds foster homes or adoptive homes for feral cats.
Bouchard said the foundation and society believe that colonies need to be taken care of daily.