Sunday, July 27, 2008

FeralStat addendum: putting cats on the pill

Last week when I contacted the leading feral cat and nonsurgical sterilization veterinarians and the Alliance for Contraception in Cats and Dogs (ACCD) about FeralStat (read their statement,) I told them I remembered something from my files but couldn't locate it right away. One reason was that the name FeralStat had not been used. Found it -- I had posted an excerpt from a news article on the Feral Cat Blog! in August 2006. I also saw that article posted on Spay/USA.

Saturday, August 26, 2006
Putting Cats on the Pill?
Hartford Courant Connecticut - August 26, 2006

For other Feral Cat Blog! posts about contraception, just type contraception in the search box at the top of the blog and click search blog or click here! then scroll down the entries.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Feral House Cat Presence in Western U.S.

Couple days ago, found this interesting material had gone online about the Human Footprint Project which details how "humans have dramatically altered wildlands in the western United States over the past 100 years." It includes input models of the distribution of house cats and feral dogs. In 2001 I had saved an early United States Geological Survey (USGS) reference and map called Non-native animals on public lands published in 1995 which included feral cats; it's no longer online.

[ synanthropic = ecologically associated with humans
according to Merriam Webster ]

Probability of Synanthropic Feral House Cat Presence in the Western United States
Originator: Steve Hanser and Matthias Leu, USGS-FRESC, Snake River Field Station
This model is based on how house cats utilize wildlands near human habituation. These predators can have detrimental effects on wildlife populations (Alterio et al. 1998). We based our model on the data collected by Odell and Knight (2001) that investigated habitat utilization of these predators with regard to distance from housing and on the probability for a homeowner to possess a house cat. We buffered the populated areas distance layer in ARC/INFO using a probability function [P = 0.216 - 0.96 * Distance (km)] where any cell with distance less than 0.18km received a probability between 0.216 to 0. All distances greater than or equal to 0.18km from populated areas were assigned a probability of 0. The resulting dataset was then resampled to 180m using the bilinear interpolation option.
Model the distribution of house cats throughout the western United States.

Leu, M., S.E. Hanser, S.T. Knick. 2008. The human footprint in the west: a large-scale analysis of anthropogenic impacts. Ecological Applications 18(5): 1119-1139.

Found the above information in SAGEMAP - A GIS Database for Sage-grouse and Shrubsteppe Management in the Intermountain West
The SAGEMAP project, conducted by the Snake River Field Station (SRFS) of the USGS Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center, is identifying and collecting spatial data layers needed for research and management of sage grouse and shrubsteppe systems.

Feral Cats, Public Health, Environment: American Public Health Association

In mid-April Nancy Peterson, manager of the Humane Society of the United States HSUS Feral Cat Program told me there would be a feral cat panel at the October 25-29, 2008 conference of the American Public Health Association in San Diego. On June 27 I accessed the conference details which had just been placed online:

5086.0 Feral Cats, Public Health and the Environment: a dialogue
Wednesday, October 29, 2008: 8:30 AM
Panel Discussion
Feral cats and their relationship with the environment have been a concern and a nuisance linking local health departments and the general community. The complaint calls start in the spring after the newest litters of outdoor cats swell the numbers of the current colonies. This usually happens after the annual national vaccination drive, held for public awareness and care of cats and dogs... Summer months bring another mating season, resulting in a next wave of unwanted litters in the early autumn. Feral and stray numbers swell, bringing numerous complaint calls regarding concerns about rabies. The following spring brings the next wave of unwanted litters and the numbers, and need for food and shelter expands. 114 The number of calls to local heath departments is growing and the issue is (becoming and in some communities has become) a major concern for public health officials nationwide. With no check on the growing numbers of cats, and no immunization against rabies, this public health concern needs to be addressed. .. At the local level we have looked at the concern of rabies and other illnesses, nuisance calls, the expansion into the urban environment and the possible environmental impact the cats could have. A need for a humane and practical solution has been asked for and after years of concern an answer might be at hand. 106 Four panelists from various academic backgrounds will discuss case studies and model programs which have been successfully implemented. 18
Session Objectives: 1. Recognize the impacts of feral cats on public health. 2. Recognize the impacts of feral cats on the environment. 3. Describe the issues related to disease transmission and populations and feral cats
Thomas Gecewicz, CHO, MPA, CHWM
James E. Dale, DVM, MPH, MBA
8:30 AM

Public health problems posed by feral cat overpopulation and an analysis of possible solutions
Bryan Kortis, Esquire
8:50 AM

Development of Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) Policy in New Jersey
Cheryl A. Maccaroni, Esquire
9:00 AM

Burlington County Feral Cat Initiative Two Year Retrospective
Gordon B. Stull, VMD, BS
9:10 AM

A Road Map for Reducing Unintended Ecological Consequences: Using Critical Habitat Mapping to Aid in Management of TNR Colonies
Eric Stiles, MS Ecology
9:20 AM

Control of feral cats and rabies risk reduction
Julie K. Levy, DVM, PhD
9:40 AM

Public Health Policy Development in Animal Control
John C. Saccenti, MA, MSED, ED and Thomas Gecewicz, CHO, MPA, CHWM

See individual abstracts for presenting author's disclosure statement and author's information.
Organized by: Veterinary Public Health

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Feral Cat Blog! Resources:

AnimalResources and the Feral Cat Blog! has for some years promoted and connected collaborations of nonlethal control for feral cats between cat / feral cat / TNR groups and wildlife or environmental groups. See those links in the right sidebar on this blog or on Cat Management in Communities under the section Trap Neuter Return and Wildlife.

ACA reformats website

Late last night Alley Cat Allies went live with their reformatted website. Nice, although the most recent one was fine and I think information was more quickly visible at a glance rather than peeling through layers. But once you become familiar, it's easy. The new ACA website style seems similar to that of the Feral Cat Spay/Neuter Project in the Seattle area of Washington state who received a grant and redid their website in April 2007. Christine Wolford, DVM, the president of FCSNP recently became a veterinary advisor on the ACA Advisory Board. The FCSNP just moved to a new location in Lynnwood so I updated their information on my Neuter/Spay webpage [ Neuter/Spay Assistance and Information ~ Oregon, Washington, Nationwide (will update as soon as the intermittent glitch disappears!)

As always, for today's news about cats or felines, feral or stray cats, spay/neuter or no-kill, simply click at the right sidebar! > > > > !!!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

FeralStat contraceptive: ACCD statement

AnimalResources early requested a statement about FeralStat from leading feral cat and nonsurgical sterilization veterinarians and the Alliance for Contraception in Cats and Dogs (ACCD) who tonight provided this Position Statement:

Subject: FeralStat - ACC&D Position Statement
Date: 7/24/2008 9:16:49 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time
To: AnimalResources

Statement on FeralStat™

ACC&D is eager to support and advance safe and effective means of controlling feral cat populations. We are always looking for new contraceptive approaches that have promise for meeting animal welfare objectives.

When we heard recently about a new product called FeralStat being prescribed for feral cat contraception, we immediately began gathering information for review by our scientific advisors. We’ll share a comprehensive position in the next couple of weeks. Until then, we offer this preliminary statement:

FeralStat sounds like a dream come true. Remember the old saying, if something looks too good to be true, it probably is (not true)! Unfortunately, based on our initial review, ACC&D has concerns about both the safety and efficacy of FeralStat.

· The active ingredient in FeralStat is megestrol acetate. This is the same active ingredient which was in Ovaban for dogs. In numerous studies over three decades, this drug, like other progestins, has been found to pose serious health risks in cats, including diabetes mellitus, mammary swelling and tumors, uterine disease, pyometra, and skin disorders. Megestrol acetate is not now, nor has it ever been, approved by the FDA for use in cats.

· There do not appear to be any controlled studies of FeralStat that show that it is either safe or fully effective at the dose used. We have no information that FeralStat has gone through any formal review process.

· Because FeralStat is given as a food additive for outdoor cat colonies, there is no way to control the amount of the drug each cat ingests, or to prevent wildlife or owned pets from consuming the drug.

While we continue our thorough review, ACC&D cannot recommend the use of FeralStat because of serious unanswered questions about safety and efficacy.

To learn more about non-surgical pet contraception and to find out how you can help, please visit You can also contact us at or 503-358-1438/503-310-4265 with questions.

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Addendum July 25: AnimalResources shared the ACCD Position Statement with forums.
ACCD posted their Position Statement on the web and sent an announcement.

July 27 Addendum:
FeralStat addendum: putting cats on the pill

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Shelter Veterinarians spay neuter clinic guidelines

This particular JAVMA-published full article is free to download!

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
July 01, 2008, Vol. 233, No. 1, Pages 74-86
doi: 10.2460/javma.233.1.74

The Association of Shelter Veterinarians veterinary medical care guidelines for spay-neuter programs

Andrea L. Looney, DVM, DACVA; Mark W. Bohling, DVM, PhD, DACVS; Philip A. Bushby, DVM, MS, DACVS; Lisa M. Howe, DVM, PhD, DACVS; Brenda Griffin, DVM, MS, DACVIM; Julie K. Levy, DVM, PhD, DACVIM; Susan M. Eddlestone, DVM, DACVIM; James R. Weedon, DVM, MPH, DACVPM; Leslie D. Appel, DVM; Y. Karla Rigdon-Brestle, DVM; Nancy J. Ferguson, DVM; David J. Sweeney, DVM; Kathy A. Tyson, DVM; Adriana H. Voors, DVM; Sara C. White, DVM; Christine L. Wilford, DVM; Kelly A. Farrell, DVM; Ellen P. Jefferson, DVM; Michael R. Moyer, VMD; Sandra P. Newbury, DVM; Melissa A. Saxton, DVM; Janet M. Scarlett, DVM, MPH, PhD
Section of Pain Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853. (Looney); Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996. (Bohling); Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Mississippi State University, Starkville, MS 39759. (Bushby); Department of Veterinary Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843. (Howe); Maddie's Shelter Medicine Program, Department of Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853. (Griffin, Scarlett); Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610. (Levy); Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803. (Eddlestone); Spay-Neuter Assistance Program Inc, 1001 W Loop S, Ste 110, Houston, TX 77027. (Weedon); American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Shelter Outreach Services, 78 Dodge Rd, Ithaca, NY 14850. (Appel); National Spay/Neuter Response Team, Humane Alliance, 231 Haywood St, Asheville, NC 28801. (Rigdon-Brestle); National Spay/Neuter Response Team, Humane Alliance, S.P.O.T. Spay/Neuter Clinic, 612 S Main St, Cloverdale, IN 46120. (Ferguson); No More Homeless Pets in Utah, 324 South 400 W, Ste C, Salt Lake City, UT 84101. (Sweeney); City of San Jose Animal Care and Services, 2750 Monterey Rd, San Jose, CA 95111. (Tyson); Shenandoah Valley Spay and Neuter Clinic, 910 N Liberty St, Harrisonburg, VA 22802. (Voors); Spay ASAP Inc, 163 Clay Hill Rd, Hartland, VT 05048. (White); Cats Exclusive Veterinary Center, Feral Cat Spay/Neuter Project, 11331 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle, WA 98125. (Wilford); Angels of Assisi, 415 Campbell Ave, Roanoke, VA 24016. (Farrell); EmanciPET Spay/Neuter Clinic, 2729 Exposition Blvd, No. 124, Austin, TX 78703. (Jefferson); Rosenthal Director of Shelter Animal Medicine, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104. (Moyer); Koret Shelter Medicine Program, Center for Companion Animal Health, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616. (Newbury); Humane Alliance of Western North Carolina, 231 Haywood St, Asheville, NC 28801. (Saxton)
Address correspondence to Dr. Griffin.

As efforts to reduce the overpopulation and euthanasia of unwanted and unowned dogs and cats have increased, greater attention has been focused on spay-neuter programs throughout the United States. Because of the wide range of geographic and demographic needs, a wide variety of programs have been developed to increase delivery of spay-neuter services to targeted populations of animals, including stationary and mobile clinics, MASH-style operations, shelter services, feral cat programs, and services provided through private practitioners. In an effort to ensure a consistent level of care, the Association of Shelter Veterinarians convened a task force of veterinarians to develop veterinary medical care guidelines for spay-neuter programs. The guidelines consist of recommendations for preoperative care (eg, patient transport and housing, patient selection, client communication, record keeping, and medical considerations), anesthetic management (eg, equipment, monitoring, perioperative considerations, anesthetic protocols, and emergency preparedness), surgical care (eg, operating-area environment; surgical-pack preparation; patient preparation; surgeon preparation; surgical procedures for pediatric, juvenile, and adult patients; and identification of neutered animals), and postoperative care (eg, analgesia, recovery, and release). These guidelines are based on current principles of anesthesiology, critical care medicine, microbiology, and surgical practice, as determined from published evidence and expert opinion. They represent acceptable practices that are attainable in spay-neuter programs.

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Feral Cat Blog! Notes:

The first publication from the national veterinary spay/neuter task force was

Strategies for Recruiting and Retaining Spay/Neuter Veterinarians

published by the Veterinary Task Force to Advance High Quality, High Volume Spay/Neuter in September 2007 at which time I provided a link on
Neuter/Spay Assistance and Information ~ Oregon, Washington, Nationwide under Spay Neuter Reports :: Spay Neuter Studies :: Spay Neuter Research :: Spay Neuter Analysis.

See also the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)
Guidelines on participating in spay/neuter clinics updated JAVMA News, June 2004:

An updated version of the Guidelines for Veterinarians Participating in Ovariohysterectomy-Orchiectomy Clinics was approved by the AVMA Executive Board in April.

As part of a regular, five-year review process, the AVMA Council on Veterinary Service recommended that the document be revised to more clearly reflect the standard of care that veterinarians should provide at spay/neuter clinics. Specifically, the updated guidelines state that the care provided at those clinics should conform to current practice standards, including the use of analgesics and the provision of postoperative care.

The revised guidelines are:

Guidelines for Veterinarians Participating in Ovariohysterectomy-Orchiectomy Clinics

Veterinarians who participate in ovariohysterectomy-orchiectomy clinics should abide by the spirit and letter of the Principles of Veterinary Medical Ethics of the American Veterinary Medical Association.
Any animal, regardless of its ownership, deserves the best efforts of the licensed veterinarian, and a quality of care equal to that provided by the private sector of the veterinary profession.
Therefore, the quality of veterinary medicine and surgery should conform to current standards of practice, including the use of analgesics and providing for post-operative care.

holistic pet care: Prince Georges Feral Friends

from Prince Georges Feral Friends, SPCA (PGFF):


Prince George's county's eminent humane organization explodes the myths about holistic care for pets

BOWIE, Maryland (June 27, 2008) Prince Georges Feral Friends, SPCA (PGFF) just completed its fourth year's offering of holistic pet care classes in Bowie, Md. The selection of courses ranged from introductory levels for average pet owners to expert-level sessions appropriate for veterinary and other pet care professionals. Attendees from around Maryland studied and networked with others from around the country, as well as Canada. This year, forty people attended various tracks or classes in the session.

PGFF offers the courses during the summer every year, in addition to using holistic care as part of the PGFF TNR Program. This program is unique in the region in documented, proven positive impact of Trap, Neuter and Return (TNR) on neighborhoods as well as on cats and other animals. The TNR Program was the result of the original PGFF members' concerns to address feral cat issues. Over the past ten years, populations of these 'neighborhood cats' in the vicinity of program sites have declined through attrition and the effects of the work of a network of committed community caretakers who serve as a kind of “neighborhood watch” for human-animal interactions and animal welfare.

Prince Georges Feral Friends, SPCA also operates the Adopt A Classroom Program, in which businesses and individuals partner with PGFF to provide humane education materials for students in grades K through 6, to help foster compassion and promote kindness in children in these grades. For a mere $30 a year, donors can adopt one classroom and know that each child in the class will receive their own copy of a professionally-edited and written newsletter each month of the school year. Teachers tell PGFF that the Adopt A Classroom Program definitely changes how children behave and their attitudes toward nature and animals, as well as one another.

For more information about any of PGFF’s programs, contact the organization at 301-262-6452 or, on the web, at WWW.PGFERALS.ORG

Media contact: Timothy Saffell, 240-765-8272, TimSaffell@USA.Net

Prince Georges Feral Friends, SPCA
PO Box 1036
Bowie, MD 20718

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Feral Cat Blog! Note:

Prince Georges Feral Friends, SPCA (PGFF) is a wonderful, progressive, and unique animal organization that I have been familiar with for some years now. In addition to the annual classes and ongoing use of Holistic Care for Pets including feral cats, they have operated a Trap-Neuter-Return-Manage (TNMR) program for over ten years in Prince Georges County Maryland, part of the metro Washington DC area. Another notable PGFF program is the Prince Georges County Compassion Project. Linda, one of the founders who continually expands the community outreach of PGFF and her knowledge through training, has provided invaluable mentorship to many.