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Discussion Starter #1
Sorry if this is graphic but I volunteer at my local humane society and a few other shelters. We get hundreds of ferals coming in everyday and almost most of them are not "adoptable." They want cute, healthy, friendly cats. Most ferals are not like that. They have a whole bunch of siamese/mix cats in their adoption center, white and fluffy cats, beautiful tabbies and persian cats. Only one or two black cats (not that black cats are ugly, but these people believe it's harder for them to adopt them out)! And although they mostly focus on the results of the combo test to determine whether the animal is adoptable or not, they still consider appearance! I have been into the incinerator room and seen cats lined up, all dead. This disgusted me so much that I felt like going up to the front desk and throwing a huge tantrum. But then I realized that there's nothing else they can really do. I promised myself I would never ever take a cat to any humane society or shelter ever again because they DO kill them. Does anyone else not take ferals to shelters because of this very reason? I mean, what gives humans the right to kill these innocent living beings? Who are we to terminate their lives? I hate the "it's for the greater good excuse." Killing all of these cats one by one is not going to help, there are millions of ferals out there, these shelters are doing nothing but taking away lives. What they CAN do is urge people to TNR the ferals and help them out instead of just lining them up and euth. them. Ah IDK. I wish they didn't accept non-adoptable cats. I know they can't spay/neuter all of them but at least they can try to promote TNR in the community. They don't even do that!

I sometimes feel like getting a huge poster saying "do not bring cats here or they will kill them" and rallying around the admissions department. I know it's not the shelter's fault as they are non-profit and stuff but still. They are clueless and don't make much of an effort. The other day I went into the admissions department (where they quarantine animals before sending them to the adoption center) and the nursing mother ate her kitten because the workers were not providing food for these animals!

Sorry for the long rant. I am just frustrated after coming back from this place.
 

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Ugh, sounds like I share your frustrations. My city's shelter is also obligated to take in every animal that comes in through their doors. Sometimes they even come in traps and therefore are most often truly feral. There are MANY non-shelter affiliated groups that are very active in TNRM and have some well established, maintained colonies in the surrounding areas. It was my understanding that at least a few months ago people in the shelter system were working to contact these TNRM organizations to see if they could relocate the ferals. I know it hasn't resulted in a 100% save rate for ferals, but it certainly helps out a little bit.

This shelter has a very high euth rate. It is a very hard thing to be around, and I pray that the massive spay/neuter projects really do pay off in the end. Sigh.

Thanks for volunteering, though. Most of my days of volunteering are good and positive and I feel like I've made a difference. One time recently though I went to find an entire "sick" room cleared out (that normally housed about 30 cats in isolation, usually because of URI) because they needed to make room for all the moms with babies :cry:

There really is no good solution.

-BP
 

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This is not only heartbreaking; it's also ineffective. TNR nas been proved to be the most effective method of population control.

The worst program I know of is the one the City of Akron was using. I hope it has stopped! They allowed the picking up of any cat found outdoors. The cat was then killed, and believe it or not, the Council laughed about how quickly their shelter got cleared out! If you were upset with your neighbor, and the cat got out, you could call and the cat would be picked up and killed...even though it had an owner! It was barbaric! It didn't matter is the cat had tags with its owner's name and phone number. :?

http://veganrepresent.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1494
 

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I TNR my local strays and ferals through a humane society. If the cat is deemed adoptable, then he or she is kept and put up for adoption. I know this happens because I give them names, and watch for them to pop up on the website (and they do!). If they are too wild, they are returned as part of the TNR program and they go back out to be fed, watered, and sheltered as a TNR feral.
 

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Here in Western Canada, there are plenty of ferals, and with the exception of young kittens, virtually 100% are euthanised when they go into shelters, simply because they are so anti-social.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well I just wouldn't bring ferals to shelters if they euthanize them period. Humane Societies are labeled "no-kill" and what that means is when they do get an adoptable animal, that animal will live in the shelter for the rest of his/her life even if it doesn't get adopted. So yeah, because they, and other organizations like the SPCA, have an open-admissions policy, they're forced to euth. unfortunately. Ferals are never adoptable anyway, they have to stay where they are and TNR is such a great method. To me, every time someone brings in a feral it's like they're bringing it in to get killed. But most people don't know. It's a very sad when a poor feral who wasn't going to live that long anyway is stolen from his/her home and taken to a strange, mean place where people will laugh at it and not take it seriously. At my Humane Society, as I was walking through the admissions room where I wasn't allowed (bc they know if volunteers go in there they will get angry), they labeled some ferals who were scared "Crazy." Humane society employees were poking the cage and laughing when the cat screamed and meowed. They knew the cat was going to die. Then it dawned on me that a lot of people are either too ignorant or just don't care enough.

As mentioned above, you have to be VERY careful about taking animals to "no-kill" shelters because despite the fact that the animals that live there and who are up for adoption will never be killed, animals who don't pass the tests WILL be killed. And *most* of the time the shelter will tell you that they cannot disclose whether the animal will pass or not. I think they say this because if they did inform the public then they'd be calling 100's of people (literally) telling them the animal they brought it in was euth. and it would be inconvenient and create a big problem for them. I looked through the "no-kill" list in my state and I volunteer for almost all the shelters and they do euth. animals who don't pass the test.

I wish more shelters did that Stacykins!! That is such a good idea.
 

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I was able to intervene and save two ferals over a year ago. I overheard my Dentist talking about the feral kittens that needed to be removed and I asked him and his staff to call me when they caught any and I would take them so AC wouldn't euth them. I was able to save two, whom I tamed and socialized for the adoption/rescue agency I foster for. It was very difficult as they were much older 'kittens' than I was expecting. It took longer for me to reach them and gain their trust, but they both turned out to be great kitties.
 

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I think the only time you should euthanize a feral, is if it's badly hurt, horribly sick/terminally ill, or old enough that it would be better than suffering with arthritis or not being able to hunt or run from predators because it's sight or hearing isn't working well enough. Basically, if it would probably die anyway, but suffer longer (more than a couple months) if it wasn't euthanized.

The rescue group I work for doesn't take in ferals, mostly because we just don't have the resources to care for them. In fact, several times in the last few months, we've had to deny ANY cat, because we just don't have room. We rely mostly on foster parents, and we do have one facility for "extra" cats, but it's getting crowded (25 cats in each of the 2 bigger rooms - yes, they are free, not caged up - and 3 cats in a smaller room, and 4 cats in the infirmary (which does have cages, for quarantine)... right now nobody's sick, but usually that's used to quarantine and treat ringworm or something else that can be cured within a month or so).

When I was looking for groups to volunteer for, one group said I could foster if I secluded the cat away from the household. I didn't think that was any better than living in a cage... isn't the whole point of fostering, to let them get used to a home environment? I can understand not transmitting diseases, but that's what vaccinations are for!

As to the appearance issue: WHAT??? Different people like different cats. No one cat is "more popular" than the other. Except maybe black cats. I have heard so many times that people say they're bad luck. Of course, we always try to convince those people that the British think they're good luck.
I personally prefer, if I really had the choice, calicos and gray solids or gray tabbies. I also like "tuxedos". But I haven't had "my" choice in a while. A feral kitten I rescued years ago, was (is!) a lynx point... if I had been to a shelter, I probably would've never chosen that. But of course I've grown to love her dearly! I have also decided that I don't like black cats, for the simple fact that at night, if I don't turn on a light, I end up tripping over them as they lay on the floor in the shadowy hallway! LOL (poor Nebula probably should be squished flat by now from my clumsy feet!)

I adopted Nebula (all black, except for little white smudges on her left hip and tummy), simply because I gave up trying to get her adopted. On adoption days she IS in a cage for 7 hours...that alone annoys her. Then all the people, noise, smells, other animals (it's amazing how many people bring their dogs over to the cat area, thinking it's perfectly fine), gets her scared and even more riled up. So when somebody goes to her cage, she hisses and growls... and then of course they think she's always like that, and a bad cat - even though I try explaining the situation and that at home she's just fine. Anyway, after 2 years, the organization director decided I should just keep her. So I did!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Our shelter thinks black cats and big black dogs are not very adoptable. Just the other day a family came in to adopt a cat and I showed the couple a beautiful black cat named Pete and they said "no black cats." This happens all the time! I think it's because they are either scared of black cats or like you said, people think they're bad luck. But like you said, it's all about personal preferences. I think white cats look weird. But at the end of the day, for me, it's all about which cat needs me the most. I really wish I had a tabby but I love my tuxedo and black cats :) My shelter doesn't allow black cats to be adopted during the month of October because they think people will use the cat as a Halloween prop. I wonder if people would actually do that. I agree that it's OK to euth. a feral if he/she is in pain and has a serious injury. The only feral cat I EVER took to the humane society was a very sick feral cat, with a skin disease (it was so bad that even I could diagnose it just by looking at the coat and feeling the coat) and I also later found out she was positive for Leukemia. It was very sad and I had no idea the cat would be euth. but I later thought about it and realized that it was for the best. There are other ferals/strays in the neighborhood who are are negative.
 

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We don't adopt out blacks in October, either. Kinda sad that some people WILL do that kind'a stuff! Cats are sentient beings, not decoration!
 

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I don't understand how anyone could miss their silken beauty. :( I think black cats are absolutely beautiful, one of the most beautiful cats. One of the very first things I did when I got married was to get a black cat. She was one of many to come.

My aunt from Scotland named her black cat "Lucky," because, as you said, they are considered lucky in Great Britain.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Black cats are the most precious thing on earth and I'm glad I have one :) Can't wait to adopt/rescue tons more when I have my own house!
 

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It is because of the difficulty of adopting out black cats that we only adopt black cats. They need a good home somewhere...might as well be ours.
 

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Jeanie said:
This is not only heartbreaking; it's also ineffective. TNR nas been proved to be the most effective method of population control.
I'm curious how this has been proved? Not that I am in favor of euthanizing, but I would think it would have the same population control success as making it so the feral can't breed.
 

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Here are some links for you:

www.animallawcoalition.com/feral-cats/article/201

suburban.gmnews.com/news/2009-07-02/letters/017.html

http://www.alleycat.org/NetCommunity/Page.aspx?pid=442

http://www.albertleatribune.com/news/20 ... under-way/

Here is part of an article. There is a link also.


Economic study estimates costs of feral cat control
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Catching and euthanizing feral cats costs billions of dollars more and is less effective at population control than are trap-neuter-and-return programs, according to an economic study commissioned by Best Friends Animal Society.

With an estimated 87 million free-roaming, homeless cats in the United States, local governments would pay almost $16 billion to trap and kill these cats as opposed to approximately $7 billion for supporting TNR programs run by rescue organizations and volunteers, according to the study published in March.

Ledy VanKavage, senior legislative attorney for Best Friends, a Utah-based nonprofit, claims the cost analysis shows the trap-and-euthanize approach is costly and won't curb the homeless cat population.

"Everyone wants to see the number of homeless, free-roaming cats radically reduced, but if you can find a humane way to decrease the number and save money, wouldn't this be the best alternative?" VanKavage asked.

Conducted by John Dunham and Associates Inc. and funded by PetSmart Charities, the study evaluated the costs of trapping, sheltering, and other activities associated with feral cat eradication in the United States. The study authors estimate the total cost of eliminating all feral cats at $15.74 billion.

The authors also looked at the costs of TNR programs and came up with a total of nearly $14 billion, or about $1.7 billion less than the eradication approach. They then estimated how expensive TNR programs would be if veterinarians and "community volunteers" discounted their services, and they came up with a total of $6,999,620,000—a savings of more than $8 billion over the eradication total.

"TNR with the necessary community support is therefore the most cost effective means to feral cat population control," the study states. "Even with new cats introduced into the community from the litters of the remaining unsprayed females and migrant cats, the population should gradually decline due to the emphasis on spay/neuter."

The study is the basis for an online Feral Fiscal Impact Calculator that Best Friends says will help local governments determine the costs of eradicating feral cats.......

http://www.avma.org/onlnews/javma/jun10 ... 0601gg.asp
 

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Discussion Starter #19
BrianD, that is awesome. I think the SAME way. Whenever I'm at the shelter, I spend way too much time playing with the black cats than the other cats because I often see almost *everyone* pass up the black cats! Plus they are just so adorable and elegant.
 
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