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Discussion Starter #1
Feral cats are a big problem in our city but around my home they are especially numerous. I have an older neighbor who feeds them just enough that they can barely scrape by and keep having kittens. He refuses to do more than that for them though. He claims they are his pets but they're all wild. They are all skin and bones and they don't even look like regular feral cats.

About two years ago, after one of them barfed up a pile of round worms in my driveway, diarrheaed next to that, and then came up on my porch where my kids play, I decided I couldn't watch this suffering go on any longer.

I set a live trap and caught a feral cat with the intention of spaying and vaccinating it and then releasing it. My vet and I are very well acquainted so he was kind enough to offer the services at a discount. Sadly though, among the several diseases it carried, that cat had feline aids....as did the next one I trapped...and the next, and several others. In fact, of the 53 cats and kittens trapped and tested in two years only two young kittens were salvageable. (Those were spayed and neutered and adopted out as barn cats. They seem quite happy still)

This afternoon I caught a tom in quite poor shape. His coat was thin and patchy, he was badly emaciated, and he smelled sick like so many others. I called animal control to pick him up because I already know how this would have to end. (Such a sickening waste of such a beautiful creature)

The guilt trip I feel for it is bad enough on its own but as the animal control officer is putting the cat in his truck, my elderly neighbor comes running up, screaming how we are stealing his pets. He tells me I am evil, a detriment to the neighborhood, and several other venom-laced comments.

Do I feel good about any of this? No. But I fail to see how I'm causing the cats to suffer. What I wanted was to catch, neuter, and release but this colony is so diseased I can't release them. They die in our yards, get run over by cars, starve, or worse. ...can some one help me try to understand this man or suggest a way to try to reach a real solution with this conflict? I don't like being at odds with a neighbor. I don't like seeing the cats suffering. I sure as heck don't like having them put to sleep.

Help!
 

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I'd be straight up with him. Tell him that #1) if they ARE his pets, then he is neglecting them (and spell out to him any and all applicable state and/or local laws regarding that). And, #2) you will trap any cat that comes onto your property and turn them over to Animal Control, and if he can't handle that, then he'd better learn to keep his animals contained on his own property. And if HE comes onto your property raising a stink about it, you will proceed to call the police and have him arrested for trespassing.

Some people just need a huge boot up their rearend, and this guy sounds like one of them.
 

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Don't get involved. If they're his 'pets' and are in that condition report him, over and over again if necessary, until AC gets involved on that level. If he IS claiming ownership and is letting them run wild and not providing vet care it's a crime and he should be charged and have them ALL removed.
 

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This is so sad. I would suggest you call in an established TNR group to work with you and the authorities. Obviously these elderly people are not thinking rationally. Probably mentally ill.

We were called to help with a hording / domestic violence police scene. The police officer was an animal lover and there were over 40 cats, all in horrific condition. We wanted to save them and move them. But so many of them were so far gone. Terrible terrible condition. We saved some and relocated them. Most were put down and we weren't given the choice to try to save most of them. Only a few made it out of there.

It was situations like that which made me question why I was doing TNR.

You need to get the authorities involved. You cant do this alone.

This has to stop. Make the authorities the bad guys. Your only responsibility was to stop the suffering of these cats.
 

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This kind of a situation makes me cry for these poor cats...

M &T is Right! Get the Authorities
involved...!!

Merry, what you went through with that particular situation...Had to have been such a heart wrenching experience...
 

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Oh wow, this is so sad. 51 of 53 cats weren't healthy enough to live? :(

You're doing an amazing thing - trapping them and working with your vet at your own cost. It is incredibly sad... I'm not sure I could do what you are doing. Thank you for trying to help these poor cats.

I can't add anything more than has already been said.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks guys! The advice is appreciated and will be tried. The tom that I caught today was one of a few who steal fish from my koi pond. Never loved him for that but couldn't really blame him for it either. I'd steal a fish too if I were in his shoes. It wrenches my heart to see them so desperate and thin when my own cats are shiny and chunky.

Right now there are 12 cats that I can identify as regular resident ferals. the numbers rise and fall through the year. Right now some are dying because it's very cold, they're sick, and there's not enough food. Come spring though the numbers will jump again. I'm going to set some extra live traps to catch as many as I can before spring. Keep your fingers crossed I catch something healthy enough to be salvaged. I have a friend with a big warm barn who will take them once they're neutered.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Oh wow, this is so sad. 51 of 53 cats weren't healthy enough live?
That's been over a two year period. I keep a loose tally of the cats that die on my short little street. In two years I've had 51 very sick cats put to sleep (or animal control has collected them from me and euthanized), 4 were killed by another neighbors dog, 18 hit by cars, 6 found dead from disease or starvation in the yard, and I honestly can't keep track of all the kittens killed and eaten by other cats (I've actually watched them do this) it's a horror story.

I actually have a little kitten I just took in. He seems too social to be a feral though so I'm glad I found him before things turned really bad for him.
 

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Wow. I'm really, really sorry to hear that and amazed with all that you have done. That is heartbreaking, thank you for trying to help them.

We don't have nearly the feral populations it seems - I would guess that our very cold winters keeps them lower than more temperate areas. :-|
 

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OMG Magscat! You are wonderful for doing what you are doing. It be so heart breaking to witness. Thank you for having the decency and compassion to do the right thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I don't actually consider myself a super cat lover. Im more into dogs really (*hides from all the hissing cat lovers*) I've got two big, stinky, wrinkly, burping, farting, bulldogs that I rescued which are the apples of my eye. But as long as I live I will never turn a blind eye on something suffering...weather they're my favorites or not.
 

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I can't imagine having to deal with that much death and sadness. I've seen stray/feral kitties who were hit by cars and taken them to the vet to have them put out of their misery (they were beyond saving), and it was heartbreaking. The thought that they have no one who cares about them is just so sad. I can't imagine having to do this 50+ times. Bless you for having the strength and compassion.

I would also report them to animal control for neglect/hoarding. Are there any TNR groups near you?
 

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I have worked in animal shelters and vet clinics for a long time before I changed to my current career. It's hard for some to understand, but I am unfortunately used to it and seem to be able to turn off many of the sad feelings in it.

There are no tnr groups here but I have a friend who is a wildlife rehabilitation expert and she has helped out with housing the two we did save, transporting, and lending me traps. I can't take all the credit! ^_^
 

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magscat I did a bit of investigating since your near the No Kill city of Reno. You have lots to be proud of in Fallon with what youve done with dogs in your city shelter. Now they are starting to focus on cats. There is a very new TNR/rescue group in Fallon.

FALLON ANIMAL WELFARE GROUP: About Us

That being said since they are new I don't know of how available they are but they seem active. I would definitely contact them to help you feed these ferals thru the winter and do trapping. Its a door you should try opening for the sake of your ferals trying to survive the winter and not to have to face this situation alone. I hope this helps. They have a FB page too.
 

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I want to say that I think what you are doing is awesome because you are doing the best you can in shitty situations... but its hard because one of my cats has FIV and when we took him off the streets I almost put him down but idid tons of research and realized its not a strong enough reason to destroy a life... so I think of all the cats that could have had more time on this earth and I see the old man's side... I think he's ignorant and silly... and you are trying to clean up a mess he caused... but say I'm adreamer that believes there is a better way than trying to contain diseases by killing... your vet is also to blame... I can't believe all of them were in stage 3 FIV...I bet a bunch were still "salvageable".

Sent from Petguide.com Free App
 

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I was pretty ignorant of all this until I started reading on this forum. You are the one who stepped up when it was needed. I think the elderly man is just ignorant and maybe some dementia. I would say get all the back up you can. And maybe this man can be educated somehow through the process. I don't know how your neighbors can live with this situation. Dead cats, starving animals - Horror!
 

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@katrina


Rehabbing these guys really isn't much of a option. They are very fractious, highly stressed when caged, you can't medicate them with out sedating them. If they can't be housed and medicated there's not a lot you're left with in practical terms.I have tried to save some of them. It has rarely ended well. One of the kittens we managed to save tore a gash in my hand that took twenty two stitches to close. Not mad at the cat but it just goes to show you that these animals are dangerous.
 

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omg, in tears over that picture. Heartbreaking is an understatement. I am so hopeful that the organization link that Merry put up will be able to help you. This is so sad.
 

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That photo is heartbreaking. Wow. Even though you're more of a dog person, you're obviously an animal lover... I think pretty much all of us can relate to that.
 
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