In past decades, many local governments, including Richmond County, approached community cat populations using solutions like trap and remove, which usually involves killing the trapped cats. Those conventional approaches are now widely recognized as mostly ineffective and unable to address the larger community animal issue. New research (Hurley and Levy, 2013) reveals that this non-targeted, selective response to a population which is reproducing at high rates doesn’t help to reduce cat populations and nuisances in our communities, improve cat welfare, further public health and safety or mitigate the real impact of cats on wildlife.
Instead, sterilization and vaccination programs, such as trap-neuter-vaccinate-return (TNR) are being implemented to manage cat populations in communities across the country. Well managed TNR programs offer a humane and proven way to resolve conflicts, reduce population, and prevent disease outbreaks by including vaccinations against rabies and other potential diseases, with the wellness exam at the time of sterilization. Whether or not people like cats should not enter into the discussion, as it is incumbent upon us to help and protect people and animals. Continue reading