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Iowa town offers bounty on stay cats

ancientgirl
March 12th, 2008, 09:38 AM
Great, so what's to stop anyone from just taking cats at random turning them in? Also, instead of euthanizing these cats that aren't claimed, why not spay/neuter them and try to find them homes? I can't even believe the guy from the Humane Society said he didn't have a problem with what they're doing, just so long as they have someone who is experienced. Huh?:mad:

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Iowa town offers bounty on stray cats

By MELANIE S. WELTE, Associated Press Writer Wed Mar 12, 5:56 AM ET

DES MOINES, Iowa - Attention, cat haters: There's money to be made in Randolph, which is offering a $5 bounty for each feral feline turned in.
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Those not claimed will be destroyed.

Mayor Vance Trively says that the southwest Iowa town of 200 people is being overrun by dozens of feral cats and needed to do something.

"You can't just let them keep multiplying in town," Trively said Tuesday.

Town officials approved the bounty after receiving numerous complaints, ranging from a cat attacking a small dog to a dozen cats showing up at the bowl when a resident tried to feed his own cat.

"One guy threatened to shoot all of them. I told him he couldn't do that in town. Other people talk about poisoning them, but you can't do that in town," Trively said.

Under the new policy, stray cats without collars will be taken to a veterinarian in the nearby town of Sidney — Randolph has no vet clinic — where they'll be kept "for a time for people to claim them," the mayor said.

If no one does, they'll be euthanized and buried.

John Snyder of the Humane Society of the United States said he doesn't have a problem with humanely killing a stray cat, but said the money spent on the bounty and the vet expenses would be better spent hiring someone who knows what he or she is doing.

"I'm concerned about children, people trying to capture these cats that don't have knowledge of what they're doing, being scratched or injured or inhumanely handling these cats for five bucks. Is it worth it?"

The mayor said several suggestions have been made, including neutering, trapping and asking for donations.

"You couldn't get a donation to save a cat in this town for the life of them," Trively said.

Since the bounty went into effect March 1, two cats — one of them pregnant — have been turned in.

Love4himies
March 12th, 2008, 09:48 AM
:cry: If only people spayed and neutered their kitties the population wouldn't get out of control.

hazelrunpack
March 12th, 2008, 09:57 AM
They tried to pass a law locally to allow people to shoot stray cats--it failed because of public outrage. But you have to look at why they made the attempt: hundreds of feral cats. In an ideal world, a municipality could afford to trap and neuter all the cats, I suppose, but even then, what happens afterward? The shelters are already full of cats looking for homes. Can't release them--they do a lot of damage to wildlife (just look at Czarina bringing home half-eaten pigeons, ancientgirl) and can act as reservoirs of disease.

L4H has the best idea--if people would just act responsibly and spay/neuter and keep their cats indoors, measures like these wouldn't be necessary. :shrug: It's a tough problem. Until people become more responsible, I'm not sure there is a good solution. :shrug:

ancientgirl
March 12th, 2008, 10:13 AM
They tried to pass a law locally to allow people to shoot stray cats--it failed because of public outrage. But you have to look at why they made the attempt: hundreds of feral cats. In an ideal world, a municipality could afford to trap and neuter all the cats, I suppose, but even then, what happens afterward? The shelters are already full of cats looking for homes. Can't release them--they do a lot of damage to wildlife (just look at Czarina bringing home half-eaten pigeons, ancientgirl) and can act as reservoirs of disease.

L4H has the best idea--if people would just act responsibly and spay/neuter and keep their cats indoors, measures like these wouldn't be necessary. :shrug: It's a tough problem. Until people become more responsible, I'm not sure there is a good solution. :shrug:

Hazel, true. I felt bad when I saw that dead bird in Czarina's mouth, and they have a law here in the township where I work that all cats have to wear bell collars if they are outside.

It seems the ONLY way to fix this problem is for all owners to be responsible, but we know that's not going to happen. But allowing people to just shoot them or taking a bounty out on them is just the wrong way to go about fixing the problem.

hazelrunpack
March 12th, 2008, 10:17 AM
I agree--and the bounty idea is worse in some ways, since it will encourage people to pick up cats and remove collars/ID just so they can get the bounty--even if the cat is on the owner's property. But until someone comes up with a workable solution, both these kinds of proposals will be introduced again and again. :shrug:

ancientgirl
March 12th, 2008, 10:31 AM
I just wonder what some of these people are smoking?

"Gee, I know what we should do, let's just let people shoot 'em."

"No, I've got a better idea, let's put a bounty on their heads."

:wall:

sugarcatmom
March 13th, 2008, 11:27 AM
The thing is, having a stable, neutered and vaccinated population of feral cats in an area through TNR is preferrable to what's being proposed with this bounty. Impact on local wildlife is greatly reduced when there are no mothers needing to feed kittens or tom cats feeding their testosterone. Getting rid of the cats outright only opens up the territory for more to move in. The money spent housing and euthanizing the captured cats would be much better spent on subsidized spay/neuter programs for the residents of Randolf.

Here's Alley Cat Allies statement on the matter: http://www.alleycat.org/pdf/pr-randolph.pdf

For Immediate Release:
MARCH 12, 2008

Contact:
FRANCIE ISRAELI, fisraeli@johnadams.com or 202-737-8400
ELIZABETH PAROWSKI, eparowski@alleycat.org or 240-482-1984

ALLEY CAT ALLIES EXPRESSES OUTRAGE AT IOWA TOWN’S “BOUNTY” ON OUTDOOR CATS

Program Will Result in Needless Killing When Effective, Humane Options are Available

BETHEDSDA, MD— Alley Cat Allies, the national advocate for stray and feral cats, today expressed outrage at program started by city officials in Randolph, Iowa to reduce the number of outdoor cats in the area by offering a $5 “bounty” to residents who trap a cat and bring it to a local veterinarian. All of the cats that are not subsequently “claimed” by owners are killed.

“The fact that a city would a place a ‘bounty’ on the lives of outdoor cats is absolutely barbaric and ludicrous,” said Becky Robinson, president of Alley Cat Allies. “Providing a financial incentive to have an animal spayed or neutered is a great idea. But in our civilized society, the notion of offering cash to produce a cat for slaughter is completely unacceptable.”

A recent national survey conducted by Harris Interactive for Alley Cat Allies revealed that an overwhelming majority of Americans – 81 percent – believe that leaving a stray cat outside to live her life is more humane than having her caught and killed. The survey also found that more than two in five Americans have at some point put food and water out for a stray cat.

“Americans don’t support ‘catch and kill’ – not only is it inhumane, it has proven time and again to be ineffective in managing the population of outdoor cats,” Robinson said.

Robinson noted that many cities have implemented progressive programs such as subsidized spay and neuter, and that these programs have been proven successful.

Feral cats are cats that live outdoors in social groups called “colonies.” Feral cats are not socialized to humans, but they are as healthy as pet cats and are not a threat to people. Over 70 percent of all cats brought to shelters are killed there. For feral cats, which are not adoptable, that number rises to virtually 100 percent.

Robinson noted that many cities have found that “catch and kill” policies don’t work because new cats simply move in, breed prolifically and begin the cycle all over again.

In a letter to Randolph’s mayor, Vance Trively, Alley Cat Allies offered the city assistance with implementing an innovative program called Trap-Neuter-Return, which has been used in cities across the country to manage outdoor cats. Under the program, cats are humanely trapped, altered and vaccinated, and returned to their colonies. The program ends the cycle of breeding and stabilizes the population. Cats that have undergone the procedure are identified by “ear-tipping”—the removal of the tip of the left ear.

“Despite the claims of other well-known animal welfare groups – which are very misinformed on this issue – municipalities in which Trap-Neuter-Return has been implemented see fewer cats entering shelters and lower kill rates, and the cities actually save money, because ‘catch and kill’ is expensive,” said Robinson. “It is our sincere hope that Mayor Trively will reconsider and instead adopt this far more progressive and humane program.”

# # #
About Alley Cat Allies
The mission of Alley Cat Allies is to protect the lives and promote the wellbeing of stray and feral cats. Their web site is www.alleycat.org.

ancientgirl
March 13th, 2008, 12:42 PM
Ally Cat Allies is a great organization. I got something in the mail from them not long ago asking for a donation. I plan on doing just that at the end of the month, when I'll get my monthly bonus.

I think that they really didn't examine any of the alternatives when they when "balls out" and just decided to implement that bounty.

sugarcatmom
March 20th, 2008, 05:02 PM
An update on the cat bounty story: http://news.bestfriends.org/index.cfm?page=news&fps=1&mode=entry&entry=AF03F717-19B9-B9D5-9D77FDE589A869DA

Iowa town lifts feral cat bounty

March 14, 2008 : 3:28 PM ET

An Iowa town has conditionally backed off on its plan to pay a $5 bounty for feral cats and instead will consider a proposal offered by a coalition of animal welfare groups, including Best Friends, Alley Cat Allies and Friends to Felines.
Vance Trively, mayor of Randolph, agreed to meet with coalition representatives after mounting protests by animal welfare groups across the country, including Best Friends. Our Animal Help team, through the Best Friends Network, began marshalling volunteers and resources, and coordinating with local groups. For more details, read the full story of the effort.

The coalition will meet March 17 in Omaha to draft the proposal, which will be discussed with the mayor, then presented at a special town council meeting in Randolph three days later.

The plan is expected to include a trap/neuter/return/maintain component using a mobile clinic and Best Friends volunteers to trap the cats, perform spay/neuter surgeries and relocate any feral cats to safe, free-roaming colonies. Adoptable cats will be placed with rescue groups.

Local organizations have come forward with offers of help, including Fry’s Country Bargains, the Animal Protection and Education Charity, and a local veterinarian who has committed to performing the surgeries.

Town officials approved the bounty after receiving numerous complaints, ranging from a cat attacking a small dog to a dozen cats showing up at the food bowl when a resident tried to feed his own cat.

There are dozens of stray cats around the small southwest Iowa town, which has a population of about 200.

Under the bounty policy, stray cats without collars would be taken to a veterinarian in the nearby town of Sidney (Randolph has no vet clinic), where they’d be kept “for a time for people to claim them,” Trively told the Associated Press. Unclaimed cats would be euthanized and buried.

“You can't just let them keep multiplying in town,” the mayor said. “One guy threatened to shoot all of them. I told him he couldn’t do that in town. Other people talk about poisoning them, but you can’t do that in town.”

A representative for the Humane Society of the United States told the AP that the organization doesn’t have a problem with euthanizing stray cats, but in Best Friends’ experience, there are better ways to manage them.

“Removing and euthanizing the cats is an ineffective way of controlling the feral cat population,” according to our Animal Help department. “It often results in what is known as the ‘vacuum effect’ – more cats show up within a few months and start breeding. This effect has been documented by several studies on feral cats and wildlife.”

Since the bounty went into effect March 1, two cats have been turned in. One died from poisoning, but the other was adopted by Friends to Felines.

Written by Michael Rinker
Photos by Troy Snow.

ancientgirl
March 20th, 2008, 07:45 PM
I'm glad some groups came forward and saved these cats from these obviously brain challenged people.

Jim Hall
March 21st, 2008, 09:44 AM
well i imaagine they sobered up somewhere after passing the bounty
ans i n12 days they got 2 cats? lol wonder how many tried to catch a feral kitty and needed stiches after.

Love4himies
March 21st, 2008, 09:46 AM
well i imaagine they sobered up somewhere after passing the bounty
ans i n12 days they got 2 cats? lol wonder how many tried to catch a feral kitty and needed stiches after.

:laughing::laughing::laughing:

ancientgirl
March 21st, 2008, 12:32 PM
well i imaagine they sobered up somewhere after passing the bounty
ans i n12 days they got 2 cats? lol wonder how many tried to catch a feral kitty and needed stiches after.

A lot I hope.:D