This is in response to the letters to the editor on stray cats in Grosse Pointe Park. The writers from July 18 are well-intentioned but not fully informed ("Stray Cat Treatment").
The July 25 letter ("Cat Problem") is absolutely correct in stating that it is inhumane and irresponsible to allow cats that are not tested, vaccinated and sterilized to roam freely. However, stating that the best solution is to stop feeding them and they will go away is not responsible either. This only moves the problem into someone else's backyard.
Though "just feeding" stray cats is not a responsible action, it is not the cause of the problem. The cause is irresponsible pet owners. All stray cats originated in one way or another from the actions of irresponsible people.
The mission of most local groups, such as the Grosse Pointe Animal Adoption Society (GPAAS), is to provide the community with an alternative means (other than kill shelters) for placing indoor family companions into permanent homes. Unfortunately, there are no local organizations currently set up to deal with stray and feral cats.
Alley Cat Allies (ACA) is a national organization with the specific purpose of promoting nonlethal population control Ñ trap-neuter-return (TNR) methods for controlling feral cat populations. The statistics from successful TNR programs across the country continue to prove that TNR reduces feral cat populations while costing less than trap-and-kill methods.
The solution is two-fold:
1) Our community, including residents, police, local governments and veterinarians, needs to be educated to the efficacy of nonlethal population control. This means concerned residents need to arm themselves with the facts about TNR and then take action!
2) Pet owners need to be responsible by sterilizing their pets, using ID tags and keeping them indoors. ACA Web site: www.alleycat.org or 1801 Belmont Rd. NW, Suite 201, Washington, DC 20009, (202) 667-3630.