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Stray cat treatment

To the Editor:

The city of Grosse Pointe Park has recently begun a campaign to rid our neighborhoods of stray cats.

These feral cat colonies continue to reproduce and grow larger and many consider them to be a nuisance. Many, on the other hand, consider these cats to be welcome neighbors and pets and feed and protect them.

While I understand the need to manage these cat populations, the city's approach has been anything but humane.

Traps are set out early in the morning or late in the evening. A cat unlucky to be trapped early is left in the trap overnight or for the length of the day. Not only is this creature exposed to the environment (rain, heat, cold) for extended periods, the cat is not supplied with adequate water or food.

Further, the cat is extremely frightened and will struggle against the cage to near exhaustion. I saw one cat left in a cage in freezing temperatures for nearly 10 hours. This is not humane and no way to treat a living creature, cat-hater or not. Once the trap is finally picked up the cat is tossed into the back of a loud, open bed truck to be driven off to their fate.

The treatment the animals receive before their deaths makes me wonder exactly how humane their euthanasia will be.

I urge the city to consider more humane ways of managing the stray cat populations.

The main problem is the colonies continue to grow because the cats are not spayed and produce a litter of kittens every six months or so. If these cats were spayed, colonies would remain stable, the cats would be healthier because they would not fight as often, and their caretakers could continue to look after them.

There are plenty of rescue societies in the area (Alley Cats, Happy Tails Feline Rescue, etc.) that are more than happy to help.

I have worked with Happy Tails in the St. Clair Shores area, a "no-kill" rescue society. They helped adopt a litter of stray kittens born in our backyard and provided services so we could spay and vaccinate the mother cat.

I urge pet-lovers in the area to contact the city and encourage them to use a more humane method to manage the feral cat population in our city.

There are rescue societies one can turn to for help managing stray cats, before they are killed, or to offer a donation: Happy Tails, web1.petfinder.org/shelters/MI157.html, (586) 772-7883; Alley Cat, www.alleycat.org/; and Michigan Pet Rescue, www.michiganallpetrescue.org/.

Sara A. Lolar

Theresa L. Thayer

Grosse Pointe Park

Sara A. Lolar
July 18, 2002

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