- Rodney EricksonPresident
Demand trap-neuter-return on PSU campus!
I am an alumna of Penn State and it has recently come to my attention that there is a feral cat colony currently on the campus of PSU and it is not being dealt with appropriately. It has been proven in study after study that trap-neuter-release is the ONLY effective way to deal with cat colonies; destroying the cats merely creates a vacuum that will be filled by other abandoned cats. Based on PSU's own statement about the matter, I do not believe that anyone at the institution has any understanding of cat colonies and how they work. I want to send the message to them that there are plenty of people out there who DO understand the dynamics of cat colonies and that we are begging them to get educated on the subject and to do the right thing.
The statement from Penn State:
Feral cats Today at 5:58am
There have been some inaccurate posts to this page over the past two days on the topic of feral cats at Penn State. Here's the accurate story: Over the last year Penn State has had a problem with a small colony of feral cats in the Innovation Park area between the Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel and the Daybridge Child Development Center at Innovation Park, causing a health and safety hazard for employees, visitors and the children at the day care center.The University's efforts to remove the colony from the area are being thwarted by well-meaning employees at Innovation Park, who are leaving food out for these animals, thinking they're aiding them. However, these are not abandoned, domestic cats. They're feral, descended from once domestic cats that several generations ago were released into the wild. Feral cats have been born in the wild, live in the wild and have never been domesticated. They are aggressive, adverse to human contact and are much more likely to scratch and bite than domesticated cats. In addition, they carry diseases that can be transmitted to people through a scratch or bite, or through their fecal matter. Right now the colony is small. Over the last year, the University's pest control company has had to remove only six cats, all of which were captured and taken to a local Humane Society. However, those who are feeding these feral animals are not only keeping the small colony in the area, but are encouraging the colony to grow. The most effective way to keep them away is to eliminate the food source. We need your help in achieving this, so employees and visitors should stop leaving food for the animals.
Dangers from feral cats include:
-- Cat scratch disease (CSD), a bacterial disease caused by Bartonella henselae. According to the Centers for Disease Control, most people with CSD have been bitten or scratched by a cat and developed a mild infection at the point of injury. Lymph nodes, especially those around the head, neck, and upper limbs, become swollen. Additionally, a person with CSD may experience fever, headache, fatigue, and a poor appetite. Cats that carry the bacteria do not show any signs of illness; therefore, you cannot tell which cats can spread the disease to you.
-- Transmission of various parasites, including roundworms, hookworms, and ringworm, that can infect both humans and other animals through skin contact with sand or soil -- such as what is found in a child's sandbox or playground -- that has been contaminated with eggs shed in the feces of infected animals.
-- Transmission of other diseases, including tetanus and rabies, through scratches and bites.Cats are able to breed when they are 6 months old, and a pair of breeding cats, which can have two or more litters per year, can exponentially produce 420,000 offspring over a seven-year period. For the safety of our campus community and the children in the Innovation Park area, please do not feed these wild animals.
We, the undersigned, are demanding that Penn State take the initiative to get educated about feral cat colonies and to take appropriate action for the colony currently on Campus.
1. Removing cats from a colony does not solve the problem. Nature abhorrs a vacuum and the niche left by the removed cats will quickly be filled by other feral and abandoned cats in the area.
2. The ONLY way to solve the problem is to institute a program of trap-neuter-release-manage. Once the cats have been neutered, they will cease breeding and increasing the population of the colony. As cats are territorial animals, no outside cats are going to be allowed into this colony, thereby keeping the numbers low.
3. There are already people who are caring for this colony by providing food. They can probably be induced to continue providing food as well as water, shelter and on-going observation and, if necessary, health intervention.
4. TNR programs also vaccinate the cats before returning them to their colony, thus reducing the chances of zoonotic diseases.
5. Ceasing the supply of food that is already being provided will do nothing to decrease the colony as cats are opportunists and will find food. This will lead to further problems, such as getting into trash and dragging it everywhere (a health hazard), or getting their nutrition from wildlife such as Penn State's prized squirrel population.
6. Sending the message that caring about all creatures, especially those who have been already been so misused by humans, is a wonderful thing to do and will only benefit the children at the child care center nearby.
The benefits of instituting a TNR program are boundless and we urge you to contact some organizations who would be more than willing to help educate you and possibly find groups in your area who will take over the program on your behalf.
A MUST-READ article: http://www.dailyrecord.com/article/20100118/COMMUNITIES/100111124/Mt.-Olive-based-volunteer-group-says-it-has-taken-care-of-200-cats
Alley Cat Allies: http://www.alleycat.org/NetCommunity/Page.aspx?pid=191
Tree House Humane Society: http://www.treehouseanimals.org/TNR/index.html
TNR Chicago: http://www.tnrchicago.org/category/why-tnr/
Momakat Rescue: http://www.mommakat.org/index.htm
Colony Cats: http://www.colonycats.org/TrapNeuterReturn.htm
The Humane Society of the United States: http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/feral_cats/
The ASPCA: http://www.aspca.org/adoption/feral-cats-faq.html
The Humane League of Lancaster County, PA: http://www.humaneleague.com/Trap-Neuter-Return.html
Animal Care and Welfare in Pittsburgh, PA: http://www.animalcareandwelfare.com/pghcitycouncilnews.html
These are just a small sample of the many groups out there who educate about and conduct TNR. Show to the world that you are the innovative and great institution that you have always been known to be. Thank you for your time; we know you'll do the right thing!
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