Some wonderful news! (and a correction)
Dec 10, 2020 —
I was going to post an update tomorrow, but good news shouldn't have to wait!
Posted by John Lipp, the director of FAAS (https://www.facebook.com/FAAS09) :
"All of us at Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter (FAAS) share our community's shock and grief about the recent revelation that staff from East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) shot and killed several cats on their East Oakland property. While we understand and fully support the need to safeguard protected wildlife and habitats from nonnative and predatory species, this tragic outcome did not need to happen. FAAS, our sister municipal East Bay shelters, and community-based groups such as Island Cat Resources and Adoption (ICRA) could have worked together to humanely rehome or relocate these cats had we been notified in advance.
In response, FAAS and our sister municipal shelters in the East Bay, including Oakland Animal Services and Berkeley Animal Care Services, have requested a meeting with the General Manager of the EBRPD to address our shared goal of humanely rehoming or relocating community cats that threaten protected wildlife and habitats. We remain hopeful that out of this tragedy will come a new understanding and partnership that protects all life in our treasured regional parks.
Be sure to follow us on Facebook to receive updates on this story and, in the coming days, to meet an adoptable and loving cat who was rescued from the above site by a community volunteer."
I am so proud of and so grateful for all of our local shelters and rescues and volunteers. I feel very optimistic that they will be successful, and that EBRPD will reach out to them in the future. I attended the EBRPD Committee meeting via Zoom today. Even though this issue was not on the agenda, please know that the emails they received were read aloud, and that the members of the community who wished to speak to them directly were given the opportunity to do so. The people who spoke in support of our cause were so moving, and so eloquent. It was crystal clear that they were speaking earnestly and straight from their hearts.
I mentioned that I needed to make a correction. I could probably just edit the petition. I did so when I realized that Cecelia Theis' name was not spelled "Cecilia"! This is a significant error on my part, though, so I want to acknowledge my mistake and to apologize. I say in the petition that both parents of the kittens I fostered were killed, and that both had been TNR'd. I was told this by someone who knew far more about the colony than I did. It was an honest mistake on her part, and an honest mistake on mine. She, however, only told me, while I told every single person who has taken the time to read this petition. Last night I spoke with Cecelia herself for the first time, and she told me the bittersweet truth. Although their father was TNR'd and subsequently killed, their mother isn't actually a member of the colony; she is extraordinarily wily and mistrustful, and neither the colony caretakers nor the EBRPD hunters have been able to catch her. Cecelia has spotted her since the culling, so she is still alive and she is still unspayed. Cecelia and the other caretaker have not and will not give up, and now that people are aware of what happened, many have volunteered their help.
My thanks to Cecelia Theis for the attached photo. I've had it on my phone ever since my foster kittens arrived at my house. Their mother (whom Cecelia calls "Simone") is pictured on the left, and their father (whom Cecelia called "Mountain Lion") is on the right.
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