Ocean View, DE: End the feeding ban for Feral & Stray Cats. SAVE lives, don't euthanize!

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As a volunteer feral/stray cat caregiver I am angry and saddened by the apathetic approach to the cat colony issue by some of the Ocean View, DE government officials and residents. (Note: SADLY, DE BILL 235 will not protect these cats) 

This petition opposes the Ocean View’s feeding bans for feral cats and penalties placed on care givers. These bans are inherently cruel and do not come close to achieving their intended goals. Feeding ban laws, ordinances, and policies are misguided policy and are wholly ineffective.

Ordinance 373 https://imageserv11.team-logic.com/mediaLibrary/55/Ordinance_373_Animals_1.pdf

Ocean View DE Councilman Frank Twardzik said there shouldn’t be more emphasis on a cat’s quality of life than a human’s and suggested the animals be “humanely euthanized” because a town ordinance won’t stop them from destroying property. “The cat’s life really isn’t the same as a human’s life, so I’d like to see us eliminate them,” Twardzik said.

Town Solicitor Dennis Schrader asked if the cats, after being neutered or spayed, could be returned elsewhere, or made available for adoption. Twardzik said if a cat wasn’t adopted after a period of time, it should be euthanized.

But a representative from Cats Around Town, based in Ocean View, said the organization has been working in Lower Sussex County since 2008 and members are available to help solve the problem. “We are a no-kill state here, and our cats are considered by the State to be free-roaming animals, unlike dogs that are domesticated".

Read full article: https://www.coastalpoint.com/news/communities/oceanview/ocean-view-looks-at-feral-cat-options/article_d3045d78-dce8-11ea-96c4-2fd392c2f5bf.html

Following are critical points from Alley Cat's feeding ban position statement (full article link below) 

With a feeding ban in place, Trap-Neuter-Return is impossible to carry out, and the cats continue to have new litters of kittens.

Attempts to eradicate feral cats by starvation fail because there are other food sources that are a by-product of urban and suburban environments. Feral cat populations’ density and locations are not contingent on individuals intentionally providing food for the cats.

In certain situations, feral cats who have been fed on a consistent schedule can become dependent on their caregivers for food, and in these cases, to abruptly discontinue care is cruel and can lead to the death of some cats. Cats will not disappear simply because compassionate people can no longer legally feed them.

Feeding bans encourage cats to roam further to find food, making them more visible, which can actually increase calls to animal control. Cats fed on a regular schedule tend to stay in close proximity to their feeding stations. Feeders can also exercise control over the behavior of feral cats, by gradually moving their feeding stations into less-trafficked areas.

Feeding bans discourage the practice of Trap-Neuter-Return, the only effective course of action for stabilizing the feral cat population

Feeding bans ignore the real problem—the lack of affordable spay/neuter services in the community. Feeding bans are punitive and tend to direct resources towards administrative tasks like enforcement and away from incentive-based programs that encourage spay/neuter. Ineffective ordinances, like feeding bans, are a waste of taxpayer dollars.

https://www.alleycat.org/resources/feeding-ban-position-statement/?fbclid=IwAR3JYw-IbZguo-9gKkutmyXztqazZ2seBDtSJ-y8Kz38eBtiPO_Pb402UaUng

We the undersigned are respectfully requesting for those petitioned to consider reversing cat feeding bans and penalties on caregivers, which do not work. Working together through Trap, Neuter & Return programs and offering resources for cat caretakers to do their job WILL help reduce the feral population by potential generations. Thank you.