Right now in New Jersey, there is a debate underway about what to do with the feral cats there. Although there is already a successful trap-neuter-return poilcy in place, a certain few want to change the status of any outdoor cat- whether domestic or feral- into an 'exotic animal', and ban TNR. This will very likely pave the way for hunting of loose cats as wild pests, aka varmints.
The main person who has been pushing this is New Jersey Fish and Game Council Member Leonard Wolgast, whose wife's family owns the Blumig Kennel. This kennel provides various shelter services, including euthanisations for area communities. The East Brunswick animal control officer has also been a vocal advocate of this plan. His name is David Blumig. See this page for his email address and other information. Also interesting is his string of cat-hating comments on this page.
As one signer of this petition so aptly put it:
"If you all legalize shooting cats including bow hunting, you are going to allow people to kill other people's pets who accidentally wander out. If anybody shoots my cat there will be law suits everywhere including against the STATE who allowed this animal cruelty. FURTHER if you all call feral cats "wildlife" you ALSO LEGALIZED CAT MEAT. Wildlife is eaten. CAT MEAT will be served as "chicken" dishes like they do all over China and in Chinese restaurants. " ( L.Swa_)
Also, see another change.org member's new Facebook group about this here.
Please sign petition below to inform the New Jersey State Govt. that they need to step in and stop this. And don't forget to make it more effective by using a New Jersey zipcode; this is useful but optional of course. use 08816 or select one from list linked to at right > NEW JERSEY ZIPCODES
(pic by Cavendish )
NOTE: as nothing has been heard about this, one has to assume it was ignored and the law passed. For this reason, the petition is now reopened until evidence is seen that the law was defeated.
As you are probably aware, the Acting Chair of the Fish and Game Council had been advocating the reclassification of outdoor cats-both domestic and feral- as "wild/exotic species". This idea originated from the East Brunswick Township Council, which had been inundated with the idea from two main sources: Fish and Game Council Member Leonard Wolgast and E. Brunswick Animal Control Officer David Blumig. Both are related to the owners of the Blumig Kennel which contracts with area communities as a full service animal shelter/euthanisation facility.
The conflict of interest is obvious, and there is plenty of evidence of the effectiveness of the current 'trap-neuter-return' programs currently in place. To quote from one article in the Daily Record:
"Steve Austin, Boonton's Health Administrator, said Boonton's TNR not only works, but has saved the town money.
"Over the past five years, we've been able to save the town $19,000,'' Austin said, noting the cost to trap, hold for seven days, then euthanize a cat is $95. Often, he had neither the manpower nor the money to do that. Now the Parsippany Animal Support Society uses grant money to conduct the TNR program in Boonton.
"It should be our choice. If they are going to make TNR illegal, it's going to cost us a lot of money,'' Austin said.
"In Mount Olive, the cost to euthanize a cat is $146, said Lerner of the Animal Protection League. Her group's local efforts have trapped about 90 feral cats and only released about 25 back into the township, with the rest being adopted. She estimates that since August, that has saved Mount Olive about $14,000." (-by Colleen O'Dea.)
The bottom line is it will be cheaper to continue the current policy of trap-neuter-return. It also will thwart nepotism and retain your state's good name. Allowing this to occur will mark New Jersey as the state that outlawed cats and the only place to remove laws against hunting them- much to the disappointment and notice of animal lovers in your state and nationwide.
A local chapter of Alley Cat Allies has offered to help with a TNR program. Why not enlist them instead of making cats "exotic" for the profit of one connected family?
Please help to quash this impractical, cruel, and absurd idea that could- or possibly has by now- become law in your state. Also be aware that any pet owner who has their companion animal killed as a result of this law will be anxious to file suit against the state for punitive damages.
Thank You for your time.
james returns started this petition with a single signature, and now has 5,874 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.