Praise Animal Shelter for Humanely Reducing Feral Cat Population


Target: Natalie Nelson, President, Wish Upon A Paw

Goal: Praise Animal Shelter for reducing its community’s feral cat population using humane, non-lethal methods

Millions of American cats live in the wild. Without people to care for them, these cats live short, brutal lives. These feral cats also prey on wild bird populations, including some endangered species. In order to reduce feral cat populations, many communities just catch the cats and kill them. This method is not only inhumane but ineffective, as voids in feral cat populations are quickly filled by other feral cats. Natalie Nelson, President of the Wish Upon A Paw animal shelter in Wisconsin, needs to be praised for adopting a more humane method of reducing her community’s feral cat population: Trap-Neuter-Return.

The Humane Society, one of America’s foremost animal welfare organizations, defines feral cats as “the offspring of lost or abandoned pet cats or other feral cats who are not spayed or neutered,” and the group argues that nearly fifty million feral cats currently live in the country. Lacking regular supplies of food and water, many feral cats starve and become malnourished and miserable. Lacking veterinary care, they become highly susceptible to numerous, horrible afflictions like feline AIDS, cancer, and anemia. Easily cured ailments like urinary tract infections go untreated, causing awful, lingering deaths. Since feral cats are wild and have never socialized with people, animal shelters cannot rescue them and find new, loving homes for them as they would with, say, lost or escaped house cats. As a result, shelters that rescue feral cats almost always end up euthanizing them. Some studies argue that feral cats in shelters have a 100% euthanization rate.

Natalie Nelson, and others like her, advocate and employ the Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) method for humanely reducing feral cat populations. With this strategy, feral cats are caught, sterilized, and released back into the wild. TNR drastically reduces the number of kittens born into feral cat populations. The fewer of these kittens there are the less suffering there will be, and fewer euthanizations will be needed. Sign the petition below to praise Natalie Nelson for her efforts to reduce her community’s feral cat population using non-lethal methods.


Dear Ms. Nelson,

I recently heard about your Wish Upon A Paw animal shelter and the work you are doing to reduce your community’s feral cat population using humane, non-lethal methods, namely the Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) method, and I wanted to write and tell you how much I appreciate your work. Nearly fifty million feral cats currently live in America. These cats live short, brutal lives and they can wreak havoc on local wild bird populations. For these reasons, we cannot turn a blind eye to these cats. The most common method of catching and euthanizing feral cats is inhumane and ineffective, as voids in feral cat populations are quickly filled by other feral cats.

TNR drastically lowers the amount of kittens born in to feral cat populations, reducing the number of feral cats that will suffer throughout their lives as well as the number of cat euthanizations that occur. Hopefully, all shelters and communities will follow your lead. Thank you for your good work.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Smallmiew at Wikimedia Commons

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  1. Deb Cain Deb Cain says:

    This is absolutely WONDERFUL..what they are doing with THE TNR METHOD!!!!… We have been paying out of our own pocket for about 18 yrs to TNR feral cats that we also giv meds food n water to as well. We requested ANY HELP from our local humane society n were told to “stop doing what you are doing because it is illegal”!!!! I was DUMBFOUNDED!! We have spent on TNR alon, close to 12,400 $!! We believe it to be positive impact.. Even the local “rescue” gp advertised help with food, litter, spay n neutering only to discover they were hoarding yrs of donation n monies n merely “educating” the public about TNR techniques!!! This is.a very regarding assisting these beautiful cats n kittens n need to realize that some of our residents are the root of the problem.. They have several “barn cats” they dont feed or spay/neuter so as to keep the numbers high and the number of “vermine& snakes” ,low!! It is very frustrating….

    • Dear Frustrated, I hear your sentiments clearly. Our community practices TNR, but our shelter also euthanizes ferals as fast as we can trap them. Our shelter does use the injection, which is the most compassionate death, while 30 states in the union still utilize carbon monoxide. This does not make any sense whatsoever, because the Sodium Pento Barbatol is $2 cheaper per animal than gas. The gas as you know, takes up to 30 plus minutes for the dog, cat, or wildlife to expire. Breathing toxic fumes is not a pleasant experience and tends to burn the lungs, causing a painful death. But still some or many people who work for shelters and government continue to use this outmoded method of death.??? Stupid is as stupid does!

  2. Feral cats like all other animals, are viewed by most humans as a means (property) to achieve some desireable goal. Arrogance is ignorance! Welcome to the world of depravity and sorrows.

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