Target: Virginia Senator Thomas A. Garrett Jr.
Goal: Implement a ‘trap-neuter-release’ program to save feral cats and wild birds.
To lower the population of feral cats and limit the deaths of wild birds, Virginia lawmakers hope to implement a ‘trap-neuter-release’ program. These programs are intended to gradually decrease the feral cat population over time, as cats are trapped, spayed or neutered, and released back into the wild rather than being rehomed–which isn’t always good for the cats or owners–or euthanized. Not all of Virginia’s lawmakers are behind this plan, as many believe that the strategy promotes the growth of cat colonies, which can have a disastrous effect on wild bird populations.
Both sides of the issue have valid claims. Feral cats don’t deserve to be euthanized, but cat populations are a very real threat to wild birds. Currently, anybody in Virginia who takes in a stray animal temporarily and returns it to the street could be found guilty of misdemeanor abandonment, and the ‘trap-neuter-release’ program is intended to stop punishing people for trying to help. Programs like this are a long-term solution that’s slow to implement, but because the current alternative to the program is doing nothing or euthanizing hundreds of feral cats, it’s a step toward fixing the problem.
Addressing the issue of feral cat populations isn’t easy. While the ideal is to eliminate feral cat populations by finding loving home for these animals, that isn’t always possible. In the meantime, wild bird populations pay the price. By implementing a ‘trap-neuter-release’ program, Virginia would be taking a step toward positive change that helps the feral cat population as well as wild birds. Until a better solution can be found, this is the best choice. Encourage Virginia state senator Thomas A. Garrett Jr. to reconsider his position and support legislation that would, in the long term, work toward eliminating the feral cat problem and help save birds in turn.
Dear Senator Garrett,
Feral cat populations are a very real threat to wild bird populations, and something needs to be done to address Virginia’s problem. A ‘trap-neuter-release’ plan isn’t a perfect solution, as it takes time to take effect and more feral cats appear in the meantime, but it is far better than the alternative. Doing nothing is no solution at all, and euthanizing feral cats is an unnecessarily cruel punishment for animals that are only following their instincts.
Feral cat populations are the result of human neglect, not the fault of the cats themselves. By implementing a ‘trap-neuter-release’ program, humans are taking responsibility for the way that formerly domesticated animals are impacting the world around them. Because Virginia’s only measure currently in effect is to punish people who take in a cat even temporarily, any steps taken to eliminate the feral cat population are steps in the right direction.
Wild bird populations deserve protection too, but that protection shouldn’t come at the cost of innocent animals’ lives. Until a better solution is proposed, implementing the ‘trap-neuter-release’ plan will help slow down the reproduction rate and thus some of the growth of feral cat colonies. It’s not a perfect solution, but it does more to address the problem than current measures. Please support this plan as a step toward saving wild bird populations without resorting to euthanizing innocent animals.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Sara Golemon via Wikimedia Commons