Don’t Outlaw Feeding Stray Animals


Target: Jim Goldsworthy, Mayor of Gainesville, Texas

Goal: Strike down law forbidding citizens from feeding stray or feral animals.

A 76-year-old man recently spent nine days in jail for feeding stray cats on his property. David Parton of Gainesville, Texas was jailed after refusing to pay fines levied against him for leaving a bowl of food for feral cats wandering his neighborhood. Parton, who has been cited several times by the city for his small acts of compassion toward animals, believes the law to be unfair toward feral cats which already struggle to sustain themselves.

In the city of Gainesville, it is illegal to “place or make convenient food or containers of food on any property or city street for the purpose of feeding stray animals.” This means that even homeowners on their own property can be cited for feeding animals in need. The law is in place to discourage strays, which are considered “nuisance animals” by the city, from taking up permanent residence in the streets.

This law is not only overly restrictive toward residents, but ineffective at controlling the populations of stray and feral cats. Cats are territorial animals and are likely to roam familiar areas for their entire lives. This means they are likely to stay near a home they were thrown out of or, if they were born in the wild, in the area they grew up in. Not feeding these animals will not make them go away, but rather force them to eat rodents and discarded foods which can lead to parasites and disease.

This ridiculous law not only effects stray animals, but the kind humans that feed them. David Parton will not only continue to feed the cats despite possible legal ramifications, but will challenge the law in court with the help of a lawyer retained by animal rights group Alley Cats Allies. Sign the petition below to demand that the mayor repeal this ineffective ordinance.


Dear Mr. Jim Goldsworthy,

David Parton, a 76-year-old Gainesville resident, was recently jailed after refusing to pay fines accumulated for feeding stray cats on his property. In Gainesville, it is illegal to “place or make convenient food or containers of food on any property or city street for the purpose of feeding stray animals.”

This law is ineffective at reducing populations of stray animals, as they can resort to eating small animals and garbage. This diet, however, can result in parasites and actually increase the risk of the animals becoming diseased and posing a threat to humans.

Not only is the law harmful to the animals, but actually resulted in a kind elderly man being jailed like a common criminal. We, the undersigned, demand that this ridiculous law is repealed immediately.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Boski via Creative Commons

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  1. Don’t outlaw feeding r the cats , that’s probably the only meal they get every day .I have a stray cat that I feed every day and nobody is going to stop me from feeding him .they feel , they hurt , they get hungry , they get cold , please don’t outlaw feeding them please

  2. thalia ferreira says:

    We are experiencing the same type of prosecution for feeding abandoned ferals in Los Angeles Ca. We need help here too. There is an elderly woman that is also being threatened with arrest and is at risk of losing her home by the city for feeding feral cats. It is not even illegal in this city to feed them. We need help.

  3. TNR Researcher says:

    If your cats were only destroying invasive species (cats themselves being a noxious invasive species), then nobody would be complaining. But your vermin cats destroy anything that moves. Letting a cat roam free is absolutely no better than intentionally throwing rat-poison around on everyone’s property to kill any living thing. Your man-made vermin cats are now driving hundreds if not thousands of species of native animals to EXTINCTION across the whole planet. Have you no conscience nor morality left?

    Apparently gutting-alive and skinning-alive animals with everyone’s vermin cats, tortured to death just for your cats’ play-toys and YOUR entertainment, no other reason, is perfectly acceptable to you. Yeah, you’re all fine upstanding “animal-lovers” who respect all other lives around you and all other life on earth, aren’t you.

    Are you not even aware that T. gondii oocysts in run-off from the land are killing rare marine mammals thousands of miles away? Or that these oocysts when dried (and still viable) become aerosolized and drift on the wind? You can contract T. gondii just from a cat-owner’s yard when it’s not been raining for a week and you inhale any air that passes over their land.

    Free-roaming cats and people improperly disposing of indoor-cats’ cat-litter are actually killing-off hundreds of rare marine-mammal species, even rare whales, (countless numbers of individual rare animals) thousands of miles away on coastlines of all the world. A global ecological disaster worse than any oil-spill that has ever existed or could even be imagined. There are now harsh fines in areas of California for anyone found dumping cat-litter illegally, not in some environmentally-contained landfill. At least some of them “get it”.

    Birds are just a minor subset of all the thousands of native animal species (billions of individual animals) that cat-lickers (criminally irresponsible cat-advocates) are annihilating around the world, TORTURING TO DEATH, with their man-made invasive species vermin cats.

    Not only are these demented invasive-species house-cats-ONLY “animal lovers” now killing-off all Big Cats in all wildlife reserves around the world:

    thenational D0T ae SLASH news/uae-news/big-cat-owners-warned-to-keep-them-acres-away-from-feral-strays

    And for the ultimate example of absurdity and species-conservation irony, now making all moggie-licking residents of the UK (the inventors of that TNR insanity) the complete laughingstocks of the whole world, they’ve already made their ONE AND ONLY NATIVE CAT SPECIES EXTINCT in the UK with their invasive species “moggies”:

    guardian D0T co D0T uk SLASH environment/2012/sep/16/scottish-wildcat-extinction

    “A report, produced by the Scottish Wildcat Association, reviewed 2,000 records of camera trap recordings, eyewitness reports and road kills, and concluded there may be only about 40 wildcats left in Scotland in the wild today. ‘However you juggle the figures, it is hard to find anything positive,’ says Steve Piper, the association’s chairman. ‘The overwhelming evidence is that the wildcat is going to be extinct within months.'” … “However, it is not the loss of habitat that is causing the current cat crisis in the Cairngorms. It is the spread of the domestic cat.” … “‘Essentially the Highland wildcat is being eradicated by an alien invasive species: the domestic cat.'” (report quoted from 3 years ago, they are no-doubt extinct by now)

    As well as killing-off all their inland River Otters in England (and elsewhere) with their cats’ parasites:

    wildlifeextra D0T com SLASH go/news/otter-toxoplasmosis D0T html

    As well as cats’ parasites killing-off all rare and endangered marine mammals on all coastlines around the world (worse than any oil-spill that has ever existed or could even be imagined):

    news D0T msn D0T com SLASH science-technology/deadly-cat-feces-killing-thousands-of-marine-mammals

    environmentalhealthnews D0T org SLASH ehs/news/hawaiian-monk-seals

    Plus these cat-licking “animal lover” psychopaths and sociopaths are also killing-off all the Mountain Lions (Cougars, Puma, Endangered Florida Panther, etc.), and all other native cat species in North America:

    rapidcityjournal D0T com SLASH sports/local/feral-cats-pose-threat-to-birds-lions/article_8ec451c9-4b03-55a3-baa7-71ac577905cb D0T html

    But now these cat-lickers are even killing-off rare whales and causing massive birth-defects in the indigenous Inuit people who depend on seal-meat for their very survival. Seals that were infected (and are also dying-off) from these cat-lickers’ cats’ parasites.

    Cat parasite found in western Arctic Beluga deemed infectious
    news.ubc D0T ca SLASH 2014/02/13/bigthaw/

    Let’s thank these psychotic bible-home-schooled cat-licking cretins for all the fine work they do for being such fantastic “animal lovers”, shall we? THEY JUST LOVE CATS SO MUCH! So caring! So thoughtful! So intelligent! So FULL of love for living things! So much so that they will even sacrifice whole races of humans to death-by-birth-defect to prove how much they love their cats.

    I’d love to thank them all, each with a gift of a solitary-confinement prison-cell — FOR LIFE. Better yet, for their VAST ecological crimes and sins against all of nature and all of humanity, hanged-until-dead would be a far more fitting “gift” for them AND the whole planet. That used to be the punishment for engaging in bio-warfare against the human population and all other animal life in any country. I say bring it back — special, just for them.

    • @TNRResearcher @Woodsman @DerangedCatHater Still at it I see, only with each posting, you get more vehement and sick, spewing erroneous information about TNR, never taking into account actual peer-reviewed science. You seriously need to seek professional help for your obsession. Your words are threatening and evident that you are one sick individual who needs psychological help, if not to be investigated by the authorities for your psychotic rants. Get off the computer and seek help, now.

      • I have a cat and I feed feral cats every day. If you really want people to stop feeding feral cats TNR Researcher why don’t you actually do something about it? I know why you can’t, IT’S ILLEGAL! The only way to stop people from feeding feral cats is to kill either the people or the cats.

      • Nancy Folliard says:

        Real science Thank you sooo much you hit the nail on the head there!!! You said what I was thinking!

    • Amanda Kylee says:

      I just had to laugh at this ridiculous novel you wrote. What an idiot you are.

    • Cat Jefferson says:

      Look buddy, humans created the problem by NOT being responsible pet owners. The few of us who care for others discarded cats certainly should not be taking the wrath you are spewing at us.

      And how dare you think that every cat lover is irresponsible? I for one, keep my cats indoors and eventually, when I have enough money I will build an completely enclosed outdoor area so they can come and go at will and not harm the environment.

      You are blaming domestic cats for the loss of native species. True though that may be, it is NOT the animal’s fault that the human tossed them out and left them to fend for themselves.

      Until you can come up with a solution to make humans become responsible for their pets, and come up with a humane way of reducing the feral cat population, why don’t you just STFU.

    • a canadian says:

      @TNR Researcher.. are you on crack?? obviously you are.. you are taking space here for nothing..

  4. satish saluja says:

    Sir ,,,it is necessary to change the law ,,,,u should be not against the feeding the cats or other animal on this earth ,,,,,,,they r independent to survive,,,,,,,

  5. nourrir et aider tous les animaux !!

  6. This *law* needs to be repealed. Stray animals are stray through no fault of their own, they are the result of irresponsible human inaction at getting an animal fixed. Given that a dog/cat can give birth to upwards of 5 or more offspring, the expense is prohibitive, but if more humans did the right thing be fixing their animals *before* they can have the chance to breed, the stray population would dramatically fall. Humans are at the crux of the stray problem. No *law* prohibiting feeding stray animals is going to *fix* that. Repeal the law and may the animals continue to be fed. Death by starvation is no solution either, just cruelty inflicted by humans on an innocent species.

  7. Catherine Alquier says:

    I don’t understand what i should be forbiden as those animals need help.

  8. Amanda Kylee says:

    TNR Researcher = IGNORANT IDIOT.

  9. I can’t believe some of the petitions I’ve signed! I shouldn’t even have to sign a petition like this because of the stupidity of cruel and useless laws that would look out of place even in the 19th century.

  10. TNR Researcher – Calm down & go take your meds NOW !
    Your info is erroneous, TNR saves lives & keeps down the
    population of unwanted cats. To not feed & TNR homeless
    animals should be a crime.

  11. Cecily Colloby says:

    TNR Researcher-you CERTAINLY have a problem, don’t you??? It has clearly escaped your notice that these cats are in the situation they are BECAUSE they have been abandoned/lost by members of the supposedly intelligent human race. They have then bred, as all animals naturally do (the daft human race included) and are obviously killing wildlife in order to stay alive!!!! This is NOT the fault of these cats -the blame lies entirely with irresponsible PEOPLE.It may also have escaped your notice that animals do not have the capacity to carry out a spay/neuter program and the human race DOES so this is what the authorities should be doing, not senselessly jailing people for showing compassion-a word which clearly has no place in YOUR vocabulary! It seems you need it pointing out to you that not only cats kill wildlife in order to survive- dare I ask how you feel about lions, tigers, foxes,pumas, hyenas and so on? All predators who kill to eat and the list is endless but they have their own means of keeping their populations under control and, without human intervention,they get along just fine and do no harm. Only when the stupid, greedy, arrogant,relentlessly- breeding human race gets involved do things go wrong and we are SUPPOSED to be of superior intelligence!! The only solution humans can come up with is to kill everything that doesn’t suit it and when I read insane rants such as yours I become more convinced than ever that a HUMAN cull may be the only answer……

    • I agre with you ! I think that stupid mayor Goldsworthy thinks the same; that cats are “wildlife”. Well, they are NOT, however they catch mice and birds, they still stay pets who are abandoned by people. And when they breed, and nobody stops them, there become more cats who also eat from garbagesacks. It would be far better they catch-neuter-free the cats, then all stay healthy and in control.
      And you, so-called “TNR researcher” are vermin yourself ! Because do you know that vermin HUMAN destroys everything that moves ? (IS, Boko Haram, East-Ukraine, Palestines, Maltese) And also that free roaming VERMIN HUMANS have driven ten-thousands of animals to the edge of extinction because of their greed and freebreeding themselves ! Humans should be neutered also, because there are now billions people too much on earth and they spread also diseases.

  12. LAWS exist to protect the good — laws do NOT exist to protect evil.

    Thank you David Parton: YOU DID GOOD, VERY GOOD! It’s good to know that there are people out there who DO THE RIGHT THING, NO MATTER WHAT!

    99% of cats do NOT carry diseases and are NOT dangerous to people — this is a SCARE tactic that has been used for years in politics in order to gain the upper hand … those of us who are NOT informed and/or are ignorant of the facts and the truth will usually fall for this lie! AND, the cats are the ones who suffer for it! I truly feel sorry for them!

    At present, there are many animal lovers, who not only adopt cats but also engage in TNR, whereby healthy and spayed cats live indoors as well as outdoors.


  13. melina meysami says:

    It’s a SAD state of affairs, that we as a country have become so caluis to set laws against an act of compassion and sensibility.Yet,we applaud and reward animal abuse and cruelty to those species who give to us their lives,love and undying well as protection and companionship.The human species as a whole is greedy,cruel,violent and unforgiving.Let’s hope that we as a species may learn from our furry comrades before it’s too late for us….. This individual did nothing WRONG he merely is being used as a pon for the authorities to “flex” their control!!!! “What a tragedy”…:(((

  14. Ravinder Singh says:

    WHY are you punishing who are helping in a little way possible. Otherwise look for humane way to control strays. He is doing only good work and not torturing anybody. SHAME. you punish for feeding to homeless also. THANK GOD , I AM NOT BORN IN SUCH COUNTRY.

  15. Ravinder Singh says:

    people are talking about uncontrolled population of animals, where do the human race stands. It will be 1dog in 10 humans. so what you have to say.You know why this earth is being destroyed because the humans have encroached on the space of animals. Now we will go to mars and repeat the same story as earth is bursting at it seams.

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