Target: Anthony E. “Tony” Vaz, Seaside Heights Mayor
Goal: Reinstate the life-saving trap-neuter-release program for feral cats.
The township of Seaside Heights in New Jersey has ended its trap-neuter-return program for feral cats, putting many at risk of euthanasia. The program, which was designed to control feral cat populations, will be replaced by new ordinances that limit where cat colonies can stay established. Cats caught outside those limits will be taken to animal shelters, where they are likely to be put down.
Feral cats are domestic cats that were either born in the wild or have been living in the wild for a significant period of time. These cats are not socialized and are generally uncomfortable around humans. They are not trained to use litter boxes and can sometimes carry parasites and diseases. Feral cats are considered different from stray cats, which are cats that recently had a home and are therefore likely to be successfully reintegrated into a human household.
Unlike strays, feral cats are rarely adopted. It is a long process to socialize even kittens, and adult cats may never adjust to the presence of humans. For these reasons, feral cats that arrive at animal shelters are almost always euthanized.
Trap-neuter-return programs have been shown to effectively control populations of feral cats over time. They also reduce diseases, including rabies, by vaccinating the cats at the same time. On the other hand, euthanasia programs have in the past proven ineffectual as more cats tend to move into newly-unoccupied territories.
The removal of the trap-neuter-return program will result not only in the euthanasia of dozens of cats, but increased illness and disease. Furthermore, cutting off the program before it has had a generation to show results will only result in wasted taxpayer money. Sign the petition below to demand that Seaside Heights reinstate the trap-neuter-release program immediately.
Dear Mr. Vaz,
Seaside Heights recently announced that it will repeal the trap-neuter-release program for feral cats. This program, designed to control feral cat populations, also provided vaccinations and medical care for the animals. The program will be replaced with limitations on where feral cat colonies can reside, and mandates that cats living outside allotted areas be brought to animal shelters.
Feral cats are not house trained and are poorly socialized, meaning they are rarely adoptable. By removing the trap-neuter-release program, you are sentencing dozens of cats to death. We, the undersigned, demand that Seaside Heights reinstate the trap and release program.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Chriss Haight Pagani