In a previous blog, ACR called on supporters to help feral cats in Petaluma, CA, and we can happily say that, thanks to all who signed petitions and attended council meetings, a compromise has been reached and TNR will be permitted!
The debate has been in regards to where feral cats should and should not be permitted. On one side of the fence are animal/cat advocates and on the other are bird enthusiasts and wildlife conservationists.
On Monday, October 12th, the City Council approved a trap-neuter-return program for the city of Petaluma, with stipulations that feral cat colonies will not be permitted in city parks and the wetlands area south of town and any approved feeding stations must have the permission of the property owner.
The county shelter will work with nonprofit cat rescue groups, such as Forgotten Felines, to manage the colonies, bringing newborn kittens in for adoption and routinely sterilizing feral cats. After cats are seen at the animal shelter, feral cats in good health can be taken back to the colony site to live out their lives, according to the new regulations.
“By managing the colony, you’re able to reduce its numbers through attrition and proper care,” said Petaluma Police Lt. Mike Cook, in an article from Petaluma360.com.
This new plan replaces a similar program enacted in 2004 that never took off, advocates say, because colony caretakers were afraid the shelter would euthanize any feral cats brought in for treatment or sterilization. City Council and the Mayor expressed that they do not wish to be “feral cat police,” but rather to find some common ground between cat advocates and bird supporters. The plan asks cat organizations to unite colony caretakers and to work with the county instead of against each other.
ACR would like to acknowledge Jennifer Kirchner of Forgotten Felines for her persistence and hard work in supporting feral cats and their right to live…happy and healthy. Check out their website: http://www.forgottenfelines.com/