Humane means getting stray cats off the streets

Dear Editor,
If Rochelle truly wants to address the homeless cat crisis “in a humane way,” it should do everything it can to get cats off the streets, even if that means euthanizing those that are too sick, injured, or unsocialized to be placed in homes (“Public outcry over city’s stray cat proposal,” Oct. 25, 2019).
 Painless euthanasia by caring shelter staff is nothing to be ashamed of: It is far preferable to dying alone and in agony under a porch or shed. Faced with extreme temperatures, contagious diseases, speeding cars, and predators, it should come as no surprise that the average outdoor cat has a lifespan of just 2 to 3 years, compared to 12 to 15 years for an indoor cat.
 When shelters try to appease “life at any cost” bullies, it inevitably adds up to slamming the door in animals’ faces. As a result, citizens with unwanted animals or with perceived conflicts with strays take matters into their own hands, setting cats up for violent deaths by poisoning, shooting, drowning, or worse. The infamous videotaped attack on a stray cat by a Chicago teen armed with a pot of boiling water is just one horrifying example. Another Chicago man allegedly allowed his dog to attack and kill a cat while he filmed it. In Waterloo, a man admitted to shooting and killing a cat with a sawed-off shotgun.
Just like dogs, cats need a safe refuge. There is nothing “humane” about turning our backs on cats and leaving them to suffer and die on the streets.
Teresa Chagrin
Animal Care & Control Issues Manager;
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
Norfolk, Virginia


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