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April 17, 2012

News and Tribune letters: April 17, 2012

> SOUTHERN INDIANA — Reader: Don’t release feral cats

It was reported in the News and Tribune on Jan. 24 that new J.B. Ogle Animal Shelter Director Sarah Green discussed at a council meeting possible changes at the shelter. One was a spay and neuter program which will catch, fix and then release feral cats.

This is a bad program for Jeffersonville and Clark County and will have effects beyond our boundaries. I personally have adopted cats, cats that have been dropped off. I love cats. I feed and vaccinate my cats which have all been spayed or neutered, but enough is enough. I can handle and shelter my cats. They are not feral.

Feral cats carry disease. They kill songbirds, wild rabbits, etc. To release these cats to the wild is inhumane. They will be killed on roads and shot by hunters. Coyotes and foxes love them for a good meal. If these cats cannot be approached, handled or adopted, they need to be humanely put to sleep.

Another program discussed, providing transportation to and from the city’s SNIP Clinic, is a very good thing, and I couldn’t agree with Mrs. Green more on this.

I do not agree with releasing feral cats that have been altered back to their colonies whether they are healthy or not. Putting cats back to the wild is a national problem Clark County doesn’t need. Street dogs that are running wild, sometimes in packs, need to be picked up. Shelter employees should try to find their owners, adopt them out to loving and caring homes or put them to sleep. We must all understand this is a national problem created by people in a terrible economy and those that simply don’t care.

Education is very important in schools and even churches, and I truly support any responsible spay and neuter program. I’m a member of a local spay and neuter program that has helped Clark County residents by issuing vouchers to help them get their pets fixed.

I request that the shelter not participate in the “catch, fix and release” program, but instead focus on other spay and neuter programs that decrease the stray animal population in Clark County.

NOTE: Since this letter was first drafted, the entire Animal Shelter Advisory Boards, Spay and Neuter committee has resigned due to conflicts with the Mayor Mike Moore administration and with Green.

— Garland Grant Oakes III, Clark County Spay and Neuter committee member

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