The Feral Cat Program

Columbus, Georgia

The ecological dangers [of feral and free roaming cats] are so critical that the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) now lists domestic cats as one of the world’s worst non-native invasive species. In the U.S., free-roaming domestic cats kill an estimated 1.4-3.7 billion birds and 6.9-20.7 billion mammals. The sheer quantity of cat-caused mortality is staggering. For perspective, consider that 1.4 billion is equivalent to the entire human population of China, the most populous country in the world.” -

The city of Columbus implemented a TNR (Trap-Neuter-Release) program, ostensibly to address the burgeoning  feral cat population in the city.   The real reason for the program is to reduce or eliminate euthanasia  rates for Animal Control, as stated many times, and to assure that cat feeders are able to continue their behavior without penalty for the consequences. TNR programs are very poor at reducing citywide populations of  feral cats, but very  good at reducing euthanasia rates.  In thirty years of TNR programs, there are no studies that show TNR has any significant impact on cat populations (see the reference-library page for citations). The Columbus program was presented, developed, and implemented with only the  input of TNR advocates. There was no public input, no stakeholder meetings, and no research to see if there were negative consequences to TNR programs.  No considerations were given to property rights, human health and  environment, nor the devastating effects of cat predation on birds and other wildlife. The city did not canvass neighborhoods to assess how residents might feel about  living next door to a feral cat colony, sometimes with 65 or more to a colony.  A city ordinance was enacted to protect the program that restricts property rights and exempts cat keepers from liabilities, sanitation practices, and responsibilities that apply to all other citizens.  The ordinance doesn't even require cat keepers to trap the cats for sterilization (see city ordinance on the city documents page). gives the public a voice that the city did not give.  It relates the real world effects of TNR that were withheld and exposes to public scrutiny the program itself and the contents of the ordinance.  In a question and answer format,  the TNR Handbook page answers what is TNR, and describes the real world effects vs the claims of its proponents.  The City Narrative page explains how TNR was manipulated through the system in Columbus, who was responsible, who is hurt, and who benefits. The City Documents page presents the Ordinance for scrutiny and analyzes the contents. A better solution than TNR is detailed on the TENVAC, Not TNR page. That solution includes more effective methods of controlling and eliminating feral cat populations which will also reduce euthanasia rates, protect the cats, humans, and wildlife - an equal piece of the pie for everyone.   Finally, the Reference Library page includes references and links to the locations where you can find the science disputing TNR, as well as other documentation. You can judge for yourself if this program was implemented in a fair and equitable manner with the well being of Columbus citizens in mind, or if it was created by a few to serve the interests of a few at the expense of all. I don't expect for you to just take my word for it that TNR programs hurt everyone, including the cats, read the evidence for yourself. 

You can give people knowledge, but you can't make them think. Thinking often leads to reassessment and change. Too many people fear both, and some people don't have the capacity for either. These people continue on a destructive path despite the knowledge. 

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Be a voice, not an echo: question, search, analyze.

Strength of Character: the ability to reassess one's personal beliefs; the honesty to admit one can be wrong;  the courage to speak out in the face of disapproval; the dedication to  seek justice; and the perseverence to follow through.



published March, 2014      original text and drawings copyright Feb 1,  2014  

   How would you like to live next door to 65 feral cats?