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Animalkind, Inc.
P. O. Box 902, Hudson, New York 12534


New Baltimore:
A Successful Effort by Many Organizations

The Alert:

Subject: Eminent euthanasia of feral cats in New Baltimore, Greene County, NY

Attention all my animal-loving friends....

I volunteer with a local cat rescue group -- Animalkind
http://www.all-creatures.org/ak/ which has achieved great success in substantially reducing the feral cat population in nearby Hudson, NY, without euthanasia, but through a trap, neuter, release (TRN) program.

We have just been alerted that .....

The town of New Baltimore in Greene County, New York, has decided to kill ALL stray and feral cats in the Town, starting May 12th 2002. The reasons given are: overpopulation, health and safety issues and "there is no other solution".

For a 3-week period, traps will be set all over town and any cat without a collar will be euthanized immediately at the Mohawk River Humane Society.   (What about the nursing mother cats and their kittens who will slowly starve to death?  How "humane" is this solution?)

It is unfortunate that the public as well as officials are still not educated about the only solution that will solve the crisis: A spay/neuter program that will prevent abandoned cats (feral cats are the off-spring of abandoned pets) from proliferating that is both humane and, in the long run, cost-effective.

It does work -- and nearby Hudson, NY, is a good example. The feral cat population in Hudson was humanely attended to beginning 3 years ago through a spay/neuter program for the feral cat population in addition to an affordable spay/neuter program for low income pet owners. The City of Hudson allocated funds for the low income pet owners and Animalkind, a non-profit group, though its trap, neuter, release program, worked on the feral cat population, which declined over 60% without euthanasia.

Advantages of TNR (Trap/Neuter/Return):

-Decreases the overall population of feral cats and stop the birth of more kittens
-Decreases citizen complaints about "nuisance" cats
-Eliminates behavior like territorial spraying (odor) and mating (yowling/fighting)
-Improves health of the feral cats in managed colonies
-Decreases the intake of stray and homeless cats, freeing up valuable shelter space
-Decreases the number of euthanasia at substantial cost savings
-Increases cooperation of Citizens who care about cats
-Fosters compassion, responsibility and tolerance in communities

False statements:

Feral cats decrease the bird population:
WRONG-Humans decrease the bird population due invasion of the nesting places. Trees are cut and land developed.  Those are the prime reasons for a declining bird population.

Feral cats are wild and dangerous:
WRONG-Any animal will defend themselves if cornered or threatened. But, cats do not attack.  They run from humans --as well they should.

Feral cats are a health hazard:
WRONG-Feral cats, once spayed and vaccinated are a buffer zone for rabid animals.  Feral cats are a substantial means of helping to control rat and mice infestation.

Eradicating (killing) stray and feral cats will not solve the problem -- it will create a "vacuum effect" and new cats will move in and start the breeding process all over again.  As people continue to abandon their unaltered cats, there will be feral cats.  Hudson has proven that the only solution is TNR (Trap/Neuter/Return) . For the first time ever Hudson has no feral cat problem and the existing feral managed colonies are stable, healthy and well cared for.  The Columbia Greene Humane Society expressed a noticable difference in cat intake and decrease in "problem calls" since the TNR was implemented in Hudson.

We urge you all to raise your voice for the ones who have no voice -- the feral cats, who are the victims of uneducated people and laws that do not protect them.  Some consider their killing a "compassionate" act--claiming such cats are better off dead.

Please contact the Town of New Baltimore and let them know there is an effective and humane solution:  Not killing those cats but by implementing a spay/neuter program for the ferals as well as local pet owners.  Animalkind will provide info, guidelines and help.

We only have a few days to fight this plan.  Please contact one or two of the following, voicing your objections:

New Baltimore, NY, officials:

Attorney David Wukitsch: 518-447-3300
Town Supervisor Warren C. Curtis 518-756-6679
Town County Clerk: 518-756-6671
Animal Control Officer  Joseph Tanner: 518-756-9086
Mohawk River Humane Society: 518-434-8128


The Successful Conclusion:
From Cat Round-Up to Volunteer Turn-Out:
Town Council Scratches Plan to Kill Stray Cats
P. Frank
New Baltimore, NY--The only "round up" in the immediate plans for New Baltimore is the vast amounts of volunteers gathering forces, ready to assist in the town's Trap-Neuter-Return [TNR] program of feral kitties.  The town has reversed its plans reported a week ago in the media to round-up all stray cats without a collar and take them to the Mohawk-Hudson Humane Society to be euthanized.

The town board devoted a large chunk of time to the issue of their feral cat problem at the May 14th New Baltimore Town Council meeting.  Members of the animal control committee [comprised of Town Board Council Members] welcomed the input of local and outside animal welfare organizations, animal professionals and town residents.  Swayed by the tremendous amount of publicity and public outcry from animals welfare organizations and individuals across the state and the nation, the board allotted a large chunk of time allowing individual organizations to offer their input on how best to resolve the feral cat situation in the town.  On hand to offer assistance and/or advice were Upstate New York animal welfare organizations AnimalKind, Miko's Sanctuary, FIREPAW, Whiskers, Cherokee Ridge Rescue, Columbia-Greene Humane Association & ASPCA.

The town council appeared to be open and profoundly grateful for the amount of caring and compassionate groups and individuals who stepped forward offering to help the town resolve their problem humanely.  While Mr. Tanner, the town's Animal Control Officer, continued to stress the importance of taking action quickly, residents and animal welfare organizations alike stressed the importance of moving deliberately but without haste.  "Doing it right as opposed to doing it quickly", so to speak.  Town Councilman and animal control committee member John Wallner agreed.

Following the town council meeting, animal organizations and volunteers were invited to meet in an adjacent room to begin the planning and logistics of the TNR program proposed by animal welfare organizations.  These groups and individuals will continue to meet and hope to begin the monitoring and tracking of the feral cats within the next several days.

The town has no funds available for the TNR program.  Local volunteers and nonprofit animal organizations will donate their time and resources to help the program get started.  If you would like to donate or volunteer, please contact AnimalKind, P.O. Box 902, Hudson, NY  12534.  
Telephone: (518) 828-3694 or email: animalkind@earthlink.net

Public education programs on the importance of spay-neutering, and overcoming the problems of overpopulation and animal abandonment will be conducted by FIREPAW, Inc.  If you would like to assist or want more information, contact FIREPAW, Inc., 153 N. Allen, Albany, NY 12206.
Telephone: (518) 438-5939 or email: firepaw@earthlink.net


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Contact us at: animalkind@earthlink.net

Animalkind Inc.is a not-for-profit welfare, protection, rescue, rights organization dedicated to the  compassionate care and humane population control of abandoned, feral and stray cats in Hudson, New York (Columbia County) and the surrounding area.  We promote non-lethal  prevention of an unwanted litter or litters of kittens through trap, spay, neuter, release (return), (tnr, TNR).  An altered cat or kitten is released into a managed colony. Felines living in such colonies are assured kind daily care.  Adoption to  homes providing love and care for cats and kittens is encouraged.   We also provide low or no cost spaying and neutering assistance to low income pet owners and help increase public awareness and education through the media, special events, and publications to promote compassion, respect, and kindness towards all animals.  (d-8)

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The Mary T. and Frank L. Hoffman Family Foundation
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