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ACT NOW to Protect Cats from Extermination at JFK Airport
Animalkind, Inc.
P. O. Box 902, Hudson, New York 12534

Action Alerts
ACT NOW to Protect Cats from Extermination at JFK Airport
From Neighborhood Cats

Background:
10/29/07:  New York, PORT AUTHORITY REJECTS PUBLIC OUTCRY AND BEGINS EXTERMINATION OF JFK CATS.

Despite an avalanche of criticism from thousands of outraged members of the public, the Port Authority of NY and NJ began trapping feral cats at JFK Airport over this past weekend with the plan of exterminating them.

Rescuers were barred from feeding or rescuing cats and were threatened with arrest by USDA wildlife officials.

In addition, a Port Authority spokesman admitted to the NY Post his agency had lied when telling the public last Friday the cats would all be adopted into good homes. The NY Post confirmed the cats would be put down immediately instead... [SEE TALKING POINTS, BELOW]

PHOTO: A number of rescue groups have been entering airport grounds to feed as well as spay and neuter the cats, but the Port Authority has been cracking down on them lately.

Some groups have rescued kittens from the colony; the hope is that the feral kittens will be socialized enough for adoption. gothamist.com

WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Each passing day brings ever more outrageous conduct by the Port Authority - this is not only about the precious lives of the cats anymore, but about the accountability of people who have forgotten they are public servants.

We need you to raise your voice once more, loudly and strongly, and let others in the government know your opinion of the extermination effort and the Port Authority's conduct. It is our last hope for these cats.

No matter the outcome, we as citizens must not lie down and be trampled upon by the arrogance of those who have lost their way and will soon have blood on their hands.

WHO TO CONTACT:
Demand Port Authority suspend the trapping immediately and meet with representatives of the NYC Feral Cat Initiative and the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals to come up with a humane, effective feral cat management plan.

(Please click here for JFK Proposal if anyone asks for more detailed information on the issues.)

Anthony R. Coscia, Chairman
Board of Commissioners
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Phone:  732 -846-2120 (direct line)
   or 732-846-7600 (general number for Mr. Coscia's law firm)
Fax:  732-846-8877
E-Mail:  acoscia@windelsmarx.com 

The Honorable Eliot Spitzer, Governor, New York
Phone:  212-681-4580
Fax:  518-474-1513
Email:  Go to www.ny.gov, click on "contact us" at bottom of the page

The Honorable Mary Donahue, Lieutenant Governor, New York
Phone:  518-474-4623
Email: Ltgovernor.correspondence@chamber.state.ny.us 

The Honorable Helen Marshall
Queens Borough President, Chairman - Airport Community Advisory Board
Phone:  718-286-3000
Email:  info@queensbp.org 

Port Authority Corporate Headquarters
(212) 435-7000
Get a live person on the line and demand to speak to someone about the JFK situation - keep calling until they respond

Additional Contacts (from KinshipCircle.org)
Anthony Shorris
Executive Director, Port Authority of NY and NJ
212-435-7271 * ashorris@panynj.gov

Shawn Larenti
Director, Government and Community Relations Dept.
Port Authority of NY and NJ
212-435-6903 * slarenti@panynj.gov

Charles E. Meara, NYC Community Relations Dept.
Port Authority of NY and NJ
917-596-0492 * cmeara@panynj.gov

Public Affairs, Port Authority
212 435-7777

Susan Baer, General Manager, JFK Airport
718-244-3501 * sbaer@panynj.gov

Laura Francoeur
Aeronautical Services, Airport Operations Division

718-244-3773 * fax: 718-244-3777
lfrancoe@panynj.gov

TALKING POINTS: PORT AUTHORITY KILLS CATS AND THE TRUTH

LIE #1:
"The cats will all be adopted into good homes."

THE TRUTH:
Feral cats are unadoptable and usually are immediately put down when brought to shelters, as Port Authority plans to do. Port Authority ADMITTED LYING to the public about this in the NY Post article, "Frequent Liars", published Saturday, October 27, 2007.

LIE #2:
"Feeding the cats attracts seagulls and the birds are an aviation threat."

THE TRUTH:
Seagulls are at the airport because JFK is NEAR THE OCEAN!! And because there are tons of trash strewn about the airport's grounds. There is not enough cat food to attract large numbers of birds and there is no food left anyway when the cats finish eating. Cats hunt birds, they don't attract them. There is ZERO evidence proving a link between the presence of cats at an airport and an aviation risk. DON'T BE GULL-IBLE!!!

LIE #3
"A cat will go onto the runways and cause a plane to crash when it hits the cat."

THE TRUTH:
The cats are not located anywhere near the runways. No cat has ever been spotted on any runway. Runways could be easily fenced to keep cats out if this actually was a legitimate concern, which it's not. Ever seen or heard of a jet hitting a cat?

LIE #4:
"We can achieve a cat-free airport."

THE TRUTH:
You can't wipe out the presence of feral cats in a 5000 acre area in which new, un-neutered cats are constantly being abandoned or lost and then reproducing, and where there are plentiful food sources. Only Trap-Neuter-Return can, over time, reduce the numbers. The Port Authority's extermination effort is futile and will only result in new furry faces, not fewer. The killing is senseless.


Additional Information:
MAYOR'S ALLIANCE FOR NYC'S ANIMALS LEADS THE STRUGGLE TO STOP THE EXTERMINATION OF JFK CATS

New York, Oct. 31, 2007- Some members of the public are getting confused about the role of the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals in our fight to save the JFK cats. The Mayor's Alliance is responsible for the NYC Feral Cat Initiative, which is the program leading the fight against the extermination of the JFK cats. The Alliance is our hero; the Port Authority of NY and NJ is the villian.

Please ask people to support the Alliance and thank them for their extraordinary efforts on behalf of the cats and all the NYC groups who rely on the Alliance!!

Again, please post this far and wide so we can stop the confusion from spreading.

Bryan Kortis
Executive Director
Neighborhood Cats
212-662-5761
Brykort@cs.com
www.neighborhoodcats.org 


Visit NeighborhoodCats.org for updates or additional information.

Please crosspost this alert far and wide

Update: November 19, 2007

"USA Today" Features Protest Effort

Port Authority Cat Extermination Campaign Stalls as Animal Groups Keep Up Pressure

(New York, Nov. 19, 2007) On Thursday, Nov. 15, a coalition of animal groups and concerned activists demonstrated for the second time in front of Port Authority of NY and NJ's headquarters in Manhattan. Despite the cold and rain, a large crowd gathered to loudly protest the Port Authority's ongoing efforts to exterminate all feral cats on the grounds of JFK Airport. Later the same day, Valerie Sicignano of In Defense of Animals and the NYC Feral Cat Initiative, and Bryan Kortis of Neighborhood Cats addressed the agency's Board of Commissioners, criticizing the eradication program and the lies and misrepresentations offered by the agency to justify the killing. They demanded (1) a permanent halt to the trapping, (2) a lifting of the feeding ban, and (3) implementation of a one-year pilot Trap-Neuter-Return program. (See partial transcript of comments as reported by public radio WNYC.)

Meanwhile, the extermination effort appears to have stalled with no new cats having been surrendered to the local animal control shelter since November 7. All 24 victims of the trapping so far have been saved by local groups working with the NYC Feral Cat Initiative, a program of the
Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals.

The protest effort and the as yet unsuccessful extermination program were featured today in a page 3 article in USA Today (See http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-11-18-cats_N.htm)

The article reports that Port Authority has "suspended" the trapping and is trying to work with animal groups to find an acceptable solution. However, the Port Authority has not stated it will permanently discontinue the effort and has not agreed to a Trap-Neuter-Return program. "The public needs to know nothing has been resolved," said Bryan Kortis, Neighborhood Cats. "The threat to fire any airport worker who feeds the cats remains in place, and the cruel attempt to trap and kill these cats could resume at any time. The community's outrage has slowed their campaign, but not yet stopped it once and for all. We're not letting up until this is a done deal."

WHAT YOU CAN DO

*Write a Letter to the Editor of USA Today thanking them for the article and supporting Trap-Neuter-Return at JFK. You can write to "
letters@usatoday.com" and include name, phone number, city and state for verification. Or else use the online form at: http://feedbackforms.usatoday.com/marketing/feedback/feedback-online.aspx?type=18

*Post comments in the USA Today blog using the form at the bottom of the page where the article is posted online:
http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-11-18-cats_N.htm

*Keep sending those phone calls and emails! Take a few minutes each day and make a phone call or send an email to one or more of the names listed on the home page of Neighborhood Cats (www.neighborhoodcats.org ). What matters now as much as what you say is that you're still saying it - remember, they thought we'd all go away after a day or two. It's been three weeks now and the publicity and protest is only growing - they are being forced to deal with this because YOU are making them. So don't feel like what you're doing is repetitious and unimportant - it's vital and the more they hear from you, the better our chances to save these cats. Try to leave the words "JFK" and "cats" out of the emails so they can't be automatically blocked.

We're making progress, but not home yet!! THANK YOU!!!

Update: December 10, 2007

Protest to End JFK Cat Extermination:
December 18, 2007
12:30 pm to 1:30 pm
At Port Authority of NY & NJ Headquarters

Standstill with Port Authority Sparks New Protest to End JFK Cats Extermination Program Trapping Reportedly Suspended, Additional Help Needed to End Exterminations Permanently


(NEW YORK, Dec. 5, 2007)
In Defense of Animals and Neighborhood Cats have called for another demonstration at the headquarters of Port Authority of NY and NJ on Tuesday, December 18, from 12:30pm to 1:30 pm. Following the rally at 225 Park Avenue South (between E. 18th and E. 19th Sts. just north of Union Square), a number of representatives of prominent local and national animal welfare groups, including the ASPCA, Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals, and Humane Society of NY, plan to address the Port Authority's Board of Commissioners.

"We're concerned about the lack of progress in putting a permanent end to the killing of hundreds of feral cats at JFK Airport and instead implementing a Trap-Neuter-Return project," said Valerie Sicignano, East Coast Coordinator for In Defense of Animals. The eradication campaign was suspended this past November 15 following intense public pressure and media coverage. Animal activists are concerned the Port Authority may simply be trying to "wait it out" until things quiet down, then re-start the effort to trap the cats and dump them on local animal control shelters.


WHAT YOU CAN DO

-Come to the rally! The first two demonstrations were huge successes with great turnouts and a powerful impact. Photos appeared in media across the country.

-Keep up or resume emails and phone calls to Port Authority officials - the many thousands of calls and letters have been effective and a big part of why the trapping was suspended. By continuing to write and call, you'll let them know that's not enough! (Tip: phone calls are best and insist on speaking to a live person. With emails - they can screen for the words "JFK" and "cats" and automatically delete them. Use words instead like "Airport", "ferals", "felines", etc.) Go to the Home page article at www.neighborhoodcats.org and scroll down for a list of who to write and call.

Now more than ever, it's critical to let Port Authority know we're still here and not going away!!

Contact: Neighborhood Cats
212-662-5761
headcat@neighborhoodcats.org
for more info on JFK: www.neighborhoodcats.org

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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.


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