Some good news for feral cats at the miserable pound in Sutter Co, CA: Beginning September 1, healthy community cats will no longer be accepted by the pound. As I’ve said many times, I see no justification for impounding feral cats anywhere – unless it’s a temporary impound as part of a TNR program – so I’m glad to see Sutter Co stepping up. I hope they will develop a comprehensive TNR program in partnership with the community in order to further advance this effort.
Unfortunately the article announcing the change at the Sac Bee website adds in this unsourced claim at the end:
In order to have a significant impact on that feral population, half of them would have to be captured and euthanized – or 75 percent would have to be captured, sterilized and then let go again.
It’s not clear to me if that claim is attributable to Kate Hurley, director of the UC Davis Shelter Medicine Program, who is quoted in the article in connection with her work at the pound. Regardless of the source, I know of no study indicating that killing half of a community’s cats would result in a “significant impact” on the population. Obviously killing half of any population reduces it temporarily but as far as having a meaningful impact goes, I interpret that to mean something measurable in the long term. Anyone?