A compassionate person in Gloucester Co, NJ has been feeding community cats on her own property for years. Sandra Leady has caught many of the cats and had them vaccinated and neutered at her own expense, since the Gloucester Co pound doesn’t do anything for free living cats except kill them. There are an estimated 18 cats in the colony she’s feeding today. But a cat hating neighbor recently called animal control to report her and the AC director used Ms. Leady’s kind acts against her:
The medical care she provided made her legally responsible for the animals, according to Gloucester County Animal Shelter Director Bill Lombardi.
After a warning notice from the animal control office, Leady has few options: Build a pen for the feral felines or let the county set cat traps in her yard.
I am not an attorney but does the county have the right to trespass on private property to set traps when the property owner doesn’t consent? This seems wildly illegal to me.
The reason Ms. Leady is so distraught over the notice is because the Gloucester pound traps community cats, tosses them into cages for a week then kills them. The director likes to emphasize how humane the whole thing is but it sounds more like torture to me:
Euthanasia is a “humane death” compared to what a feral cat faces in the elements, Lombardi said[.]
The wire cages are set on Sundays and retrieved on Fridays.
This week’s traps were empty, but the shelter’s “feral room,” a death row for wild felines, was full from previous collections.
So a cat trapped on a Sunday would be stuck in the trap, presumably without food, water or shelter from the elements until Friday. Then left on death row for another seven days at the cat killing facility. Then, for any lucky survivors, death. My humane is tingling.
In 2013, the Gloucester Co pound killed roughly 80% of the more than 3500 cats taken in. And the director wants the legal authority to steal more cats:
Fifteen of the county’s 24 towns have ordinances concerning cat licensing and felines at large. […]
“I’m for cat ordinances,” Lombardi explained. “It gives us a better grip on handling the problem in a lot of towns that have cat problems.”
Punitive legislation does not work. Making criminals out of compassionate citizens is the opposite of what animal control ought to be doing, especially if they want to reduce the community cat population humanely and protect public health via neuter and vaccination. But everything is justified because rabies:
“Rabies is the biggest concern and the reason why we trap,” Lombardi said Friday morning.
Rabies. Because 20 cats have tested positive for rabies in Gloucester Co in the past 26 years. So it’s an uncontrolled plague basically. And cats must die.
I guess rabies vaccines for cats must not work in Gloucester Co. Because if they did, surely the pound wouldn’t be killing cats by the thousands, using rabies as a weak sauce excuse:
“People think we get a kick out of doing this,” Lombardi noted. “It’s very emotional on our employees.”
Cat killer has a sad. I wonder how “emotional” it is on free living cats forced to suffer in a trap for a week, tossed on death row for another, then injected with poison before they get sent to the landfill. All of which is needless cruelty, inflicted by those paid to protect animals from harm, when proven alternatives such as TNR are available. Not that anybody WANTS to kill animals, natch.
In the meantime Ms. Leady, who can not afford to build a pen such as the county is requiring, is worried for the lives of her colony cats:
Animal control officers need her decision soon, or she faces penalties, according to Leady, who claims she has not been informed of the exact penalties she faces.
“I’m an animal lover,” she insisted. “I won’t turn my back on them.
“I don’t care if they put me in jail. I won’t turn my back on an animal.”
Attention Gloucester Co: This is what the person you pay to “shelter” animals should be saying.
There. I’ve identified your problem Gloucester Co. Fix it.
(Thanks Clarice for the link.)