NJ Township Bans Feeding Outdoor Cats

The West Orange Township Council in NJ passed an ordinance at a meeting this month prohibiting residents from feeding all wildlife, including friendly outdoor cats who of course are not wildlife but shut up:

The matter was brought before the council at the behest of Theresa De Nova, the township’s health officer, whose office has been inundated with complaints regarding the number of feral and stray cats roaming through neighborhoods. Though both feral and stray cats are homeless felines, there is a significant difference between the two: Stray cats are socialized to people while feral cats are not. Under the new ordinance, residents are not allowed to feed either kind.

Ms. DeNova can now threaten cat feeders with court and fines, which she seems very excited about.  Most residents do not share her enthusiasm:

But the majority of people in attendance were opposed to the ordinance, at times calling out their opinions from the benches and loudly applauding like-minded speakers. Their opinion was clear: They love the town’s stray cats and to stop feeding them would be cruel.

“My interpretation of this amendment is that the council is hopeful of two things,” resident Sherry Ross said. “One is that the cats will weaken, sicken, starve and die as a result of not being fed. Or else they will leave and they will be somebody else’s problem. Neither of those is an efficient or humane solution.”

Many in attendance at the meeting mentioned TNR as a humane method to reduce the feral cat population over time.  But Ms. DeNova says she needed the power to make criminals out of cat feeders this very minute, if not sooner:

De Nova acknowledged that she would be willing to pursue methods like TNR in the future, but she stressed that she needed a measure on record immediately to use as a tool to fight the problem before it gets worse.

There does appear to be a problem in West Orange Township.  And it does seem to be getting worse.  But it doesn’t have anything to do with feeding cats.

(Thanks Clarice for the link.)

11 thoughts on “NJ Township Bans Feeding Outdoor Cats

  1. I left my two cents worth in the comment section of the news article. Now at least the residents of West Orange know who to vote out in the next election. I love it when they make it easy to pick out the idiots!

  2. Yeah, because this has worked in all the decades in which it’s been tried.

    This among the things that really … grates my cheese, about approaches like this. We’ve got ample evidence they don’t work. More than ample. Yet people insist on trying them again and again and again and again, ad infinitum. It’s like they’re all taking city management classes from, I don’t know, Snidely Whiplash. Because this time, tying Nell to the tracks will totally work.

    Then, of course, there’s the casual cruelty. How can you trust any politician after crap like this? It’s like saying, ‘I’m such a morally corrupt asshat I will torment and kill the least of you for political gain.’

  3. From what I understand is that people in power would rather kill animals rather than trying to find homes or a salution to population control. Why stop feeding the cats and not get them spayed and neutered?? Yes I would rather elect people who are willing to help the ones who have NO voice and who are willing to help the Community!!!
    NO KILL!!!!!!!

    1. Certainly sounds that way. I hope that the majority of voters will remember this fiasco of horror when it comes time to vote. They all ought to be thrown out!

  4. If they Allow the cats to die there will be a real health hazard. They will also be inundated with mice and rats…cats control the rodent population. The cats will scavenge garbage cans etc to find food and even if the cats die more will take their place. This has been proven. The only humane ans intelligent way to control the cat population is TNR. Another town controlled by ignorant people.

  5. Would it be possible for the townspeople to hire a lawyer to represent the cats in a court of law to plead a case for TNR? I bet it would get A LOT of media attention. Do they have any animal abuse laws on their books? Couldn’t they press animal abuse charges against the woman and city if they deliberately advocate starving the cats to death? Is there a law on the books that states a person must confine their pet cats to their own property ? If not, couldn’t the townspeople claim the cats as their own pets and thus erase the label of stray or feral? When corruption is prevalent, you have to fight it creatively.

  6. I’ve been around long enough to know that people who have heartless solutions to possible problems lack empathy. So when the cats are gone and the mice move in does she recommend harsh chemicals to control that problem?, which brings more problems, which brings more…etc., etc.

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