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« Losing touch with their inner prey | Main | "I can certainly fudge what I say." »

April 12, 2005


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This is tough, but I do agree with Ann. I love cats and a lot of animals, but I also like hunting. This is a hard thing. It just really burns me though when a pet 'owner' chooses to dump the animal off when they can't deal with it and/or they won't fix their cat. I wish these people would have a better instilled sense of responsibility than to help create problems such as this.


Unintended consequences! Some two-legged donkeys think they are smart enough to control everything. Take the deer population in towns outside the city. First we have to protect the deer so they won't become extinct. Sounds like a good idea. Then we have to do away with the minor nuisance of dogs running loose and now we are overrun with deer eating our shrubbery and spreading lyme disease. Enough feral kitties can no doubt become a health problem. Let dogs run loose, and don't feed wild cats, and probably Darwin will take care of things.

Thanks for the link and the shoutout, Sissy.

I agree that feral cat populations need to be controlled, but there are proven methods for doing so (such as "trap, neuter, release"... or even in more extreme circumstances, trapping and humanely euthanizing them) that don't involve licensing people to take potshots at any cat not wearing a collar, which is what the rule change in Wisconsin basically proposes.

Sorry about that mass e-mail, by the way. It takes a lot for me to be motivated to spam a bunch of relative strangers' mailboxes, but I had, shall we say, a strong reaction to this story. I grew up in the South, hunting and fishing, and I know how the world works; I am not opposed to the humane control of animal populations in cases where their overpopulation causes problems in the natural world.

But Mister Gato, my constant companion, was a rescue cat... in fact, rescued from an urban feral colony, and is now a lovely, contented housecat.

I thought about all of the potential Gatos out there getting drilled by yahoos with .22's, and thus, was moved to write.

Whatever Wisconsin's proposal may be, "humane control," it ain't.

While I would very much like to agree with Barry in his quest to humanely dispose of feral cats. The real problem - as always - comes down to money. Who's going to do it and how much will it cost? The problems with animal populations out of control - feral cats and dogs, deer, raccoons, possum, etc... have all been brought about because we've gotten rid of their natural predators.

Without some sort of predator to keep them in check - there is no way to keep up with the population of these animals unless a tremendous amount of time and money is spent. And that money must come from somewhere...

In an era where everyone complains about the lack of money for everything from schools, to roads, to medical care - I have a sneaking suspicion that wild animals may come pretty far down the list. And if they get to the point where they are a danger simply by their sheer numbers - you will see far less angst from the general population about getting rid of them by whatever means is necessary.

Not to be cold and calculating - just realistic.

Make them eat what they shoot.

I think cat lovers are blowing this situation out of proportion in many cases, where the environmentalists and biologists are not.

If passed, blood-lusting Wisconsin hunters are not going to lay in seige outside your door, waiting to execute Mr. Whiskers with a barrage of rifle fire. That hysteria simply isn't warranted, as existing laws in two other states haven't led to rivers of feline blood. Blood is flowing, of course, but is is caused by the cats, not the hunters.

We know cats kill tens of millions small animals in Wisconsin each year, and hundreds of millions in the United States. Some of these animals being killed are endangered species, while some of the other millions of small animals killed by cats are important prey species for native carnivores, such as hawks, owls, weasels, martens, foxes, etc...

Cats are damaging the ecosystem, and while people like Barry make the case for other ways of controlling the population, these suggestions aren't economically realistic.

Put another way, would Mr. Campbell rather see his money wasted on nuetering a deadly non-native species (which when released, would still kill), or feeding and clothing homeless humans? Our coffers are not endless, sir, and one would hope a child is more important than a non-native pest species, even one you think is cute. Somehow, I just don't see you expressing the same level of concern for lampreys and other non-cuddly killers.

Bullets are cheap and despite Mr. Campbell's squeamishness, almost any commercial cartridge made will dispatch small game very quicky and relatively painlessly.

The law should pass.

The jerks who turn their animals loose to breed, [go potty] and kill everyhting in sight are the ones who are at fault. So are the [those] who insist on feeding strays so they can continue to breed and [prey upon] the native wildlife, but heaven forbid if we hurt a kitty!

Just an update on the Wisconsin situation... the Conservation Congress voted in favor of Question 62, but Wisconsin's governor quickly stepped in and said, in essence, "ain't gonna happen."

Details and links to more information here, to engage in a little egregious self-linking:


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