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GUEST COLUMN: Salina cat problem is caused by the town

— TNR is considered the only method of population control that really works for feral cats. It is used and studied worldwide. National and international animal sheltering and animal control organizations all support it, including the ASPCA, The Humane Association of the United States, Best Friends Animal Society, Maddie’s Fund, PetSmart Charities, The Petco Foundation and, notably, the National Animal Control Association. It’s used successfully for street dogs in India and for animals on the Galapagos Islands, one of the most environmentally sensitive places on Earth.

Yet the “neighbors” who are very aware that there are alternatives to “trap and remove” have tried none of those alternatives because they have “heard that they don’t work.” In any other situation, one would consult and expert in the field. But that doesn’t happen here because they are in denial that any other solution, besides removal, would be effective. Their goal, I was told, is to try removing all the cats first. Then, if that doesn’t work, they’ll try TNR. Don’t they realize that the whole point is that we taxpayers don’t have the resources, at $150 per cat, to remove all of the cats in any neighborhood? Or that many of these cats are owned pets? People are not breaking any laws by allowing their cats outside. And even if every cat were taken away, something the town has never done successfully in many years of trapping, what happens the first time somebody abandons a cat? Yes, here we go again.

Linda Young is the founder of Kitty Corner of CNY and an animal advocate.

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