Feral Cat Publications

County hears support for euthanasia of feral cats

Potlatch woman tells commissioners it is efficient way to rid towns of wild felines

  • By Garrett Cabeza, Daily News staff writer


    • Jun 15, 2017

A Potlatch woman told the Latah County Commissioners on Wednesday the county has a feral cat problem, and euthanasia might be the most safe, cost-effective and humane solution.

Khaliela Wright asked that the commissioners spend the $20,000 the county provides annually to the Humane Society of the Palouse more effectively.

In a letter, Wright wrote that the county's $20,000 could spay and release 50 feral cats annually whereas the same $20,000 could euthanize 400 animals.

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Letter: Misinformation and scaremongering

Khaliela Wright's appeal for publicly funding the lethal roundups of "feral" cats (Daily News, June 15) only adds to the misinformation and scaremongering on the subject, thereby undermining any chance for reasonable discussions and fact-based reporting. Wright's suggestion, for example, that complaint-based impoundment followed by lethal injection is an efficient use of scarce tax dollars is demonstrably false.

Indeed, this approach has been common practice in this country for more than 100 years now and has failed to produce any population reduction anywhere it's put into practice. It's also wildly unpopular and costly, the poster child for failed public policy. Targeted trap-neuter-return programs, on the other hand, have been shown to stabilize and reduce the number of community cats in an area and save taxpayers money.

In addition, Wright's claim that the American Veterinary Medical Association and Humane Society of the United States recommend lethal methods for managing community cats grossly mischaracterizes these organizations' positions on the subject. As even a cursory review of their website shows, the AVMA "encourages the use of nonlethal strategies as the initial focus for control of free-roaming abandoned and feral cat populations." HSUS "support(s) TNR and similar sterilization programs."

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Letter: No laws on feral cats

For 40 years, The Humane Society of the Palouse has served local animals under our mission statement that ensures "the humane treatment, welfare and safety of companion animals in Moscow and Latah County" and that we will be proactive by helping to "promote spaying/neutering, educate the public regarding responsible pet ownership and minimize euthanasia."

We are acutely aware of the feral cat population in Latah County and are doing everything within our means to help. We operate with limited county funding intended only for the care of dogs. If HSoP were to lose that funding, we would not be able to help in the rehoming and safekeeping of homeless companion animals.

We would not be able to provide preventive care or life saving surgeries to those in need. And most importantly, these companion animals would be left without food, shelter and care.

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Feral cats in Latah County

I am the Idaho state director in Boise for The Humane Society of the United States. Khaliela Wright gave incorrect information at a recent Latah County Commission meeting as reported in "County hears support for euthanasia of feral cats" (June 15). She stated that The Humane Society of the United States recommends euthanasia for feral cats and that is incorrect and not our position at all. I don't want your readers to be misled by her statement.

As the largest animal protection organization in the country, our position on feral cats is not hard to find. The HSUS supports strategic, non-lethal management of community cats who already exist outdoors through sterilization and vaccination efforts, such as trap-neuter-return.

TNR has been shown to eliminate free-roaming cat populations over time. This humane approach to managing community cats can decrease municipal costs, reduce public health and safety concerns, decrease nuisance complaints and reduce predation on wildlife. Research also shows that community cats are healthy and can lead successful lives outdoors, particularly when they are spayed or neutered and vaccinated.

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Letter: Passing the buck on cats

Tara Weimer's letter on June 22 was a sad attempt at passing the buck. The Human Society of the Palouse offers the fewest programs of any of the area's animal shelters and is the most expensive, despite receiving more funding from local governments. And I'd wager that none of the other counties have feral cat ordinances, either.

HSoP receives $20,000 from the Latah County Commissioners and $45,905 from the City of Moscow annually. By contrast, the Benewah County Commissioners give their shelter just $250 per month and the City of Saint Maries provides no direct funding, but is generous enough to waive the water and sewer bill for the animal shelter. And even with this low level of funding they are able to spay and neuter feral cats absolutely free.

The Kootenai Humane Society receives no funding from either the county or any of the cities within Kootenai County; they fund all their programs from donations, grants and the income received from the services they provide. And with no funding from the cities or the county they are able to offer $15 spays and neuters for feral cats. Not only that, but they contract with other counties in need. Shoshone County has a "Cat Wrangler" program where volunteers capture feral cats and deliver them to the Kootenai Humane Society to be spayed and neutered.

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© 2020 by Humane Society of the Palouse.

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PO Box 8847

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