Letter to the Editor

Speak out for our community's cats

Thursday, May 29, 2014

To the Editor:

An open letter to the residents of Putnam County:

I'm writing to ask you to join in supporting a proposed ordinance that would approve Trap-Neuter-Return for feral cats in our county.

Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) is the only humane and effective approach to feral cats. Please take a few minutes to write or email members of the new Putnam County Animal Care and Control Board, urging them to support this legislation.

Animal control's traditional approach to feral cats -- catch and kill -- is cruel, endless and costly. Please take action today. Join me in letting our local officials know that we want humane policies for our community's cats.

In your letters, mention that you are a constituent who cares about our community's cats, and that you support TNR as the best approach to feral cats.

Reasons to support TNR include the following:

Trap-Neuter-Return is the only effective approach for feral cats. Feral cats are humanely trapped, spayed/neutered, vaccinated and ear-tipped (the universal symbol of a neutered and vaccinated cat) and then returned to their outdoor home. Colonies are established with volunteer caretakers.

Removing cats from an area (i.e. catching and killing) is futile because of the vacuum effect. The vacuum effect is what happens when even a portion of an animal population is permanently removed from its home range. The others then will breed more often to replace those trapped and killed.

TNR has been used in Indianapolis for some years now with the end result of a major decrease in spending by Animal Control and huge reductions in euthanasia. This has resulted in much savings to the taxpayers there.

When you're ready, send you mail and/or emails to Putnam County Animal Care and Control Board members: Police Chief Tom Sutherlin (Greencastle), Brittany Duncan (Cloverdale), Councilman Chuck McElwee (Bainbridge), Marshal Mike Mahoy (Roachdale), Councilman Jim Davis (Russellville), Lisa Mock (Heritage Lake), Lynn Bohmer (HSPC), Sheriff Steve Fenwick (Sheriff's Department) and at-large members Carolyn Shotwell and Phil Gick.

Thank you for speaking out for animals in our community.

Christopher Vaughn

Van Bibber Lake Estates