Archive for the ‘Feral cats’ Category

My Camera Editorial Advisory Board comment published on Sept. 29, 2007:

While cuddly looking bears resting peacefully sprawled out in Boulder neighborhood trees make great photos, Boulder officials are wise to look into ways to address the increasing threat of predatory animals such as bears and cougars in the city limits. No one likes the picture of a bear killed because it ran out of chances to stay away, because it was simply more hungry than afraid of humans. With the city’s creation of a wildlife coordinator position this week with a salary of $67,000, it looks like the city means business. The results likely will be more enforcement to existing city codes and a serious look at future codes, which could include the requirement of wildlife-proof or wildlife-resistant garbage receptacles. I applaud Boulder officials for their efforts and hope bears, cougars and people will be safer because of their actions.

Those who love prairie dogs will be happy that this new wildlife coordinator is likely to mean increased code enforcement for prairie-dog protection, too. Other wild animals are included there as well, but that’s where it gets vague. What about feral cats? “What kind of cats?” you say. My point exactly, even according to code. As I looked through Boulder’s animal codes, Boulder came up short on plans for its feral-cat population. Unless this oversight is remedied, this spells disaster for feral cats.

Feral cats are basically house cats no one owns or, often, even wants that live outside all the time in neighborhoods. The first ones in an area often are abandoned pets. Then, they and their kittens become wild. However, these feral cats are not exactly wildlife. They need humans to survive. Without humans to help provide food, water and shelter, they suffer and eventually die inhumanely. As winter approaches and as garbage receptacles may become less friendly to them, their inhumane deaths becomes more likely. On top of that, feral cats keep on having kittens, so the population and the suffering continues to grow unless they are caught and spayed or neutered before being released to live in the neighborhood with neighborhood support.

I see firsthand every day feral cats in my own Broomfield neighborhood, after three kittens were born in my back yard in the summer of 2006. Before that, the neighborhood became home to 15 or so cats. Something has happened to the numerous cats on my street now. Who knows? Who cares? … I encourage Boulder and other area communities to look at their treatment of their feral cats. More help and protection for this type of wildlife needs to be encoded so feral cats have more options than to be euthanized at the Boulder Humane Society once they are brought in, fail socialization and go unclaimed.

*This title was not part of the original Camera publication.

Source: Daily Camera

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