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"If you talk to the animals
They will talk to you
and you will know each other.
If you do not talk to them,
You will not know them,
And what you do not know
You will fear.
What one fears one destroys."
- Chief Dan George

Keep Kitty Indoors

I love cats. Growing up, we always had a cat. And then I married a man who is allergic to them. Now we have a dog, two Great Horned Owls, a Red-tailed Hawk, an American Kestrel, an Eastern Screech Owl, six V. Opossums and one Eastern Cottontail.

Getting back to cats, it’s important for the public to know that cats often interfere with wildlife, especially young ones. A young bird or mammal finding its way inside a cat’s mouth, faces a grim future if not rescued and given antibiotic therapy. Cats’ mouths are rife with the bacteria pasturella multocida. We have found that untreated, the victim   will die within three days. Because cats’teeth are grooved, they can carry other destructive bacteria in the grooves.

I would like to share some information I have from The Wildlife Society. They are an international non-profit scientific and educational association whose mission is to “enhance the ability of wildlife professionals to conserve diversity, sustain productivity, and ensure responsible use of wildlife resources for the benefit of society.”  In the publication Wildlife Rehabilitation Today, The Wildlife Society has published it’s policy on feral and domestic cats. Following is that policy, which Black Creek Wildlife Station supports.

  1. Strongly support and encourage humane elimination of feral cat colonies.
  2. Support passage and enforcement of ordinances prohibiting public feeding of feral cats.
  3. Strongly support educational programs and materials that call for all pet cats to be kept indoors, in outdoor enclosures, or on a leash.
  4. Support programs to educate pet owners to neuter or spay their cats and encourage pet adoption centers to require potential owners to neuter or spay their pet.
  5. Support development and dissemination of information on actions individual cat owners can take to minimize predation by free-ranging cats.
  6. Pledge to work with conservation and animal welfare communities to educate the public about negative impact of cats on native wildlife.
  7. Support educational efforts to encourage the agricultural community to keep farm cat numbers at low manageable levels and use alternative environmentally safe rodent control methods.
  8. Encourage researchers to develop better information on the impacts of cats on native wildlife.
  9. Recognize that cats as pets have a long association with humans and responsible      cat owners should be encouraged to continue caring for the animals under their control.
  10. Oppose passage of any ordinances that legalize maintenance of “managed” (trap/neuter/release) free-ranging cat colonies.

Submitted by Trish Zimmerman







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