A New Jersey County Considers Program to Control Feral Cats

An ordinance that recently was introduced in a New Jersey county could help manage feral cats and save taxpayers money.

Posted: January 20, 2007, 5 a.m. EST

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A new ordinance might help manage feral cats in Springfield Township, N.J., reported Packetonline.com, a division of The Princeton Packet Inc.

Feral cats haven’t been a problem in the farm fields, but they have been a problem in housing communities, Councilman Richard Toone said in a previous statement. Feral cats could potentially carry diseases, such as rabies.

The program, if implemented, would trap, neuter and release feral cats, also known as TNR. Under the proposed plan, the areas where feral cats lived would be baited. Cats would then be trapped and neutered. Basic vaccinations, such as rabies, would also be given. Afterward, the cats would have their ears clipped so people would know which cats have been through the TNR program.

The program would save taxpayers money in Burlington County and Springfield because it would lessen the burden that a lot of animal shelters receive from the overpopulation of these cats, according to Robert Gogats, Burlington County health coordinator. Many of the cats that are brought in have to be put to sleep.

The program has been successful in other Burlington County townships such as Beverly, Tabernacle and Medford, according
to Gogats.

He said that the implementation of this program would be a humane yet practical way to address the problems caused by the feral cat population and could result in a noticeably smaller feral cat population, Packetonline.com reported.

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Reader Comments

Carol    Lumberton, Burl. Co., NJ

6/2/2007 11:21:40 AM

A TNR program in any county would be terrific for these cats. There continues to be too many feral cats and tons more kittens running in neighborhoods. And too many still careless people letting unspayed/neutered cats out, or feeding strays which helps them reproduce. They do suffer outdoors. Also, I have found it tough to get animal control or rescue help with either trapping them and turning them in to a shelter, or a TNR program. Every year there are more feral kittens being born and this year is no exception. Only so many tame ones can be adopted out, and they need to be spayed/neutered before people get them, since many people can't be counted on to be responsible.

Sandy    Medford, NJ

1/21/2007 2:41:47 PM

Since the TNR program has been successful in many towns, Medford being my town, the logical thing to do is to pass the ordinance. The animals are not dangerous to anyone....they have been inoculated and neutered or spayed. Let these poor homeless cats live their lives in peace. They are here because of humans who failed to do the right thing, by having them fixed. Show some compassion and pass the ordinance. It's the right thing to do.

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