Target: Portsmouth Humane Society
Goal: Thank the Portsmouth Humane Society for working to reduce the feral cat population and for reducing euthanasia
The Portsmouth Humane Society in Virginia has come under scrutiny after it was discovered that workers have been trapping, sterilizing, and releasing feral cats back into the wild in an attempt to reduce euthanasia. The organization’s executive director was subsequently fired for violating state law. This backlash, however, is uncalled for and the Portsmouth Humane Society should be praised for finding creative ways to do what is necessary to save lives.
Throughout the past decade, animal shelters across the country have been under increasing pressure to reduce, if not eliminate, euthanasia. This often means turning away animals or sending them to other shelters that do euthanize. Cats present the biggest concern for the stray population because of the size and number of litters they can produce in their lifetime. This is precisely the reason why the Portsmouth Humane Society took this particular action. There will always be feral cats, but sterilizing them and releasing them back into the wild will not only keep them alive, as most would likely be euthanized in shelters, it will also help dramatically reduce the total population of feral cats. Many animal rights organizations, including the Pay It Forward Animal Welfare Network, actually encourage citizens to capture feral cats they see, have them sterilized, and release them back into the wild.
According to their records, the shelter captured and released 91 cats during the last 3 years. One female cat and her offspring has the potential to produce between 100 and 400 cats during their life. What the public, as well as the state, are viewing as a crime likely prevented thousands of cats from ending up in shelters in the future. Jennifer Austin, the executive director who was fired, made a statement, saying, “Our whole mission is to save lives. If we have to be creative about how we save their lives, we’re going to do it.” Sign the petition to support the Portsmouth Humane Society and their efforts to save the lives of these cats and eliminate euthanasia.
Dear Portsmouth Humane Society,
You recently garnered a great deal of criticism and media attention after it was discovered that for the past three years you have been capturing, sterilizing, and releasing feral cats back into the wild. I would like to instead praise you for your actions. Sterilizing and releasing feral cats will not only keep them alive when they would otherwise likely be euthanized in a shelter, it will also help dramatically reduce the total population of feral cats over time. Many leading animal welfare organizations across the country even encourage this practice as the most humane solution.
Thank you for doing whatever it takes to give animals a life.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: naitokz via Flickr