Target: Councilmember Bobby Haas
Goal: Adopt trap-neuter-return program to reduce feral cat population in Charleston, West Virginia
West Virginia has been singled out as a particularly overpopulated state in regards to stray cats. There is no legislation that dictates a plan of action, and no trap-neuter-return (TNR) policy in most communities. To make matters worse, legislators proposed a bill in 2013 that would make outdoor cats illegal, posing the risk of mass euthanization for strays and even pet cats that were caught roaming outside.
Many organizations and even individuals in West Virginia have taken it upon themselves to trap, neuter, and return strays in a humane way. However it is costly to do this as an individual or small organization, and government intervention would be extremely helpful. While TNR does not protect the animal completely, it is the only realistic step that can be taken right now. Many cities using TNR have reported successful decreases in the number of strays.
Without TNR there is no designated plan to reduce strays, shelter overpopulation, or the euthanization of healthy cats. Ask that Charleston, West Virginia join the efforts to stabilize the feline population across the US.
Dear Councilman Haas,
In the past 10 years, over 200 communities in the US issued trap-neuter-release (TNR) ordinances to help bring the feral cat population under control. However in West Virginia there has been little to no legislative action in regards to this problem, which is particularly severe in some of your state’s communities. TNR programs must be put into effect if these communities are to reduce the population of feral cats.
TNR has been adopted by many animal organizations and is considered the most humane and effective method for reducing the stray population. Taking all cats in to live at shelters is costly for taxpayers and often impossible due to shelter overcrowding. Shelters usually resort to euthanasia in these cases but with TNR, cats are released back into their previous environment after being spayed or neutered. This saves the cats from unnecessary euthanasia, while slowly reducing the stray population. Cats stop spraying and are less likely to fight after being spayed/neutered, meaning they will be less of an annoyance to the community.
The recently proposed bill in Charleston that would make outdoor cats illegal is not a solution, but rather sweeps the problem under the rug entirely. In other cities TNR has reportedly led to a 60% decrease in strays over 10 years. Please create legislation in your city and adopt a plan of action for handling the feline epidemic responsibly.
[Your Name Here]