lundi 20 mai 2013


The Great Outdoors? Not for Cats! 


Some animal shelters manipulate their euthanasia statistics by instituting policies that leave animals to struggle for survival and die painfully on the streets.

So-called "trap-neuter-release" (TNR) programs—or, more accurately, "trap-neuter-reabandon" programs—may allow shelters to spin intake and euthanasia numbers, but they do almost nothing to protect cats from the horrors that befall them when left outdoors to battle harsh surroundings, sickness, and sadistic people.

While countless cats who are left outdoors without protection die from infected wounds and injuries (even small abscesses and common urinary tract infections become raging and deadly for unsocialized cats who cannot be handled and treated), contagious diseases, starvation, dehydration, freezing, heatstroke, and attacks by dogs and other predators, as well as from being hit by vehicles or ravaged by parasites, many cats are poisoned, shot, or killed in some other cruel way by those who consider them a nuisance or are simply sadists.

Right or wrong, many property and business owners do not want cats on their property. Some individuals dislike cats and intentionally harm them. Because of the many deadly hazards that befall cats outdoors, responsible guardians allow their feline companions outdoors only when on a leash, in an enclosed area (such as a screened porch), or closely supervised.

So many people become upset by roaming cats that legislation was introduced in Wisconsin and Utah to make it legal to hunt and kill domestic cats! 

The bills failed, thanks to an outcry from animal activists and compassionate citizens, but that they were introduced at all should serve as a wake-up call for those who care about cats—they are not safe outdoors unattended.

When angry property owners are not given help with the removal of cats who are damaging their property and considered a nuisance, they often take matters into their own hands and resort to cruelty. Recent cases of cruelty to cats left outdoors unsupervised that have made it into the news media include the following:

April 2013/Brooklyn, New York: A father and son were sentenced to 30 days in jail and five years of probation, with a lifetime ban on owning any animals, in a plea deal resulting from cruelty-to-animals charges. In July 2012, the two men viciously beat an outdoor cat to death with a broom handle and a pillowcase containing a heavy object. Law-enforcement officers investigating the case "found a broken stick in the attic [of the defendant's home] along with cat fibers and blood. Investigators also found a partial cat claw, a tuft of cat hair and cat feces," according to The New York TimesCity Room. The son reportedly told investigators that "his mother would feed the cat after [he] showed up on the steps of their home a little more than year before the attack."
April 2013/Auburn, New York: The Citizen reported that a cat allowed to roam outdoors was shot and paralyzed in front of his home. The cat had to be euthanized because of the extent of his injuries. There are no suspects in the case.
March 2013/Woodland, California: A cat left outside was paralyzed after being shot with a pellet gun by an unknown assailant. Despite medical treatment, the cat died—unassisted—as a result of her injuries at her guardians' home.
March 2013/Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: NBC33 reported that a cat "suffered a burn to his side, a damaged ear, and lost three toes" after being cut up in a car engine when the car was started and then driven 15 miles with the cat accidentally trapped inside.
February 2013/Albuquerque, New Mexico: A cat lost part of her foot after she was caught in a steel-jaw trap that law-enforcement officials believe was purposefully set in a neighborhood. KOAT Channel 7 reported that "[i]nvestigators believe the kitten dragged the trap around, and somehow ended up in someone's back yard. That person called animal welfare." Animal welfare officer Sharen Westoff described the injuries: "It had actually removed the skin and exposed the bone on … two toes."
December 2012/Lawrence, Massachusetts: Over the course of a few weeks, nine cats were found dead in Lawrence (see November 2012). According to a news report, veterinarians "believe the cats may have been swung by their tails and thrown onto a hard surface."
November 2012/Navarre, Florida: A feral cat, who was found with an arrow through one shoulder, died a day after undergoing surgery.
November 2012/Lower Franklin Township, Pennsylvania: A cat allowed to roam outdoors had to be euthanized after being shot with a pellet gun by an unknown attacker.
November 2012/Orange City, Florida: A cat ran off after being shot with a pellet gun in his or her yard. Two days later, the animal was found in a storm drain, dead from the injury.
November 2012/Lawrence, Massachusetts: Eight cats were found dead in a period of about two weeks. Police suspect that someone was trapping homeless cats and "smashing their skulls."
October 2012/Temple, Texas: A homeless cat was shot with an arrow through her nose and shoulder. She was dehydrated and starving when she was found and rescued by a good Samaritan.
October 2012/Montevallo, Alabama: Three cats were tortured and killed on a university campus. One of the dead animals was found hanging from a flagpole with hooks through the neck and body.
October 2012/Columbus, Ohio: At least three cats were reportedly killed by being slammed against a wall at an apartment complex. The complex manager had reportedly asked a maintenance worker to remove homeless cats from the courtyard. Some apartment residents reported that blood covered a wall where the animals were apparently cruelly killed.
October 2012/Louisville, Kentucky: A kitten was reportedly tortured by a man at an abandoned hotel.
September 2012/Riverview, Florida: A stray cat was found clinging to life with an arrow through her body.
September 2012/Meshoppen, Pennsylvania: More than 20 homeless cats in a "managed" colony suddenly became ill and/or died from suspected poisoning. Two cats were euthanized at a veterinary clinic after becoming so weak that they could be captured by hand for transport to the animal hospital.
September 2012/Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Two feral cats in a colony being fed in northeast Philadelphia were shot to death with a pellet gun. The colony's feeder said, "I think people think of cats as rodents. There's a lot of haters who don't understand about the animals."
September 2012/Bartlesville, Oklahoma: Three separate cases of cruelty to cats were reported in September. Passing motorists reported that a caged cat was shot in the head and left for dead. Police found the neutered male cat alive and badly injured. He was euthanized at a veterinary hospital because of the extent of his injuries. In the second case, witnesses reported that people had thrown kittens from a moving vehicle in August. In the third incident, a witness reported "seeing three teenage boys swinging and dragging a large, white cat by a string." According to a news report, "The cat was partially blind, and veterinarians have not been able to determine whether his blindness was due to the tightly-wrapped fishing wire around his neck or was a pre-existing condition."
September 2012/West Columbia, Texas: A man shot his 3-year-old granddaughter in the leg when he missed the stray cat at whom he was aiming. He claimed the homeless cat had entered his home and stolen food.

September 2012/Blue Springs, Missouri: A man was arrested after hanging a cat, slamming the animal against a wall until he or she was unconscious, and then stomping the cat to death.

August 2012/Spring Hill, Florida: The father of a family that had been feeding a feral cat witnessed approximately six teenagers beat and stab the animal nearly to death before the sadists ran off. He was reportedly taken to a veterinary hospital, where he died from blunt force trauma. He had "suffered from a stab wound, broken ribs, a damaged vertebrae and internal bleeding" as well as suffocation from a badly damaged trachea crushed during the beating.
August 2012/Indian Hills, Nevada: A man was charged with cruelty to animals after admitting toshooting and dismembering a feral cat who had sought safety under his porch.
August 2012/Blackman Township, Michigan: A cat allowed to roam outdoors unsupervised wasshot between the eyes with an arrow. It was surgically removed at a veterinary hospital.
August 2012/Van Buren Township, Michigan: A feral cat feeder called "The Cat Lady" in the mobile home park where she lives reported that more than two dozen cats had been killed in a period of about three weeks by being poisoned, shot, and stabbed.
August 2012/Denver, Colorado: Six decapitated and gutted cats were found over a period of approximately four weeks in yards throughout one Denver neighborhood.
August 2012/Mesa, Arizona: Three cats were found dead and "mutilated almost beyond recognition" in a Mesa neighborhood. A surveillance camera captured one of the cats as she was snatched from her property by an unknown man. A news station reported that 12 cats were unaccounted for in the neighborhood.
August 2012/Columbia, South Carolina: Cats in a Columbia neighborhood were found to have been killed and beheaded by an unknown assailant. According to a local investigator, it "was easy to see the head had been removed with a sharp cutting instrument, not ripped like an animal would have done it."
August 2012/Minneapolis, Minnesota: A cat was found burnt and impaled by a small American flag in a neighborhood park.
August 2012/Evansville, Indiana: Two cats allowed to roam outdoors without supervision weretortured. One was shot with a BB gun, and another reportedly appeared to have been burned and bludgeoned before escaping a sadist.
August 2012/Mingo Junction, Ohio: A woman who feeds homeless cats in her neighborhoodreported that "several of her cats had been abused." One of the cats was found doused in "a petroleum-like substance." Another was shot with a pellet or paintball gun.
July 2012/Missouri City, Texas: A man was indicted on cruelty-to-animals charges after allegedly shooting four cats from his balcony in December 2011. One of the cats was killed instantly, and two others were paralyzed and so badly injured that they required euthanasia.
July 2012/Portland, Oregon: Volunteers working with Multnomah County Animal Services on what was being called a "TNR project" set and then abandoned traps near an apartment complex. One cat was found dead in a trap by a local resident after succumbing to starvation, dehydration, and/or exposure. Another trapped cat was found earlier and released by a concerned citizen who reported that the animal appeared extremely ill. News reports state that the second cat was never found.
July 2012/San Mateo, California: A cat many described as a "neighborhood cat" who had been abandoned and left outdoors was found "bloodied and paralyzed" after being shot with a pellet gun. She will never walk again and may have to wear a diaper for the rest of her life.
July 2012/Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: A cat was killed and two others were injured by a woman who doused them with ammonia in an effort to rid the neighborhood of homeless cats.
June 2012/Ontario, Canada: A feral cat colony "caretaker" was unaware that a cat she had been feeding had been shot with a BB gun, leaving BBs in her body. The animal was reportedly spayed and reabandoned on the streets.
June 2012/Baldwin Township, Pennsylvania: A frustrated property owner urged the township's Board of Commissioners to allow people to shoot homeless and stray cats. During a township meeting, he claimed that he had already killed two cats on his property by kicking them into his pool.
June 2012/Fort Wayne, Indiana: A kitten was found with burns to her face and the pads of her feet. A rubber band had reportedly been used to attach fireworks to her tail.
May 2012/New Baden, Illinois: KTVI Television reported that family members looking for their kitten, who had gotten outside, found the animal "in a trash can at the park; the kitten's neck broken; blood and foam coming from [her] mouth." Children at the park reported that "[t]he cat was thrown towards [a teenager by another teenager] and he used [a] skateboard as a baseball bat and swung at her and that's what killed her."
May 2012/Sacramento, California: A stray cat was so badly burned that euthanasia was recommended after the animal was "doused with an accelerant and then lit on fire," according to anews report. Witnesses called the police after seeing what they described as "a ball of fire" moving through a park.
May 2012/Ronkonkoma, New York: A feral cat colony "caretaker" found eight kittens dead from "massive skull trauma" and blunt force trauma to their bodies, which were strewn around the industrial park where they were fed.
May 2012/Medford, New York: A cat was fatally shot with an arrow, which was still protruding from the body when the animal sought safety on a citizen's porch.
May 2012/Prairie View, Arkansas: A man was in critical condition after being shot in the face by a neighbor shooting at stray cats.
April 2012/East Whiteland, Pennsylvania: A man admitted to shooting three cats with a BB gun. One of the injured cats was found by a good Samaritan and taken to a local veterinary hospital, where the animal was euthanized because of extensive injuries and severe pain.
April 2012/Oil City, Pennsylvania: A man is under investigation after a good Samaritan followed the sounds of a crying cat and found a gravely injured orange tabby in a box trap weighed down in a 30-gallon trash can filled with water. A veterinarian found approximately 20 BBs lodged throughout the cat's body, including in an eye.
February 2012/Corpus Christi, Texas: Homeless and stray cats were poisoned in a neighborhood in Corpus Christi. According to a local resident, "People are tired of feral cats." Poisoned cats have crawled under homes and have been decomposing around the neighborhood.
February 2012/Shady Cove, Oregon: A teen was arrested for his possible involvement in the case of a stray cat who was likely doused with an accelerant and lit on fire. The orange tabby was reportedly being fed by a family but was left outdoors unprotected.
February 2012/Fort Worth, Texas: Approximately 24 cats suddenly disappeared from a park in Fort Worth where they were being fed. The chair of the Animal Shelter Advisory Committee of Fort Worth thinks they were killed. She said, "This happened to coincide with a TNR program, which is trap, neuter, release, that the city is looking into passing."
February 2012/Sutherlin, Oregon: Two dead cats were found with twine wrapped around their necks.

February 2012/Oildale, California: A man was arrested after a police investigation revealed that he likely captured stray cats and ate them. Some neighbors reported that they think they saw the man skin at least one of the animals while the cat was still alive.

January 2012/Tybee Island, Georgia: At least five cats were poisoned to death and about 12 more were missing from a colony of feral cats being fed on Tybee Island.
January 2012/Roswell, New Mexico: Three homeless cats and a roaming Chihuahua named Mimi were shot to death. Mimi was shot with a .22 caliber round, one cat was killed with a pellet gun, and two cats died after being shot with a BB gun.
January 2012/Phoenix, Arizona: A feral cat feeder, who claimed to be socializing feral kittens by keeping them in an outdoor hutch, found them and several other cats dead, likely from poisoning. A neighbor claimed that her cat, who is allowed outside to roam, was missing and that another cat had been found "severely burned" just weeks before.
January 2012/Little Rock, Arkansas: A cat allowed to roam outdoors was found dead on his or her doorstep. The cat's head had been badly "bashed in," and graffiti had been spray-painted across the animal's side.
January 2012/Virginia Beach, Virginia: A cat allowed to roam outdoors unsupervised reportedlyhad to be euthanized after being stabbed and then having bleach poured into his wounds.
November 2011/Honolulu, Hawaii: Two cats with barbed darts "embedded into their bodies" were found by the feral cat colony "caretaker" who had been feeding them. One of the animals could barely walk. The caretaker said at least four cats were injured, and more were either dead or hiding and suffering with injuries, because fewer cats have been showing up to eat.
October 2011/Tampa, Florida: Hillsborough County Animal Services was investigating at least three separate poisoning cases of homeless cats in Tampa. A man who was reportedly frustrated with homeless cats for damaging his strawberry plants was suspected of poisoning at least four of the animals, who ate from bowls filled with pellets of rat poison mixed with canned cat food and treats. In another part of town, six cats died after eating cat food soaked in radiator fluid. In the third case, frustrated neighbors reportedly used mothballs to poison cats in a colony registered with the county.
October 2011/Santa Fe, New Mexico: The bodies of more than a dozen feral cats who were being fed behind a strip mall were found strewn about the parking lot after being intentionally fed rat poison.
October 2011/East Pikeland Township, Pennsylvania: Cats throughout East Pikeland Township were shot with arrows and beaten to death. At least nine cats died from the attacks.
October 2011/Port Chester, New York: A pellet from a pellet gun was found lodged in the neck of a homeless cat who reportedly "hangs around" a Port Chester neighborhood.
October 2011/Baltimore, Maryland: A badly burned homeless cat required euthanasia after being set on fire. According to a news report, "several other stray cats could be found in the trash-strewn alley" where the cat was found on fire.
September 2011/South Bend, Indiana: According to a news report, a trap-neuter-release advocate stopped returning cats to the streets after a cat she was feeding was shot with a pellet gun and became partially paralyzed. A television news story also reported that some people in the neighborhood said that they "don't think anybody should be punished severely for shooting one of the feral cats that they say are a nuisance."
August 2011/Honolulu, Hawaii: Three feral cats were shot to death with a pellet gun, and several more were injured.
August 2011/Oregon City, Oregon: Six cats were found dead in one two-block area in the city. Veterinary examinations determined that the cats were poisoned with antifreeze, which is often mixed with cat food by angry residents and animal abusers.
July 2011/Cumberland, Maryland: Approximately 20 cats were killed with a corrosive poison that melted the paper plates that were used to set out the poison for the cats, who were part of a large "managed" colony being fed at Constitution Park.
June 2011/Lawrence, Kansas: A homeless cat was trapped and shot twice at a Lawrence residence.
June 2011/Clark County, Washington: Joyriding teenagers shot at least 100 cats before being arrested. The cats were shot with a .22 caliber rifle that belonged to one of the teens' parents.
May 2011/Hempfield Township, Pennsylvania: The "caretaker" of a colony of feral cats reported that the animals were being poisoned and shot with BB guns, apparently by neighbors who "were tired of them being in their yard, digging up and going under their trailers."
May 2011/Lancaster County, Nebraska: A skittish so-called "barn cat" was shot with an arrow. The barn owner said, "My husband found her, and the arrow was through her. And her intestines were out, and she was alive."
May 2011/Wailuku, Hawaii: A band of four partiers shot and killed three feral cats with bows and arrows at Iao Valley State Park. The cats were being fed by a local woman who left them outdoors unprotected.
April 2011/Santa Cruz, California: A Santa Cruz couple came to the conclusion that cats are safer indoors after their cat, Max, came home with an arrow shot straight through his head.
April 2011/Dover, New Hampshire: A resident found a cat in her carport who was badly injured by an arrow that had been shot into the animal's stomach. The cat had reportedly suffered horribly. The animal's owner was found and reported that the cat had "been missing" for about four days.
March 2011/Dunnellon, Florida: Neighbors who had been feeding a stray cat assumed that he belonged to someone. But after he was shot in the chest with a bow and arrow, it was clear that he was homeless. The frightened and injured cat roamed the neighborhood with an arrow skewering his midsection for more than a week until he was able to be captured in a large dog trap (cat traps were too small to fit both cat and arrow). By the time he was admitted to a veterinary hospital, he was in critical condition.
February 2011/Afton, Tennessee: WBIR Television reported that three teens went on a shooting spree for more than six hours, resulting in the deaths of 12 cats living in a large "managed colony."


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