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Re: “Best Volunteer Animal Rescue Group


Thanks for your thoughts. I don’t think you’re right, but like me, you have every right to believe as you wish. I’ll continue as I have for the past 10 years – making a difference in our community – doing what I’ve found to work, and that’s TNR.

Please don’t assume that because I practice TNR that I do not care for the ‘wild critters’. I’m reducing the feral cat population to make a humane impact (for the community, the critters, the birds, and the cats) even if you choose not to believe that it does. If you’re basing *my* success on whether I am making a dent in the population of feral cats in the US, then yes, I must concede that you are right. But, for the neighborhoods I’ve worked, where the community is engaged, the POPULATION is reduced.

It’s about education in the community and providing tools to residents to care for their own neighborhoods – and in some cases, that’s caring for animals. If people are engaged in the process and what’s happening in their own neighborhood, TNR works. Happy you found my statement humorous when I said you are a hindrance. I stand by that statement.

Your comment: “there is still no statistically significant dent in the population after 25 years of this misguided practice” does not take into account the individual neighborhoods where it has worked. I can’t, of course, tackle the whole US, but I can start small and work outward. That’s where the impact occurs, and that’s what makes a difference. If you want to only focus on the ‘big’ picture and simply disregard TNR because you feel there’s no dent in the feral cat population throughout the US, then it seems in your opinion that no one will ever make a difference.

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Maggie Oak on 07/24/2015 at 2:19 PM

Re: “Best Volunteer Animal Rescue Group

This comment was removed because it violates our policy against anonymous comments. It will be reposted if the commenter chooses to use his or her real name.

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Posted by Editor on 07/24/2015 at 2:18 PM

Re: “Best Volunteer Animal Rescue Group

Ellen, interesting that you mentioned encouraging colleges not to trap and kill unwanted wildlife. What unfortunately happens is that cats and cat food attract native wild predators that are then trapped and destroyed. Bobcats, coyotes, and raccoons and other animals become habituated to humans, pose a risk, and then are removed and killed.

Science is not propaganda. Releasing cats that will continue to destroy native wildlife is not a way to support birds. Practicing something like TENVAC is.

Oh, I think this is very constructive because both sides of this issue are presented rather than just a feel-good story.

I do agree that humans are responsible for the decline in birds – they allow cats to roam, they dump unwanted cats, and they re-abandon them through TNR - all human actions that result in wildlife mortality. The fact is, cats are now the leading human-related cause of wildlife mortality – to the tune of billions of birds and mammals every year. Loss et al. 2013. That figure does not even include killed herpetofauna or mortality due to diseases spread from cats to wildlife like toxoplasmosis.

0 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Eden Green on 07/24/2015 at 1:10 PM

Re: “Best Volunteer Animal Rescue Group

Trap, Neuter, Release (TNR) is advertised as a tool to reduce feral cat numbers. Unfortunately, TNR programs have been overwhelmingly shown to fail to reduce feral cat populations while simultaneously maintaining feral cats on the landscape, where they contribute to wildlife and public health risks.

1 like, 3 dislikes
Posted by Johanna Van de Woestijne on 07/24/2015 at 1:07 PM

Re: “Best Volunteer Animal Rescue Group

Maggie, I promote responsible pet ownership. TNR undermines that. Tired of killing? How about those of us who are tired of one cat being valued more than the dozens or hundreds or more wild critters that the cat will destroy during the course of its lifetime outdoors? TNR only extends compassion to one species at the expense of all others that actually belong in the wild.

You are incorrect. TNR has never worked as a population reduction tool. Without doing a census of a limited geographical area before TNR and then perhaps 3 to 5 years after TNR, you have no clue as to the effect the method has had on the population of that area. Colony reductions, if they happen, are not population reductions.

What is unfortunate is that TNR is marketed as the best thing since apple pie when there is so much collateral damage to the environment, to public health, to landowner rights, and to the cats themselves.

That is humorous – an attempt to blame folks who think like me as a hindrance to TNR. Millions of dollars are expended annually to re-abandon cats through TNR, and there is still no statistically significant dent in the population after 25 years of this misguided practice.

I will not be ‘joining forces’ to engage in a practice that is essentially a form of animal cruelty to domestic animals and destroys wildlife. Tame the ones you can, contain and promote catios, euthanize the rest.

1 like, 4 dislikes
Posted by Eden Green on 07/24/2015 at 12:58 PM

Re: “Best Volunteer Animal Rescue Group


I am thankful that there are fewer and fewer people promoting the ideas that you espouse. Most people will tell you that they are tired of ‘killing’ as the answer to problems we are facing. It’s a quick fix that doesn’t last, and further erodes human compassion. When residents show compassion, learn how to address the situation, are given the tools and instruction they need to succeed, indeed, TNR DOES work. Perhaps Feral Change will start posting local resident quotes about how their neighborhoods have positively benefited from TNR, and how the populations have stabilized. Yes, communities need to be diligent about fixing any newcomers that show up (often these are simply unfixed pet cats that have been dumped or left behind when people move), but when people are engaged in what’s happening in their neighborhood, and care about their community, all they need are the tools and a little diligence to keep the population at zero growth. It’s unfortunate that comments such as yours dissuade individuals from becoming involved. If everyone who thought as you do simply stopped being a hindrance, the effort would succeed at a faster pace. And, if you and others were willing to join forces in a humane manner, the results you desire would occur quite quickly. It’s true that TNR doesn’t allow for a phone call and the problem just ‘disappears’ – you have to work at it and be engaged with what’s happening in your area. But with a little investment of time and, yes, money, we can humanely address our feral cat population.

4 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Maggie Oak on 07/24/2015 at 11:08 AM

Re: “Best Volunteer Animal Rescue Group


I have been working in the community, TNRing, managing colonies, and helping get kittens and tame cats off the streets, for a very long time. What you're saying is simply not my experience, or that of others I know, working on behalf of all animals, including wildlife.

Every person I know, who works to spay and neuter cats, also cares about wildlife. Some of us are attempting to stop local colleges from trapping and killing unwanted wildlife, and we support bird populations. If you want to have a dialogue, with people managing colonies, people will surely be willing to engage, civilly, without the propoganda emanating from a few groups, who are determined to promote the rounding up and killing of all outdoor cats.

The opinions you are expressing, here, are not constructive. Particularly, when this volunteer group, of local Oakland residents, is being honored, and acknowledged by East Bay Express. This group of grass roots volunteers, is working hard to remove kittens from the street, for socialization and adoption, to get tame adults off the streets, and either reunited, or re-homed, through adoption. The unsocialized cats, who were abandoned, or born outside, and older, are TNR'd, treated medically, fed and cared for by responsible people, who don't believe it is right or justified to kill them. And, "Trap and remove" is just that: "Trap and kill".

Cats are hunters. They excel at hunting rodents. Cats are not responsible for the decline in the bird population. Humans are.

The targeted trapping, for TNR of neighborhoods in Oakland, has made a tremendous difference. It is neighborhood-building, community-building and brings out the best in people- compassion for all living creatures.

Public agencies, shelters, businesses and individuals, are increasingly aware that TNR is the answer to the problem of irresponsible humans who allowed cats to breed outside. That is why these efforts, of groups such as Feral Change, are being acknowledged. This is a very positive thing, and one most of us are honoring. Compassion, and grass roots volunteer efforts, working with residents of Oakland, is being acknowledged here.

7 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Ellen Lynch on 07/24/2015 at 12:43 AM

Re: “Best Volunteer Animal Rescue Group

Sam, that is the focus of TNR, right? Not having to euthanize cats. That is the true goal, as the method does not stabilize the population or reduce population growth.

Renee, from peer-reviewed research. Those two things you describe happen in TNR as well. The so-called vacuum effect is a fallacy. Ongoing management is required no matter what method is employed. But, the food provided in TNR simply attracts more cats and rabies vector mammals. Cats not caught continue to breed.

Ellen, trap and remove will provide needed respite to migratory birds and to local folks nearby. There is no break in TNR - the cats are always there. Colonies do not tend to cease to exist.

There is nothing humane about re-dumping domestic cats. Certainly not humane for the wildlife that is maimed, tortured, and destroyed. Where is your compassion for our natural resources?

0 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Eden Green on 07/23/2015 at 11:42 PM

Re: “Best Volunteer Animal Rescue Group

Trap Neuter Release is the only humane and effective answer to homeless cats. Trap and remove is barbaric, backwards, and ineffective.

TNR has been proven effective, and is now increasingly supported by agences all over this state, and country. The bay area is leading the way! Local shelters as well as public health agencies work with groups to promote spay/neuter and care of feral cats.

Feral cats are not wild animals, they are domestic cats. Have some compassion! Get them spayed, neutered, and care for them. They keep the rodent population down, as well.

Lets move towards zero population growth, and care of the cats. Spay and neuter! Remove kittens and socialize. Go Feral Change!

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Posted by Ellen Lynch on 07/23/2015 at 7:07 PM

Re: “Best Volunteer Animal Rescue Group

LOL where are you people getting your facts? Catching and killing feral cats is animal control’s traditional approach for feral cats. Catch and kill attempts may temporarily reduce the number of feral cats in a given area, but two things happen: intact survivors continue to breed, and other cats move in to the now-available territory. This is a phenomenon known as the vacuum effect, and it is documented worldwide.

5 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Renee Snyder on 07/23/2015 at 6:05 PM

Re: “Best Volunteer Animal Rescue Group

Trap and release is humane to wildlife and to the feral cats. Most importantly it keeps Oakland from having to kill feral cats and stabilizes the cat population in our communities. Thank you Sarah, and your volunteers for showing everyone the humane way to manage our feral cat issues. There are dozens of volunteers, vets, foster homes, and Oakland merchants behind these efforts. We should be proud that Oakland is leading the way in demonstrating that feral cats have been part of healthy human communities since the time of the Pharoahs. Let's hope other cities and communities adopt similar organizations and methods. And yes, I have a formerly feral cat that was TNR'd and socialized by Sarah and the great folks at Feral Change.

13 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Sam Muggins on 07/23/2015 at 1:58 PM

Re: “Best Lightning Rod for Marijuana Reform

We at CANNABIS QUAKE take our hats off too all the staff member's at Harborside Health Center, for every minute spent with clients for the purpose of healing and staying healthy,
Thank You Andrew and Steve for the birth and continued awareness of organizations across the nation.
Marlon T Everett CEO

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Marlon Pam Everett on 07/23/2015 at 1:09 AM

Re: “Best Bookstore for Offbeat Events

So happy to see, E.M. Wolfman's is a fun, great place to visit!!

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Carol Moss on 07/22/2015 at 8:55 PM

Re: “Best Yarn Shop

The BEST yarn shop in THE WORLD. Hands down. . .

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Gena O'Brien on 07/22/2015 at 6:12 PM

Re: “Best Tenants Rights Organizers

I have been more impressed with this local campaign than anything that has happened in years in Oakland. Shutting down the City Council meeting seems to have been an effective strategy in gaining time and media attention. It's hard to come from behind and organize neighbors effectively. A million thanks to the City staffer (?) who leaked the memo from City Attorney Barbara Parker that might have killed the sweetheart deal with UrbanCore. So many of the most important City decisions happen in "closed session" and that's a shame for those of us community activists who should at least have a chance to weigh in. Same thing happened with the 5 new Bay Bridge billboards (although we at Scenic East Bay were able to help pull the plug on 2 of them.) Kudos EUJ!

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Karen Hester on 07/22/2015 at 5:51 PM

Re: “Best Police Watchdog

I agree with this perspective. Mr. Finnell has brought professionalism, experience and commitment to police accountability in Oakland. We expect that he will continue to strive to strengthen police oversight and confront the racial disparities that continue to exist in police encounters.

7 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Rashida Grinage on 07/22/2015 at 2:46 PM

Re: “Best Year-Old Theater Company

How wonderful to discover this delightful article in today's "Best of the East Bay" section! A small correction: Disclosure will run August 12-29 at PianoFight (not August 12-20). Tickets are available from EventBrite:

Carol S. Lashof
Cofounder, Those Women Productions

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Posted by Carol Lashof on 07/22/2015 at 2:24 PM

Re: “Best Year-Old Theater Company

Just Deserts was great--it's amazing how looking at these old stories through new eyes has helped me understand how women fit in the world and in our culture. Explains a lot of weird and real-world experience. Those Women just started a fundraising campaign, I gave them some $ and hope others do too.
And speaking of disclosure (the great play coming up), I have followed Carol Lashof's work for years--ever since I married into the family.

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Diane Regas on 07/22/2015 at 1:51 PM

Re: “Best Cookies

This comment was removed because it violates our policy against anonymous comments. It will be reposted if the commenter chooses to use his or her real name.

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Editor on 07/22/2015 at 12:52 PM

Re: “Best Oakland-Branded Beer Brewed in Walnut Creek

...isn't it: "Best Oakland-Branded Beer Whose Offices Are in Walnut Creek and Then Brewed in San Jose"? Seems like a pretty slim candidate pool for a very specific award.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Andrew Johns on 07/22/2015 at 10:42 AM

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