ISLIP, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The Town of Islip is starting a trap, neuter and return program for feral cats.

As WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reported, residents have been going to Town of Islip board meetings and complaining that something needs to be done about the feral cat problem.

In about two weeks, the town will release information on how residents can sign up for the new program – a humane way to reduce the number of feral cats.

“They would apply for an appointment. If it’s a resident, we’d provide them with linkage to a trapper,” said Town Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner James Heil. “So that they don’t have to get involved in doing the trapping or if they want to do the trapping we can rent them a trap.”

There will be no charge for residents to have the feral cats neutered as part of the program.

Comments (2)
  1. I hope they check, close, and remove, the traps prior to inclement weather, or put the traps in sheltered areas, and, in any case, away from vandalistic and animal cruel eyes.

  2. Marian Brown says:

    An excellent book on the subject is available (no I don’t get financial benefit from it) by Dr Peter Marra, of the Smithsonian, who reviews the science and denial behind cat controls. Neuter release fails to reduce feral cat populations generally and often increases the dumping rates, as people moving away think that the cats will be cared for. Even PETA opposes the re-dumping and re-abandonment of Felis catus, a domesticated species, that suffers death by car tire, abuse, parasites, viruses, dog attacks, coyote mauling. Humane euthanasia of feral cats is better for the wildlife, the humans public health, and the cats too. Be kind, don’t re-dump. Either re-home or euthanize.

    It is faster and more cost effective to remove feral cats altogether, once trapped. Many feral cats are not suitable for rehoming. Euthanasia costs from $2 to $5 and removes the cats humanely and permanently from the area.

    Dumping cats back to the environment is neither humane for the cats, or the wildlife they kill while free roaming, and degrades public health standards. To process a feral cat for neutering, vaccinations, and transport is roughly $75 per cat. Funds are better used for removal and euthanasia or rehoming. Cats are a rabies vector too and are never re-trapped for their boosters and no medical records are kept, so a scratch to a human often results in a costly rabies post-exposure prophylaxis treatment. The other diseases transmitted to humans too is a serious public health cost.

    As to the cost to wildlife, it is severe, both in terms of fatalities and disease transmission. Loss et al estimated that each individual unowned cat annually kills 1.9 to 4.7 amphibians, 4.2 to 12.4 reptiles, 30.0 to 47.7 birds, and 177.3 to 299.5 mammals per year. Just multiply those numbers by the number of unowned cats, and you can estimate how many animals the neutered feral free roaming cats kill. Euthanasia prevents further predation. However, re-dumped, using low end figures, 100 feral cats will kill 21,340 other animals in a year. Then multiply that by the number of years the feral cat lives. Cats are now a significant anthropogenic cause of species decline globally, ranking in the top 100 most damaging invasive species.

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