Time to fix the cat problem in Dayton

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again- why don’t we license cats?

Wild cats run free- while wild dogs get picked up. There is no place to take a cat you find running loose- at least not without paying someone to pick it up.

Luckily, it seems that one person has a plan to start proactively and cost effectively dealing with cats in Montgomery County:

“Population,” said Brian Weltge, executive director of the Humane Society of Greater Dayton, “will always come to equilibrium to the food source.” The more cats you remove from the streets, the faster the remaining population will reproduce, as long as there is sufficient food.

Trap, neuter, return

Weltge believes trap-neuter-release is more effective than trapping and euthanizing feral cats. Of the six colonies that Munday oversees, four are stabilized — the population remains stable because the cats are all unable to reproduce. “Once stabilized, the colony will not let an outsider in unless there is a death.”

…Research by the American Veterinary Medical Association estimates there likely are 150,000 cats in Montgomery County. Of those, a minimum of 68,000 are household pets.

via Stray cat population ‘may be unsolvable problem’ for communities.

And while we often talk about the fat cats running the city- this is really an issue of misplaced good will by people trying to help. As I’ve told a neighbor, the only difference between cat food and rat food is one letter- and I’d really appreciate you not feeding both on your step.

Greg and I have a spirited conversation about it:

Out of the box thinking- good thing for Dayton. What else can we do to be proactive?

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2 Responses

  1. Emily February 1, 2010 / 12:04 am
    I was utterly stunned with the sheer number of cats in Montgomery County that are considered NOT household pets (82,000 O.M.G. – Alfred Hitchcock picked the wrong species for a horror flick).  Montgomery County only has 559K population so that is what? – 1 cat for every 10 people (give or take).  Dayton population would put that number at 1 cat for every 2 people.
    I had a neighbor, since deceased, who would gather up as many cats as he could, put them in a burlap bag and toss them (yes – alive) into the river.  When his widow told me this, thinking it was funny – it took everything in me NOT smack the living hell out of her.
    On the other hand I have neighbors who put the food out on their front porch in the can – no hiding the fact that they are literally and figuratively “feeding” this problem.  Cats are constantly around these homes – the cats are feral and a menace to the neighborhood. 
    Cats have been hit by cars in front of my home only to limp off somewhere to die.  Feral cats in heat have been known to keep hubbie & I up for hours at night – it really does evoke the poetic concept of a “screaming banshee”.  Dead rodents and birds are o-so charming on the front porch before the dinner guests arrive (yep had that one too!).
    Do any of the people in the article think that they are truly helping the cats by feeding the feral colonies?  People, like those mentioned in the DDN article, I am quite sure are trying to “feed” something else like lack of companionship, need to feel useful (go volunteer at a [fill in blank] ) – there is absolutely ZERO connection between what the after-effects are of feeding feral cats.  Interestingly, the article failed to mention if the cat colonies were in either of the men’s backyards – I am betting NO…
    What alarms me is the blind eye to this until it becomes UGLY.  You know “dead-woman-eaten-by-her-50-cats” (memory serves there was one of these in Belmont Area along Smithville a number of years ago – all of the cats had to be euthanized due to illness).  I am sure that the neighbors complained for years about the smell – similar to a meth house.  Again the law is vague and non specific.  How many pets are too many?
    Ironically Bellbrook does have a limitation on the number of pets a home may house that will be address at the next City Council meeting:  http://www.daytondailynews.com/news/dayton-news/pet-restrictions-vary-by-city-but-residents-argue-limits-520258.html
    I am unsure if licensing will quell this problem.  Dog license $ can only go to dogs care?  We ended segregation of people, how about the care of our pets?  If you cannot connect mentally to the fact that by feeding feral cats, you are supporting a problem – maybe I should leave your cat’s poop from my garden on your porch until you do get it? How about more than 4 Animal Control personnel to cover all of Montgomery County.  Maybe someone who sets a cat on fire should get more than 30 days in jail? 
    Pet laws in this county are sorely neglected.  So are many of our so-called “pets”…
     

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  2. Greg Hunter February 1, 2010 / 10:06 am
    Thanks Emily but I could not pass up the inspirational story about our pets.  I wish people would relax about pets being placed or allowed in stores, hospitals and frankly all of our establishments.  For your amusement and contemplation.  Here is the story of Oscar!
     


    The feline’s bizarre talent astounds Dosa, but he finds Oscar’s real worth in his fierce insistence on being present when others turn away from life’s most uncomfortable topic: death.

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