Alley Cat Rescue (ACR) urges the public to sign a petition opposing the US National Park Service's plans to remove the community cats currently living at the San Juan National Historic Site in Puerto Rico. ACR argues removal will ultimately result in the cats being killed, and the government should spend its resources instead to help sterilize the cats and stop the rampant abandonment of cats in the park.
MOUNT RAINIER, Md., Dec. 7, 2023 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- Alley Cat Rescue (ACR) officially opposes the U.S. National Park Service's (NPS) plans to remove the community cats currently living at the San Juan National Historic Site in Puerto Rico. ACR argues that finding new, safe locations for the approximately 200 community cats who currently live at the site will be impossible, especially within the six-month time frame allotted by the NPS. There is an absolute crisis of shelter overcrowding throughout the U.S. Neither rescues nor state shelters in this country will be able to take in more than a few cats, if any.
As the NPS' plan involves hiring a removal service if an animal welfare organization is not able to relocate the cats, ACR does not believe the NPS is genuinely interested in preserving the cats' lives and their allowing for relocation is an empty gesture meant to soften the cruelty of the eventual extermination of hundreds of cats.
Alley Cat Rescue supports trap-neuter-return (TNR) of the cats, which would include sterilizing all the cats and vaccinating them against rabies, and removal of kittens young enough to be socialized from the park and into adoption programs. The NPS has said that the population of cats has actually increased over the years, despite local nonprofits and volunteers doing TNR. However, sources doing the TNR have explained to ACR that the cause for the increase is rampant pet abandonment that the NPS and local government have not taken steps to correct.
President and founder of ACR, Louise Holton, has been practicing and researching community cat management for 30 years. She explains that the NPS' plan to rid the area of cats would be only a temporary solution: "Catch-and-kill simply does not work. New cats will arrive (or be dumped) and the cycle of breeding will continue—it's been proven that TNR is the only way to control outdoor community cats." As Holton further explains, cats who have been sterilized and then returned to their outdoor homes guard the territory, thereby keeping new, unsterilized cats from moving in and multiplying. Of course, as Holton pointed out, it defeats population control efforts when cats are continuously abandoned in an area.
ACR is asking the public to help persuade the NPS to cancel their removal plan and instead apply their resources to aiding in TNR and preventing callous cat abandonment at the historic site by signing their petition, available at https://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/361/081/110/.
Alley Cat Rescue is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to the welfare of all cats: domestic, stray, abandoned, and feral. ACR advocates for humane nonlethal control of feral cats. For more information, visit their website https://www.saveacat.org.
SOURCE Alley Cat Rescue