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Controlling feral cat populations

Published: April 20, 2013

Regarding “Ordinance restricts feral cat feeding inside Yukon” (News, April 14): What a shame that the Yukon City Council wants to penalize trained volunteers who trap, neuter and return (TNR) feral cats at their own expense. TNR volunteers from Yukon were asked by council member Mike McEachern to work on a task force that included people who wanted the cats euthanized to develop a proposal for the city council. We collaborated over six months on a revised ordinance, a resolution with fees, and new rules that authorized TNR and maintenance of feral cat colonies under certain conditions. No other city council member or the city manager ever attended a meeting.

No explanation was given to the citizen task force when the city council approved an ordinance that penalizes the feeding and care of feral cats and a fine schedule of $50, $100, $200 and $500 (and court appearance on the fourth offense). Feral cats were declared “health and environment risks” without evidence. TNR rules weren't approved and perhaps not seriously considered at all.

I'm an authorized feral cat colony manager for Oklahoma City, where TNR successfully controls feral cat populations. Oklahoma City writes grants to fund spay-neuter discounts and sometimes free surgeries. As a result, the feral cat population has been dramatically reduced. I wish the Yukon City Council and city manager could see that this is a humane and responsible solution for Yukon, too.

Jody Harlan, Yukon


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