Apartment complex threatens to kill cats - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 09-19-2007, 10:08 AM
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I live in an apartment complex that is in a fairly rural area. We are bordered by vacant fields and a lake. The stray cat population is quite substantial and keeps multiplying at a steady pace. Several people have been feeding the cats (I have been guilty of this myself, because it is so hard to see skinny little mama cats trying to feed their large litters) and a lot of the cats have become very tame, some quite loving.

The problem is, the apartment complex of course frowns on feeding the cats. They have let it go on forever (I have been there for 4 years and the cats have always been there and always been fed,) but now they have sent everyone a letter stating that if residents don't stop feeding the cats they will be fined. They go on to say that

if the feeding doesn't stop, they will "set traps and take the cats to be euthanized." The do not say "we'll take them to a shelter." They specifically say that they are going to have them euthanized.

My question is, what can be done? I have asked everyone I know if they want a cat. I cannot have any cats because I have a dog that wants to eat them. I have tried on a few occasions to bring some in to see if I could get him used to having them around, and he constantly licks his chops and tries to bite at their heads.

Since nobody wants to take them in, I don't know what to do. I don't want the apartment complex to trap them and have them killed, I don't want them to starve, I don't want to round them up and take them to a shelter where they will all most likely be euthanized anyway.

Any suggestions?
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#2 Old 09-19-2007, 10:44 AM
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I think there are some groups who advocate for homeless cats. "Alley Cat Allies" comes to mind, although I'm not a member.

It takes a special skill to handle true ferals, but I've come across quite a few strays who really like to be around people and must have been lost or abandoned. You mention that at least some of the cats are affectionate to people.

I don't know what I'd do. Ideally I'd take them to a "no-kill" shelter, but of course, the no-kills are almost always full and can't take any more cats. Depending on how good the other local shelters are at getting their cats adopted before their time runs out, they might stand a better chance there. But ferals would be unadoptable. I don't think I could take a cat to a shelter that kills unadoptable animals myself.

I don't suppose the apartment management gave a reason why they want the cats gone? I could understand if they wanted to protect the local birds, squirrels, etc, but I doubt very much that this is their concern. Maybe they're worried about rabies; we've had a few incidents of feline rabies in my area. Neutering and releasing would be expensive for whoever would be doing that, but at least the population of cats wouldn't keep growing.

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Take your protein pills and put your helmet on...."

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#3 Old 09-19-2007, 10:52 AM
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The reasons they gave are "the cats have been destroying patios and breezeways, dug through dumpsters, and have scratched some cars."

The patio thing is true, they have killed several of my plants and strewn the dirt all over the place and then pooped in it. hehe, sounds kind of funny when I write that... It is annoying, but it doesn't make me want them dead.

They are always sitting on top of my automobile when I go out to it, so I can see that they have probably scratched some other vehicles.

I will try to see if I can find a no kill place. I have always toyed with the idea of taking one of the mother cats that is a frequent procreator to get fixed, but haven't been able to budget for it as of yet. I certainly wouldn't want to make her go through that only for her to be trapped and put down soon after.
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#4 Old 09-19-2007, 11:40 AM
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I agree with Tom about Alley Cat Allies. I would highly recommend that you contact them as they have lots of experience with these situations. They may be able to help you work out a TNR program and/or work with the apartment complex to resolve the situation peacefully.
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#5 Old 09-19-2007, 02:45 PM
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Thanks for your suggestions. I have sent emails to two places in my area. One has already responded and let me know that they can only take the cats if they are adults and have already been fixed. I haven't heard from the other place yet. I am going to gather some information on Trap/Neuter/Return and approach my apartment complex management with it. I doubt that they will go for it, but it's worth a shot. Gotta at least try...
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#6 Old 09-21-2007, 01:15 PM
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Out of the inquiry emails I sent to a few places, a couple answered.

The first that answered me is a group that places feral cats with people who have barns in an effort to keep down the rodent population without having to use poisons, etc. Bad for the rats, good for the cats, barnowners, and any other beings that may be harmed by chemicals and traps... Anyway, they only take adult cats that have already been altered, so this is no quick fix. Not that I am expecting a literal quick fix, but you know what I mean.

The response that I am actually quite excited about is one I received this morning from a lady at Feral Friends, an organization that humanely traps, neuters, and returns feral cats. She asked me for the contact info of management at my apartment complex. She will actually do the initial schpiel to them, which I am happy about, because I'm sure she can be more eloquent and convincing in a calmer manner than I would be. I am prone to being slightly irrational when I get riled up about something and tend to spew more venom than necessary. And you know what they say, you get more flies with honey... That's not very vegan, but you get the jist.

Anyway, from what I've recently read on the subject, TNR is the best way to handle feral cat colonies, because if you just remove them more cats will come in to take their place. If you just stop feeding them, they will not go away, they will just starve to death. Besides, I am not going to stop feeding them anyway, I am probably going to get caught and fined!

I am hoping that this lady can convince the management that this is the best way to go. If for no other reason, TNR is supposed to be more cost effective than having the cats removed and euthanized. New cats will come in to take the others places and they will reproduce and the cycle continues.

I have thanked the Feral Friends lady immensely in my response and have promised her whatever help she needs from me.

Wish us luck! I will keep this thread updated, in case anyone is interested in what happens.

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#7 Old 09-21-2007, 02:03 PM
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Great news, iheartfalafel. I'm a big fan of TNR and study after study show that is it the most humane, cheap, and effective solution. The lady from your organization has surely dealt with this before and can hopefully make a good argument. Good luck!
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#8 Old 09-23-2007, 10:42 PM
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Amy, please do update this thread! I would love to hear how it goes! I'm so glad you got to the TNR information already and how COOL is that to have someone else do the presentation for you!?!

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#9 Old 09-23-2007, 11:07 PM
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Good for you Amy for doing all you can to help the cats! You should be proud of yourself! And it is so great that all your hard work seems to be paying off. Please keep us posted. I feed stray cats myself so I am particularly interested.
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#10 Old 10-11-2007, 10:06 AM
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Hello everyone. Just thought I'd give you an update on the happenings with the kitties at my apartment complex. The lady at Feral Friends has contacted me to let me know that the management has responded to her and has requested more information on the T/N/R program. I think this is a great sign! I am shocked that they even responded. Hopefully I will have some wonderful new developments to report soon.

In the mean time, of course, I, along with other members of the band of feline-friendly miscreants have continued to feed our little trespassers.

I once again told the FF lady to let me know what I can do to help, but she hasn't given me any sort of assignment yet. I guess there isn't anything for me to do right now but wait and hope.

I'll let you know when I get any new news.

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#11 Old 10-11-2007, 10:15 AM
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Good news! Way to go!
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#12 Old 10-11-2007, 07:21 PM
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YAY! Sounds great!!

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