Pardon me for be a cat lady for a moment or two. But I’m having a hard time coming to grips with something. When a community is able to turn an out of control stray and feral cat situation into a stable situation thanks to a Trap-Neuter-Return program (TNR), why kill progress made by TNR. That is what four North Chicago Aldermen have in mind – go back to killing cats and destroy the progress made in the community. It's time to save North Chicago Cats.
For the past 2 ½ years under animal control officer Dana Deutsch, North Chicago went from being a nightmare for pets in need to a no kill community. That means pets that have come in contact with animal control have either been reunited with their family or successfully networked to rescue. No kill hasn’t just applied to stray dogs and cats, it’s also been for the community cat population.
That cat population – strays and ferals left roaming the streets – was out of control just three years ago. At the time, the animal warden’s method to stabilize the situation was to kill stray cats. Cats kept reproducing and running wild. There was no designation from a stray cat that needed to be reunited with family (or needed a new family) or ferals who called the outside home.
Thanks to the work of Fat Cat Rescue and Deutsch, with the blessing of Mayor Leon Rockingham and Chief of Police James Jackson, TNR has worked wonderfully. Many of the stray and feral cats in the community have been trapped and fixed. The strays – friendly cats – have gone on to rescue and adoption. The ferals – those afraid of people and used to life on the street – have stayed in managed colonies. They've been able to save North Chicago cats no matter what their persuasion.
The cat population is stable, no longer growing at an alarming rate. And, the feral cat colonies have a positive effect on the rodent population (yes, they keep rats and mice at bay in a community). Unfortunately, four current council members seem to think that feral cat colonies mean that Dana isn’t doing her job (say what?). And, now the move is on to revert back to the old kill model that not only didn’t work, was not humane either.
On Monday night, there will be discussion about the issue at North Chicago’s City Council. It’s a great time to go and speak up for cats and to respectfully say why this method really does work in North Chicago, Chicago, Waukegan and anyplace else where it’s done correctly. There is an online petition where you can show your support (go here).
And, please reach out and respectfully let the four aldermen know why TNR is good and killing community cats isn’t. You may reach them below (again, be respectful).
- Alderman Carl Evans: 847-596-8889 ext. 3; firstname.lastname@example.org
- Alderman Ernest Fisher: 847-596-8889 ext. 1; email@example.com
- Alderman Bob Runnels: 847-596-8889 ext. 6; firstname.lastname@example.org
- Alderman Bobby Allen: 847-596-8889 ext. 4; email@example.com
If you’d like to read about the outstanding job done by Dana Deutsch in the past 2 ½ years, please read this post…and feel free to share that post and this one as well.
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