Portsmouth Shelter Director Fired Over The Release of Hundreds Of Feral Cats Back Into The Wild

220px-Cat_eyes_2007-2There is a bizarre story out of Portsmouth that raises questions concerning the handling of feral cats. The Portsmouth Humane Society fired its executive director Jenn Austin over the no-kill shelter’s policy for feral cats. The shelter has been having staff members adopt feral cats, sterilize them, and then release them back into the woods. Over 300 cats are believed to have been released in violation of state law under what is called a “trap, neuter and release” program. The shelter was fined for the violations by state officials and promised to discontinue the practice.

While the practice has been roundly denounced in this controversy, it is important to keep in mind that the staff was trying to avoid killing the cats while controlling the population. The shelter has a five-year contract with the city and will no longer accept feral cats since they are not candidates for adoption. The result however may be that feral cats will not be collected and sterilized. For many, trap, neuter, and release is a better option than euthanasia.

The practice began under former executive director Christie Chipps Peters, who is now the director of Richmond’s Department of Animal Care and Control.

The city however is now objecting that it thought that feral cats were part of the contract with the Portsmouth shelter while the shelter says that it was never equipped or empowered to handle feral cats. Since such cats are not viewed as appropriate for pets, it would seem that the only option (other than sterilization and release) would be killing all feral cats.

A feral cat is defined as “wild” or cats that have never been socialized. They avoid people and act aggressively. That may be hard to discern in some circumstances. The shelter is supposed to neuter all cats and put them up for adoption but feral cats are considered outside of the contract and standards for adoption by the shelter.

On paper, the shelter looked like a roaring success. In 2012, it took in 1,575 cats, 885 of which were adopted and 256 euthanized. The adoption rate appears to have included employee adoptions under the policy. it also contradicts the common view that feral cats are not candidates for adoption. I am unclear on this point as to whether feral cats can be domesticated as a practical matter.

Some employees objected to “adopting” the cats and releasing them in their neighborhoods. One employee said that two of the cats that she released were hit by cars.

Notably, the employees have said that Chipps Peters knew that the releasing of the animals violated state law because they used to laugh about it.

The shelter receives $325,000 a year from the city.

PETA has denounced the policy of release but does not explain what the policy should be short of housing hundreds of feral cats for the remainder of their lives. PETA has been criticized by animal activists for its support of euthanasia.

My first reaction to this story was horror at the thought of releasing cats into the wild. I still view that policy as bizarre. However, the more I looked at the story the more I was left wondering about alternatives. This is an adoption center. It seems like the city wants the shelter to “handle” feral cats but does not have any option to suggest other than killing every feral cat captured. One could argue that this is more human than leaving cats to starve or be hit by cars. Cats have also been linked to the rapid decrease in song birds.

The shelter states on its website that “we will never turn away an animal that comes to our doors… As long as the animal is happy and healthy, they can consider PHS their home.” However, that would seem to exclude feral cats (though it is again not clear how one can tell at an intake that a cat is a stray living in the woods or a feral cat). If the shelter does not accept the cat, doesn’t that mean it will be turned away and likely released by the good samaritan back into the wild?

The alternative is for the shelter to house hundreds of feral cats in a colony that is growing. Politicians have lined up to denounce the shelter for the “trap, neuter and release” policy but have notably waved off questions as what to do with the cats when asked by reporters.

So what is the solution if feral cats are not suitable for adoption? Should there just be an instant kill order for feral cats or is the sterilize and release policy the best of bad options?

46 thoughts on “Portsmouth Shelter Director Fired Over The Release of Hundreds Of Feral Cats Back Into The Wild”

  1. No matter if some one searches for his necessary thing, therefore he/she wants too be available that in detail,
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  2. Here’s how you can make them reveal just how absurd, ignorant, stupid, and ludicrous their beliefs are; all with just ONE simple question. Ask them:

    If you believe that these cats are a natural part of the environment and belong out in nature, then why are you even bothering to sterilize them?

    Moron much?

  3. After cat-lickers have hijacked your lives, homes, properties, and lawmakers (with their usual cyber-bullying and death-threats) to get their TNR con-game programs into your area (like forcing no-kill policies, etc.) the usual course of action that is spreading across the country is ….

    1. Wait until these cat-lickers have bankrupted themselves sterilizing all their c-rats (if they even bother to do what they claim, see below).

    2. Cull their TNR colonies by any means possible, stepping up their rate of attrition. (See “hint” below of how to do this so you don’t bring psychopathic cat-lickers into your own lives and turn your own lives into a living hell as well.) After-all, this is how cat-lickers want all their cats to die you know, by “attrition”. Their feel-good term for letting ALL their cats die gruesome inhumane deaths.

    3. Rinse & repeat.

    And here’s exactly why you HAVE TO do this:

    Not long ago I learned that TNR cat-hoarders practice a form of “TNR-On-A-Budget” (my name for it). TNR cat-hoarders who want to keep feeding their cats but can’t afford all that tedious mucking-about and getting them sterilized or vaccinated just trap the cats and clip the cats’ ears themselves. Then release them again right after clipping their ears. Doing their best to hide all evidence of where they keep these colonies and telling few about them. This way the cat if trapped again just gets released right there so the cat-hoarder can continue to dote-over and feed their unsterilized and unvaccinated cats. Plus everyone else who might happen on their secret cat-hoarding locations thinks those cats are sterilized and vaccinated so they have fewer concerns about them still overbreeding or spreading deadly diseases. The TNR cat-hoarder feeder just tells them, “Oh, don’t worry. See that clipped ear? They are sterilized and vaccinated. Perfectly fine and legal!”

    Thanks to these “TNR-On-A-Budget” psychotics, clipped-eared cats must be trapped and euthanized or destroyed on-site — the only affordable and sane solution for everyone.

    If you doubt what I claim about TNR-cat-hoarding addicts practicing “TNR-On-A-Budget”, then perhaps you might enjoy this post I found to again prove everything I say is 100% true. They don’t talk about this practice too openly, just like they like to hide their cat-hoarders’ colonies and how they attempt to do so (also revealed in the thread this post was taken from, verifiable link below).

    “Chris Cook

    We had a culling of the neighborhood cats 2 years ago when there were only 10 or so (I lost 4 under my care in the same week). Now there’s over 25 – that I know about (about half fixed)… it’s just a matter of time before someone decides they have the ‘solution’ to the cat ‘problem’. All I can do is get them tipped (in case Animal Services gets them, there’s a small chance they’ll release them back to the area they caught them) and hope for the best by making my own yard a hidden sanctuary of sorts. At least my HOA knows I’m TNRing them and not just feeding them so they (for now) look the other way while slamming the feeders-and-breeders who contributed to the problem getting out of hand and refusing any and all offers of assistance.”

    from: facebook D0T com SLASH permalink D0T php?story_fbid=295067530554567&id=110911218963121

    Not only is this criminally irresponsible TNR practitioner hoarding and feeding unsterilized cats, they even attracted MORE cats to keep reproducing — which again disproves their oft-spewed “vacuum effect” LIE. While also lying to their HOA to boot. They even believe that what they are doing _is_ TNR, that’s just how demented these people are. I’d say this person reflects the norm rather than the exception, since TNR advocates relentlessly lie about so much and so often.

    Hint: for those permanently solving cat-hoarder’s ILLEGAL TNR invasive-species colonies by stepping up their rate of “attrition” (i.e. death by any means necessary); look around for any game/field/trail-cameras that might be hidden from immediate view, then collect them as a souvenir and payment for your well-deserved efforts. As we all know, the only thing worse than having a feral cat colony around, is drawing TNR psychotics right to your home.

    Google: LOEWS HOTELS FERAL CATS, if you don’t believe me and see what these whack-jobs did to them.

    Here’s another replay of the same thing that these cat-licker-sociopaths did to Loews Hotels:


    A $150 million renovation project for low-income housing, put on hold, jobs lost, money lost, homeless still homeless, court costs and lawyers, just to save a few of their feral vermin c-Rats. And the saddest part of all, the vast majority of these TNR’ed cats had already died heinous inhuman deaths from TNR-practitioners’ “death by attrition” re-abandonment philosophy. (Road-kill, diseases, parasites, injuries, environmental poisons, cat & animal attacks, exposure, etc. etc. Their all-encompassing feel-good blinders-on term of “death by attrition”.)

    Similar scenarios can be found by Googling for feral cats and churches, universities, hospitals, shopping centers, malls, apartment complexes, etc., etc. Cat-lickers delusionally believe that any land on which a cat has stepped-foot is their own property and they can manipulate and control the owners and all laws on it.

    This is precisely why everyone is learning to destroy all cats on their properties as quickly and quietly as possible. Telling nobody beforehand about the cats even being there. Long before these cat-licker psychotics get wind of the cats. Shoot cats first, tell no-one later. The only thing worse than feral cats, are feral cat-lickers. You can legally shoot the former, not the latter. You need to pay lawyers and courts to get rid of the latter. THEN you can get rid of their cats. And the sad part is, that’s EXACTLY what happens, each and every time.

    People are wising-up. If ANY cats are around they destroy every last one of them first, before they make any other move.

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