Some animal shelters manipulate their euthanasia statistics by instituting policies that leave animals to struggle for survival and die painfully on the streets. So-called “trap-neuter-release” (TNR) programs – or, more accurately, “trap-neuter-re-abandon” programs – may allow limited-admission shelters to spin their intake and euthanasia numbers, but they do nothing to protect cats from the horrors that befall them when left outdoors to battle harsh surroundings, sickness, and sadistic people.
Countless cats who are left outdoors without protection die from infected wounds and injuries, as even small abscesses and common urinary tract infections can become raging and deadly for unsocialized cats who cannot be handled and treated. Cats outdoors are vulnerable to contagious diseases, parasite infestations, starvation, dehydration, freezing, heatstroke, attacks by dogs and other predators, and being hit by vehicles. Cruel people often poison, shoot, burn, drown, or otherwise torture and kill cats.
Right or wrong, many property and business owners do not want cats on their property. Not everyone loves cats or wants them climbing on their cars, maiming or killing birds, or digging in their gardens. When animal shelters refuse to accept cats (as more and more so-called “no kill” facilities are doing), property owners often take matters into their own hands and resort to cruelty, both intentional and unintentional.
So many people become upset by roaming cats that legislation was introduced in Wisconsin and Utah to make it legal to stalk, hunt, and kill domestic cats! The bills failed, thanks to an outcry from animal activists and compassionate citizens, but that these bills were introduced at all should serve as a wake-up call for those who claim to care about cats – they are not safe outdoors.
Because of the many deadly hazards that cats face outdoors, responsible guardians allow their feline companions outdoors only when on a leash, in an enclosed area (such as a screened porch), or closely supervised.