To the Editor:
If Killeen Animal Services is truly concerned about helping cats, not just making its “live release rates” look good, the last thing it should do is trap, neuter, and re-abandon (TNR) them (“Animal Services audit notes improvements, potential pitfalls,” 11-18-18 KDH).
Cats that are abandoned outdoors face daily battles against parasites, deadly contagious diseases, extreme temperatures, speeding cars, predators on two legs and four, and more — battles they will inevitably lose.
The average lifespan of a feral or stray cat is less than 3 years, compared to 12-15 years for a cat that lives indoors.
These cats aren’t being “saved.” Their deaths are merely being moved from the comfort and peacefulness of an animal shelter to the misery and violence of the streets.
Recent examples include two homeless kittens in San Angelo who were reportedly shot by a neighbor because she was “allergic” to them. One kitten’s leg had to be amputated and the other kitten disappeared.
In San Antonio, a cat was found with one ear “completely blown off” and covered in maggots. A local shelter worker reported routinely seeing kittens suffering from injuries caused by gunshots or firecrackers.
Facilities that refuse to accept all but the most adoptable animals, leaving the rest to suffer on the streets, may have great-looking statistics, but they doom animals to fates far worse than a painless death.
The Killeen shelter should spend less time obsessing over statistics and more effort working to increase the number of animals who are spayed and neutered. Preventing more animals from being born is the only realistic and humane way to reduce the need for euthanasia.
Animal Care & Control Issues Manager