Feral cats do not abandon their kittens
As someone who has been rescuing, spaying and neutering cats for more than 15 years in Charles County, I would like to add a few clarifications to the statements made in your July 20 article, “Kittens flooding county animal rescue shelters.” Especially egregious is the statement that “Many of the kittens were found by local residents on the road, abandoned by their mother, and in some cases their mother is feral or died.” Mother cats, especially feral mother, do not abandon their kittens, they leave their kittens in a safe place during the day to go find food and return at night to feed the kittens. So kittens should not be moved unless you are sure the mother was killed. The other problem and a major issue is the policy at the Tri-County Animal Shelter and the Humane Society of accepting kittens from the same people year after year without the mothers being spayed. These organizations do not pressure people to get their cats spayed and neutered out of fear that they will harm the kittens rather than bring them to the shelter. Thus every year the shelters are overwhelmed with kittens causing adult cats to be killed to make room for kittens.
Fifteen years ago, we at Throwaways Rescue Foundation proposed that Charles County commissioners institute trap, neuter and return as official county policy as Indian Head had done. Animal control even drafted regulations, but they were never adopted, instead draconian cat licensing regulations were imposed by the commissioners that did nothing to address the overpopulation and abandoned cat problem. It is time for the county commissioners to adopt trap, neuter and return as official county policy and it is time to ensure that people who bring kittens to the shelters trap the mother cats and get them fixed. Tough measures are necessary to stop the annual kitten flood and stop the killing of thousands of innocent cats at the tri-county shelter. The current situation is expensive for the taxpayers and rescue groups and inhumane to the cats. And, please, don’t take kittens that are not weaned away from their mother. They are not abandoned. Cat mothers are ver y good at taking care of their babies.