Cats don't have nine lives.We were very disappointed when SB359, which would have allowed localities in Virginia to practice TNR (trap-neuter-return) for community cats, was not passed into law earlier this year.  However, the push to make TNR an accepted practice for Norfolk is still in motion, and we need your help.

Of the 2,837 cats that were sheltered at the Norfolk Animal Care Center in 2011, 1,678 (59%) were euthanized. Only 81 stray cats were reunited with their owners. (Download VDACS NACC Stats).

Adoption of a TNR program in Norfolk would mean animal control could assist people in the community who feed outdoor cats in ensuring the cats are spayed or neutered.  It would also mean that citizens could care for outdoor cats without fear of fines or impoundment of the cats. TNR supports a humane, successful way to reduce the number of cats from (1) being born and (2) ending up in shelters.

Feral CatsTwo cases in point:

Fairfax County Animal Shelter saw a 41% decrease in the number of kittens entering their shelter after they adopted a TNR program.

Cat’s Cradle in the Shenandoah Valley (serving Rockingham County) has provided and continues to provide trap, neuter and return (TNR) assistance to people that have free-roaming cats. From 2004 to 2010, cat intake at the local shelter decreased 29%.  What makes this figure significant is this decrease occurred during a time of a large population increase. From 2000 to 2009, population in Harrisonburg increased about 11% and in Rockingham County by 9.5%.  Typically animal intake increases with human population increase.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Make your voice heard for the cats in our community! For details on TNR, visit www.alleycat.org. Then, please let the Norfolk City Council, Mayor and Management know you support Trap Neuter Return.  If you are a citizen of Norfolk, you can call 757-664-4253 to find out in which ward and superward you live. It is especially powerful to contact “your” council representatives. If you are not a citizen of Norfolk, please still let council know you support TNR.

Tommy Smigiel – Ward 5 (thomas.smigiel@norfolk.gov)
Barclay Winn – Super Ward 6 (barclay.winn@norfolk.gov)
Angelia Williams – Super Ward 7 (angelia.williams@norfolk.gov)
Andy Protogyrou – Ward 1 (andrew.protogyrou@norfolk.gov)
Theresa Whibley – Ward 2 (theresa.whibley@norfolk.gov)
Anthony Burfoot – Ward 3 (anthony.burfoot@norfolk.gov)
Paul Riddick – Ward 4 (paul.riddick@norfolk.gov)
Paul Fraim, Mayor (paul.fraim@norfolk.gov)
Marcus Jones- City Manager (marcus.jones@norfolk.gov)

We also ask you to consider a letter to the Editor of the Virginian Pilot on the subject. Letters should be under 150 words, and submissions should include your name, address, and a daytime phone number for verification purposes. Send your comments to letters@pilotonline.com.


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