Trap/Neuter/Release of Abandoned Cats in Maryland sign now

Title of Request: Proposal for Humane Reduction of the Abandoned Cat Population of Charles County and the State of Maryland



Summary of Proposal: Require Charles County and the State of Maryland to



(1) Institute Trap, Neuter and Return (TNR) as the official means of controlling and ultimately reducing the abandoned cat population



(2) Assist funding of TNR by means of a Pet Population Control Fund with a state income tax check off and Pet Friendly license plates



(3) Provide immunity from suits to municipalities, veterinarians, veterinarian technicians, humane society and 501.c(3) organizations providing TNR services and maintaining abandoned cat colonies and refuges, and



(4) Establish a definition of Owner where "Owner" does not include a feral cat caretaker participating in a trap, neuter, return or release program.



Current law and animal control methods: Current control of abandoned cats consists of animal control officers responding to complaints, trapping, and killing abandoned cats at government expense. The person placing the complaint does not reimburse the government for the extermination service. This antiquated method of cat control does not work and at best provides only a temporary reduction in cat numbers because animal control does not trap and exterminate all the cats. Remaining cats begin reproducing and other stray cats move in to fill the void. In addition, this method of control is very expensive and the cost is born by the taxpayer. Additionally, this method of control creates anxiety in shelter workers who must select healthy cats and kittens to die. It also causes bad public relations between animal control and citizens when animal control forcibly removes healthy cats from caretakers. Current regulations also penalize the caretakers of abandoned cats rather than the people who abandoned the animals in the first place. Classifying sympathetic caretakers as owners because they show compassion towards an abandoned animal is misguided.



Background: Trap neuter and return, combined with a low-cost or free spay/neuter program, is the accepted method of ultimately controlling the abandoned cat population and eliminating the need to kill cats at county shelters. TNR programs are in place and effective in major cities such as Phoenix, New York City and Cape May, NJ. Many smaller cities, towns, and counties are implementing the program. TNR helps control cat diseases because neutered cats do not show the mating and territorial behavior that is instrumental in spreading disease. Non-profit charities typically fund TNR programs so there is no cost to the government unless the government chooses to provide assistance though grants, license plate fees, or animal license fees.



Benefits: Abandoned cats may live out their natural lives without producing litter after litter of kittens. Additionally, exterminating homeless cats and kittens becomes unnecessary. County and city governments save money because animal control officers spend less time responding to phone calls/complaints, trapping, boarding, euthanizing and eliminating the bodies. Shelter workers no longer have to cope with the trauma of selecting and killing healthy cats and kittens. Compassionate caretakers no long must choose between breaking the law and feeding a starving cat/kitten. With the reduction in the number of kittens and cats, shelters can board more cats reducing the euthanasia rate. Cats given up by owners will no longer face certain death because shelters are overcrowded. Animal control officers will be able to concentrate on cruelty investigations and finding the people who abandon pets rather than trapping cats in response to complaints and distressing the taxpayers who care for the state and countys abandoned cats.



Available References: View data on successful TNR programs at http://www.bestfriends.org/allthegoodnews/specialfeatures/ferals2_3.cfm.



Additionally, below is an excerpt from the State of Illinois, HB0315 AN ACT, concerning animals, referred to as the Anna Cieslewicz Act or Illinois Public Health and Safety Animal Population Control Act. This act may be a draft starting point for a Maryland law.



(1)Controlling the dog and cat population would have a significant benefit to the public health and safety by aiding in the prevention of dog attacks, reducing the number of dog and cat bite cases involving children, and decreasing the number of automobile accidents caused by stray dogs and cats. (2) Increasing the number of rabies-vaccinated, owned pets in low-income areas will reduce potential threats to public health and safety from rabies. (3) Controlling the dog and cat population will save taxpayer dollars by reducing the number of dogs and cats handled by county and municipal animal control agencies. Targeted low-cost spay or neuter programs for dogs and cats in select Illinois counties and other states have proven to save taxpayers money. (4) This Act is established to provide a variety of means by which population control and rabies vaccinations may be financed. Section 10. Definitions. As used in this Act, "Director" means the Director of Public Health. "Department" means the Department of Public Health. "Companion animal" means any domestic dog (canis lupus familiaris) or domestic cat (felis catus). "Fund" means the Pet Population Control Fund established in this Act. Section 15. Income tax check block. Each individual income tax payer may contribute to the Pet Population Control Fund through the income tax check off described in Section 507EE of the Illinois Income Tax Act.



Sec. 35. Liability.

(a) Any municipality or political subdivision allowing feral cat colonies and trap, sterilize, and return programs to help control cat overpopulation shall be immune from criminal liability and shall not be civilly liable, except for willful and wanton misconduct, for damages that may result from a feral cat. Any municipality or political subdivision allowing dog parks shall be immune from criminal liability and shall not be civilly liable, except for willful and wanton misconduct, for damages that may result from occurrences in the dog park.



(b) Any veterinarian or animal shelter who in good faith contacts the registered owner of a micro chipped animal shall be immune from criminal liability and shall not, as a result of his or her acts or omissions, except for willful and wanton misconduct, be liable for civil damages.



(c) Any veterinarian who sterilizes feral cats and any feral cat caretaker who traps cats for a trap, sterilize, and return program shall be immune from criminal liability and shall not, as a result of his or her acts or omissions, except for willful and wanton misconduct, be liable for civil damages. HB0315 Enrolled LRB094 06336 JAM 36412 b

Public Act 094-0639



(d) Any animal shelter worker who microchips an animal shall be immune from criminal liability and shall not, as a result of his or her acts or omissions, except for willful and wanton misconduct, be liable for civil damages.



Sign The Petition

Sign with Facebook
OR

If you already have an account please sign in, otherwise register an account for free then sign the petition filling the fields below.
Email and the password will be your account data, you will be able to sign other petitions after logging in.

Privacy in the search engines? You can use a nickname:

Attention, the email address you supply must be valid in order to validate the signature, otherwise it will be deleted.

I confirm registration and I agree to Usage and Limitations of Services

I confirm that I have read the Privacy Policy

I agree to the Personal Data Processing

Shoutbox

Who signed this petition saw these petitions too:

Sign The Petition

Sign with Facebook
OR

If you already have an account please sign in

Comment

I confirm registration and I agree to Usage and Limitations of Services

I confirm that I have read the Privacy Policy

I agree to the Personal Data Processing

Goal
100 / 1000

Latest Signatures

  • 26 December 2015100. Bonnie C
    Please Help The Cats!! City, Zip code West River 20778
  • 23 December 201599. Joanna H
    Definitely the time has come for this ... City, Zip code Marion Station, MD 21838
  • 17 December 201598. Lisa S
    I support this petition
  • 04 December 201597. Katherine Fritz
    I support this petition
  • 13 November 201596. Sandra Mpm
    Would support vanity plate or tax checkoff funding City, Zip code Mechanicsville 20659
  • 13 November 201595. Rosemarie D
    I have prayed for this for many years. City, Zip code Gambrills, MD 21054
  • 08 November 201594. Deborah W
    I support this petition
  • 07 November 201593. Corri R
    I support this petition
  • 02 November 201592. Kathleen M
    I support this petition
  • 30 October 201591. Sandra N
    I support this petition
  • 04 October 201590. Diane D
    I support this petition
  • 04 October 201589. Lisa N
    I support this petition
  • 05 August 201588. Carrie K
    I support this petition
  • 14 July 201587. Alice Yvonnec
    I support this petition
  • 08 July 201586. Maggie J
    Something like this is way overdue, not only for MD, but it should also be urgently implemented country-wide in all states and municipalities. It's the ONLY humane way for the animals and the people who care for them, as well as for the taxpayers who are
  • 25 June 201585. Jeanne L
    I support this petition
  • 05 June 201584. Alley Catr
    TNR stabilizes populations at manageable levels, eliminates annoying mating behaviors, is more effective/less costly than repeated eradication attempts, is humane to the animals, and fosters compassion in the community. City, Zip code Mt. Rainier, MD 2071
  • 31 May 201583. Brad Lh
    I support this petition
  • 29 May 201582. Carmel R
    I support this petition
  • 22 May 201581. David P
    support this petition
  • 20 May 201580. Kylie L
    I support this petition
  • 20 May 201579. Brian W
    I support this 100\% as a much kinder way of dealing with feral / abandoned cats and kittens. City, Zip code Brooklyn Park, MD 21225-3623
  • 11 April 201578. Mary Helenb
    I support this petition
  • 02 April 201577. Dan F
    I support this petition
  • 21 January 201576. Sharon E
    I support this petition
  • 24 December 201475. Jamie T
    I support this petition
  • 20 December 201474. Edwin W
    These cats deserve better and need our support and our help City, Zip code 21140

browse all the signatures

Information

Tags

No tags

Share

Invite friends from your address book

Embed Codes

direct link

link for html

link for forum without title

link for forum with title

Widgets