Tuesday, October 30, 2007

S.O.S.


My friends, we have another animal rescue issue before us. My daughter in New York, who is involved in cat rescue, informs me that the Port Authority of NY and NJ began trapping feral cats at JFK Airport this past weekend with the plan of exterminating them. Rescuers were barred from feeding or attempting to rescue the cats and were threatened with arrest by federal wildlife officials from USDA.

In addition, a Port Authority spokesman admitted to the NY Post that his agency had lied when telling the public last Friday that the cats would all be adopted into good homes. The Post confirmed that the cats would instead be put down immediately.

The Port Authority claims that the cats pose a risk to aviation because their food supposedly attracts seagulls. The truth is that JFK Airport is located near the ocean and has mountains of trash strewn all over the grounds, which attracts seagulls. An insignificant amount of cat food is not a factor, and in fact, cats are usually blamed for killing birds, not attracting them.

The only appropriate solution to the problem is trapping by experienced feral cat workers, neutering, and returning to their chosen home where they will continue to be monitored. Only through sterilization and long-term monitoring by caretakers (Trap-Neuter-Return or "TNR") can the cat populations be reduced.

WHAT WE CAN DO NOW:

Phone, fax or email the people listed below and demand that the Port Authority suspend the trapping immediately and meet with representatives of the NYC Feral Cat Initiative and the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals to come up with a humane, effective feral cat management plan.



WHO TO CONTACT:

Anthony Shorris
Executive Director
Port Authority of NY and NJ
(212) 435-7271
ashorris @panynj.gov

Shawn Larenti, Director
Government and Community Relations Dept.
Port Authority of NY and NJ
(212) 435-6903
slarenti @panynj.gov

Charles E. Meara
NYC Community Relations Dept.
Port Authority of NY and NJ
(917) 596-0492
cmeara @panynj.gov

Port Authority Corporate Headquarters
(212) 435-7000 (get a live person on the line and
demand to speak to someone about the JFK situation)

Susan Baer (let's try reasoning with her again, this time not accepting Port Authority lies)
General Manager, JFK Airport
718-244-3501
sbaer @panynj.gov

TALKING POINTS: PORT AUTHORITY KILLS CATS AND THE TRUTH


LIE #1: "The cats will all be adopted into good homes."

THE TRUTH: Feral cats are unadoptable and are usually put down immediately when brought to shelters, as Port Authority plans to do. Port Authority ADMITTED LYING to the public about this in the NY Post article, "Frequent Liars", published Saturday, October 27, 2007.

LIE #2: "Feeding the cats attracts seagulls and the birds are an aviation threat."

THE TRUTH: Seagulls are at the airport because JFK is NEAR THE OCEAN!! and because there are tons of trash strewn about the airport's grounds. There is not enough cat food to attract large numbers of birds and there is no food left anyway when the cats finish eating. Cats hunt birds, they don't attract them. There is ZERO evidence proving a link between the presence of cats at an airport and an aviation risk. DON'T BE GULL-IBLE!!!

LIE #3: "We can achieve a cat-free airport."

THE TRUTH: You can't wipe out the presence of feral cats in a 5000 acre area in which new, unneutered cats are constantly being abandoned or lost and then reproducing, and where there are plentiful food sources.

Only Trap-Neuter-Return can, over time, reduce the numbers. The Port Authority's extermination effort is futile and will only result in new furry faces, not fewer. The killing is senseless and cruel.

For more on the NYC Feral Cat Initiative:
http://www.nycferalcat.org

For more on the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals:
http://www.animalalliancenyc.org

For more on Neighborhood Cats:
http://www.neighborhoodcats.org

23 comments:

kimber the wolfgrrrl said...

What ridiculous "logic" on the part of the airport -- I would have thought cats would chase away the gulls, keep down vermin populations, and generally be non-impactive to the runnings of an airport. Gulls pose a serious safely hazard to planes, but as far as I know, no cat has ever flown into a jet engine....

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Kimberrr,

True enough. Cats are amazing creatures, but I have never seen one fly on its own.

I have also never noticed a feral cat in any airport despite many years as a passenger, so they are hardly obstructive.

Michael C said...

I found it hard to believe that this is actually happening, but then sadly, it is a government agency...and I am not trying to make a joke there.

seventh sister said...

I would think the cats would be an asset and aid in rodent control.

meno said...

Grrrrrrr. This pisses me off. Control is one thing, lying is something else all together.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Michael,

Government agencies are nothing to joke about.

Seventh,

Definitely. It's as if they want to prove a point, even though it doesn't make any sense.

Meno,

Lying is always bad. So is killing innocent animals. I despair of the human race ever adding a final "e" to its name.

The CEO said...

Typing up the faxes now. Anyone on the Federal level you want contacted?

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Monty,

Bless you. Those are the only contacts I know at this time.

Odat said...

I got caught in the middle of their protest the other day and stopped to talk to them.....They were a peaceful group of people and have a wonderful point to make...I hope their the agency listens to them.
Peace

Sienna said...

Hearts, what Kimber said!

Cats keeping the vermin and scrap food issue way down, as well as making the gulls a little nervous; (hence less likely to hang around)....good for plane!

Doesn't make sense really?

TNR sounds a very sensible option to me...I like that as a solution very much.

Harvest has pounced here, a little early...hope to get posted tomorrow..

Hope you are all okay there, heard about the 5.6 quake, that sounds mighty shakey.

Pam

WNG said...

I can't get on the phone today - but I'm on the emails and I' spreading the word on my MySpace to all my NY/NJ friends. I don't like cats( I'm a partisan dog lover), but this is wrong.

furiousBall said...

I emailed 'em. Sad stuff.

thirtysomething said...

Geez, this is awful. How can the airport actually focus so much of it's energy on the CATS, who are a helpful creature, not harmful, when we have other more seemingly issues of security at hand? Of course, governmental nonsense.
I say they leave the cats alone or let the rescuers handle it, as it sounds like you guys are trying to do.
Good luck!

heartinsanfrancisco said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
heartinsanfrancisco said...

Odat,

I hope so, too. It seems that anyone who tries to do something good has to fight those in charge, which tells me that the wrong people are in charge.

Pam,

Good harvest to you!

The earthquake felt very strong here. Our whole building shook for nearly a minute. It was the biggest one I have experienced, and they are predicting another of the same size or bigger in the next seven days. Stay posted.

Wng,

Thank you so much for your efforts.

I am more of a dog person, but love cats, too. And horses. Wolves. All animals, really. And yes, what they are doing is terribly wrong,

Furious,

I think I love you.

Thirtysomething,

You raise a very good point. It's unlikely that cats are going to hijack airplanes and ram them into buildings, or blow themselves up in crowds. At the very least, this is misspent energy, and worse.

If there was ever a time in which we had intelligent government, it has long passed.

Thank you for coming by!

thirtysomething said...

Hey. In answer to your Q on my blog -- I live 20 minutes of Hendersonville and go there often. i live in asheville. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Thirtysomething,

I read further into your blog and learned the answer to that question. I thought you might be there because of UNC-Asheville.

You write really well, and I've bookmarked your blog for easy access.

It's so nice to meet you!

My Reflecting Pool said...

I'll be emailing and calling. Thanks for the heads up.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Reflective,

Thank you! You're a dear.

Gledwood said...

Thank you for posting that.

We don't really get proper ferral cats very much in this country. In London the kittens would invariably get taken in as pets.

I have seen "wild" cats in a bush in Malta though... all mewing, all cute. The poor mother had to run back and forth with dead strips of meat from people's "chicken in a basket" Sunday lunches etc from the restaurant round the corner...

of course we all wanted to take them home but weren't allowed...

"ferral" cats are the consequences of our OTT consumer society. They need love not murder!

Take care

;->...

Gledwood
"Vol 2"...

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Gledwood,

Thank you for coming by here with your encouraging words.

I do hope that the authorities will listen to reason and stop this slaughter of innocent lives.

Your Collins sisters videos are hilarious! I'll be back to see more of that fabled British humor.

storyteller said...

Ohmygosh! Don't these government bureaucrats have better things to do with their time and or tax dollars? Sheesh!

Thanks for bringing this issue to our attention (and it makes me wonder what's happening at local airports in So Cal). My mind drifts. Anyway ... I'm emailing and passing the word along hoping for an end to this dismal situation.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Storyteller,

It seems that our bureaucrats value slaughtering animals more than they do putting their resources to better use.

It's a particularly sad commentary on how uncaring we have become as a society.