feral-cat

The above sign went up at Plumb Beach late last week, warning parkgoers that the National Park Service will be moving to “dismantle” cat colonies on the federal parkland this Friday, June 13.

(UPDATE [6/11/2014]: NPS  is working with the caretakers and has granted extra time to relocate the animals.)

Plumb Beach is part of the Gateway National Recreation Area, a stretch of federal parkland that’s home to countless migratory bird species and other protected wildlife like horseshoe crabs. With jurisdiction over the parkland split between federal, state and city authorities, no one is ever sure who’s responsible for maintaining infrastructure or cleaning up the garbage - but at least they figured out who is going to get rid of the cats, right?

But that’s got cat lovers rankled. Apparently, locals have been caring for a sizeable colony of about 25 cats, feeding, vaccinating and neutering them. They’re crying foul that these cats are being targeted, and that their caretakers have been given such short notice.

Lena S. wrote to us yesterday:

This is a posted flyer around the area that says the this Friday (in just 3 days) They will come in and euthanize all the stray cats that are living by belt parkway (Plum Beach area)! There are people here that were taking care of these cats for years and they are taken all neutered, well fed, vaccinated against rabies. This notice is unbelievably cruel and with only a few days notice! There are currently 25 cats there and they want to mass euthanize them.

Please help and promote this, we’re trying to save the kitties, they deserve to live there just like any other animal.

Marina G. wrote:

All these cats are spayed, neutered and fed. This colony has been around for many years. If there is any ecosystem at that beach, its between the rats and the cats, as locals call the beach “rat beach.”

Animal protection groups are trying to find a way to at least get more time to relocate this colony. The notice was posted 5 days ago.

On the heels of the cat abuse stories as well as our national outrage over Russia’s disposal of their cats and dogs during the Olympics, this may be a relevant read

The text of the sign does not say anything about putting the cats to sleep or otherwise “disposing” of them, although it’s certainly a possibility. In case you can’t make it out, it reads:

Feral cat colonies are prohibited on Federal property.

To ensure the health and safety of visitors and to protect habitat for native species including shorebirds, small mammals and reptiles this colony will be dismantled on Friday, June 13th.

We encourage those that have created this colony to remove it and the cats prior to that date.

Thank you for your cooperation in maintaining the health of our ecosystems.

Sheepshead Bites has reached out to the National Park Service to confirm that they posted the notice, and what methods will be used to “dismantle” the colony, including whether or not the animals will be exterminated. We’ll update this post when we receive a response.

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  • Supporter of Left Handed Rule

    If, in fact, the cat lovers have been spaying and neutering the cats for “years”, why is it that the colony has not gone extinct? How are spayed and neutered cats able to reproduce? Something is fishy here. Please explain.

    • raylotekka

      As we don’t know the original size of the colony, it could have been bigger than 25, at one point. The article doesn’t go into those details, so we don’t know that the colony has necessarily grown.

      • Mary P

        It might have grown, but new cats joining.,.. Ive people kick their cats out or lose them… these most likely would get absorbed in the colony… I would think..

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

      Do you think 25 is a large number? There are blocks in Sheepshead Bay where it would not be at all difficult to find 25 feral cats. This area, near the parking lot, is the only place that feral cats are known to be within that shoreline. There are a small number by the marina on Flatbush.

    • Marty

      Because cats can live up to 20 years. And despicable people such as yourself “dump” unwanted pets there. That is the problem that needs to be corrected. Try correcting the root of the problem. I’ll say it again, correct…..the……root……of…….the…….problem. Go after owners who abandon their animals or who let their unaltered animal roam free.

  • Bobo

    It is a known fact (check out the Humane Society’s website) that free-roaming and feral cats live much shorter and more difficult lives. If the people maintaining the colonies truly cared about house cats (key word: house), they’d find them homes.

    • raylotekka

      Feral cats can be difficult to turn into house cats. It depends on how long they’ve been feral, what generation of feral cat they are. Some these cats cannot readily be re-domesticated.
      From a website on feral cats:
      It’s important to recognize that if a cat is truly feral, then the most compassionate choice might be to allow them to live outdoors. Trying to domesticate them would be no different than trying to make a squirrel or a raccoon a household companion – you might succeed somewhat, but never fully and only with a great deal of time and patience. Moreover, you would not be permitting the animal to live in a manner that suits him best. Many well-meaning people, convinced they are “saving” a feral cat by bringing him indoors, end up condemning the poor creature to a life of hiding under the bed and being in constant fear.

      Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) respects a feral cat’s wild state. The neutering of the ferals prevents tremendous suffering and shields the cats from the hostility their behavior might otherwise draw from human neighbors. But the return of them to their own territory and the providing of adequate food and shelter gives them the opportunity to live among their own, to be free and to answer to their own unique natures.

      • Bobo

        Don’t have any idea what the author of that website’s qualifications are but there is a huge difference between a “squirrel or a raccoon” and an animal that has been genetically domesticated for thousands of years. In addition, environmental biologists now recognize feral cats as the most disruptive invasive species on the planet responsible for the extinction of 33 species – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-21236690

        I love cats, but I love them indoors. If they can’t be reintroduced to the home, well then…

        • foam

          Digging beyond superficial news reporting, you’d find those “33 extinctions” are a hoax popularized by convicted cat (attempted) poisoner Nico Dauphiné.
          The number comes from perhaps well-intended but haphazard work in the 1960s and 1970s by Vinzenz Ziswiler.
          Since then, better research has shown that in almost every case, the extinctions stemmed from the clearing of land and cutting of forests, or the introduction of agricultural animals, rats, dogs and in one instance monkeys. Cats caused two on small islands, and contributed significantly to several others, but humans are the principal culprits, shifting the blame.
          In 1930s, we connected Plum Island to the mainland. Since then, we’ve made it a picnicking, windsurfing and assignation spot, and at a times an area with homes. Last year, access to Plumb Beach was closed for work on the Belt Parkway, which runs next to the beach. That was also when work started on Transco’s Jamaica Bay pipeline running through the national recreation area on the opposite side of Dead Horse Bay.
          But trust the NPS, none of these activities affect birds and wildlife.

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

            The homes dated back to before Plum Island was joined to the mainland, the inhabitants, officially designated as “squatters” despite being there for generations, were evicted, as were many others living on underutilized public land.

            i shall venture to guess that there were probably more than 15 cats living on Plum island in the early 1930s.

      • Sal Grey

        raylotekka, you are so wrong on so much. One is about it being difficult to turn ferals into house cats. They are domestic animals and have those instincts inborn. They are not wild animals who do not have those instincts. I have stood in the midst of 250 formerly feral cats beginning for attention; some of them were wandering the streets two months previously. Cat sanctuaries are filled with former ferals that reverted simply due to close, consistent human contact.

        Another place you are wrong: there is nothing respectful about TNR. TNR is a dumping program that mimics the human abandonment that put cats outside to begin with. It is cruel and self serving. There is nothing proper or moral about it. The cats live horrible lives of danger, injury, disease, sadist human torture, and die terribly.

        You have built an idealist picture of what life is for cats under TNR, at least partially, because you have been indoctrinated to belive this by people who are invested in promoting TNR. Furthermore, TNR doesn’t respect any life, be it cat, bird, or human. It hurts everyone.
        Why do you think you have the right to destroy other lives and shove cats into the faces of people who don’t want them? People who support TNR are members of the Flat Earth Society.

        • ElaynaC

          maybe because there are people that love cats and care about what happens to THEM……TNR has worked in my community where cats had been abandoned by ignorant humans. some were adoptable and others weren’t. we have NEVER had any problems with the few that remain. They are neutered, vaccinated, and fed, by caring volunteers.You don’t even know they are there
          . These people that don’t see TNR as the solution are the ones who need to evolve

  • Trevor

    This is a must read by anyone who cares about cats or the environment:

    A Veterinarian’s Pespective on the Feral Cat Issue – http://blog.aba.org/2013/03/open-mic-addressing-the-feral-cat-issue.html

    • NotMustread

      It makes me laugh when someone announces a totally one-sided article as a “must read”. Isn’t a “must read” source one that presents both sides of an issue, or else 2 opposing papers? Why MUST I read what’s obviously YOUR viewpoint? Don’t be silly, I’m not that smart, but I’m smarter than THAT. Give me a well-balanced source-that is a must-read for me.

      • Publius

        That link includes citations for no less than 7 sources supporting it.

        Your arguement reminds me of the climate change deniers, who point to one crackpot “scientist” somewhere in Scandinavia who says it isn’t happening, but ignore the 97% of scientists worldwide who have demonstrated it.

        Feral cats, especially that many in a concentrated area, is not natural and is destroying other wildlife at a rate that is not sustainable or natural for such a small area.

        • foam

          Enjoy your easy-to-follow methodology: if an article has enough links _ five? six? seven? _ it must be true, no matter what the basis of the actual studies.
          That absolves those pranksters Loss, Will & Marra for not doing fieldwork but simply rewriting previous studies of different size, scope, goals and duration, dating back as far as 75 years.
          And how did they reconcile all this varied work by others? Well, where they had to, they simply reversed the conclusions to agree with their own opinions. Then they dropped the ones with the largest and smallest sample sizes, extrapolated the rest and divided the total.
          That’s not an approach that would earn a passing grade in a high school statistics course, but it certainly has helped them get highly cited by the highly credulous.

          • MikeIU

            As usual, Mr. Wolf, you denigrate the work of scientists, but offer no science of your own to back up your claims. Not surprising, I suppose, since you are not a scientist yourself. TNR has been going on for decades now. Show us an instance where it has eliminated feral cats on an area larger than a college campus. Surely there must be many by now. TNR is not a cat population reduction plan. It is a cat colony perpetuation plan.

            As for the numbers of birds cats kill, if you disagree with the estimate of billions killed annually, does that mean you’re ok with hundreds of millions killed? Or tens of millions? Or millions? I would prefer zero needlessly killed by invasive non-native free roaming house-cats.

          • foam

            One only has to say “highly credulous” and right on cue… whom are you trying to address, sir? Let me know, I’ll pass it along and we’ll share a good chuckle.

            I’m discussing a local situation, where the NPS, while ignoring much larger and more destructive developments in Gateway National Recreation Area, has decided to “dismantle” two dozen cats being cared for by residents. Did you have some data on that or just a knee-jerk reaction from afar?

            I notice amid your faux outrage and misdirected personal attacks you made not a peep in defense of Loss-Will-Marra’s scientifically indefensible methodology. Good call.

          • MikeIU

            And once again you use your usual tactic of trying to distract from the issue at hand – the feral cats – by claiming there are other man-made issues and because of that we should ignore the cats. This is akin to saying that because heart attacks kill more women than breast cancer, we should forget about trying to cure breast cancer. As to the studies you disparaged, I don’t believe they need defense. No actual scientist has ever made any statement questioning their veracity. And what part of my comment do you consider to be a personal attack?

          • foam

            My usual tactic when writing about the history and economy of New York/New Jersey? Do you have a bone to pick with my research of black Loyalists or are you still hurling insults at your imaginary frenemy?

            But thanks, we’re always looking for militantly uninformed conspiracy theorists from elsewhere in the country to pursue their personal agendas in our community.
            Overdevelopment _ and besides the pipeline the NPS has some very elaborate plans in the works that were fortunately delayed by Sandy _ poses a threat to our recreation area. Two dozen cats do not.

            But be sure and visit some time so you can find out what you’re talking about. Or would that spoil it? In the meantime, try lurking on some “Angry Indiana” board.

          • foam

            Not to prolong this, readers, but our friend from Indiana suggests no “actual scientist” disputes Loss-Will-Marra’s dubious conclusions and shoddy methods. If interested, you might try checking this yourselves.

            “I found their work very disappointing,” Dr. Julie Levy of the University of Florida, who has spent decades studying cats in the field and treating them in the veterinary center. “It seems as though they started with their conclusions and tried to make the data fit.”

            “There are numerous major flaws in the statistical arguments made by the authors of this article that, I believe, even upon major revision of the article, would still be unacceptable for publication,” Dr. Gregory Matthews of UMass-Amherst told Alley Cat Allies. Among other things, he notes that L-W-M counted one study twice in their calculations, something that no “peer reviewer” picked up. Bad science needs enablers.

            And in the calmer precincts of the UK, the dozens of conservation and environmental scientists of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds concluded,”There is no scientific evidence that predation by cats in gardens is having any impact on bird populations UK-wide. This may be surprising, but many millions of birds die naturally every year, mainly through starvation, disease, or other forms of predation. There is evidence that cats tend to take weak or sickly birds.”

            I don’t believe one size fits all for interactions among humans, wildlife and domestic/community animals. In some instances, avian nesting areas do need protection from cats, dogs, rats, agricultural animals. Removals, though not slaughters, can be warranted. Where land and money are plentiful, sanctuaries can provide alternatives to TNR. In our current case, though, one might well asked what prompted the NPS to create a controversy where none existed.

          • kitcatkitty

            Lifted quotes from TNR advocates. How thoughtful. Now, in which peer-reviewed published paper has the Loss et al 2013 study been refuted or discredited? (Sound of silence).

            The Loss et al. paper provides a methodology and others can use that methodology with their own numbers. But those numbers need to be credible. So if Dr. Levy or Alley Cat Allies can come up with some other numbers that are supported by evidence, they can have their own estimates.

            The approach the authors used is robust. The results have uncertainty, but the sources of that uncertainty are transparent.

            TNR folks can blog and comment until the cows come home. That doesn’t debunk anything about the Loss et al paper.

          • foam

            Actually, Dr. Levy said that in conversation with me. She likely repeated it to others, but I prefer where possible to get information first-hand. Try it some time. I really encourage you to attempt to get Loss-Will-Marra to answer questions about their methodology.

            The scientists of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds may well fit your definition of “TNR advocates.” I believe their position is that TNR, like any other approach, should be considered on the basis of local conditions, monitored and modified as needed. But you could contact the RSPB.

            Yes, Dr. Matthews’ statements should be judged in the context of his work with Alley Cat Allies. But to my knowledge, he expressed no opinion on TNR, merely deconstructed Loss-Will-Marra’s statistically invalid paper, which is not so much a study as a review/revision of existing literature minus all that boring fieldwork. Readers, both documents are on-line, so anyone with even a passing knowledge of statistics can draw your own conclusions.

            Kitcatkitty, it would have been nice if you had expressed some concern when the NPS picked the most intensive development option for its new Gateway Master Plan. Public opposition did cause them to drop the water taxis in the wildlife refuge. But the plan ebulliently promised “considerably more opportunities for nature-based and water-based recreation” there, in the bird nesting and stopover area, In response to public push-back, including from NYC Audubon, the final draft changed “recreation” to “activities.”

            (The handful of cats are on an entirely separate spit of land, across the expense of Jamaica Bay, an isthmus with Floyd Bennet Field, Flatbush Avenue and the new pipeline, and then Dead Horse Bay and the adjacent channel.)

            But NPS wants extensive new ventures, public-private partnerships all around the recreation area, including a supposedly lower-key version of the hotel/shopping/condo complex on Sandy Hook that the public spent years killing. Some of that is understandable in the context of a cash-strapped agency looking for partners. But NPS rejected the alternatives to preserve wilderness or emphasize historic preservation.

            If you ever came to New York City, you could see these areas first hand. But I notice you’re very busy during daytime hours, posting the same type of comments in Virginia, Las Vegas, Utah, Alabama, Oklahoma City. Never first asking a question about local situations, always identifying cats as the problem. You should get out more.

          • kitcatkitty

            I think I’ll stick to talking to researchers and scientists in related fields here and reading peer-reviewed papers about here for what is happening to wildlife here in the U.S. due to cats.

            Your presumptuous remarks aside regarding how I get my information and how often I get out and what environmental matters are of concern to me, I’ll offer another tidbit in response to something else you said about Loss et al.

            For the complaint about a report being counted twice – that was for the proportion of owned cats with access to outdoors. The distribution was assumed to be uniform so counting a study twice (if they did) would have no impact whatsoever on the numbers produced.

            Loss et al. assumed most distributions are uniform, so the question is whether they are reasonable or not . Because they use the uniform distribution, all that matters is the top end and bottom end of the range; the studies are not averaged. They assume that cats kill 1.2 to 3.3 times the number of prey they return. That’s reasonable. Of course the Kitty Cam studies back this up. Whether that range is based on 7 or 8 studies makes no difference.

            For all the bluster about this study, no one has shown how any of the quibbles would change the results of the study. Take out the “double counted” study? No change to the outcome.

            The thing is – people really do need more than a ‘passing knowledge of statistics’ to understand the material. If folks did well in biology, do you also suggest they give advice to cardiac patients? ;)

            A TNR blogger is not my go-to source for information pertaining to ecology, peer-reviewed science, or the impact of cats on wildlife. And that is exactly to whom Matthews (the reviewer paid by Alley Cat Allies) deferred when he spoke about the “double counted” study.

            G’nite.

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

            I’d like to see the responses to this article, that is, if the journal allowed for critical analysis and made the paper available before publication. Criticism does not necessarily invalidate a premise fully but may strongly indicate the need for further study and research.

          • kitcatkitty

            Do you mean make available to just anyone? Here is a description of peer review.

            http://undsci.berkeley.edu/article/howscienceworks_16

          • ebolaoutkast

            “And once again you use your usual tactic of trying to distract from the issue at hand”

            Saying that this move is predictable for TNR supporters is like suggesting every plane in the sky will eventually come down.

        • notmustread

          Arguing against seeing opposing viewpoints aired. This is what pathetically passes as intelligence these days. Truly sad. That paper you defend is badly flawed.

    • MikeIU

      Excellent information Trevor. Unfortunately most of the ardent cat advocates will continue to blindly ignore the facts and the science behind it.

    • Supporter of Left Handed Rule

      Excellent article. NotMustard does not want to be confused by the facts, but that is his right. The ABA article promotes one side, but it seemed logical to me. The feral cats do not belong in a bird sanctuary. The cat colonists remind me of the folks who feed the pigeons, who also do not need to be fed and should be left alone by humans.

      • not must read

        I would like to see the facts, not just one person’s interpretation. That’s so hard to fathom? Where has true education gone, my gosh, this is pathetic. Ned, what a crowd you have here.

  • jerry

    Without the feral cats I can see an influx of the mice & rat population which the feral cats control.

    • ebolaoutkast

      No, THEY ARE ATTRACTING THE RATS.

  • Barbara

    Feral cat colonies on federal land – BAD. An industrial facility on federal PARK land that makes it possible for multi-billion dollar corporations to make more billions – GOOD.

    How can anyone take these people seriously.

    • jw

      FINALLY an answer that makes sense!

  • guest

    how about how do we save these cats?

  • Pingback: 10,000 Birds | Great News! Feral Cats to be Removed from Plumb Beach, Brooklyn!

  • jimlevine

    This event has really demonstrated to me the goal of feral cat advocates. Even our National Parks are being asked to provide habitat for non-native animals at the expense of native and declining shorebirds and other wildlife. Cats are not threatened with extinction anywhere and yet we’re being told that the NPS should let the cats stay just because people started feeding them there (without permission of the managers). If you truly love these feral cats build an outdoor sanctuary and offer to house 2-3 on your own property.

  • wbrewer

    the rats are probably encouraged by the cat food. Quit feeding and their (cat and rat) ability to reproduce will drop dramatically as they will have to expend more resources finding food. If these cats are truly cared for, they should be moved to a safer environment where they are welcome. A National Park is definitely an inappropriate place for people to feed cats. Can I bring a pack of unwanted dogs there to turn loose and feed? If you feed it, it is yours. Take it home like a responsible pet owner. Go NPS!!! you have my support!

    • jerry

      The logic that the rats are encouraged by the cat food maybe true but there are other resources of food for the rats . The cat & the rat are by natural enemies. The next step NPS will have to do is bait the area for the explosion of the rat population that will take place after NPS kills the cats.
      When they do that NPS will be putting the birds in danger & the horseshoe crabs, etc. in danger too !
      NPS hasn’t thought this process through enough !

      • Anonymous

        How the hell would putting bait out somehow hurt horseshoe crabs? You are the one of hasn’t thought it through.

    • ebolaoutkast

      And rodents infected with T.gondii are also attracted to cat urine.

  • jw

    Well let’s see. NPS helps the USDA round up flightless geese for the killing squads because they are a non native species. Ditto now for the cats. Swans are on the kill list too. JFK airport shoots anything with wings. Why do we even have parks? Just pave them over and build condos already!

    • Supporter of Left Handed Rule

      JW, Your letter made me smile. Tell me, what’s the difference between “squads” and “swans”? And, yes, why do we even have parks like “JFK airport”? They’ll shoot anything with wings, including aeroplanes? You have a good sense of humor.

  • ElaynaC

    These cats are bothering no one….they are neutered , vaccinated, fed and monitored by volunteers….not to mention keeping the rodent population away. These cats didn’t ask to be dumped and abandoned, and certainly shouldn’t die for it.
    Their lives are just as important as your indoor cat or dog.
    They are companion animals, not vermin…… leave them alone.

    • Derek Bakken

      Bothering nobody except numerous species of birds and reptiles, which have fewer and fewer places to go every year.

      • ElaynaC

        These cats are fed every day, they aren’t starving so I highly doubt they are wiping out all the birds and reptiles…. humans are doing a great job at it though.

        • Vet Tech

          That’s where you’re wrong. Cats absolutely will kill small critters even if they’re not hungry. Cats don’t eat 100% or probably even 50% of their “catches”.

          • ElaynaC

            In my experience with feral cats, they tend to eat whatever is easiest to find, and would much rather sit near a dumpster waiting for a rat to emerge than a bird that can easily spot them and fly away. the few birds they have killed were weaker or more diseased than those killed by man-made sources.

  • Heather

    Feral cat care takers do NOT move feral cats to a new habitat. Anyone who has relocated cats due to them being unwelcome (such as these cats who could ne relocated to a sanctuary or barn) knows they must be caged for 2-3 weeks before release or they run off. I highly doubt these cats were relocated to Plum Island. No caretaker would ever put a feral cat in a cage on public land, ESP w/put permission. Onviously, cats who were most likely abandoned or feral cats who resided on the island for years reproduced, hence, there are 25. Someone took time & $ to TNR (Trap, Neuter, Return) these feral cats or there would be hundreds now. Eventually, the colony will die off. These cats are in a safe habitat and don’t have to deal w/ cars, people who would harm them, or risk of disease due to being TNR’d. As for the rats & mice, it’s a park. Humans leave behind more garbage than any other species. WE are to blame for destruction & loss of habitat for ANY animals, NOT cats. When is the last time you saw a cat w/ a BIG GULP, GIGARETTES, FAST FOOD bag, and building a shopping mall, Wal-Mart, Costco, etc????
    Those cats have been TNR’d. Let the park think they can catch them. They’re now trap-savvy & won’t go in anyway. Maybe we should start TNRing squirrels, rabbits, foxes, deer, birds, and all other wildlife too. Then we won’t have bird poop on our cats & squirrels in our bird feeders! Oh, I forgot, the cats are killing all the birds.

  • guest

    Why on earth after all this time is the Parks Department now deciding they don’t want this on their property? These are the same clowns who want to shoot owls and geese.

  • Andrew Kent

    While everyone is debating the proposed final solution to the Plum Beach “cat problem,” and its alleged dangers to several species of the beach’s nesting birds, Federal and State extermination teams have been systematically destroying colonies of Canadian Geese, as well as other birds and waterfowl, and were about to go after thousands of local swans when they were stopped, at least for now, by local politicians at the behest of outraged animal lovers. Of course, the perceived danger here was to jet aircraft taking off and landing at local airports, but, the “Miracle on the Hudson” notwithstanding, the science on the actual risks to commercial aircraft from nesting or migratory birds is as tenuous as the continuing brouhaha over cat colonies, TNR, feral domestication, and, not that anyone has mentioned it, just which agency, organization, or governmental jurisdiction should be contracted to deal with the process of capturing, caring for, possibly relocating, and hopefully not euthanizing, these unfortunate and otherwise blameless felines. Of course, unless the cats are relocated, moved to a no-kill shelter, sanctuary, or rescue organization, most of them, and certainly the least adoptable ones, will likely be euthanized for administrative convenience by the City’s Animal Care & Control agency should they end up there. Sadly, the NPS may have created a highly controversial solution for which there was no immediately pressing problem. Okay, now who’s gonna be the first to thank Obama for this one?

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

    25 neutered cats. Obviously an invasion.

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

      Here are some of them. out on the prowl, slowly ridding the beach of all other species.

      https://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001/6983987476/in/photolist-bD9B9f-bDbhEd-aY4dsi-bD9Lab

    • ElaynaC

      so true….I suppose they would rather be overrun with rats and mice.

      • bagels

        Was the area overrun by rats and mice before the colony was established? Aren’t there other animals in that area to keep those populations in check? Since the beach is public the garbage cans should be rodent proof and the garbage collected on a regular basis. Justifying the continued existence of the colony based on this argument is without merit.

        • ElaynaC

          Who knows, but once the cats are gone they may be.
          Maybe there will be more coyotes…..With all the construction and development going on everywhere rats will move to other areas, including Plumb Beach. It happened here until we established TNR. It was a humane, forward thinking, valuable solution for the many abandoned cats in our vicinity that were not adoptable. Not one person has complained about the cats, even the “cat haters” who had nothing better to do. They forget the cats are there, so they have moved on to find other “scapegoats”

          • Anonymous

            What are the scientific facts or studies that prove your claim? If they exist, I would love to hear them.

          • ElaynaC

            just my own experience with cat rescue and TNR for the past 20 or so years…. Educate and enlighten yourself by going to Alley cat Allies online, a nation wide organization, to see the success of TNR across the country. that’s all the scientific facts I need.

          • Anonymous

            To be frank, Alley Cat Allies is full of bullshit. They support the “vacuum” effect, which has no scientific backing whatsoever. So, by suggesting ACA as a reliable, unbiased source, you just proved how ignorant you are.

          • ElaynaC

            Well, you cant argue with facts….ACA has been working in major cities across the country with their ACOs and other animal organizations who have now become progressive in their approach to feral cats.
            You better check again before you call someone ignorant, because ACA does NOT support the vacuum effect, which is caused by removing and euthanizing the cats…. this is what TNR prevents. Just a fact.

          • ElaynaC

            You better check your facts before calling anyone ignorant….Alley cat allies is working to PREVENT the “vacuum effect” , something that TNR prevents.
            Alley cat allies is now working with forward thinking animal controls and groups across the country with great success, go to the web site and check the facts.

          • Anonymous

            No, I meant that ACA thinks the vacuum effect is REAL, which it is not. Give me some actual facts supporting the existence of the vacuum effect, and then we will talk.

          • ElaynaC

            How do you know its NOT?? Do you rescue cats or do TNR? Do you monitor and care for abandoned cats on a daily basis? Do you confer and work with other rescue groups and ACOs?? Well, I do…. I live it every day and I know it works…. I see it working. I haven’t had a kitten born or a new cat join my small group for over 5 years and I have not had one complaint.
            Its just common sense and its HUMANE.

  • Nick the Rat

    um, can i got see this before the federalies kill all these cute bastards?

  • Vaspu

    There are a lot of cats on and around the Harbor View nursing home 3900 Shore Parkway and they just recently had another batch of kittens. There are bowls of food and water around back of the building up the driveway, I’ve seen the guy that feeds them, 6 am and 6 pm

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  • bagels

    I find stray cats to be disgusting creatures. They use the gardens and flower beds as their personal litter boxes. When I’m working in my garden I don’t want to smell the vile odor of their urine and feces and I certainly don’t want to hear their ungodly howling and screaming at night.

    • Barbara

      Have you ever noticed what disgusting slobs humans are? And we allegedly have superior intelligence plus we have alternatives. How positively uncivilized of those cats to not recognize the difference between your sublimely tended flower beds and any other piece of ground.

      • bagels

        I’ll take my sublimely tended flower beds over these animals any day of the week. What should I say – that I don’t mind the stench or being awakened in the middle of the night or early morning hours by all the noise these cats make? Give me a break. Go ahead and love your cats but don’t expect other people to share your enthusiasm.

    • ElaynaC

      These cats were once someones pet, they did not ask to be abandoned without food water and shelter. whats disgusting are the irresponsible people who dump them un-neutered to reproduce. THEY are whos to blame here
      I have yet to have one person complain about the cats I feed which are all neutered. Neutering eliminates spraying, AND fighting.
      I cant stand my neighbors dogs barking all day and night and defecating in my front yard, but I certainly don’t want to kill them for it.

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  • http://www.sheepsheadbites.com/ Ned Berke

    There’s an update to the story now: NPS is giving extra time and possibly resources to assist the caretakers in the relocation, although the caretakers are still calling for more time.

    http://www.sheepsheadbites.com/2014/06/cats-saved/

    • ElaynaC

      Good, glad to hear it.
      NPS wants them out? let them pay for it.
      God bless the wonderful compassionate caregivers giving
      of their own time and resources to safely relocate these
      abandoned cats who are just trying to survive.

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  • Gayle

    There is so much misinformation regarding this colony. I would like to know the statistics for this specific colony regarding the disturbance of the natural species by these cats in this area since it is on public land that is partly federal. The sources in the federal law regarding the extinction of bird species are old and outdated (i.e., 1970s).

    Here’s a recent article from the Washington Post regarding how birds are killed: http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/magazine/lights-out-seeks-to-stem-bird-carnage-caused-by-city-skylines/2014/03/13/75d6f5c4-933a-11e3-b46a-5a3d0d2130da_story.html
    At issue is also the nomenclature of a “feral” cat. There are strays, throw-a-ways, hard strays and domestic house cats that are indoor/outdoor. A feral cat (one that is born outside and has not been socialized) is not necessarily an unadoptable cat. I was a caregiver to a 27 cat colony in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC near the University of Maryland, College Park. My neighbor had single-handedly had these cats spayed or neutered, had their rabies shots and tended to them when they were sick. I participated in their care, feeding (on my property), shelter and socialization. I have a 16 year old tuxedo (black and white) feral female from that colony who bore 3 males before they were all sterilized. She and 2 of her sons have lived indoors with me for 6 years. They do not go outside. Neither does their buddy, a 15 year old who was part of the original colony. When cats from the colony needed to be euthanized I took responsibility for doing so. They lived the best lives that were possible.
    I live on the Eastern Shore of Maryland now (with my original cats) and it is a complicated situation. We have many stakeholders: Federal, State and Local laws pertaining to wetlands and preservation areas; farms, rural areas and a city that is home to Salisbury University. Wicomico County is a poor county but the people here continue to amaze me with their care of outdoor cats that can’t fend for themselves and didn’t ask to be homeless.
    Their is hope…on the horizon vet medicine is developing sterilization vaccines for the near future.

  • Paul Kersey

    Thank goodness for Carolyn Euvino, Nancy Rogers and all other caretakers of the Plumb Beach kitties. I’ve seen their beautiful camp ever since I started going to Plumb, many years ago. I was always struck by the man hours, cost, dedication and love it took to do it. How dare anyone interfere with this? So the government wants to bully cats right along with people now? Enough already. What’s the plan people? Just let me know.

    • JJ McKibbin

      They are more than welcome to continue to feed these cats. All they have to do is take them to their own private property, confine them there, and then they can feed them all they want. They just can’t do it illegally on public land that is supposed to be preserved for native animals, not for non-native invasive species.

  • djlangel

    First off, Who said that cats, or Feral Cats can’t be allowed on Federal Land?, need the law codes for this one, second issue is, why do we always forget that we are the tax payers, we make the laws for what we allow on these lands, not the special interest groups, ie. cattle ranchers, oil barons, and Hunters..on and on..we do have to continue to fight on this issue, because there are other communities that do this, and for some reason have bullied the community into believing it is acceptable and to not question their authority. Really?? Please this is Parks and Recreation, even Fish and Game have a limited education that allows them to think they can manage live Wildlife by murdering them. They kept these things quiet from the public for a long time, now that they are being called out on it they demand that it is their right to kill animals without the public’s opinion taken into consideration. This has to stop!

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  • JJ McKibbin

    OK…. so, 25 cats removed. Conservatively estimate that each cat (which is outdoors in the park 24/7/365) kills 3 birds a week (very conservative), times 52 weeks per year… That’s 3,900 unnecessary bird deaths prevented in the first year alone! This is fantastic news. Let’s hope the Park Service extends this to every park nationwide.

  • Paul Kersey

    Cats are non-native invasive species? Where did they come from, space? So let’s get it straight, take away the bird’s natural predators so they can grow in large enough numbers to annoy the bird-obsessing posters until they want the birds eradicated too. Seems the syringes, condoms and all manner of garbage are native species of Plumb Beach so please, don’t disturb them!

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