Monday, September 20, 2010

Book Review: Irreconcilable Differences by Nathan J Winograd

This insightful book is a great follow up to Nathan’s first book, Redemption. Both reveal how animal sheltering in the United States was borne out of compassion but over the years it has become lost in politics and poor shelter management practices.

Nathan points out that instead of dedicating resources towards working to save every animal that enters a shelter, resources are being spent on killing and blaming. He says, “killing has simply become one more tool in the ‘medicine cabinet’ of these managers.” This book reveals how shelter managers throw up their hands convinced that killing is a necessity instead of implementing more progressive methods of sheltering, including high-volume, low-cost spay/neuter programs, TNR programs for feral cats, working with rescue groups, extensive fostering networks, and comprehensive adoption programs.

These are just a few of the lifesaving programs that Nathan has incorporated in the No Kill Equation. He discusses how No Kill is achievable with this equation and he has proven it in several cities across the US. He says, “It is up to us in the humane movement to demand them of our local shelters, and no longer to settle for the illusory excuses and smokescreens that shelters often put up in order to avoid implementing them.”

Irreconcilable Differences is a collection of essays written by the father of the No Kill Movement, who is changing the minds and hearts of shelter managers across the US. It has received several awards, including an indie gold medal for Best Animal/Pet Book. If you want to know what the buzz is all about, then pick up a copy today!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Action Alert: Rosecroft Raceway Cats Need Help

In June, Rosecroft Raceway, Maryland's oldest harness horse racetrack announced it was closing its doors for good, leaving 60 stray and feral cats without a home!

Since the annoucnement, a small group of volunteers has been frantically working around the clock to save these cats before they are trapped and killed. We had to get permission through our State Senator, Senator C. Anthony Muse, to be allowed to go in and feed the cats and work to relocate, because the property was padlocked and no one was permitted to enter.

Now that we have permission to be on site, we are in an emergency situation with time running out for these poor cats! So in this desperate time of need, we are calling upon our compassionate members for your help!

Please consider contributing $10, $20, $30 or however dollar amount you can spare to help ACR make sure these cats make it out alive. Your kind contribution will help us spay or neuter, vaccinate and relocate these cats. Some will enter adoption programs, while others will need to find barn homes.

Any donation you can provide will make a big difference in the lives of these cats, who for years had a place to call home...but are now running out of time!

Your compassion for our feral friends is much appreciated!

Here’s how you can help:

– Adopt a cat or help find a home (or barn) for a cat.

– Help with trapping. If you have traps and/or carriers or can help with the trapping, please contact us.

– Help with transportings. Cats need to be transported to the clinic where they will be vetted, neutered, vaccinated.

– Help with expenses. Contributions will go directly towards spay/neuter, other vetting, and relocating the cats. If you’d like to contribute, please visit our donation page to make a contribution online or send your check or money order to ACR at PO Box 585 Mt. Rainier, MD 20712. Please write “Rosecroft Cats” somewhere on your check.

Also - Please share this with your friends. The more people who see this, the better chance of finding homes for these racetrack kitties.

Besides contacting ACR for more information, you may also contact Nancy Lisi:

phone:  703-531-9945

Monday, September 06, 2010

New Study Says Habitat Preservation Key in Saving Wildlife

In a new study conducted by Dr. Maggie Lilith and funded by the City of Armadale, Western Australia shows that cat legislation will not be effective without conserving habitat. The study found that protecting and restoring the habitats of declining native wildlife may be more important than simply controlling where pet cats can go.

According to a recent article posted on Murdoch University’s website, "While there are numerous studies on feral cats and their impacts on declining native fauna, the impact of pet cats on suburban wildlife or fauna in remnant bushland is relatively unknown although there is a wide perception of risk," Dr Lilith said. "Our study in the City of Armadale showed no definitive evidence of predatory impacts from pet cats on small mammals. Mammal species diversity, richness and abundance were not significantly different between sites where cats were restricted."

Dr. Lilith goes on to say that “despite the popular perception that cats were the main problem in conserving small mammals, vegetation appeared to be a more important issue. The species’ richness and abundance appeared linked to groundcover density in the various sites. This factor, not cat restrictions, appeared to be the primary determinant of species’ richness, species’ diversity and absolute numbers of small mammals in these sites."

In 2008, Murdoch’s Biological Sciences postgraduate student Jacky Grayson completed a similar study in the City of Melville, which showed the density of suburban housing and the lack of habitat were also more influential than the presence of cats in the lack of small passerines (perching and song birds), such as the Western Spinebill, New Holland Honeyeater and Rufous Whistler.

Again studies like these show that not only controlling cat populations BUT preserving habitat to be imperative of protecting wildlife. So while cat rescue organizations are out sterilizing cats, the wildlife conservationists should be out doing just that…conserving more habitats and pushing for stricter legislation to prevent over-development, deforestation and defragmentation. Yet, most are too busy name-calling and placing blame on cats. Hopefully as more of these studies continue to prove what us cat activists have been saying, the conservationists will get a clue and start working WITH us instead of AGAINST us.