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Published: Tuesday, 7/1/2003

Zoo's decision on feral cats a difficult one

The Toledo Zoo, in my opinion, has been forced to make the difficult decision to end the lives of stray cats. I, for one have a friendly, healthy cat that follows my daughter to the bus stop just like a dog would. He was declawed before we found him. The shelters are loaded with cats just like him.

Cats are easy to care for and very clean by nature. Rental properties should allow cats so responsible people, including the elderly and individuals with or without disabilities, can enjoy having a wonderful pet.

The Toledo Humane Society is against declawing of cats. I understand this, but a cat in an apartment can live happily instead of being sent into the streets to die. In our city, so many “No Pets Allowed” ads appear in The Blade every day. Rental properties can make changes in outdated policies regarding pets, specifically cats. A new law, by the way, allows people to obtain a doctor's letter stating a pet would benefit the health of the owner. Rental properties must comply with doctors' orders.

It would be much better, however, if pet policies would be reconsidered for cats.

SUSAN C. MICHAEL

Anderson Parkway

The Toledo Humane Society should be ashamed of its ridiculous and irresponsible policy concerning feral cats. What is “humane” about dumping domesticated animals into wild settings to lead a short and miserable life?

The humane society also fails to recognize the toll that feral cats have on wildlife. For native birds, mammals, and reptiles that have not evolved to deal with these predators, cats are an ecological holocaust.

Studies have shown that even well fed house cats that are allowed to roam free continue to instinctively kill as many animals as their uncared for counterparts.

I know of no one that takes pleasure in the euthanasia of unwanted animals, but those that truly care about animals must put their emotions aside, examine the facts, and do what is right. Dumping animals where they do not belong - by negligent owners or by the humane society - is wrong.

GREG LIPPS

Meadowlark Avenue

The people of nearby neighborhoods should be ecstatic that the Toledo Zoo is willing to take a stand on the capture and humane treatment of stray cats. The area is plagued by diseased, starved, and homeless cats. They tear open and feed from garbage bags and leave waste beside houses and gardens.

There are so many strays that you must dodge them while driving down the street. To make matters worse, some residents randomly feed the stray cats, but offer no shelter or medical attention for the animals. The city should be proud that the zoo is trying to help with an unfortunate situation.

SALLY BENNETT

Bowling Green

Isn't zoo's mission preservation?

Gandhi said it best: “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” How ironic that one of the most esteemed Toledo institutions, and one whose mission is animal preservation, the Toledo Zoo, has announced a plan to kill stray and feral cats who live near the zoo.

I am a member of the Toledo Zoo. I give $500 each year for the zoo to help feed and care for the animals as well as to educate the community on how to live in harmony with undomesticated animals. I also gave $1,000 for the zoo's capital campaign to improve the zoo's environment for both the animals and the people who visit. I don't want to give any money to round up and kill animals.

To paraphrase Gandhi, “The greatest of the Toledo Zoo and its moral standards can be judged by the way it treats animals both inside and outside the gates of our zoo.”

STEVE SERCHUK

River Road



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