Caterwauls at Town of Ulster ferals law hearing

(Photo by Melissa Wiese)

The Ulster Town Board back on April 6 opened a public hearing on proposed legislation to tackle the issue of feral cats. After hearing more than an hour of comments officials decided to continue the discussion at their next meeting.

Of the five-member town board, only three were in attendance — Eric Kitchen and Joel Brink were absent. This in part is why Supervisor James Quigley III said town officials would not close the hearing, but extend it. The number of speakers stretched into the double digits and a there were a further 13 letters on the matter received by Town Clerk Suzanne Reavy, most of which she said favored legislation in some form.

The issue was initially broached during a town board meeting in February when a letter from Dawn DeLuca was read in which the Sunset Park resident expressed concerns that her property was being overrun by feral cats because a neighbor was feeding them. DeLuca was on hand at the public hearing, held during the board workshop meeting on April 6, where she noted that the influx of feral cats have interfered with her feeding other wildlife as she had in the past.


“I can’t feed the birds. I can’t feed the squirrels,” she said. “I have to sit outside and police the feeding because these cats come over and torment the poor wildlife that I try to feed.”

In the proposed legislation, cat owners or anyone “harboring any cat” by feeding strays and feral colonies would be responsible if those cats sprayed or defecated on private property, cause damage or behave violently. Cats not vaccinated against rabies would be forbidden. Violations would come with fines of $50 for the first offense, $150 for the second and $250 for each subsequent violation.

Adam Saunders, executive director of the Ulster County SPCA, said that while he isn’t opposed to laws focused on feral cats, he took issue with some of the points in the town’s proposal.

“This draft suggests a comprehensive program designed to enforce some responsibility on cat owners while providing legal means to catch strays or ferals that are a public health risk,” Saunders said. “The goal is admirable, though I would suggest, as with dog control legislation, that it might be best written with the primary goal of reuniting families and lost pets first while including provisions to decisively handle crime offenders. Contrarily, this legislation seems to be written with the primary goal of removing cats from outdoor areas. It also has extremely onerous and expensive redemption and adoption clauses within it. This will inevitably result in the euthanasia of most of the animals picked up. Controlling an animal population is best accomplished by first understanding that population. This legislation suggests no understanding of cats, why they may be behaving as they are, how to curb those behaviors, and ultimately, if necessary, how to safely catch them.”

Saunders said the cat control issue often comes down to two remedies: Euthanasia, and trap, neuter and release, commonly known as TNR.

“I of course advocate the latter, and my organization runs a clinic specifically to fill that need,” Saunders said. “Cats seek out food sources, shelter, and mates. Cats are also territorial. Cats are considered by many pet owners, unfortunately, to be disposable and are far too often abandoned when people move or relocate. This alone creates a continuous stream of animals living within the environment, outside of the breeding that may happen while they are there.”

Quigley said that the town had tried TNR in different neighborhoods in the past, but hadn’t seen the results they were hoping for.

“We would like to do a TNR program humanely, but because of the fact that the ’T’ doesn’t work, we can’t get it off the ground,” Quigley said.

Saunders said TNR was most effective when the community and town officials are on the same page.

“You do need the cooperation of the individuals feeding the colony,” he said. “That cooperation only has to extend for a matter of days while the trapping is underway. If the feeding stops and the only source of food is the food in the traps, you will be successful in catching the animals. My conversations with the residents of this particular neighborhood have indicated that I would have that cooperation for a TNR effort, not for an effort that would result in the cats’ removal and euthanasia.”

Quigley said that numerous complaints had come to the town because of the perception of a feral cat issue.

“Feral cats are a serious problem, and we constantly hear about the destruction of private property, the urination on people’s property, and the smell,” he said.

Local resident Dan Furman agreed, adding that unlike many other animals, cats are not part of the “natural ecosystem.”

“They’re a domesticated pet, much like dogs are,” he said. “And I would like to see cats held to the same standard of the law. I have both a cat that stays indoors, and I have a 100-pound German shepherd. I can’t let my German shepherd just run all over the town and go to the bathroom on everybody else’s lawn. It’s against the law. I don’t understand why that doesn’t apply to cats … I’m sorry, but if you’re feeding a cat, that’s your cat.”

Area resident Leslie Lansing said that feral cats also pose a health risk for other animals and humans. In addition to feline AIDS and leukemia, she said cats also spread toxoplasmosis, a parasitic disease.

“It can be contracted when someone unknowingly digs in the soil and comes in contact unknowingly with cat feces,” Lansing said. “This is especially dangerous for pregnant women because an unborn child can be born with defects. Additionally, it can cause serious damage to human eyesight.”

Lansing said she owns three indoor cats who’ve been hassled by local feral colonies.

“I find them sitting on my deck, my windowsills,” she said. “This drives my cats crazy. Three cats that normally cohabitate with each other peacefully get so wound up that they turn on each other and fighting breaks out between them. This is very upsetting to me. I have spoken to my neighbors about their free-roaming cats, and they have every excuse in the book. In fact, one suggested that I purchase a product that is supposed to ward off the cats. Why do I have to bear this expense? Not to mention spraying a product that might harm their cat.”

Matt Molinaro, a resident of Sunset Park, said he favored legislation, but not TNR. “I honestly would like to see all of these feral cats and abandoned cats be taken out of the neighborhood,” he said. “I pay each year for [my] dogs to be licensed through the Town of Ulster. I pay over $500 a year to have my dogs get their proper physicals and medications. Why do these people that are harboring these animals think that they shouldn’t have to do that?”

The town board late last year adopted a controversial law to regulate ownership of chickens in two different residential zoning districts, making it clear at the time they’d have preferred not to.

“Amongst this board there is great consensus that this is an issue between neighbors, and it should be addressed between neighbors,” said Quigley, in November of last year, before the legislation passed by a 4-0 vote. “But seeing that we can’t get the neighbors to talk to each other, we are forced to now take a position and install a structure under which we can enforce some type of penalty if someone doesn’t play nice. We don’t want to restrict roosters. But if someone has a complaint from their neighbors about some neighbor’s roosters, we need something to be able to enforce. Consequently, a prohibition against roosters.”

Passage of the law was the culmination of an often heated debate between neighbors and town officials over several months. Prior comment periods and last week’s public hearing show the potential for similar controversy with a feral cat law.

Quigley said the clock won’t start ticking on the 30-day comment period on the proposed legislation until after the public hearing is closed.

“We will reconvene this at the April 20th board meeting,” he said. “Hopefully with a lot less comment.”

There are 5 comments

  1. TNR Researcher

    When/If you find out that your elected-officials are really just spineless, disney-cartoon-educated, cat-licking imbeciles (who deeply swallow the unsubstantiated claims of mentally-deficient, manipulative, and LYING cat-hoarders), those who are in favor of destroying everyone’s property and lives, spreading 3dozen+ deadly diseases that cats spread to humans today, killing off all your NATIVE cat-species with feline diseases, and seals, dolphins, whales, even manatee, and inland otters from cats Toxoplasma gondii parasite, and torturing to death all our native wildlife with their vermin invasive species cats; then if you live next-door to a TNR cat-hoarder here’s some further help for you to PERMANENTLY solve the problem that these demented and astoundingly disrespectful TNR cat-hoarders cause before they ruin your lives even further — until the next election.

    Just Google for this complete string (include the quotation marks):

    feral cats “Licensing and laws do nothing” “live where its not legal to use firearms” “already learned to evade all trapping methods for”

    I have posted that valuable (and lengthy) information on hundreds, if not thousands, of sites that bring-up the issue of free-roaming vermin cats.

    Therein you’ll find every effective method that you can employ to finally and permanently solve this invasive-species vermin cat problem completely in under 2 seasons of anyone’s time — no matter what laws govern your lives, no matter where you live, no matter how many cats infest your lands. And at costs affordable to any individual, any community, any nation. It worked 100% where I live — and it only cost me 1/3rd-cent PER CAT for hundreds of disease-infested vermin cats infesting my lands. Total cost less than the price of two starbux coffees.

    Note: DO NOT just repel them or dump them elsewhere! That is just as irresponsible, inconsiderate, immature, and ILLEGAL as those that made those vermin garbage-cats into your problem. Repelling stray cats or dumping them elsewhere just makes them into someone else’s problem or our valuable native wildlife’s problem. Become an adult for once in your sad and sorry spineless lives and solve it permanently for everyone. I for one know that NO CAT that touches even one paw to my lands will ever become a problem for any other living thing on earth ever again. All my neighbors (and wildlife) thanked me greatly for this. I have effectively turned my lands into a 100%-fatal cat-trap for any cat within miles around. The eradication of hundreds of these vermin in the whole area (collared or not, for you must destroy all collared ones too, they are the very source of every last vermin feral cat) was so complete and effective that I’ve not seen nor heard even one cat for miles in OVER SEVEN YEARS now. So much for that deceptive, manipulative, and mythical “vacuum effect” LIE of theirs, eh? Hunted-To-Extinction WORKS!

    Enjoy your 100% vermin-cat-free lives once again!

  2. TNR Researcher

    Here is glaring proof of how, as cat-hoarders so often and mindlessly respew, “Trap-Neuter-Release is the most effective means of managing feral cat populations. In fact, it is the only proven way to do so.”

    The residents of the UK who invented TNR in the 1950’s have been relentlessly practicing that failed ideology nationwide for over 60 years now. And all they have managed to do with TNR is DOUBLE their vermin cat populations — from 4.1 million vermin cats in 1965 to 8.1 million vermin cats in 2015. (One site claims 10.5 million today!) And to help, all this time they are still killing them in shelters and legally shooting them in rural areas under their animal depredation-control laws. By foolishly hoping and praying that their very own TNR concept will reduce vermin cat populations someday they have now even driven their one and only NATIVE cat species to extinction with their invasive-species vermin “moggies” (feral house-cats) — with less than 19 “Scottish Wildcats” left in the whole world. (Along with 421 other species that they have already made extinct in the UK in the last 200 years — OVER TWO SPECIES PER YEAR GONE FOREVER just due to British cultural beliefs, practices, and values.) All the while they still insist that practicing their failed TNR policies will still save their “Scottish Wildcat” from being wiped from the earth forever. You can kiss their “Scottish Wildcat” good-bye too now because 19 individuals is not even enough RNA diversity for a viable/successful species anymore — they are already EXTINCT. (Laughably ironic if it weren’t so pathetically, globally, and permanently sad. The population of the UK have made themselves into the ecological-laughingstocks of the whole world.)

    Nice plan. TNR sure does work, doesn’t it!

    You know that saying about doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. The British have proved the failure of their vermin cat-insanity for over 60 years now. You too can be just as ecologically destructive, ignorant, and just as insane as the inbred mentalities of the Toxoplasma gondii brain-damaged moggie-licking British by practicing and promoting their failed-belief in their TNR concept.

    Here too are some wonderful quotes from an article published by their most revered TNR promoters — the very “scientists” that TNR imbeciles always quote out of context to try to support their TNR insanity. Read it and weep.

    “Virtually no information exists to support the contention that neutering is an effective long-term method for controlling free-roaming cat populations.”

    “Free-roaming cats do not appear to have sufficient territorial activity to prevent new arrivals from permanently joining colonies.”

    Levy, Julie K., David W. Gale, and Leslie A. Gale. “Evaluation of the Effect of a Long-Term Trap-Neuter-Return and Adoption Program on a Free-Roaming Cat Population.” Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 2003, 222(1)

    Or these comments from Julie K. Levy’s other study::

    “In both counties, results of analyses did not indicate a consistent reduction in per capita growth, the population multiplier, or the proportion of female cats that were pregnant.”

    “Implementation of the stage-structured model suggested that no plausible combinations of life history variables would likely allow for TNR to succeed in reducing population size, although neutering approximately 75% of the cats could achieve control (which is unrealistic), a value quite similar to results in the present study.”

    Levy, Julie K; “Analysis of the impact of trap-neuter-return programs on populations of feral cats”

    Pretty damning conclusion regarding the efficacy of TNR.

    “No plausible combinations…. would likely allow for TNR to succeed…”.

    In other words – It can’t work.


    Here’s a couple of good sites for them to dream about at night. It shows how their “loving and humane” euthanasia by “TNR attrition” works to reduce cat populations by their supporting, promoting, and practicing TNR. Wonderful compendiums of pages and pages of photographs and articles on how they truly help anyone’s unwanted and 100%-expendable cats.

    realoutdoorcats . tumblr . Com /
    facebook . Com / tnrtruth /
    (remove all spaces from obfuscated-for-posting URLs)

    Enjoy!!! 🙂

    After you view all the photos and read all the articles on those sites, I hope you come back and tell us all about that concept of “humane” that you use when promoting TNR and how much that you truly love cats. I wonder how many of your and your friends’ cats ended-up photographed on those sites, all due to YOU telling everyone to practice TNR. I hope all your TNR “friends” come back and tell you how wonderful they think you are now. 🙂

  3. TNR Researcher

    Those cats need to be tested for ALL of the following diseases; or I hope the recipient of one of them that is adopted-out or someone coming in contact with their disease-infested cats sues their city, their county, their state, all legislators, any morally-corrupt veterinarians benefiting from this INHUMANE practice, and every last conniving and manipulative cat-hoarding TNR practitioner so deep that they never recover from it for the rest of their criminally negligent and criminally irresponsible sorry-excuses for lives. (For just one example of THOUSANDS, not long ago businesses in Miami were ruined by caretakers of feral-cats spreading hookworm in all the beaches. Lawsuits aplenty!)

    These are just the diseases these invasive species vermin cats have been spreading to humans, not counting the ones they spread to all wildlife. THERE ARE NO VACCINES against many of these, and are in-fact listed as bio-terrorism agents. They include: Afipia felis, Anthrax, Bartonella (Rochalimaea) henselae (Cat-Scratch Disease), Bergeyella (Weeksella) zoohelcum, Campylobacter Infection, Chlamydia psittaci (feline strain), Cowpox, Coxiella burnetti Infection (Q fever), Cryptosporidium Infection, Cutaneous larva migrans, Dermatophytosis, Dipylidium Infection (tapeworm), Hookworm Infection, Leptospira Infection, Giardia, Neisseria canis, Pasteurella multocida, Plague, Poxvirus, Rabies, Rickettsia felis, Ringworm, Salmonella Infection (including the most dangerous new super-strain found only in cats), Scabies, Sporothrix schenckii (Sporotrichosis), Toxocara Infection, Toxoplasmosis, Trichinosis, Visceral larva migrans, Yersinia pseudotuberculosis. [Centers for Disease Control, July 2010] Bird-flu (H1N1, H5N1, H7N2), Bovine Tuberculosis, Sarcosporidiosis, Flea-borne Typhus, Tularemia, Rat-Bite Fever, SARS, an antibiotic-resistant strain of Staph aureus (MRSA — Meticillin-Resistant Staph aureus) “The flesh-eating disease”, and Leishmania infantum; can now also be added to CDC’s list.

    Yes, “The Black Death” (the plague) is alive and well today and being spread by people’s cats this time around. Many people have already died from cat-transmitted plague in the USA; all three forms of it transmitted by CATS — septicemic, bubonic, and pneumonic. For a fun read, one of hundreds of cases, Cat-Transmitted Fatal Pneumonic Plague — ncbi . nlm . nih . Gov / pubmed / 8059908
    (remove all spaces from obfuscated-for-posting URLs)

    abcdcatsvets . Org / yersinia-pestis-infection
    “Recommendations to avoid zoonotic transmission:
    Cats are considered the most important domestic animal involved in plague transmission to humans, and in endemic areas, outdoor cats may transmit the infection to their owners or to persons caring for sick cats (veterinarians and veterinary nurses).”

  4. TNR Researcher

    You did know too, didn’t you, that giving a rabies shot to a cat that already has rabies does not cure it of rabies? Nor are rabies vaccines effective at all on the undeveloped immune systems of kittens. Google for: RABID KITTEN ADOPTED WAKE COUNTY (for just one example of hundreds of rabid cats adopted from outdoors, given their rabies shot, but still transmitting and then dying from rabies). The incubation period for rabies is, on average, from 21 to 240 days, sometimes up to 11 months, one rare case being 6 years. A vetted cat can STILL transmit rabies many months later (during the last 2 weeks before it dies of rabies, sometimes not even showing any symptoms up to the point of its death) if it was harvested from unknown rabies-exposure conditions with an unknown vaccination history. May one of those cats that they adopt-out have rabies too. Is their liability insurance in excess of $10M? Either quarantine them for 6 or more months in a government-supervised double-walled enclosure system at their OWN expense (as required by national and international pet-trade, import/export, and animal-transport laws), or euthanize them. Those are everyone’s only 2 options to be relatively certain they are not handing rabies to someone. Isn’t reality fun?


    Rabies outbreak caused by TNR! 50+ pets euthanized. ALL stray cats destroyed. All livestock destroyed. More than a dozen homeowners pay for their own $5,000-$8,000 rabies shots for EACH family member.

    Google for: Rabies Outbreak in Westchester County

    Google for: Rabid Kitten Jamestown Exposure

    The greatest rabies outbreak in US HISTORY—665 exposures in one New Hampshire town in 1994 which cost that municipality $2 million to treat–was caused by a TNR CAT-COLONY from which four feral kittens were ‘adopted’ to a pet store and subsequently sold to different households.

    There’s hundreds more like those on the net showing everyone how these phenomenally ignorant and foolish cat-lickers “help” their communities by allowing TNR CAT-HOARDERS to continue their criminally negligent behavior. And contrary to these cat-lickers’ perpetual LIES, feeding stray cats TRAINS them to approach humans for food. What do you think happens to the child or foolish adult that reaches down to try to pet or pick up that now seemingly friendly “cute kitty” that just approached them? The wild animal lashes out and bites or scratches the hand that has no food for them. Resulting in $5,000-$8,000 rabies shots for each victim of a cat-feeder’s criminally negligent behavior, paid for out of the victim’s OWN pockets. Two reports even document rabid cats entering a pet-door and one even came through the family’s ceiling in search of human supplied foods, the attack so bad that the whole family required hospitalization.

    Thanks to TNR practices and free-roaming cats you are now FOUR TIMES MORE LIKELY to contract rabies from any cat than ANY OTHER domesticated animal. This is why even the CDC has issued direct warnings against the use of these failed TNR programs anywhere and everywhere: onlinelibrary . wiley . Com / doi / 10 . 1111 / zph . 12070 / abstract

  5. TNR Researcher

    Then there’s cats’ most insidious disease of all, their Toxoplasma gondii parasite that cats spread through their feces into all other animals. This is how humans get it in their dinner-meats, cats roaming around stockyards and farms (herbivores can contract this parasite in no other way). 60%+ of game-animals too. This is why cats are routinely destroyed around gestating livestock or important wildlife by shooting or drowning them. So those animals won’t suffer from the same things that can happen to the fetus of any pregnant woman. (Miscarriages, still-births, hydrocephaly, and microcephaly.) It can make you blind or even kill you at any time during your life once you’ve been infected. It becomes a permanent lifetime parasite in your mind, killing you when your immune system becomes compromised by disease or chemo and immunosuppressive therapies. It can last over 18 months in any soils or 4.5 YEARS in waters and not even washing your hands or garden vegetables in bleach will destroy the oocysts. During dry-spells of weather (or inside low-humidity homes) when the oocysts become desiccated you can even contract T. gondii by just inhaling the air wherever any cats have defecated and the oocysts have become airborne/aerosolized. Contrary to cat-lickers’ self-deceptive myths, a cat can become reinfected many times during its life and spread millions of oocysts each time. It’s now linked to the cause of autism, epilepsy, schizophrenia, memory-loss, and brain cancers; as well as increasing the suicide rate in women almost 2-fold even though they’ve never suffered from any mental or emotional health issues previously. This parasite is also killing off rare and endangered marine-mammals (all the way up to rare whales) along all coastlines, along with inland river-otters, from cats’ T. gondii oocysts in run-off from the land, the oocysts surviving even in saltwater. A catastrophic ecological disaster of multi-continent-sized proportions worse than any oil-spill that has ever existed or could even be imagined.

    Its strange life cycle is meant to infect rodents. Any rodents infected with it lose their fear of cats and are attracted to cat urine. scitizen . Com / neuroscience / parasite-hijacks-the-mind-of-its-host_a-23-509 . html

    Cats attract rodents to your home with their whole slew of diseases (like The Plague from rats and fleas, many people have died from cat-transmitted Plague in the USA already, it is alive and well and being spread by cats today). If you want rodents in your home keep cats outside of it to attract diseased rodents to your area. I experienced this phenomenon (as have many others), and all rodent problems disappeared after I shot and buried every last one of hundreds of cats on my lands. Much better NATIVE rodent predators returned to my lands, rather than these man-made cats that were just attracting more rodents.

    Another interesting experiment. They wanted to find out if dogs could possibly transmit cat-shat Toxoplasma gondii oocysts. A dog infected with T. gondii from a source-cat cannot. The oocyst stage of this parasite’s life-cycle by which cats spread their parasite into all other animals is 100%-dependent on cat-physiology as its primary reproductive host. But if dogs ingest oocyst-laden cat-feces then dogs can pass the oocysts produced by cats & their common brain-hijacking parasite. ncbi . nlm . nih . Gov / pubmed / 9477489?dopt=Abstract&holding=f1000,f1000m,isrctn

    It is interesting to note that these Toxoplasma gondii oocysts shed by cats can even survive the hydrochloric stomach acids for the duration that they remain in a mammal’s digestive tract. And then they doubt my words when I tell them of the studies where they found that this parasite’s oocysts (seeds) can even survive washing your hands in bleach. You could wash your hands and garden vegetables in hydrochloric acid and digestive enzymes for the same duration that food remains in an animal’s digestive tract and even that won’t destroy it. Your hands would be dissolved into a digestible pulp long before you could kill the Toxoplasma gondii oocysts.

    Yeah, “basic hygiene” is going to keep your kids safe from going blind sometime during their life, becoming autistic, schizophrenic, get ADHD, suffer from epilepsy, get brain-cancers, debilitating depressions, suffer from memory-loss, commit unexplained suicides, have bouts of Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED), suffer from other neurological illnesses, or die if they ever require any immunosuppressive therapies or contract any immunity-compromising diseases during their lifetime if they had ever played in a sandbox that a neighbor’s cat has defecated in.

    Go ahead everyone, drink the cat-lickers’ Kool-Aid.

    Someone who will save the life of one of their clearly expendable vermin cats over yours is not to be trusted by any other human alive on this planet. Even cat-lickers can’t trust their fellow cat-lickers to save each others’ lives when it comes right down to it. Truth is, they’d even rather that their own family and friends die (if they have any) than any of their deadly disease-infested cats. Sociopaths and psychopaths, one and all, right to their very cores.

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