Letter for Friday, April 16, 2021

Killing cats is irresponsible

So it’s not the birds versus the cats?

I was extremely disappointed/troubled by Arryl Kaneshiro’s (County Council) response about managing feral-cat populations, April 4. Mr. Kaneshiro could have said they would look at other options. Instead, basically, he said no, the contract is in place and we are moving forward (with now $120,000 this next fiscal year vs $50,000 last year) to trap and kill cats (approximately 3,000 total).

He tries to distract us with the lighting issue in the county?

I was especially troubled by Mr. Sizemore’s (for American Bird Conservancy) comments April 7. They could become more proactive by spending some money on bird sanctuaries or replacing “loss of habitat,” which is considered the main cause of bird deprevation.

What about mosquitoes and the avian flu? TNR (Trap/Neuter/Spay/Return) is not irresponsible.

Killing cats is irresponsible.

Kaua‘i Humane Society is doing an awesome job! They only have so much to work with. Why can’t the County Council support them to expand? It’s the only actual shelter on island.

The ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), HSUS (Humane Society of the U.S.), Alley Cat Allies, Alley Cat Rescue, O‘ahu Humane Society, O‘ahu SPCA, Maui Humane Society, Hawai‘i Island Humane Society, San Francisco SPCA (and many others on the mainland), Kaua‘i Humane Society, Kitsap Humane Society (Washington), a partner to KHS, all support TNR.

Hawaiian Airlines and Alaska Airlines help with transportation.

Why don’t bird-conservancy people and our County Council support TNR?

Mr. Mayor and County Council, please research/review other options including TNR, not just trapping and killing cats out there. Allocate funds in another way, to help.

Mahalo nui loa.

Joyce Ogmundson, Lihu‘e

20 Comments
  1. Reality Bites April 16, 2021 2:20 am Reply

    It is a waste of money. The money should be used to expand the county curriculum to inculcate children/students on how animal procreation works, its detrimental causes, and how much tax dollars goes to fix, mitigate, and control animal overpopulation.

    You might as well throw the money out the window….it will do nothing substantial in the long run. You have to educate the public, and right now the public does not care. The culture on this island does not support pets and it is tolerated.

    Spend the money to create a county law to neuter all cats and dogs on the island. It is a start.


  2. Major Lee Hung April 16, 2021 4:49 am Reply

    Crazy cat lady alert!


  3. Joe Maka April 16, 2021 5:04 am Reply

    Nope. Eliminate feral cats. They’re gross.


  4. YuCalJoe April 16, 2021 5:57 am Reply

    It’s clear that the cats are victims of Trump bring President. Us self made victims of Trump being President must continue to whine at any cost. If you don’t know how to become a self made victim, watch Parking Wars on TV where you will see the foundation of all self made victims, blaming someone else for your bad decisions. So lose all self respect and start whining. People will notice you. Just not in the way you want.


  5. Paulo April 16, 2021 7:16 am Reply

    Thank you Joyce Ogmundson for voicing that TNR is the humane option. We still have plenty of neighbors who do not bother to neuter their cats adding to our homeless felines. Let’s make sure our homeless cats are allowed to live without procreating. And that thoughtless people figure out they must fix their pets.


  6. Peter J. Wolf April 16, 2021 8:40 am Reply

    It’s a shame to see the County of Kauai more than double their funding for lethal control methods despite a lack of evidence that such efforts will do anything to protect wildlife. Equally troubling is the lack of transparency surrounding the issue. Few residents know, for example, just how many “no-go” zones now exist in the island’s residential areas. Cats found in these areas—whether they are unowned free-roaming cats or a family’s beloved pet—are at risk of being killed by the “predator control” firm hired by the County.

    The approach adopted by the County is not just cruel but misguided. Again, there’s no evidence that all this publicly-funded killing will protect the island’s wildlife. County officials claim that they have no choice, that their commitment to protect seabirds requires the lethal control of cats. In fact, there are more humane, more effective solutions. At best, the County’s ongoing commitment to killing cats reflects a profound lack of imagination.

    Peter J. Wolf
    Research/Policy Analyst
    Best Friends Animal Society


    1. Steven McMacken April 17, 2021 4:30 am Reply

      “Again, there’s no evidence that all this publicly-funded killing will protect the island’s wildlife.”

      Wrong.

      The most effective way to save native species is to remove cats from the equation. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service “free-ranging, domestic cats are the SINGLE LARGEST HUMAN-CAUSED THREAT TO WILDLIFE.” And a recent review of wildlife crises on islands determine that cats help cause the decline of extinction of 123 species of songbirds and seabirds, along with 25 species of reptile and 27 species of mammals.

      Wake up, Peter!


  7. heironymus April 16, 2021 9:53 am Reply

    I don’t think the budget is large enough. Shipping cats off island is expensive and if it don’t make dollars it don’t make sense. Cats in my neighborhood are a real problem. They pee and poop in my yard and fight noisily at all hours of the night, You ever try got get rid of that cat smell? They are of no value to the environment. Ms. Ogmudson, Mr. Wolf, If you want to save the cats, take them to your house and keep them there.


    1. KauaiVoter April 18, 2021 8:28 pm Reply

      Feral cats hang out in subdivisions where they are fed. Most endangered birds live in forests, away from humans, so why does the County want feral cats exterminated? Feral cats also keep rodents under control. I’d much rather have feral cats around that rats, wouldn’t you? If the County implements their plan, you’ll see field rats 1 foot in length or larger, crawling along our streets, into our cars, and attics. Is that what you want people? It will happen because I have seen it here on Kauai. Not pleasant at all. Long live our feral cats!


  8. douglas henry April 16, 2021 10:07 am Reply

    All pets should be neutered except hunting dogs. And it should be free. The feral cats should be euthanized.


    1. curious dog April 17, 2021 8:47 pm Reply

      ALL DOGS & CATS SHOULD BE NEUTERED/SPAYED.

      Our 3 dogs were all failed hunting dogs which no-one claimed at humane society. Hunter dogs need to be spay/neutered just like cats. No difference.

      …& it should be free.


  9. WestKauai April 16, 2021 11:45 am Reply

    Does anyone have the number for the predator control firm. I’d like to have them remove a colony of feral cats from a nearby vacant lot…


  10. Pete Antonson April 16, 2021 2:55 pm Reply

    Remember the damage done by all those “Garbage Isle” articles a few years back? Well, wait and see how it goes when Kauai is tagged with using the problem solving skills of a back woods Alabama dirt road junction town; or worse yet, Yucaipa, CA.


  11. RGLadder37 April 16, 2021 3:36 pm Reply

    I’m not really a cat person. But if this is an important issue, then I suppose considerations to not killing cats is a good thing. How many of you want a cat in your house?


  12. curious dog April 16, 2021 4:08 pm Reply

    Licensing & neuter/spay will keep unwanted animals controlled IF IT’S STRICTLY ENFORCED BY THE COUNTY on both dogs & cats. County Council is short sighted (if not negligent in wasteful spending of taxpayer dollars) if they think trapping & killing is going to make the problem go away. Really?


  13. therealhawaiian April 17, 2021 10:33 am Reply

    We could solve this massive problem much quicker and for the same money. Put a reasonable bounty on feral wild cats. Let the local hunters make some money to feed their families and save thousands of birds at the same time! There are two wild cats on my property and I find one or two dead birds they’ve killed every month. I found a dead Shama, perhaps the most beautiful song bird on earth, last week!! Multiply that by all the feral cats on this little Island and the problem is significant!


  14. Lawaibob April 17, 2021 1:44 pm Reply

    If you love your cat, keep it indoors. Problem solved. Feral cats aren’t pets, they’re pests.


  15. Thomas Emmett Owen April 17, 2021 1:53 pm Reply

    Try looking at a real study, TNR does not decrease feral cat populations unless the adoption rate and the death rate exceeds the birth rate. Those that are TNR are likely to die a very nasty death. So which is more humane and what is the real goal. https://journals.flvc.org/edis/article/download/120381/120128/


  16. Mark April 18, 2021 10:30 am Reply

    Steven McMacken,

    Errr….I’m really questioning your background and understanding of the scientific literature on this one. You paint yourself as an expert here, but you lack substance. You assert that cats are “single largest human-caused threat to wildlife”. Really? Sounds overblown and taken out of context. Other more educated folks in this threat have pointed to other factors affecting all manner of endangered wildlife: THINGS LIKE HABITAT DESTRUCTION which HUMANS are responsible for.

    Any chance you and your organization are putting in a proposal to County of Kauai to kill cats????? That’s how it read to me!


    1. Steven McMacken April 19, 2021 3:59 am Reply

      Mark, here are a couple of examples of articles, or literature, I have read about feral domestic cats and their danger to wildlife. There are plenty more to choose from. I don’t disagree with you that much wildlife habitat destruction is human-caused — maybe not so much on Kauai, but elsewhere in the US and world. I am not a member of any organization.

      https://www.nola.com/archive/article_eb5c5aae-d596-552f-995d-6dfbe87ce68f.html

      https://extensionpublications.unl.edu/assets/pdf/ec1781.pdf


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