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What's Your Take: Did JFK Cats Receive a Death Sentence?

What's Your Take: Did JFK Cats Receive a Death Sentence?

I remember the story of the "JFK cats" from last year: back in October, the Port Authority announced that they were rounding up the feral cats surrounding the New York airport and sending them to shelters. That, of course, caused an outcry as shelters cannot really handle any more animals . . . especially the virtually un-adoptable feral cats. Animal advocates called for a more humane trap, neuter, and return process to save the animals' lives and allow them to remain in their habitats. However, the authority recently decided to halt that program and focus on rounding up the cats instead.

"They are telling folks that they are trying to adopt these animals out, but that is patently not true," said Patrick Kwan, New York state director of the Humane Society of the United States. "These animals cannot be adopted out. This is an extermination program that sentences them to death."

The authority originally said that the cats pose a threat to aircraft operation and that the 5,000-acre airport is no place for these feral felines. While I can understand the dangers of – and to – the cats if they remain, I have to agree that gathering them up and placing them in shelters does not seem to be a final solution with a happy ending. How do you feel? Share your thoughts in the comments below!


Join The Conversation
eleigh eleigh 9 years
I believe I agree with the Port Authority. Even if you TNR you are not protecting the cats from disease, starvation, etc. My apartment complex has had trouble with feral cats, and after the management staff wouldn't do anything about the problem I decided to work on it myself. Several of the cats were somewhat friendly (likely their owners moved and just dumped them outside rather than taking them with them) and I was able to capture them myself. However, I tried calling every no kill shelter in a 100 mile radius and they were all full, so ultimately I took the cats to the pound. I felt awful, but as an owner to 2 dogs, one of whom likes to eat poop, I felt that the cats ultimately posed too many health threats to not only my pets, but to all the residence since these cats also used our sand volleyball court as a litter box. spay and neuter people, spay and neuter
KDwxgirl KDwxgirl 9 years
This is sick. Basically the Port Authority is rounding up these cats and then leaving the dirty work to the shelter workers that will be forced to euthanize them because they are unadoptable. Its like dumping your 9 year old dog at a shelter.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
I adopted a feral cat, who is a sweet cat but she doesnt want any human contact, only other kitties can come near her, while i wouldnt give her up because she still brings me joy, i have to agree with Port authority on rounding them up, its not right to leave these cats to freeze or starve. the solution is to always spay and neuter and people dont have to make these hard decisions later on.
j2e1n9 j2e1n9 9 years
I agree with yankee rose. I think euthanizing might be the only safe, humane, and practical thing to do in this kind of a situation where they are unadoptable. Sad tho
robynfromdahood robynfromdahood 9 years
Thats horrible :(
tiggerchick2 tiggerchick2 9 years
This is exactly why you should spay and neuter the cats that you have. It won't solve the problem but it certainly does help.
Just-Oh Just-Oh 9 years
yankeerose, you hit the nail on the head. There is no happy ending for these cats. The better outcome is for the public to take notice of this sad situation and become more purposeful in caring for pets by spaying and neutering.
JennaV JennaV 9 years
I had no idea there were feral cats at JFK :ponder: How incredibly sad that there really is no "right" solution.
ShePirate2010 ShePirate2010 9 years
Poor cats! That's saddening.
yankeerose yankeerose 9 years
As someone who has more than 15 years of doing dog and cat rescue I can tell you that there is NO happy solution to this problem. Stray cats do NOT live happy lives. They often freeze to death, get hit by cars, killed by dogs, they receive no vet care so any ear, eye or bladder infections only get worse and worse. These cats do not live a happy and safe life at the airport. However, living life in a cage in a shelter is not a happy solution either. The kindest thing to do is humanely euthanize them. The best solution to the problem is simple. People need to spay and neuter their pets. Every stray and wild cat came from somebody's pet. If people would spay and neuter there wouldn't be a homeless cat population in the first place. But I do not agree with TNR groups in this case. Trap neuter release is fine if the cats are in a safe place and have someone caring for them. Living at an aiport is not a safe place for them. New York is freezing cold in the winter time. How good could their life be?
star520 star520 9 years
Adopting IS the way -- but feral cats would be MISERABLE in a house and could seriously hurt someone. This is why you spay and neuter. Unfortunately, these cats have to pay the price.
GiggleSugar GiggleSugar 9 years
Nooooooooooooooooo! Adopt, adopt, adopt! :meow:
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