To the Editor:

When our family moved to Franklin County we discovered a beautiful part of the country and a welcomed slower way of life.  But as animal lovers we were saddened by the widespread animal abandonment. 

In this day and age, this is not just disturbing, it’s unacceptable!

Fortunately there are Angels among us – those Good Samaritans who step over glass and wire to feed the animals others discard. But these kind souls fly under the radar in fear of a law that has been (sadly) misinterpreted and assumes the Good Samaritan is also the abandoning party. 

I think it’s safe to say, the people who dumped the cats are NOT coming back to feed them!  

So where do we go from here?  We can continue to ignore the problem, or employ ‘catch and kill’ methods that don’t work, clog up shelters, waste animal control time and squander valuable taxpayer money...

...OR we can THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX and use a tried and true method that utilizes volunteer manpower and private funding.   

That last option is called Trap, Neuter, and Return.  T.N.R for short, is the humane practice of trapping, sterilizing and vaccinating feral cats and returning them to the area they were trapped in. Veterinarians also make a small incision across the tip of the left ear to indicate the cat has been sterilized.   

Within a relatively short time, cat populations decrease due to a lack of breeding females and eventually the colony ages out and no more cats remain in that particular area. 

T.N.R has been accepted by veterinarians and local governments across the U.S (including parts of Northern Virginia) as the only permanent solution to the control of feral cat populations.  

It has always been my hope that Franklin County would implement a Trap Neuter Return policy at public places. And after twenty years of participating in T.N.R projects in New York and Virginia, T.N.R still remains the most logical, fiscally sound alternative to our feral cat challenges.    

If you agree that we need to FIX THE PROBLEM ...NOT KILL IT, please write a letter in support of Trap, Neuter & Return to Franklin County Animal Control, 1488 Franklin St. Rocky Mount, VA 24151

Diane Novak                            Board of Directors, Barn Cat Buddies, Inc. 

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