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Administration should commit to humane treatment of feral cats on campus

Thank you for running another article on the feral cats (College looks to new policy for feral cats, 2.17.09).

The very fact that Mills cats are still in danger of being removed and killed by our administrators is disgusting and so anti-Mills that I am ashamed to be an alumna. How can we teach social responsibility and leadership when our very own leaders are taking innocent lives, despite telling this student and many other concerned Mills students that the cats will not be harmed?

The efforts to remove the cats by B and M trapping, as authorized by Barb Haber, during winter break this year is a sneaky breach of trust and shows an obvious disdain for humane treatment that the students are advocating for, not to mention the wishes of students themselves. I do not wish to be associated with a school that viciously tries to remove feral cats, or any other animal for that matter. After the native quail have been driven out by construction you’d think we would know much better.

Efforts for TNR at Mills will succeed if given the chance, yet the current attitude is that because colony management and the whole trapping processes are so hard, that it isn’t worth the effort. Well, that attitude has already been proven wrong: with a few traps and some food, I helped to trap three cats in one day last semester here on campus-one had to have major surgery because of an internal problem, and all were neutered, vaccinated and ear-tipped.

The next week, another kitty was trapped and also taken to the vet to be neutered. Guess what? This will help prevent more kittens from being born! I have invested my time and money in this effort, yet the lives of these sweet creatures could be taken at any given moment and all because the cats went looking for a meal when their feeders were told to stop putting food out.

As for animals entering buildings, how about closing a door next time? The cats only went searching for food because their normal routine had been disrupted.

I want to know exactly what kind of a health risk these cats pose that make them so terrible to have on campus. The cats need to stop being vilified and start being saved, an effort we should all be proud to do in this day and age where hundreds of animals are being killed in shelters needlessly. Feral populations are out of control because of human failure and Mills should want to help rather than destroy these poor creatures.

Mills Administrators, including President Holmgren, who has remained mum on this issue: Do the right thing and let the willing volunteers help! Other colleges have successful TNR programs, why not Mills? Are we that behind in our thinking that the only solution is to keep killing? If this is the case, I’d like a refund please and you can keep my B.A. I have no need for something so tainted by ignorance and inhumanity.