After years of discussion the Animal Control Advisory Board (ACAB) has submitted a proposal to change Wichita’s Animal Ordinances that would legalize the feeding and care of cats by anyone, anywhere in the city.
On July 3rd, 2015 an article appears on kmuw.org entitled Group Advocates For Trap, Neuter, Return To Control Feral Cat Numbers. A scant four days later, on July 7th, the first meeting of ACAB met at 3:00PM where Captain Nolte listed several topics which he wanted the board to address. Trap Neuter Release (TNR) was on this list. And so it began. The cart was placed squarely before the horse by the Wichita Police Department. No formal investigation into the feral cat population in Wichita would be investigated as Nolte’s decision steered the board away from looking at feral cats in Wichita and instead had the board looking at the pros of TNR. Additionally, the economics, community concerns and environmental impacts of unowned cats or alternative or complimentary solutions were not considered relevant to the board’s inquiry on TNR. Perhaps this is because the majority of board members were engaged, in one way or other, with Friends of Feral Felines Kansas or with illegal feeding stations, or owners of cat related businesses? Or perhaps because this agenda is being pushed by Wichita Police Department it really doesn’t matter what the outcomes are as long as it reduces departmental costs and pleases the current City Manager?
All across the country, and the world, TNR is spun as a compassionate alternative to euthanizing feral cats and the processing of stray cats (which will be trapped, neutered and released if not already desexed, chipped or tagged). There is some debate about the compassion of this program, but the important thing to note for Wichita is that TNR is being pushed on Wichita by the City Manager and the Wichita Police Department as a way to lower costs of Animal Services. Nothing more. This is a financial decision by the city to lower the costs of doing business. This is not being done because the city has a great heart for animals, a fact that anyone can discover by reviewing current animal ordinances and the minimal efforts put towards their enforcement
At this time it is best to email the following with your opinions on the TNR Proposal (click the green button above to get a copy):
- Lt. Brian Sigman, Director of Animal Services – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Captain Chet Pinkston, WPD – email@example.com