County SPCA won’t arrest for TNR

‘Trap, neuter and return’ hot issue for animal advocates, but is unlawful

— The Schenectady County SPCA won’t pursue criminal charges for people participating in a controversial method of feral cat population control.

Matthew Tully, now former chief humane officer for the Schenectady County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, announced on Wednesday, Dec. 28, the agency wouldn’t arrest anyone engaging in “trap, neuter and return.”

The act, commonly referred to as TNR, is when someone humanely traps feral cats, has them spayed or neutered and vaccinating against rabies and then returns the animals to their colony. Engaging in TNR is a crime under state law and is punishable by up to one year of imprisonment and possibly a fine up to $1,000.

“Nothing has caused more controversy than that advisory that we weren’t going to press charges,” Tully said on Friday, Dec. 30. “We took this stance because this law in particular is an area of extreme controversy in the animal community.”

In the past several weeks, Tully said the SPCA received two calls related to instances of TNR practice. Police officers are required by law to make animal cruelty arrests, but since SPCA officers are not police officers they’re not required to make an arrest.

“The reason why this is causing such a stir is because it is a common practice in this area,” Tully said. “There are a lot of well intentioned people trying to control the feral cat population and one of the few ways to do it is this way.”

Tully said he felt the SPCA’s limited resources could be better used in other areas.

“We think that this is just a weird area of law that is just so hotly contested that we don’t want to get our resources in,” he said. “We are a very specialized charity, we are not police … we are not obligated to investigate everything that comes in our way.”

Vote on this Story by clicking on the Icon


Woodsman 3 years, 8 months ago

If you do the research, as I did using data from the most "successful" TNR programs, you'll easily find that not even ONE TNR program has EVER trapped more than 0.4% of existing cats in any one area for over a decade now. They simply cannot trap them faster than they breed out of control, no matter what they do. And those cats that learn to evade traps go on to produce offspring that now also know how to evade any trapping method used. On advice of the local sheriff where I live I used a .22 equipped with a good illuminated-scope and a laser-sight for use when they are most active, dusk to dawn; as well as to afford precision aim for a humane kill. I shot every last one of them on my property to restore all the native wildlife to proper balance. 100% total success! This is even a more humane method than terrorizing trapping and animal-shelter methods. And contrary to TNR LIES, not ONE cat replaced them, NATIVE WILDLIFE THAT BELONGS HERE RETURNED.


SPCALover 3 years, 8 months ago

Shooting Cats is a CRIME - See New York State Agriculture and Markets Law 374(2-c) which reads "No person shall euthanize a dog or cat by gunshot" per NYS AGM 374 shooting a cat "shall constitute a misdemeanor and shall be punishable by imprisonment for not more than one year, or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars, or by both." What is your address and when did you do you this? I am sure the SPCA would love to talk with you more about your solution to the cat overpopulation problem in your area!


Woodsman 3 years, 8 months ago

The general rule-of-thumb in the USA is that if your land is in an area zoned for agricultural or livestock use then it is perfectly legal to destroy any animal, someone's pet or not, that is threatening the health, well-being, and safety of your own animals or family. The only animals exempt from you taking immediate action, legally, are those listed on endangered or threatened species lists, and any bird species under protection of MBTA (the Migratory Bird Treaty Act). Even then variances can be given should there be sufficient problem but this requires further study by authorities. Since cats are listed in the top 100 WORST invasive-species of the world in the "Global Invasive Species Database", this means they have no protection whatsoever from being shot on sight. And in fact, if your area enforces and obeys invasive-species laws -- as they should -- then it is against the law to NOT destroy any cat on sight, someone's pet or not. It is your civic and moral responsibility to destroy any invasive-species that is found away from safe confinement and roaming freely in a non-native habitat.

A cat-owner that releases their cat in an area zoned for any form of livestock or agricultural use has no legal grounds to sue anyone if their cat is shot. Even if the shooter walks up to the door of the ex-cat-owner and hands their dead cat back to them, saying, "I shot your cat, here it is! Better luck next time!" Though local law-enforcement frowns on this because the criminally-irresponsible ex-cat-owner will just raise a stink with law-enforcement, wasting their time when they have more important things to do than explain to and coddle an idiot. Hence the popular "SSS Cat Management Program" (Shoot, Shovel, & Shut-Up) method to save your gendarmes the further hassle by the ex-cat-owning trouble-makers.

In fact, here's a publication from a study done by the University of Nebraska on the best ways to HUMANELY deal with a feral-cat problem wherever you live. This documentation INCLUDES the best firearms, ammo, and air-rifles required to HUMANELY destroy cats. http://deenawinter.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/ec1781.pdf

Besides, what difference does it make if the cat gets shot or ran over by a car, attacked by another cat or animal, drowned, or poisoned by plants animals or chemicals? The result is the same. The cause is the same -- the fault of the criminally irresponsible pet-owner that let that invasive-species pet roam free. It only means they really didn't care about that cat at all so nobody else should either.

When flying over the USA on a clear day, look down. Then you'll see that vast coast-to-coast patchwork-quilt of farms and ranches where it's perfectly legal to destroy every last cat.


Woodsman 3 years, 8 months ago

You might also like to know ...

If you advocate for cats as rodent-control on farms and ranches, you've already doomed them to being destroyed by drowning or shooting when it becomes a financial liability more than any asset. Ranchers and farmers worldwide are fully aware that cats' Toxoplasma gondii parasite will cause the very same birth defects (microcephaly and hydrocephaly), still-births, and miscarriages in their livestock and important wildlife as it can in pregnant women. This is why any cats are routinely destroyed around gestating livestock and wildlife management areas. Common rural practice everywhere. The risk of financial loss and loss of important native wildlife is far too great to do otherwise.

The next time you bite into that whole-grain veggie-muffin or McBurger, you need to just envision biting down on a shot-dead or drowned kitten or cat. For that's precisely how that food supply got to your mouth -- whether you want to face up to it or not. It's not going to change reality no matter how much you twist your mind away from the truth of your world.

If you want to blame someone for the drowning and shooting of cats, you need to prosecute yourself every time you eat.


Woodsman 3 years, 7 months ago

Look up the term TNR advocates just LOVE to use on how they reduce their feral-cat numbers, their candy-coating feel-good term of "Death by Attrition". This means that their cats will die from disease, cat-attacks, animal-attacks, exposure, road-kill, starvation, and any other means that drastically shortens cats' lives. They don't die from old-age, you know! ALL their cats suffering for how many months it takes to die that way. Just because they don't see how that cat lies there, gasping for air, dying for days, after it's been hit by a car or survived an animal attack means that it didn't die inhumanely? Is that how it works with TNR advocates? They didn't see it suffer to death so it didn't suffer? Are they THIS self-deluded? A cat dying from poisoning is even more humane than a cat dying from TNR's "attrition" (of which poisoning by any means; plant, snake, insect, or chemical; is one of the many methods that falls under the definition of "attrition"). In most parts of this country and the world TNR practices clearly falls under the guidelines for cruelty to animals, animal-abuse, animal-neglect, animal-endangerment, and animal-abandonment laws. Including being in direct violation of every invasive-species law in existence.

Let's not forget how TNR advocates don't hesitate to carve up cats with scalpels as well as cutting off parts of their ears, from which they have to heal-up for weeks before they try to survive again. As if letting them die of "attrition" wasn't bad enough, TNR-advocates start them off by terrorizing them with traps, cages, and sticking knives into them first. (Which is also precisely why they can't trap them a 2nd time to keep them vaccinated.)

Not only are they cruelly torturing cats, but also all wildlife they inflict their cats upon. Their cats literally ripping the skin off of and clawing the guts out of any wildlife to use it as an agonizingly and slowly dying twitching play-toy for their cats. And as soon as all the "fun" has drained out of their play-toy, they go on and find another one to torture. This is no different than if cat-owners went to a pet-store and bought canaries and hamsters then threw them at their cats to watch their cats tear them apart for their amusement. What about all the native predators that depend on all those animals for their ONLY food? Their cats cause all those animals to STARVE TO DEATH. TNR-advocates' cruelty knows no bounds.

If you want to raise revenue for your towns and cities in order to deal with this invasive-species ecological-disaster properly and effectively, start charging all these TNR advocates with severe fines and imprisonment for CRUELTY TO ANIMALS AND VIOLATION OF INVASIVE-SPECIES LAWS.

They're not doing this out of any goodness of their hearts. THEY DON'T HAVE HEARTS, nor minds. Proved, 100%.


Sign in to comment