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Cats, wildlife & people II

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'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Letter to the Editor
Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013, 8:55 p.m.
 

I don't agree with the statement in the USA Today news story “Cats kill more than believed in past” about feral cats that a Trap-Neuter-Return (T-N-R) program is harmful to wildlife.

This “puts down” the very groups that are working hard to help cats as well as wildlife. A T-N-R program works to humanely get stray cats neutered, thus reducing the number of new cat predators that otherwise would be produced by the unspayed females. How could this not be beneficial to wildlife?

These T-N-R groups are struggling daily — with all volunteers and no federal funding — to neuter and get rabies shots for hundreds of stray cats! An Internet source says a single female cat, living for 12 years, could have as many as 3,500 descendants. So, an effective T-N-R program eventually scales down these feral cat colonies, therefore lessening the threat to wildlife.

T-N-R groups work for the future — hopefully, one in which cats are lovingly cared for by their owners, who responsibly get them neutered, don't let them run wild and don't randomly toss them into the woods to take care of themselves!

Frank Rudnik

East Huntingdon

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