Regarding the May 4 letter Smelly cats by Terry Miller: It appears that Miller and Ron Magill of Zoo Miami may be the ones with a biased misunderstanding, regarding the scientific data addressing the cats residing in the wild near the Zoo.
According to the Journal of Feline Medicine & Surgery: “Feral cats live full healthy lives outdoors — there is no reason for them to be killed in shelters; of 103,643 stray and feral cats examined in spay/neuter clinics in six states from 1993 to 2004, less than 1 percent of those cats needed to be euthanized due to debilitating conditions, trauma or infectious diseases.” Contamination and infectious disease transfer to animals at the Zoo is virtually non-existent.
Studies conducted by Dr. Julie Levy from the University of Florida, which followed long-term Trap-Neuter-Release programs, found that the population of felines living within a supervised cat colony declined by 66 percent over 10 years.
Rather than killing these sentient creatures, Trap-Neuter-Release programs have been nationally instituted and accepted as a humane alternative. It’s supported by the ASPCA and over 250 nonprofit organizations dedicated to a compassionate and non-violent remedy for abandoned cats.