Another perspective on the feral cat issue can be found at www.bigpinekey.com. There’s an interesting article about endangered marsh rabbits. It’s another chapter in the feral cat debate. Do feral cats play a role in the decline of the marsh rabbit? That’s unclear. Again Trap-Neuter-Release (TNR) is suggested as a way to reduce the “feral”cat population, which is a good thing in and of itself.
The Florida Keys Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (FKSPCA) runs the Key West animal shelter and has recently took over operations of the Middle Keys shelter. The FKSCPA has a small-scale TNR program. Forgotten Felines of the Florida Keys (FFFK) also runs a TNR operation, as does the Grayvik Center in Ocean Reef.
The feral cat issue seems to be most acute in the Key Largo area right now. The Upper Keys Animal shelter has a 64% kill rate (81% for cats), which is about three times higher than the other two shelters.
Ideally, Monroe County would take an honest look at the problem in an effort to find humane and effective solutions. What’s happening right now is neither. Perhaps existing TNR programs in the Keys could be expanded. Perhaps a new one could be established. Perhaps there are other solutions out there.
There won’t be any help from the county with the staff and commissioners in place at present. Sadly, staff has chosen to distort the facts instead of getting their heads around the situation. District 5 County Commissioner, Sylvia Murphy, has refused to take action saying that she is “perfectly happy” with the services at the Upper Keys shelter.
It’s up to the citizens. Isn’t it always?