Help stop plans to trap and kill feral cats in South Newton Township

by JF Richards
(Chambersburg, PA)

Update: Victory! They are no longer going forward with the plan to exterminate the cats. Now, the hard work starts... a successful TNR program must be implemented following a fundraiser for the cats.



The original article follows:

South Newton Township, Cumberland County, PA: Stop their plans to kill all feral and free roaming cats by a paid trapper on September 7th and 8th, 2013.

After a Child was Bitten by a "feral" cat with rabies several months ago (the cat has since been killed and tested), the Supervisors of South Newton Township, Pennsylvania (a rural township south of Harrisburg) met and voted on hiring a paid trapper to catch and kill as many cats in the township on September 7th and 8th as he could.

A notice was posted on their website to keep family pets indoors during this period as they would be caught and killed as well.

The original trapper, the Critter Getter of Perry County had planned and was authorized by the township to use traps, leg hold and other types, to catch the felines and then he had a mobile "gassing" device set up in the back of his truck to kill the cats by gassing them with exhaust fumes.

After the initial bad publicity he has since backed out and another organization, Wildlife Control Consultant, LLC, under the direction of Stephen M. Vantassel, per the Chambersburg Public Opinion stated 08/17/2013, has stepped in.

This man has written a book about killing cats by a number of means including poisoning of them by Acetaminophen.

Meanwhile, a petition is being circulated to prevent this from happening on Change.org, which currently has about 12,000+ signatures on it.

Click here to read and sign the petition.

Tabby cat South Newton Township


A number of local media outlets have picked up on the story and interviewed township officials, who say they are considering other options, but we are of the belief that they are just saying this to calm the media storm.

A special meeting is being held this coming Tuesday, August 20th, to either go forward with the cull or consider other options.

To date, a number of animal rights organizations have stepped up to offer free TNR. Preservation of Animal Welfare and Safety Inc., (PAWS) has offered to do 30 free neuter and spays. Alley Cat Allies has offered free rabies vaccinations.

Visit the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Savethenewtontownshipcats

Cat on grass South Newton Township


Editor's note: The original version of this article included an incorrect reference to a connection between Animal Welfare and Safety Inc., (PAWS) and Stephen M. Vantassel. PAWS is not associated with Mr. Vantassel.

Comments for Help stop plans to trap and kill feral cats in South Newton Township

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Atrocious
by: Juan

Absolutely atrocious what these uneducated people are trying to do. Perhaps some cat lovers from other states should show up at the town and educate the people about the subject. TNR plus vaccines are the answer here.

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Animal abuse is illegal!
by: Anonymous

Trapping and killing these cats is clearly animal abuse, which is illegal. Outdoor cats may very well be someone's pet. I tamed a feral cat, which had been born outdoors and never inside a house, and he was the sweetest, most loving and intelligent cat I ever had.

The theory that feral cats cannot be tamed is hogwash. They can, and even if nobody has the patience to tame them, they are beneficial as they hunt and kill rodents. Trap, neuter, release or find a home.

Many organizations are offering to help. Work with them, or face a major storm of fury from animal lovers, and hopefully, from the authorities who should be prosecuting those who harm helpless animals.

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Killers
by: Anonymous

Karma WILL bite your butt.

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T-N-R is the only way
by: New York joe

I have been performing T-N-R on feral cats since 2001. I have a small colony I maintain. It's the humane way to manage feral cats. Anything else is inhumane and anyone taking part should be ashamed and prosecuted.

NYj

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Ferals control rodent population
by: Deborah Oleary

Cats are intelligent creatures. YES they "colonize" and they have leaders to keep them organized.

What you need to do is Trap spay/neuter/ and release because they follow their instinct and reproduce.

They do however keep the rodent population down. They will kill snakes and stop other strays from entering their territory.

I do understand they can populate an area quickly and the state needs to maintain some kind of control. But cats do more good then harm if some can be saved please consider the healthy ones.

Thank-you

Debbie O'Leary

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History repeats itself
by: conwayod

The last time there was a mass killing of cats was because people thought they were in league with the devil and we were nailed with the black death. You know that well known plague that wiped out over a fifth of Europe. The cats killed the rats that carried the fleas that passed that little bugger. The cats are on this planet for a reason! ;-)

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Stop the killing
by: Anonymous

Fix the feral cats, it's not their faults that they r wild. If their owners would make sure their cats were fixed we would not have a problem. And most of the time, it's owners of cats that move or just do not want the cats anymore, so, the cats are left behind to fend for themselves.

I have 2 cats the owners left that I have taken in. And I have a kitten that was a feral kitten who is a little bit on the wild side, but she is loved. Feral cats should have the right to live just like anyone else does. Give them that chance.

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Feral cats
by: Kathlen Kocher

The only way to eradicate this problem is to educate the public. Local town codes should be put in place that mandates all cats that are living with families be spayed & neutered.

There should be fines in place for dumping and abandoning cats which leads to this overpopulation.

There are many organizations who will help. TNR is the only way to control the large numbers of free roaming cats.

I have one that was just dropped off in the colony that I am presently feeding. The poor thing was so lost and came up to me crying. He was rail thin and so scared. Obviously, he was not feral.

Please help these poor animals who have done nothing wrong, just trying to exist. Help them instead of killing them, because this will not solve the problem or make it go away. TNR is the only reasonable solution. Do the right thing!

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Beware those who are willing to exterminate poor animals.
by: Anonymous

If you are willing to kill off poor animals, beware these people, they are killers.

And they should be the one's killed instead. Such cruel behavior. If you are doing evil instead of good, you don't belong on this earth with the rest of us.

TNR is the best way to go, to lower the population. Not kill them.

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Stop the killing
by: Anonymous

Please institute a trap, neuter and rehome/release plan.

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DO NOT DO THIS
by: Jill Criswell

Support the feral communities. TNR them and allow your volunteers to keep them healthy. Publicize how to approach (and not approach) a feral cat. TNR will reduce their population. It is humane, it is compassionate, it is effective, and it is ethical.

What you are doing is ignorant, it's animal cruelty, and IT'S A CRIME. Do the right thing. NO NOT ENGAGE IN CRUELTY TO ANIMALS. And I can't believe you have to be told that.

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Care fot these kitties don't murder them
by: Yvonne

How could you join the ranks of Hitler and other murderers? These kitties are defenseless and you have many offers to help them, be smart not foolish and except the help, don't kill these defenseless babies.

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Canceling PA vacation
by: Mary Lozada

Funny how things happen... a group of us were going to Pa on the 7th. Not anymore! Will replan vac for a state where they don't murder innocent animals. And I'll be sure to pass this on to everyone... especially to all animal lovers who may be thinking of taking any trips or vacations to PA.

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So stupid
by: Janet

What the hell happened to catch and fix and release?? Really? You could be putting down some people's pets. Get real people!!

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Kitty Killers
by: Ann Jue

I don't understand how you can hire someone to do something like this. Do you not realize that what you want done is mass murder? That means that basically you are no better then any other mass murderer from the past.

These cats have kept other rodents and varmints away from your properties. There are people who are willing to step up and help with the situation. I also understand that there are volunteers who will be the Care Takers for these kitties.

What part of your brain does not work that you don't realize a good thing when you have it? I'm a Care Taker for 3 colonies in my area. We have NO mice, rats, or other varmint running amok.

Please don't let this so called Christian man of God kill God's creatures.

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Sick altogether!!
by: eveie

I agree with all! Just open special shelters for these poor abandoned kitties... the people are the ones to blame... they would not be in this position if they would have been responsible enough to spay and neuter these poor defenseless creatures. Humans are always to blame. Animals don't know any better!! Stricter laws are desperately needed!!!

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There is another solution
by: sharon fransen

Like so many people have mentioned. Alley Cat Allies has offered to vaccinate these cats free. Is there proof that the cat who bit the child WAS rabid?

Wouldn't it be better to humanely trap the cats, and vaccinate them, and then quarantine them for the two weeks to see if really any were rabid.

I'm sure if the other cat was rabid he probably got it from fighting with a raccoon or some other animal rather than a cat. Most colony cats get along together in my experience.

I think this is AWFUL!!!!!!! that all these cats are getting killed, inhumanely at that. If someone's indoor cat accidentally gets out those days, it could be killed.

With cat colonies eventually the colonies die off, because the old ones die, since outside cats have a life span of only about five years. Then the stray cat population becomes less. There is no sense to the inhumane killing of lots of innocent cats.

Please reconsider what you are doing. Let the people who have offered to help, help in this.

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STOP
by: G. M. Allen

Stop this now! Trap, neuter and release is the option to choose and has worked successfully in our community.

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People wonder why
by: Anonymous

There is so much killing.
Well- stop it.
AND CHOOSE LIFE!

It's up to all of us to stand up for the individual expressions this universe has- not one is better than another- we are one whole. Appreciate these cats that the universe produced-- if you want your life to be respected, and the lives you love.

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Stop Cat Killers
by: Anonymous

As a cat lover and someone who has had at least one in my a family almost continuously since I was a young boy, I'm against killing innocent animals in general and cats in particular.

They have value, they are worth saving, they have just as much right to exist as most people, but in the cases of criminals and scumbag cat killing politicians more so. While I don't live in your area, I can tell you if someone in my area came along and tried to do things you all are proposing I would not hesitate to give a very slow and painful death to any and all responsible for harming the cats.

With that said I strongly suggest you change your plan and take the offers of help from the groups offering it to keep the cats alive. It is the right thing to do.

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FERAL CATS (INNOCENT)
by: Anonymous

What is wrong with you people. Instead of opening shelters for for these poor innocent animals you want to find an easier route to take. As a community you all have a responsibility. There wouldn't be a lot feral cats if they would have spayed or neutered their cats. Instead they just abandon them like trash.

I hope you have a heart and find another solution instead of trapping them to kill them. Just trap them and make a shelter for them. Feral cats can be trained to get used to people. Please don't make a quick decision, and just remember these cats don't deserve to be killed.

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This is just sick!
by: Deborah Lynch

Take up Alley Cat Allies for the rabies vaccines. Do TNR's (Trap, neuter release). Anything else is just inhumane!!!!!!!

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This is so sick.
by: Darla M Patera

The one doing this trap should be in jail for life. What kind of human bean could do such a gross and in human thing?

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SO WRONG !!
by: Darla M Patera

It is so wrong to trap and kill, a poor little kitty doll or any animal. It is not the kitty cats' fault they are out there. The humans are at fault for not taking responsibility by having them fixed.

I have a feral cat her name is Mamaboo. She is all Black. I also have her baby, O'Malley. He is also all black, and to think someone could have trap and killed her and O'Malley. How wrong it would have been. The poor little feral kitties have the right to live as much as we do, as much as any living animal out there.

THE PLANS TO TRAP AND KILL FERAL CATS ARE SO WRONG.

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Trap and Kill
by: Blaze

If you went after dogs like Pit Bulls or dogs that can kill people, you would be a hero. Please leave the cats alone. Thank you!

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Please don't kill the cats
by: Anonymous

Please don't kill the feral cats. I hope animal lovers that are close by come out and do what you can to stop this. If people did this on their own, it would be called abuse and they would be charged. This makes me ashamed to live in Pa.

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FERAL CATS PROVIDE PEST CONTROL
by: TNRbeliever

Does anybody remember their history lessons from school? Does anyone remember what happened during the black plague?

The black plague occurred because cats were thought to be evil/pests and were nearly eradicated. With the absence of cats roaming the streets, rats and other critters ran amok; carrying the plague and other diseases, spreading them to humans.

Feral cats may be a nuisance, but with a good TNR program in place, they won't be over breeding and will be doing what comes naturally to them... Pest control.

While some folks would love to have these feral cats adopted, it is unrealistic. I am proud to have two feral cats as my little furbabies, but I found them when they were less than 6 weeks old and barely eating hard food.

They are nearly 7 years old now, but it took me nearly 2 years to get them tame enough to handle and another 2 years to get them adjusted to having other people in my house without running and hiding for 3 days.

Feral cats are truly wild animals and must be treated as such. Domestication is extremely difficult with ferals, not impossible, but very trying on the patience and usually means death to your furniture.

Observing a TNR program and letting these cats do their jobs is the best for all involved. Folks need to inform their children that just because a little kitty looks cute and fuzzy doesn't mean that it can and most likely will bite and/or scratch with the ferocity of a raccoon.

Education people! EDUCATION!!!

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Where was the mother?
by: Rita Ross

The furor began when a supposedly rabid cat bit a toddler. The story states that the cat (or head) was sent for examination, but I see no Eureka! That, yes, the cat was rabid.

Perhaps there was no Eureka! Because the cat was not rabid. Had the cat, with the mother obviously not watching her child, been poked or manhandled by the child and the cat bit?

Yes, where was the mother while her child was being bitten by this 'rabid' cat. Busy talking to other people. If this cat had lunged at her child, you had better believe that lunging would have been written all over the media in their reports.

Nothing has been written about the 'painful' rabies shots this toddler had to endure. Wouldn't / Shouldn't that have been mentioned? My gut reaction is that this cat was murdered without any proof it was rabid.

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Leave them cats alone, They are God's Kid just like me and you. May you see God's raff if you hurt them
by: Anonymous

Leave them cats alone they belong to God like you do. May God deal with you.

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TNR is the only humane solution
by: Anonymous

Alley Cat Allies has long proven that TNR (trap, neuter and return) is the most effective way to deal humanely with feral cat populations. This group offered to vaccinate the feral cats of South Newton Township if the plans to kill the cats were stopped. Why hasn't the Township accepted their offer?

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Loving cats
by: Animal lover

You heartless human beings! How can you sleep at night? You are murderers! Leave them alone! (cats) They are a creation of God, just like we are!

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Cat carer
by: Peter from Lancaster

Use a good TNR program.

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Stop the slaughter of feral cats
by: Anonymous

PLEASE stop the killings of innocent cats!! You need to put the effort into educating the public the importance of spaying and neutering!!!

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Animal cruelty
by: deb

This is the ultimate animal cruelty!!! How dare they slaughter innocent animals?? As someone already said, they didn't ask to be born and thrown away like garbage!! Get a heart and save them, not kill them!

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Feral Cats
by: Mare Dove

This is so not right in so many ways! There are several legitimate agencies that are willing to help these cats. Please be a compassionate human being and stop this madness!

These poor creatures of God did not create this problem... therefore it's up to the people to solve it in a rational way..........murdering them is NOT the solution!!!

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Please stop the killing of these poor cats.
by: Deb Klauzer

Like everyone else says... these poor cats have had a bad life and try to survive and then you get someone that doesn't have a feeling at all that are just going to kill them.

As for the little girl that had gotten bit. You should teach your kids not to try to touch or grab any animal they have never been around just like you would warn them not to get close to a wild animal. These cats have never had love and they don't know that you aren't going to hurt them.

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Disgusting
by: deb h.

This is a disgusting plan for any human being to actually process!!! Where I live, Save A Kitty actually traps, neuters and releases. And feed them. Who the hell does this town think they are and what gives them the right to slaughter innocent animals???

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NO NEED TO KILL, IMPLEMENT TNR PROGRAM
by: JARoss

Why are you doing this? Many states and cities in the U.S. are implementing a wonderful TNR Program. Catch them, spay and neuter and release with the ear tipping.

It keeps the cat community from growing without killing them. Some even find themselves homes through this program. You are killing them unnecessarily. STOP that is cruel. http://www.feralcatproject.org/aboutthecats_tnr.aspx

I pray you will see it in your best interest to use this program, call Richmond, VA they are doing it as well as my town of Lawrenceville, VA and MANY others.
Sincerely,
JARoss
Lawrenceville, VA

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Sabotage the slaughter
by: Shanti

Sabotage their plans. Relocate the cats before, or sabotage the traps. Come out in hoards and collect all the poisoned meat that they could put down. And set off the trap with no cat inside. Get all the animal rights people out there on those days. Action Plan...

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Trapping and killing feral cats.
by: Cat=Mtrappingan=Dude

Take the donation money and get them vaccinated and put them up for adoption. Take a handful to retirement homes and see if they are allowed.

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Mercy for the South Newton Township cats
by: Anonymous

"Even as you do it unto the least of these, you do it unto me."
Jesus Christ

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Killing ferals
by: Anonymous

How about we "cull" the humans who are so irresponsible to not spay and neuter these poor animals that they give a f**k about in the first place?

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Save the ferrals!
by: Susan Smilow

Please everybody we have to spread the word to help save these innocent cats. Trap neuter release, not trap and destroy!

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Inhumane
by: Anonymous

This is an outrage! I can't believe that you people would do something so horrific like this! This is completely unnecessary and inhumane!

It is not the cats' fault that their owners didn't take care of them, spay/neuter, get vaccinations and proper care necessary, and left them behind. Why should they be killed because they weren't properly cared for in the first place!

These poor cats have already lived sad lives on the streets! You have to have a heart and think about what you would be doing to these poor innocent animals! It's not right to kill them!

Each individual cat has a sad story behind their situation! Bottom line is... it's not their fault. They were abandoned and not taken care of properly! So why should they pay the ultimate price for humans (huge) mistakes?!!!!!!

With the money that you people are donating to kill these cats, why don't you pay for them to be trapped, vaccinated, spayed/neuter. This is the best solution to the problem. That way if another human did happen to get bitten then they wouldn't have to worry about getting any diseases!

An organization is offering to trap, neuter, release. So you people would only be responsible for the cost of vaccinations, and its cheaper than killing them!

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Beautiful Cats
by: Anonymous

Why would you do this to a cat. It's not their fault that they are out there. It's people's fault. They move and they leave their cats behind, so if they kill the cats, you will have to answer to GOD.

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Killing cats
by: Delores Bowles

They didn't ask to be born but they are here and need love and food like any other animal. With much time and patience I have befriended a feral cat that his mother left him at my house. I guess she couldn't feed him.

I also feed all the cats that want to come eat as my neighbor was doing before he died. I felt sorry for them. They need love not to be murdered by some unfeeling human.

This is one of the worst stories I have ever read. Why not trap them fix them so they can't breed anymore and take care of them, is that so bad a solution to the problem?

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HOW DARE YOU!!!
by: Anonymous

Trapping and killing a cat is murder. There is no reason to do that, period!! That is animal cruelty period, you have no heart if you do that. Trap the cats and have them fixed is a better thing to do. If you kill one cat, then you are a murderer of animals period. How you would feel if cats hunted humans, you wouldn't like it either.

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STOP
by: Anonymous

Go after people who hurt animals and children.

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