"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the
way its animals are treated." - Mahatma Gandhi
I thought of this quote immediately when I came across 3 kittens with their heads bashed in with a rock, lying scattered and dead in the rain on the morning after Easter, when I went to care for a feral cat colony in Sherwood. I just wonder what kind of person or persons could do this to small, helpless animals on Easter Sunday. Easter Sunday!!! Cruelty to small animals is how Jeffrey Dahmer got his start, and it is illegal. As is leaving out pans of antifreeze, otherwise poisoning, or shooting them with pellet guns. Its also kind of sick, and a bad example for children.
I have been lauded and reviled in turn for taking care of these cats, depending on your perspective on cats. I first started feeding them after the local grocery store closed and their source of food disappeared from the dumpster. I drove by those freezing, starving, and miserable, largely earless cats on the way to get the mail for most of one winter thinking that someone should do something about them, when I had the epiphany that perhaps that someone was me. I certainly couldn't kill them; I could no longer watch them starve, so my only option was to take care of them. In fact, I have found out since that there are a lot of closet feral cat caregivers in town, and I salute you all for your humanity.
Since then I have fed and watered them daily, made shelters, had cats spayed and neutered and have gotten them shots. I've found homes for about 15 cats and kittens. Over the course of the last 3 years the colony has dwindled from about 30 cats to about 12 at the current time through attrition and adoption. This is a proven management technique called trap-neuter-release, and is highly regarded as such in large cities where feral cats are a giant problem. The neutered cats defend their territory so no outside cats move in, and their numbers diminish naturally over time. In the meantime, owners must be required to neuter their pets, and/or discover that cats can live happily and much longer and healthier lives as house pets only.
The city can waste resources trapping them, taking them to the pound and having them killed at 25 bucks a head, but the problem will never go away. That process just creates a vacuum that more cats will fill as soon as someone gets sick of an adorable kitten that turns into a raucous adolescent, or someone dumps a mama cat and an unwanted litter on a side street, or someone moves away and leaves darling Fluffy behind to fend for herself. As God sees every sparrow that falls, so he sees that raggle-tailed cat sleeping in the sun, and so he sees the one who would persecute it.