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Letter: TNVR programs are not a humane option

TNVR programs are not a humane option

I have been a full-time practicing veterinarian since graduating number one in my class from Cornell in 1980. My undergraduate degree is from Harvard. I state my credentials to give weight to my position that TNVR (trap-neuter-vaccinate-return) programs do not work.

It’s simply not true that cats who have been trapped, neutered and then released to an allegedly “monitored” colony are provided with post-operative care. The logistics, the cats’ trap avoidance and costs of doing so make that impossible. I have experienced firsthand the effect on feral cats of our brutal winters and their mauling by predators and cruel humans in upstate New York. As domesticated animals originally evolving in desert habitats, cats suffer tremendously when dumped outside and left to fend for themselves. In fact, abandoning cats, as TNVR advocates do when they put them back on the streets, violates the state’s anti-cruelty laws – and rightfully so.

Over the years, I have seen countless birds, rabbits, squirrels and other small animals mauled and mutilated by free-roaming cats. The toll on wildlife is devastating and real.

TNVR is not a humane option. Even though it is difficult and heartbreaking, euthanasia (when there are no other rehoming options) is a more merciful and kinder thing to do.

Holly Cheever, DVM

Vice President, New York State Humane Association