News & Politics

Iowa Town Causes Uproar by Shooting Feral Cats

(Getty Images)

The small town of Jefferson, Iowa, has suspended its program of shooting feral cats after a public outcry condemning the town’s actions as inhumane.

In the aftermath of the uproar, The Washington Post reports that,

City administrator Mike Palmer said Friday that Mayor Craig Berry told council members Tuesday that he’d discussed the practice in a meeting with officials from the Animal Protection and Education organization and the Animal Rescue League of Iowa. The decision to suspend the shooting of feral cats came soon after that.

The program of shooting feral cats was started as a cost-cutting initiative. More “humane” methods of disposing of unwanted cats are much more expensive than a bullet. The city ordinance allowed citizens of Jefferson to request a trap from the town’s police department. Upon trapping a cat, the citizen would notify the authorities, who would then dispose of the cat by shooting it.

For those concerned about someone’s pet getting caught and shot, Mayor Berry insisted that “officers are trained to recognize whether a cat is wild or is someone’s pet.”

Furthermore, according to Patch, “The cats that were shot had been deemed ‘unadoptable,’ while cats that appeared to be healthy were taken to the town’s animal shelter and offered for adoption.”

Predictably, the ordinance quickly caught the attention of animal rights organizations. In fact, many of the residents of Jefferson were unaware that the town was shooting feral cats. Speaking to WHO-TV, town resident Sue Taylor said, “Kinda cruel, I think. I just thought they always took them to the animal rescue, but, no, I don’t think they should shoot them.”

There is another side to the issue than the position held by the Animal Rescue League of Iowa and other organizations, though. Prior to the town’s reversal of the ordinance, local TV station KCCI reported:

“Cats don’t belong outside,” Jefferson City Councilman Matt Wetrich said. “There’s research showing hundreds of millions of birds in the U.S. alone.”

Wetrich is a naturalist by trade and knows what feral cats do to an ecosystem. But he also knows the attachment so many people have to the furry creatures, which is why he admits the city’s policy of shooting some feral cats doesn’t sit right with a lot of people.

“I think the issue with the idea of shooting a cat is tough in the fact that it seems violent because we think of shooting as violence, and that’s an entirely reasonable thought,” he said. “I think that’s a pretty natural reaction.”

Backing up Councilman Wetrich’s claims, the Smithsonian magazine ran a story two years ago stating that outdoor cats kill billions of songbirds each year. That’s billions with a “B.”

Reading the negative responses to Jefferson’s policy of shooting feral cats, I can’t help but think about one of the most oft-used arguments made by pro-abortionists to defend the killing of babies. Are those who are opposed to the quick and cheap disposal of feral cats by a bullet willing to adopt the wild cats? Rewording the pro-abortionists’ argument, if people aren’t willing to adopt the feral cats, they shouldn’t try to stop the town of Jefferson from disposing of them in such a cheap and efficient manner.