On Demand

Protecting "Feral" Cats: A Law and Policy Discussion

1h 30m

Created on December 08, 2016




It's estimated that nearly three-quarters of cats who enter our nation's animal shelters each year don't make it out alive. Most are unowned, free-roaming "feral" cats, many of whom are not suitable for adoption into homes. Shelter-based community cat programs, based on the trap-neuter-return (TNR) method of population management, are becoming increasingly common because they can dramatically reduce feline intake and euthanasia, offer a non-lethal alternative for managing the population of "feral" cats, and enjoy broad public support.

However, there are a number of legal and policy considerations that must be addressed in order to implement such programs. Join attorney Richard Angelo and research analyst Peter J. Wolf as they discuss the current legal landscape surrounding unowned, free-roaming cats, as well as the science that underpins the related public policy.

Learning Objectives: 

  1. Identify definitions and key provisions of local ordinances that can make or break a community cat program, including owner definitions, abandonment definitions, and at-large provisions
  2. Recognize and discuss the additional issues related to these ordinances, such as the problem with feeding bans, and progressive nuisance-related provisions
  3. Address state statutory considerations
  4. Comprehend Federal statutory considerations
  5. Understand key aspects of the scientific debate over community cat programs, including the efficacy of various management schemes, the alleged wildlife impacts, and the alleged public health impacts

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