The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

August 15, 2010

In our view: Humane ordinance

— By adopting a new ordinance that allows feral cat colonies, the Carthage City Council became more humane than most humane societies.

That’s not meant to disparage local humane societies. Organizations such as the Joplin Humane Society volunteer to clean up a pretty big mess left behind by irresponsible pet owners.

The mess is so big that potential pets that don’t get adopted are euthanized. It’s a cold, hard truth.

That’s why the new Carthage ordinance is a good idea: It helps treat the problem, not the symptoms.

We see a lot of ways this ordinance is a winner:

  * The city of Carthage stops punishing people with good hearts. Before the ordinance, the feeding of feral cats was prohibited.

Members of the group Spare Cat Rescue are paying out of their own pockets to spay and neuter trapped cats.

  * It helps control cat populations. Cats, like other animals, feed and reproduce. Unlike other animals, they are not native to Missouri wildlife. That means that left unchecked, they compete with other wildlife for food and threaten other animal populations.

  * It’s a better use of money. Instead of spending money on euthanization, it’s spent on pregnancy prevention. Eventually, as feral cat populations dwindle, the problem takes care of itself.

* It will ease the burden on area humane societies, which already have enough animals to care for. It didn’t take long for the Joplin Humane Society’s new, larger building to fill up.

Passing the ordinance sets a precedence of efficiency and humanity that we think other area governments should duplicate.

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