I want to thank all of you for your overwhelming support for our community cats. As I mentioned in my blog post on August 26, the cats of the District need your help and they need it NOW.
We have created a sample letter (below) to help you craft your own comment. PLEASE DO NOT SEND THIS LETTER AS IS! It is VITAL that you make the letter your own because your opinions matter to your elected officials.
You do not need to use all of the points; use what is comfortable and important to you – and make sure your comments reflect your experiences and concerns.
Please submit your comments by September 7 by mail or email; be sure to reference the Wildlife Action Plan 2015.
Mail: District Department on the Environment
Fisheries and Wildlife Division
1200 First Street NE, 5th Floor
Washington, DC 20002
Subject: Wildlife Action Plan
I live in the <identify your neighborhood> and am a long-time supporter of Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) practices. TNR is a humane and effective means for controlling the cat population within the District.
- Reverting to a trap and remove model won’t help birds or cats. Like most people, I care about both. The Plan should look for collaborative ways to support at-risk bird populations without the mass killing of cats.
- If anything, the Plan should advocate for expanded TNR efforts, to ensure that all outdoor cats are sterilized and vaccinated against rabies and other diseases which may be transmissible to wildlife.
- I don’t support euthanasia as a means to control outdoor cat populations. People who care for DC’s community cats won’t participate in a catch and kill program as they do with TNR, leaving more unsterilized and unvaccinated cats roaming our streets.
- DDOE should consult with those local agencies currently engaged in conducting TNR in the District before finalizing any plan and not rely on input from national organizations known to be opposed to DC’s current TNR policy.
- The Plan should focus on other factors that have a greater impact on wildlife, such as the massive increase in commercial and residential development DC is now experiencing.
As the nation’s capital, I expect DC to explore and implement innovative and progressive solutions to the challenges we face and not reinstitute failed programs of the past. TNR was a positive replacement for the failed trap and kill policy in place for decades prior. I encourage the DDOE to revisit the inclusion of free ranging cats and TNR in the final version of the Wildlife Action Plan.