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Mon, Apr 14 | By Matt Van Hoven | 122

SECAUCUS, N.J. -- In the Long Island community of Brookhaven, a pair of endangered piping plovers nests on Cedar Beach. The migratory birds recently returned to their annual nesting grounds, exacerbating an issue that has surfaced up and down the eas… more ›

Piping Plover v. Feral Feline Debate Hits Long Island
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debra t.
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debra t.
5 years ago

ferral cat colonies need to be neutered until they are no more. Owners should not dump cats anywhere but the pound or animal shelter.

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Buckking
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Buckking
5 years ago

both sides have a valid argument hope they can come to an agrement

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Sheryl J.
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Sheryl J.
5 years ago

Very complex situation, we have nesting plovers in our area and they are protected and I support the efforts. But, I hope they can find a humane plan for the feral cats, after all it was stupid humans who got them there in the first place.

I hope to see an update to this story

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Ihatesnow
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Ihatesnow
5 years ago

Hope everyone is still OK

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Rhonda T.
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Rhonda T.
5 years ago

I agree with Vivian's statement. If dumping the cats there is a huge problem, spend some time monitoring it and then holding the people responsible. We have laws on the book but they aren't being enforced. If you know someone dumped of 41 cats, you should have been able to identify this person or get the license or something. If this is monitored by cameras and officers it could cut down on the dumping.
As far as being endangered, what else is the cause for this? Usually there is more than one factor. It is a case of man and nature living together.

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Jello1
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Jello1
5 years ago

Well, they can move the cats and perhaps solve the initial problem. But once the birds start to fly, they'll still be dinner on the wing. Why have the birds become endangered? Is it because man has built homes on their natural grounds? If so, lets move those, too

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VKiggins
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VKiggins
5 years ago

The real problem needs to be adddressed - animal dumping. If cameras and set up and people are Identified and prosecuted, there may be improvement for everything involved.

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Blackie1
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Blackie1
5 years ago

It's a pretty thorough exploration of the problem. More money would solve a lot of issue, but it just isn't there. At least they're willing to try moving the cats, rather than just going for the kill

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BuilderBob
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BuilderBob
5 years ago

Sorry but the cats have to be removed AND cameras set up to catch future culprits.

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Michaelyn
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Michaelyn
5 years ago

Feral cats do hurt the ecology of an area. Hope a solution occured.

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Linda T.
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Linda T.
5 years ago

Some how they must prevent the cats from returning or more being dumped.

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FrogWhisperer
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FrogWhisperer
5 years ago

An update would be greatly appreciated.

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Keri W.
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Keri W.
5 years ago

Would be nice to find out what happened.

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Crystal
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Crystal
5 years ago

I think back in 1989 when those birds became endangered, the town shold have spent some money on a Catch Neuter Release (CNR) program to prevent the exsisting cats from breeding, and enlisted the help of citizens to report people they see dumping their pet cats so they can be fined and the reporter can be rewarded in some manner. I really hope the town is not going to kill the cats that are just doing what is natural to them to save the birds. I want the birds to survive, but I don't think it is fair to blame the cats when it is irresponible people that created the problem. Pets are not disposable once they our grow the cute kitten/puppy/baby phase of their life. I really think all pet stores, shelters, and breeders should require a waiting period on pet pruchases and some literature informing them of the responsibility that comes with taking an animal into your home so they can make informed decisions.

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Melissa G.
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Melissa G.
5 years ago

Why would they need so much to video surveil the area? You can get digital deer cams that take thousands of pictures for a few hundred dollars. Have the code enforcement officers download shots daily and arrest animal dumpers. Sheesh.

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Martha P.
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Martha P.
5 years ago

Really weird that someone had 41 cats to dump! Where/how did he get them all? The best comment was, if a witness had time to count cats, why didn't he/she get the guy's license plate written down?

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PJ W.
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PJ W.
5 years ago

Who are they hiring to trap these cats? The guy in Jaws? They could use that money to much better use for the cats as to spay/neuter/vaccinate. You could argue euthanasia but I'm about ready for humans to be euthanized.
What about the ass who was spotted dumping 41 cats? If they know how many why do they not know a license number or description?
It's time the people who cause all of this crap pay for it. Seems like fines - I mean real fines and not a slap on the wrist - woud be a way for some cities to pad their coffers and finally deal with something instead of ignoring it until it gets out of hand.

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Emma J.
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Emma J.
6 years ago

Honestly, I hope they get the cats out, their a threat to an endangered species. Also, I think $10,000 for a trapper is alot, but let's hope it works:).

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Blanchec
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Blanchec
6 years ago

To me this seems like a "lets do it and stop talking" situation. Set up the surveillence system, trap, neuter and relocate and levy the fines on the people caught dropping off cats. And of course the birds need protection also. Is this a situation where loose fencing can be employed during the time when the baby birds are at risk from outside factors?

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Janie P.
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Janie P.
6 years ago

The victims here are the unwanted cats that irresponsible owners have dumped. Why wasn't something done to the person seen dumping 40 cats? I think the cameras would be a good idea and maybe stop most people from dumping more cats. I think they should reconsider and let the Animal Alliance move them instead of a trapper.

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Jessica H.
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Jessica H.
6 years ago

they should have realized a long time ago that there was a problem and started to fix it then instead of now they want all removed. it is long island's fault and they should try to make realistic changes, which i dont think putting cameras out to catch owners dumping their cats as realistic

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Kathleen
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Kathleen
6 years ago

Too bad something wasn't done a long time ago about people dumping their cats. If something was done when it started, then none of this would have happened.

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Tracee G.
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Tracee G.
6 years ago

I agree why did someone have so many cats to begin with.

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Janet V.
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Janet V.
6 years ago

I agree with Mary G. that there is probably more reasons than the cats for the birds being on the endangered list. If people are dumping their pets than catch them and do what is needed. Do not take it out on the cats though.

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dawn  h.
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dawn h.
6 years ago

I think cameras are a great way to catch people "throwing away" their pets. Then TNR would be good and relocate possibly.

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Mary G.
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Mary G.
6 years ago

First and foremost all please note that it is the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service recommending that the felines be removed and have even gone so far as to threaten to fine the city of Brookhaven--this is the very same Fish & Wildlife Service that cannot "manage" to get the polar bear listed on the Endangered Species List but in their most asinie decision (to date that is) did manage to get the wolves of the Northern Rockies DELISTED!

According to the article the plovers have not successfully raised a chick in seven years. While the feral population may or may not have something to do with that fact, there has to be many other factors going on here. The poor birds are exposed to everything! To predators, to humans and beach maintenance machinery?

Let the animal welfare folks relocate the cats to the nearby successful colony and, of course, they will make sure that those who aren't will be spayed/neutered and vaccinated. All well and good for these particular cats, but the dumping issue must be addressed. Spend a few thousand bucks on surveillance, catch some ass illegally and immorally "dumping" cats, and make sure they are at the very least fined heavily. What the hell is the problem? Sometimes government is so damned stupid it scares a person!

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Kittypassion
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Kittypassion
6 years ago

Definitely decision should be NO KILL for all those cats. TNR and leave them alone. Then start punishing those people who are caught "dumping" their cats.

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patty
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patty
6 years ago

Move the cats to a new colony, "killing" them should not be an option. Yes you can have an overpopulation of cats but think about what they are preventing, in tourist areas without them there might be no tourist if the area's become overrun with rodents! I'd rather see a feral feline than a RAT!

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Brooke K.
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Brooke K.
6 years ago

There is a simple solution to this problem. Trap the cats and have them humanely euthanized. Now, before anyone goes jumping down my throat about being cruel, stop and face the facts. There are not enough homes in search of a ferral cat that needs serious rehabilitation in order to co-exist peacfully with humans and other animals. There is not enough money to have all these animals spayed/neutered so that they do not add to the problem. The answer is to quickly remedy the current problem and get a source of prevention into effect. If families want to have "just one litter" of kittens or puppies to show their children the miracle of birth, they should also take their children to a shelter and let them witness the tragedy of death. As for trapping the cats and housing them in a no kill shelter for the rest of their lives, I think that is more inhumane for most than euthanasia. I've seen cats that wont eat and waste away in a cage because they are miserable. They have no existence, no reason for living. Granted, some cats do fine, but for the majority it's a crueler twist of fate to be placed in a cage than to be gently put to sleep. And as for leaving them in the wild, that's no happy existence either. Eventually, it become a health hazard to people when the unvaccinated animals bring disease, and in turn death to your doorstep. It's definately something to think about.

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sharon d.
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sharon d.
6 years ago

If you'd see how these birds attack anything from lawn mowers to statues,to cats,to people,you'd see that they are really " Lions disguised in birds feathers",and they can take care of themselves.
It really is all about the young fledglings,for they are the ones who are dying after they leave their parents nesting area. Do you take them away as eggs , & hand raise them until their capable of surviving,and then release? Or do you take them from the parents right before the parents are ready to boot them out of the nest? Will they deal with that trauma okay? Will they too(like the geese some years back) have to be trained to migrate because the humans got involved,or will they "just know"?
Should you do away with the all the feral cats, or the Opossums,dogs,foxes,Raccoons,Birds of Prey and any other animals that may inflict harm on these birds?(And let's not forget the humans in all of this)
Can you keep tearing out natural habitats , and building more and more houses and business developmentsand then be outraged when it affects our Wildlife?
Can you continue to "Promote your states"and their beaches for the perfect place for those summer vacations , just so that your town,city,state has those big Profit numbers?Or should you just start locking the beaches down from late March through September, along with any properties owned by Residents ,keeping both Tourists and locals from enjoying what they deserve to enjoy,because they either own that back yard or they pay their taxes?
The more I think about this,the more my head hurts. I don't want any animal to become extinct,but where do we draw the lines??

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daryl b.
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daryl b.
6 years ago

if these birds are enangered and when they fledge is the most dangerous time fr themwhy dn't they hand raise the eggs and turn them loose in a safer area. cats by their nature sre prediters. we do this all the time with other animals

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Irineyuma
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Irineyuma
6 years ago

How can to put question so that need to safe birds but dump the cats?
Need first to help to this cats.
Cats are more close to the people. And cats are more important to the people.
People need respect lifes of another around and need respect Nature.
People too like to eat meat and eggs of the chicken,turkye and another birds.

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wendy T.
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wendy T.
6 years ago

Hope they can work it out

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Irineyuma
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Irineyuma
6 years ago

Need to safe and to help to this feral cats.
And people can not to be econom on theirs souls.
How need only humane treatment with lifes of another.
Cats are more close to the people then birds.
Cats are so clever and they so love people.
I understand this scientists-it is their job to study birds.
But need to respect all alive around and Nature.
And need everywhere to begin spay/neuter programs.This is the best way and no problem in the future.And it is will be cost more, more little .

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Theranddav
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Theranddav
6 years ago

I think trapping, fixing, and releasing somewhere else is a good idea for both the birds and the cats. If the birds are on the endangered list they do need protected. That doesn't mean that the cats need to be killed.

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Shirla S.
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Shirla S.
6 years ago

wow, i don't know what to think of this one. Nature is funny. I don't understand people leaving cats off like that. but its hard to control breeding. if the cat was born without a home to begin with. I don't see much of a solution here. IF the cameras will help those who just dump the cats. then get them. they deserve what they get. maybe they will think twice about leaving off cats. But there will always be a jerk out there anyways and they will get away with it. I can only say maybe moving the birds would be a better and easier solution. But again I don't know what that could cost them. I just hope that they don't decide to just start hurting any of the animals. sometimes maybe it should be left alone. Most animals weather its a bird or a what , are smart enough to move on to better grounds if its not safe in a certain place. but i'm not a scientest so i wouldn't know . Good luck with it anyways.

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Patricia  C.
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Patricia C.
6 years ago

Poor little kitties! They are the ones suffering with all of this!

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parker e.
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parker e.
6 years ago

trap the cats, put them someplace safe.

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debbie w.
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debbie w.
6 years ago

Boy this is a tough one, I don't think cameras would help, gas stations have them aimed right at pumps and still can't catch some drive off and their talking an entire beach. TNR will cost alot of money and if dumping doesn't stop it will be never ending. maybe a reward could be offered for turning in the dumpers and stiff fines to them may help and/or having the county animal control officers run an extra shift during nesting times of these birds for that area only? Just a thought, hope they figure out something so its a win win.

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jennifer e.
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jennifer e.
6 years ago

need to find the people that dump the cats. 41 cats at a time...what was the person doin with 41 cats to begin with...its not the cats fault.

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Acedogg2001
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Acedogg2001
6 years ago

I think there really needs to be a system in place to watch for poeple dumping these cats. These people need to be punished.

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Carly T.
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Carly T.
6 years ago

People need to be more responsible and not dump their cats. This the kind of thing that happens when animals are thrown every which where.

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Corey A.
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Corey A.
6 years ago

I totally agree, it's like those parents who let their kids dump their goldfish into a stream in order to let it live, even though that goldfish will kill off the native fish in the stream either by eating them or consuming all the fishes' food sources. The sad thing is that it's probably adults doing it with the cats! They should know better!

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Corey A.
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Corey A.
6 years ago

Maybe the solution would be to create a fund specifically for the trapping of feral cats that is paid for by cat owners. These are the people that are most likely to oppose killing the cats, and being the owners of cats, they should help out other cats that were abandoned. A cat tax if you will. I think it would help since it seems cat owners rarely come forward to reclaim their cat, especially if it is in violation of a law that prohibit unfixed cats to roam. Perhaps then this cat tax would help with the cost of having to relocate feral cat colonies.

Also, if this state doesn't have laws that require cats that are allowed to roam to be spayed or neutered, it should fine these owners whose cats are picked up by the shelters that aren't neutered. I think the responsibility lies with the owners of the cats. There are many good cat owners who care for their cats, and then you've got those that create these feral populations in the first place.

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Corey A.
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Corey A.
6 years ago

In this situation, as people are dumping the cats on purpose they might have to trap and kill the cats in order to prevent people from dumping more cats. It sounds mean, but if you are dumping the cats in order to save them, perhaps you won't if you knew the cats that were trapped would be euthanised.

I'm wondering why there are so many cats and who is feeding them? This perpetuating the problem as the dumping is probably happening because people know that someone is taking care of the cats.

Because the birds are endangered, they have to be protected even if it means innocent cats that have been dumped by their owners have to be euthanised.

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sharon d.
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sharon d.
6 years ago

I really don't think that the owners that are "dumping " these cats are trying to save them.It's more on the lines of them no longer wanting to be responsible in their care and well being,and they're just brushing their hands together from the ownership period,and passing the buck. There are people that "hope",someone will feed them,and there are people that just don't care.If your "disposing" your pets anywhere,I'd have a hard time feeling like they did it for the animals best interests.
Placing a pet out into the wild only makes them more vulnerable to danger.

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Karen A.
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Karen A.
6 years ago

Wow! This is a tough decision for all. The question of what would be done to prevent the colony from reforming does need to be thought through. The person known to dump 41 cats should be charged. This is an issue I intend to keep watching.

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Koronin
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Koronin
6 years ago

This is rediculous. If this is a well cared for and well fed cat colony, then they need to be looking elsewhere for what is causing the problems for Plover's. More likely it is pollutants and humans causing the problems not the poor cats. They need to make these beaches completely off limits to humans if they want any real results.

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sharon d.
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sharon d.
6 years ago

I am all for saving our own ,including the Plover's,but I find it really unfair to sit here and blame the feral cats for their dwindling numbers.
Now I'm not saying that feral cats don't contribute to the problem,I just think that feral cats are just one of many problems that the Plovers are up against.
Piping Plovers were placed on the Blue List" in 1972 for birds in serious trouble.
In 1986 these birds were then added to the endangered species list.
Plovers migrate back to breed from late March/early April ,and they stay until the beginning of September.They breed in open beach areas, and this is during PRIME BEACH season!
Like I said,the cat's may be a contributing factor,but so are foxes,Raccoons,Opossums, even dogs and other birds.Humans are also high on that list.You can go on Youtube right now,and see numerous videos of teens taunting the plovers,because they think the birds are nuts,and the kids get a big kick out of
getting attacked by them.
Anyone who has used the beaches know about these birds,because it's like you're walking on eggshells around them.
Here's a good link to read more about the plover problem.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1571/is_21_15/ai_54852012
I'm all for helping the plovers,but moving the cats,or even killing them,will only make room for the new ones.
I don't think the ferals should take the brunt of this.Once again,if you want to blame someone,blame it on the irresponsible owners that left them run loose without being spayed/neutered to begin with, blame it on the poor legislation for animal cruelty and abuse,and blame it on the government,who always seems to wait until there's a Plague or Catastrophe before they decide to "fix" a problem to begin with.
People,the only way that we can change things is to quit blaming,and put our heads all together.Dr Marra,You can't just kill off feral cats because you don't think that they should "be in the environment". Every animal deserves to exist.
Is it me,or are a lot of people making a lot of stupid comments????

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Bill G.
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Bill G.
6 years ago

You are correct. I think that sometimes the folks who exist on the fringes of sanity get hold of something like this and the next thing you know they point the finger at one particular group and they suddenly become the cause od all that is bad in the world. It's a lot more than feral cats that are causing this problem. The only way rhey are going to prevent it is to ban everything and everybody from that area of the beach and then buikd a huge impenetrable fence around that area. Oh wait - that sounds like the border thing and it doesn't work any better than this will!!!

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Amy R.
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Amy R.
6 years ago

this is a major problem with dumping any animal. they do take a toll on the enviroment to keep them selves alive. interesting story

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Beaglemutz
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Beaglemutz
6 years ago

There is an issue with someone dumping and animal period.

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wendy T.
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wendy T.
6 years ago

Yes, that is what I assumed too.

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Christine
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Christine
6 years ago

First of all, why are people dumping cats and why on earth would one want to!?!?! That is just soo cruel!!! I wish they would get the same treatment! Second of all, I am 100% for the protection of these birds, that is sooo important! This is a hard one, protect the birds, what to do with the cats.... the surveillence stuff might be a little pricey, but it might work. Maybe posting signs or warnings could help too? Who knows, some people just do not care, of if they saw the signs they might harm the nests.... people can be such idiots.

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Corey A.
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Corey A.
6 years ago

Could it be possible that the person dumping the cats might be a no-kill shelter that just doesn't have the room or funds to keep the cats? Otherwise it's probably just a relative of some cat-hoarder that died and they are cleaning out the place. The fact that the cats are being dumped as opposed to taken to a shelter means the person thinks the cats have a better chance than at a shelter.

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