Illinois House Bill 4671 provides funs for counties to spay/neuter for feral cat colonies, and additional spay/neuter monies. This is an existing bill that the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner put a stop to the possibility before the amended bill even came to a vote. I counter the Illinois Department of Natural Resources views. Here’s a position statement just released by Tree House Humane Society, a national leader in Trap-Neuter-Return of community cats.
Tree House Supports Illinois House Bill 4671
(Allows Counties to Use Animal Population Control Funds for Trap-Neuter-Return)
Tree House Humane Society publicly applauds Illinois State Representative Sara Feigenholtz, who has introduced Illinois House Bill 4671, a comprehensive bill focused on a variety of animal welfare issues. Representative Feigenholtz’s bill will allow funding from County Pet Population Control Funds to be used to provide spay/neuter surgeries for feral cats in addition to cats owned by people on public assistance.
The State has funded Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) through the State Animal Population Control Fund for ten years. Counties can do this more efficiently. This will be a huge step forward for local control and allow counties, if they choose, to help reduce the cat population and reap the benefits TNR. The funds will augment the investment required by individual citizens and private charities like Tree House in controlling the feral cat population in Illinois.
While it may seem hard to believe that there is any opposition to this, there are indeed some groups who are trying to kill this humane legislation, including the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The DNR believes that all outdoor cats, including feral cats, are an “invasive species” that “pose a serious threat to the environment”. While the DNR offers no alternative solutions to controlling feral cat population other than eradication, they still endeavor to restrict funding to programs that actually address the issue and would result in reducing the number of outdoor cats. Eradication, or killing as many cats in colonies as possible, is proven not to be an effective, practical or humane solution.
Feral cats have existed in this country for centuries, and until the advent of TNR programs, there have been no legitimate solutions to controlling their populations more effectively, and more humanely.
Please help Tree House support this important amendment to HB 4671, which provides much-needed subsidies to TNR programs and the hard-working individuals who are helping provide spay/neuter services to feral cats.