Middlesex County News

City looking at more "humane" method to curbing feral cat population

0e5db91bc1635fc13e9b_1280px-Feral_cat_1.JPG
Feral cat with its ear tipped, indicating it was sterilized in a TNR program. Credits: Wikipedia
0e5db91bc1635fc13e9b_1280px-Feral_cat_1.JPG

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Local officials are looking at an alternative method to keeping down the feral cat population without euthanization.

Known as trap-neuter/spay-return, the approach entails trapping feral cats, after which they are sterilized, vaccinated against rabies, and then returned to the colony from which they were taken.

“Trap and kill does not work, it cannot keep up with the size and the cost,” said Len Twist, who oversees TNR in Kearny and attended New Brunswick’s October 18 city council meeting.

Sign Up for E-News

Once the cats are returned to the colony, they no longer breed, causing the colony to shrink as cats die from natural causes, Twist said.

Volunteer caretakers devote their time providing the colony with food and shelter and monitoring the colonies health.

“We have caregivers in this town that really love this town, let them take a sense of ownership of this,” Twist said, referring to volunteer caregivers.

Twist admitted that in his time as a volunteer caregiver of hundreds of cats at a time, he’s had to dip into his own personal savings.

An ear of the cat is notched, so that it can be identified as having been neutered in a TNR program, Twist said. 

Supporters argue this process saves time and money, while still reducing the nuisance of feral cats, which Twist said are known to screech and roam around night, while emanating foul odors wherever they go.

“This is costing the taxpayers of New Brunswick money,” said Theresa Cetera, one such volunteer and a New Brunswick resident of 40 years. “It doesn’t need to cost them money because these cats are living, they’re being cared for, they’re fixed and vaccinated.”

The cats generally don’t allow members into the colony, Twist said, which means they shrink as its members die out. Twist estimated that thousands of cats could be inhabiting the city, most of them in industrial and wooded areas.

According to state data, 2,776 cats from Middlesex County were impounded in 2016, while 49 were redeemed, 1,350 were adopted and 527 were euthanized.

By comparison, only 64 dogs in the county were euthanized that year, according to state data. Another 1,120 dogs were impounded, 499 were redeemed and 435 were adopted, according to state data.

Data was not immediately available on how many of those cats and dogs were from New Brunswick. 

Under state law, the animal has to stay at the shelter for seven days. During that time, the shelter has to feed the animal and attend to it medical needs. If the owner doesn’t come to reclaim the animal and no one adopts it, the animal is euthanized.

The city currently contracts to Bluming Kennel, based in East Brunswick, which performs those services.

Euthanization would still be an option with TNR, Twist said, but only when the cats are sick or severely injured. 

Other towns have also enacted a TNR approach to the feral population, including Old Bridge, Bayonne, South and West Orange, Irvington, Wayne, North Arlington and Lyndhurst.

Currently, the city is looking over TNR ordinances from other municipalities, and reaching out to said towns to get an idea of how the approach has panned out.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

South Plainfield

The Athlete of the Week Samantha Pullen Girls’ Spring Track

The South Plainfield High School Girls’ track team is off to another great start in the 2018 season.  Their record currently stands at 3-0. This past week, the Lady Tigers defeated divisional rivals Metuchen and Middlesex by the scores of 80-56 and 75-56.  They then went on to dominate Bishop Ahr by a score of 112-24.  Much of the Lady Tigers success has been due to the ...

The Athlete of the Week Tatianna Sutor Girls’ Lacrosse

The South Plainfield High School Girls’ Lacrosse team is off to a fantastic start to their 2018 season with a record of 2-0. This past week, the Lady Tigers crushed division rival Bishop Ahr by the score of 14-2, and then went on to beat Boonton 6-3.  A huge part of the success for South Plainfield has been due in a large part to the contributions of senior goalie Tatianna ...

Obituaries

Victor Kochmann, 92, passed away on Wednesday, March 21, 2018 surrounded by his loving family in ...
Read more

Letters to the Editor

Letter Welcoming Mike Zushma to Politics

April 19, 2018

Dear Editor, 

I'd like to welcome Mike Zushma to the world of politics and congratulate him on being selected as the town's Democratic Chairman.

 

I've served as Republican chair since 2009, and I've always enjoyed spending my time helping good people get elected to office.  In South Plainfield, it's never about party:  People work together and try ...

Community Happenings

South Plainfield High School Hall Of Fame Is Seeking Nominees

April 19, 2018

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - The South Plainfield High School Hall of Fame Committee is again holding their search for candidates for induction into the SPHS Hall of Fame.  The Hall of Fame was established at South Plainfield High School to recognize outstanding graduates as leaders in their fields who could serve as role models for current and future students.

Candidates will be evaluated on ...

Kennedy School Welcomes Author Lisa Mullarkey

April 19, 2018

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Teacher and children’s author Lisa Mullarkey stopped by John F. Kennedy Elementary School on April 18. 

“This year’s guest author was very well received by our students and staff. Mrs. Mullarkey spent the day motivating our students to be future writers," said Kennedy Principal Kevin Hajduk. "It was a privilege for our students at ...

Holy Savior Academy to Hold Open House on April 24

April 18, 2018

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Holy Savior Academy, an AdvancedED accredited Middlebrook Deanery Catholic School located in South Plainfield, will hold an open house the evening of Tuesday, April 24.At this time, prospective students and their families in pre-K3 through 8th grade will have the opportunity to tour the school, meet teachers and register. 

“Holy Savior ...

Elks Lodge #2298 Hosted Princess Breakfast

April 19, 2018

The South Plainfield Elks Lodge #2298 Youth Activities Committee recently hosted a Princess breakfast, in conjunction with the South Plainfield Summer Drama Workshop.   On the menu we featured only the BEST breakfast in town.  Our lil princesses were able to come down to have their pictures taken with their favorite Disney characters. 

The South Plainfield Elks Lodge #2298 ...

Part Time Position in Municipal Court

The South Plainfield Borough is seeking to hire a part time person with strong customer service skills to perform detailed Municipal Court clerical work.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

Answering telephone and walk in inquiries, data entry, maintaining files and records for accuracy, processing payments, related duties as required.

Successful candidates should process ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_bbe5d2f368f320d67fab_img_3263

Sun, April 22, 1:00 PM

South Plainfield

Open House 312 Elissa Court South Plainfield

Real Estate

Carousel_image_6fa66652e238649d073e_suburban_woman_s_club

Sun, April 22, 2:00 PM

South Plainfield

Suburban Woman's Club Luncheon/Fashion Show April ...

Carousel_image_bad097ae8b2fe018094c_mayors_wellness

Sat, April 28, 9:00 AM

South Plainfield

Spring Wellness Health Fair - Mayor's Wellness

Carousel_image_5cb3a344be063f4eef87_hf_2018_updated-page-001

Sat, April 28, 9:00 AM

South Plainfield

South Plainfield's Annual Health and Fitness Fair

Carousel_image_540ba92b7ee7d0a56fba_elvis_tribute_final

Sat, April 28, 7:00 PM

South Plainfield

A Tribute to our Veterans - Jim Barone

Carousel_image_7869a9df10fb5a82bf59_autismawareness18-page-001

Sun, April 29, 2:00 PM

South Plainfield

Autism Awareness Event on April 29th

Columns

Retro Review: Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo

Retro Review: Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo (Citadel Press, 1970)

 

How does a reviewer do justice to a book called “the great American novel”? I first read Johnny Got His Gun during the Viet Nam war, when young people, nationwide, were protesting fighting in a war that was a senseless waste of life; a war in which the United States had no business participating.

Bookmarks

Your library is a hub of education and entertainment that is available to you not just when the library is open, but at all hours, thanks to our great online resources.  

If you want to brush up on your computer skills, or learn something new, try Learning Express.  You can access it through the library’s website. Once you’ve registered (you’ll need ...

Suburban Woman’s Club Hears Presentation on WWII Air Force Service Pilots

During World War II, one thousand seventy-four aviators, all with prior experience and airman certificates, flew over 60 million miles; transported every type of military aircraft; towed targets for live anti-aircraft gun practice; simulated strafing missions and transported cargo. Thirty-eight members of this elite group lost their lives and one went missing in performing their ...

Press Releases

OLOVEE will be at Menlo Park Mall

April 20, 2018

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - OLOVEE  is a unique company that offers trendy products and donates back to four causes in the community. OLOVEE will be at Menlo Park Mall on Saturday April 21st for a “Health & Wellness “ Expo.  During this campaign, OLOVEE will donate $4 per product to the color and cause of your choice.  A same day discount of 25% will be ...