Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hernando commissioners vote to keep trapping stray cats

BROOKSVILLE — The Hernando County Commission on Tuesday voted to override the recommendation of their Animal Services veterinarian, who had urged ending the practice of loaning out traps to capture stray cats.

Veterinarian Lisa Centonze told commissioners in two previous meetings that the trapping program didn't work, that it was expensive and that it was forcing employees to euthanize hundreds of feral cats each year.

The commission instead sided with Commissioner Wayne Dukes, who has been adamantly opposed to ending the loaner trap program, which he sees as leading to the trap, neuter, return (TNR) approach used in several nearby counties. That includes Hillsborough, which approved a pilot TNR program last week.

In such programs, volunteers trap stray cats, take them to be neutered and vaccinated, and then return them to the wild. Proponents say it eventually curbs populations by cutting reproduction rates. Opponents say the cats spread disease and kill wildlife.

The commission was supposed to debate whether to continue loaning the traps last week.

But before the board could have a full discussion of the issue or hear from citizens, Chairman Dave Russell moved the topic to this week's meeting. Since then, Centonze, Dukes and others discussed how to solve some of the issues in the trapping program.

Brian Malmberg, assistant administrator for operations, described changes to the trap loaning program to make it more efficient, including charging a higher deposit to rent a trap.

Commissioner Diane Rowden protested saying the commission had not discussed the issues yet. She argued that the program is not effective. While 208 cats were euthanized last year, she said there are probably 30 times that number still in the wild reproducing at a rapid rate.

Joanne Schoch, executive director of the Humane Society of the Nature Coast, urged commissioners to listen to Centonze. Trapping and destroying feral cats for the last 23 years hasn't shrunk the population, Schoch said.

Commissioners voted 4-1 to implement the new rules for loaning traps with Rowden casting the sole "no" vote.

Hernando commissioners vote to keep trapping stray cats 05/07/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 7, 2013 9:29pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Dade City man dies after crashing into county bus, troopers say

    Public Safety

    ZEPHYRHILLS — A 38-year-old man died Tuesday after colliding into the rear of a county bus on U.S. 301, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

  2. Suspicious device at Pinellas Park home was a spent artillery round, police say

    Public Safety

    PINELLAS PARK — Bomb squad investigators determined that a "suspicious device" found at a Pinellas Park home Tuesday afternoon was a spent artillery round, police said.

  3. NFL rewards Tampa Bay's track record, preparation with another Super Bowl

    Bucs

    Tampa Bay got lucky on Tuesday.

    We are getting a Super Bowl. We are getting a Super Bowl that we weren't supposed to get. We're getting a Super Bowl that we once were told we wouldn't get.

    Then came good luck.

    Mike Tomlin celebrates with LaMarr Woodley and Troy Polamalu after the Steelers beat the Cardinals in 


Super Bowl XLIII  on February 1, 2009 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. [Times files (2009)
  4. Baker fundraiser all about "Seamless City"

    Blogs

    Rick Baker kicked off a fundraiser Tuesday night at the Morean Arts Center making light of his 40-minute announcement speech two weeks ago on the steps of City Hall.

    Rick Baker speaks at a fundraiser at the Morean Arts Center Tuesday
  5. How did Florida National Guard miss soldier's neo-Nazi leanings?

    Military

    Brandon Russell, a private first class assigned to Company C of the 53rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion in Pinellas Park, has been in the Florida National Guard since February, 2016.

    Brandon Russell, 21, of Tampa, is a Florida National Guardsman accused in a federal complaint of illegal possession of explosives. [From YouTube]