Make us your home page

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

  1. Observations from a liberal, gay, Latino, feminist Florida House freshman


    State Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, D-Orlando,  rocked the Florida LGBTA Democratic Caucus dinner at Tallahassee's Hotel Duval Satursday night with his unabashedly liberal and passionate take on the myriad issues he said are key to LGBTQ Floridians. Among them: Access to guns, Reproductive rights, home …

    Carlos G. Smith
  2. Delta Sigma Theta honors outgoing national president

    Human Interest

    During her four years as national president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Paulette Walker said she always focused on the comma between "Sorority" and "Inc."

    Paulette Walker, the former director of undergraduate programs and internship in the College of Education at the University of South Florida, will be honored on Saturday for her leadership in the Delta Sigma Theta sorority.
  3. 10 sailors missing, 5 hurt in collision of USS John S. McCain

    SEOUL —Ten U.S. Navy sailors are missing and five have been injured after the USS John S. McCain destroyer collided with an oil tanker near Singapore early Monday morning.

    In this Jan. 22, 2017, photo provided by U.S. Navy, the USS John S. McCain patrols in the South China Sea while supporting security efforts in the region. The guided-missile destroyer collided with a merchant ship on Monday, Aug. 21, in waters east of Singapore and the Straits of Malacca. Ten sailors were missing, and five were injured, the Navy said. [James Vazquez/U.S. Navy via AP]
  4. Pasco County Fire Rescue fighting a two-alarm fire started by an explosion


    Two houses are on fire and one victim has been critically burned and taken to a trauma center following an explosion at a home at 8652 Velvet Dr, in Port Richey.

  5. Rays see the Blake Snell they've been waiting for in win over Mariners

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was a one-run game Sunday when the Mariners' Robinson Cano singled with one out in the seventh inning, bringing the dangerous Nelson Cruz to the plate.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) throwing in the third inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.