Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hillsborough to hold public hearing on community cats

TAMPA — The public will get perhaps its last say Wednesday over a controversial proposal to trap stray cats, neuter them, then re-release them into neighborhoods in Hillsborough County.

Hillsborough County commissioners are scheduled to hold a final public hearing on the so-called trap-neuter-release program championed by groups seeking to lower the kill rate of cats at the county's shelter. The hearing takes place at 2 p.m. Wednesday at County Center, 601 E Kennedy Blvd.

Trap-neuter-release, also known as community cats, is already practiced by some private rescue groups locally and by other public shelters nationally. This would be the first time Hillsborough County government got in on the practice.

The idea has not been received well by some welfare advocates and veterinary groups, who say it can lead to the spread of disease among cats and, in some cases, to humans. They also contend it encourages irresponsible behavior by pet owners and can lead to short, miserable lives for the animals themselves as they are ravaged by disease, wounded by other animals or hit by cars.

Commissioners have taken previous votes to pursue the practice, despite those concerns, with only Commissioner Victor Crist voting no.

Hillsborough County's shelter has been undertaking efforts to sharply reduce the number of unwanted animals killed there each year with increased promotion of adoptions and traditional spay-neuter programs. It has faced challenges, as more animals getting held longer has resulted in disease outbreaks.

Employees of the shelter, including two vets who quit, have complained about management of the shelter, as have some volunteers. County Administrator Mike Merrill transferred its most recent director earlier this month to another department.

Hillsborough to hold public hearing on community cats 12/18/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 18, 2013 12:08pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Bucs journal: Kicker Nick Folk has up and downs against Jaguars


    JACKSONVILLE — If the Bucs had hoped for a drama-free night in their kicking game, they'll have to wait another week.

    Bucs kicker Nick Folk celebrates one of his two made field goals against the Jaguars, but he also misses a field goal and has an extra point blocked.
  2. Late night update: Second wave follows Tropical Storm Harvey


    UPDATE: At 11 p.m. the National Hurricane Center said a hurricane hunter plane had determined that Tropical Storm Harvey had formed with sustained winds of 40 mph.

    Three tropical waves are expected to strengthen as they move across the Atlantic Ocean. [Courtesy of the National Hurricane Center]
  3. Stealth anti-Jack Latvala group tied to Adam Putnam campaign


    Politico reports:

     A longtime political consultant for Republican gubernatorial candidate Adam Putnam is behind a website calling one of his rivals in the race, state Sen. Jack Latvala, a “liberal.”

  4. Council gives in to pension dispute with St. Pete firefighters

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — The City Council was forced to consider its first labor dispute in years Thursday when it gave the firefighters union most of the pension enhancements it has long asked for.

    The firefighters’ union won a pension victory at Thursday’s City Council meeting. [SCOTT KEELER    |      TIMES]
  5. Bucs top Jaguars behind strong first half



    There is a reason why the air in Tampa Bay is filled with playoff talk. If Thursday night's 12-8 Bucs preseason win over the Jaguars is any indication, it's also going to be filled with footballs thrown by quarterback Jameis Winston.

    Doug Martin gets the Bucs’ only touchdown  on a 2-yard run, squeaking past linebacker Telvin Smith in the first quarter. He has five carries for 30 yards.