I belong to Cats Around Town Society, a 501(c) charity cat advocacy organization. We have been based in Ocean View, Del., since 2008. Our mission statement is:

“CATS’ mission is to reduce the feral and stray cat population (community cats) in the Ocean View area and beyond, using TNVR (trap, neuter, vaccinate, return). TNVR has proven to be the most effective and humane method to control feral and stray cats’ population. We are committed to removing kittens from the feral environment whenever possible for adoption.”

Do you agree we have the same goal as those proposing a feeding ban? Cats Around Town Society does not want more community cats, but fewer. Maybe with more information about the TNVR method, we can work together to reduce the community cat population in OV, humanely and effectively without a feeding ban.

Many of the OV “community cats” (national term for free roaming cats with “no owner”), are generally not socialized and cannot live indoors. They are not adoptable and will not be accepted at the Brandywine SPCA as surrendered pets to be put up for adoption. Relocation of these cats results in a violation of the property owner’s rights of no-trespass, be it state or privately-owned land. The cats will attempt to return to their home, even over many miles.

Organizations such as CATS will trap community cats, spay/neuter and vaccinate for rabies and ear tip them at the Brandywine SPCA, as well as Crossroads Animal Hospital. They will then return the cats to their home, where they were trapped.

Feeding bans, such as the proposed Ocean View ordinance, do not allow TNVR to be carried out, by taking away the place and hour that they feed. No feral cat feeders means the cats in our community will continue to have kittens, and their population will increase. Trash cans will become their take-out food of choice. Male cats will continue to roam to find a mate, fight and yowl. The female will have litter after litter of unwanted kittens.

We have examples in OV of managed care for community cats. The colony feeder sees a new cat coming to feed, he or she then calls CATS to bring traps. The trapper works with the feeder to withhold food for 24 hours before trapping. The new cat is spayed/neutered/vaccinated and added to the colony.

Without colony feeders, we will not have a protocol to sterilize cats in the OV town limits. In a managed cat colony, cats receive their yearly vaccinations, distemper and updated rabies, as well as a healthier and happier life.

Feeding bans do not work. The cats will find another food source, your trash cans? Please don’t penalize the kind and compassionate people who spend their own time and money to carry out TNVR and find homes for the adoptable kittens and strays.

Ocean View residents, please email your town councilmen and ask for no feeding ban. Following the guidelines of colony feeders and TNVR, the population of community cats will decrease.

Nancy Ward

South Bethany