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Cat Defender

Exposing the Lies and Crimes of Bird Advocates, Wildlife Biologists, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, PETA, the Humane Society of the United States, Exterminators, Vivisectors, the Scientific Community, Fur Traffickers, Cloners, Breeders, Designer Pet Purveyors, Hoarders, Motorists, the United States Military, and Other Ailurophobes

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Animal Rights Groups Pressure San Antonio Officials to Stop Killing Cats in Japanese Tea Gardens


"They don't do damage and they aren't dangerous."
-- Pam Holiday, San Antonio Feral Cat Coalition

Animal control and officials from San Antonio's famous Japanese Tea Gardens (See photos below) rounded up and slaughtered three feral cats earlier this month. Two other cats currently being held by animal control because of health concerns could also be given the ax.

The trap and exterminate program, which was instituted because the felines are allegedly digging up flowers, has been temporarily suspended because of opposition from advocates for the cats.

The estimated forty-five to sixty feral cats (See photos above and below) who call the Tea Gardens home have been cared for the past fifteen years by the San Antonio Feral Cat Coalition and Purrfect Haven. These dedicated cat-lovers feed, water, sterilize, and provide veterinary care for the felines.

The advocates vociferously reject claims made by the Parks and Recreation Department and Animal Care Services (ACS) that the cats are damaging the gardens and are a threat to visitors. "They don't do damage and they aren't dangerous," Pam Holiday of the San Antonio Feral Cat Coalition told the local Express-News on October 10th. (See "Tea Gardens' Feral Cats Get a Reprieve.")

"It is not like they attack people in the park. Chances are no one is going to be able to get close enough to even touch them," she sagaciously added.

At last report the cats' fate will be determined through negotiations to be held between Parks and Recreation and ACS on the one side and cat advocates on the opposing side. "I have to deal with it in some fashion," Ron Smudy of Parks and Recreation told the Express-News. "So we're looking to animal control for assistance. But trapping is not an option at this point."

Since ACS' shelter is located next to the Tea Gardens, Purrfect Haven's Liz Skipper blames the pound for allowing cats to escape into the gardens. She also attributes the size of the colony to irresponsible owners dumping cats in the park and to homeless cats simply wandering in off the street.

This is a classic example of cat-hating public officials concocting a pretext in order to round up and exterminate cats. Even if the felines are digging up a few flowers this does not justify killing them.

The TNR program in place has worked for fifteen years and should be continued. Besides, the Parks and Recreation Department employs a myriad of gardeners who are paid to keep the gardens looking tidy. Also, people, moles, rats, rabbits, and other animals no doubt dig up and trample flowers as well as cats.

Photos: KSAT-TV, Channel 12, San Antonio (black cat), San Antonio Visitors and Convention Center (Tea Gardens), San Antonio Express-News (brown cat), and San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department (bridge).