City's response to voucher idea disappointing
At the Yuma City Council work session on May 14, I had the opportunity to suggest to the council that the population growth of feral cats in our community might be further decreased by using the current voucher system to also offer a TNR $20 coupon (trap, neuter and return) by amending the city code to allow the $20 voucher to be used to reduce the cost of TNR surgery. The Humane Society of Yuma's spay and neuter clinic cost for feral cats is $45 for females and $35 for males; after the use of the coupon, it would become $25 for a female and $15 for a male. The citizen would have to pay HSOY the remaining balance. This would make it affordable for most caregivers to have their beloved feral cats sterilized.
This approach will give the citizens a CHOICE to TNR feral cats rather than having them euthanized.
The responses by the mayor, city council and city administrator were disappointing. Mayor Krieger spoke against my presentation, as an affront to the taxpayers and those who adore feral cats.
The city administrator suggested that my alternate approach to using the current voucher system would “break the budget.” There is already $10,000 set aside for the feral cat voucher program.
No one is asking the city to spend more money. There are 177 registered colonies in Yuma. The number of cats living in these colonies range from two to 14, not 30 cats per colony as the city administrator announced at the meeting. There are at the most six colonies in Yuma that have more 20 cats.
The council asked: How would you know if the cat was not trapped in the county and the person was going to use the coupon to have the cat TNR? Answer: The person requesting the TNR coupon would have to show some kind of residential proof that they live in the city.
How does the city know if someone is not trapping in the county and using the existing voucher to have the cats euthanized? Most of the citizens of Yuma are honest people and would not feel the need to cheat or lie to the city.
Feline Friends Chairwoman