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Letter to the editor: Raising concern for lost, stray and abandoned cats

To the editor: Kitty Kare Feline Rescue supports the concern expressed by Caring Hearts Rescue in a recent "Letter to the Editor" published in the Source.
Letters to the editor
To the editor:
Kitty Kare Feline Rescue supports the concern expressed by Caring Hearts Rescue in a recent  "Letter to the Editor" published in the Source. Animal Services has closed its doors to lost, stray and abandoned cats, citing COVID restrictions.  They will take dogs, but not cats unless they are sick or injured.
Historically, Kitty Kare has removed cats from Animal Services which are at risk due to a health condition or lack of space and places them in foster homes. When the shelter closed due to COVID, we offered to help adopt out cats which were ready for adoption. We did not want cats to languish for months in the shelter nor did Animal Services.  Animal Services kindly agreed and we have been doing so to the delight of our adopters. During this pandemic, pets have helped to assuage the loneliness and isolation - adoption is good for both cats and humans. With preventive protocols like masking and social distancing in place, Animal Services has recognized that this practice is extremely safe.
Kitty Kare has received a number of calls from concerned citizens asking for help as they have found lost/stray and abandoned cats and kittens. They are frustrated and angry. There is growing public concern regarding Animal Services policy on refusing to shelter, lost, stray and abandoned cats. These are not feral cats.
In this past year,  only a handful of feral cats have been brought into the shelter. All were adopted out as barn cats. Feral cats have been the focus of another group, Superior Street Cats. They trap, neuter and release them back to their colonies. SSC does not use Animal Services as a place for their trapped cats.
Lost, stray and abandoned cats and kittens, through no fault of their own, will be left to struggle to survive this winter. We are unsure of the motivation behind this closure. Despite Covid restrictions, close-contact businesses (dentist, chiropractors, hair dressers, etc.) and stores are open.
One thousand five hundred cats in our first year (2010) were impounded with 1,200 euthanized. Only 625* cats were impounded in 2019 with 38 that were euthanized as they were severely ill, injured or feral. Together, Animal Services, Caring Hearts, Humane Society and Kitty Kare have significantly reduced the number of lost/stray and abandoned cats needing shelter and the need to euthanize solely due to space issues. 
Allowing cats to suffer and die this winter is an unacceptable practice. Cats, just like dogs, are living creatures which make a positive difference in the lives of adopters. 
We ask that Animal Services re-examine this practice and open its doors to all animals needing shelter and care.

*stats supplied by Animal Services 
Kitty Kare Feline Rescue Board of Directors
Alex Kozak, DVM, Marlys Maver, Carol Rasmussen, Cindy Sakiyama, Erin Winkworth