The Costco Connection
Costco members will find a variety of items
for feeding and caring for their pets—
domesticated or otherwise—at Costco and
on Costco.com, including food and treats,
flea and tick treatments, health supplements, bedding, furniture, crates, carriers
and grooming items. Many pet prescriptions
can be filled at Costco pharmacies.
Friends Network, a directory of individuals,
clinics and even shelters (some funded by
grants) that teach TNR, lend traps,
offer advice and provide low- or no-cost sterilization.
More on board
Becky Robinson is encouraged
that more municipalities are
embracing this nonlethal way of
handling feral cats: ACA found that
support for TNR has increased tenfold since 2003. She and Slater both
quote a saying commonly ascribed
to Mahatma Gandhi: “A nation’s
progress can be judged by the way it
treats its animals.” C
Costco member Penny J. Musco is a Chicago-based writer.
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 71
roaming around their lawns and using their
gardens as litter boxes.
“[These people] may be upset because
they see their neighbor feeding the cats and
figure [because] the cats are there, the neighbor is to blame,” explains Costco member
Nancy Peterson, cat programs manager at
HSUS. She regularly fields inquiries not only
from people who want to help, but also from
those who just want the cats gone, although
usually not exterminated. ACA’s research
shows that 81 percent of Americans would
prefer to let a stray cat live outside rather than
have it caught and put down.
Fortunately, there are a variety of products to deter cats from going where they’re
not wanted. Physical barriers such as
fences and bushes hinder their movements; scent repellents as well as motion-activated sprinklers and sound devices
harmlessly frighten them away.
Protective covers keep paw prints
(and dirt and leaves) off cars.
But the cost of
items to mollify
bors, as well as
food and vet
bills, adds up,
which is why, if you’re thinking about manag-
ing feral cats by trapping them and having
them sterilized, experts warn you’d
better look before you leap.
“That’s why I’m going to be
working the rest of my life,” jokes
Kay in New Jersey, who buys nearly
all her pet supplies at Costco, and
who for 16 years has supported a
group of ferals in her backyard.
(She wishes to go by only her first
name and state, because “I prefer
people not to notice I’m caring for
outdoor cats”.) She practices TNR
and hasn’t seen a kitten in her
neighborhood for a decade.
Caregivers also need to think
long-term, she cautions, since “if you take
care of them right, they’re going to live full
lives, and that means you
have to commit 10 years to
them, at least.”
In addition to Kay, “there
are thousands and thousands of
caring people who are willing to
trap-neuter-return feral cats,
using their own money,” says
Peterson of the HSUS. ACA calculates anywhere from 1 million to 3
million people manage colonies;
many of them belong to its Feral
Scan or click here
for more informa-
tion about Alley
Cat Allies. (See
page 5 for scan-
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