Vermont Residents: Support a Bill to Protect Community Cats

VT_TNR.jpgThis action is ONLY for residents of Vermont.

Update 2/26/2019:

The Vermont House Committee still hasn’t taken up this bill. Please, continue to show support to pass House Bill 158 by writing to your House Committe!


The Vermont House Committee on Agriculture and Forestry is considering House Bill 158, which creates lifesaving changes for community cats and protects their caregivers. The committee will discuss the bill at a meeting at 9 a.m. on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14.

HB 158 saves community cats' lives by supporting Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR), the only humane and effective approach to address community cat populations. This bill clarifies that the "return" in TNR is not considered abandonment under the law because cats are returned to their original outdoor homes where they live and thrive.

The bill also protects community cat caregivers by clarifying that they are not owners of community cats. Caregivers are good Samaritans who volunteer their own time and resources to help cats. If HB 158 passes, caregivers will also have access to reduced-cost rabies vaccinations for community cats, which benefits the cats and the public.

Ask your legislators to pass HB 158 to save cats and protect caregivers.

You can also attend the Vermont House Committee on Agriculture and Forestry meeting in person to testify in favor of this important bill.

Attend the hearing:

WHEN: Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019 at 9:00 a.m.
WHERE: Vermont Legislature: Room 32
115 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05633

Recipients

  • State Representative Rodney P. Graham
  • State Representative Terry Norris
  • State Representative Vicki M. Strong
  • State Representative Carolyn W. Partridge
  • State Representative Thomas A. Bock
  • State Representative Charen Fegard
  • State Representative John O'Brien

Message

Please Support House Bill 158 to Protect Community Cats

Dear [Decision Maker], [Decision Maker],

As a resident of Vermont, I ask that you please support House Bill 158. If enacted into law, HB 158 will provide vital support to community cat programs throughout the state that work to stabilize outdoor cat populations, help local governments and animal shelters save money, and benefit the communities.

HB 158 saves cats' lives by supporting Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) programs. TNR keeps community cats out of animal shelters, where most are likely to be killed because they are not socialized to people or suitable for adoption. If a community cat is brought to a shelter, it is in the best interest of the cat and the shelter to put the cat through a TNR program and return her to her original outdoor home as quickly as possible.

HB 158 exempts cats who are part of a TNR program from being considered "abandoned." TNR is not abandonment because it improves cats' lives: They are spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and returned to their outdoor homes where they live and thrive with their colonies.

HB 158 also supports community cat caregivers by exempting them from the definition of "owner" and giving them explicit access to reduced-cost rabies vaccines. Caregivers are not owners; they are good Samaritans stepping forward to care for animals with their own time and resources. They are on the front lines providing vital spay and neuter and vaccination services to outdoor cats and improving their communities.

Finally, HB 158 bans cruel methods of controlling or killing animals. Specifically, this bill prohibits residents from using poison to eliminate animals, including cats, on their property, and prohibits shelters from using carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide gas to "euthanize" animals.

Overall, HB 158 supports TNR efforts. Through TNR, cats live long and healthy lives with their colonies in their outdoor homes--which is what the public wants. TNR provides a humane and collaborative way to address community concerns, so cats and people can coexist.

If passed, this bill will save countless cats' lives and benefit the community. I ask you to please support HB 158 and protect the animals we all care about.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]
[Your Email]

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