The successful GCat Rescue Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program on Google’s Mountain View, California campus is in jeopardy. GCat volunteers have worked hard over the past eight years to stabilize the population of cats, but now these cats are at risk of being removed from their outdoor home. According to corporate representatives from Google, the company is receiving pressure from Mountain View employees to terminate the GCat Rescue TNR Program under the mistaken belief it will protect burrowing owls. Trap and remove is cruel, ineffective and a waste of tax-payer money. Tell the Mountain View City Council that lethal control is not a solution—TNR is.
Once you take action below, your email will be sent to the mayor and all seven council members.
Please Don't Allow Cats to Be Killed
Dear [Decision Maker],
In eight years, the population of feral, or community, cats living on Google's Mountain View campus has decreased from more than 240 cats to fewer than 40. The reason for this dramatic result? The Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program run by GCat Rescue, a group of volunteers and Google employees. These individuals offer their time and resources to help improve the lives of cats and the Google community by humanely trapping, spaying or neutering, and returning the cats outdoors. Cats who are socialized to humans are adopted. I urge you to please let this TNR program continue.
In the eight years the GCat colony has resided on Google's property near Shoreline Park, only four cats from the program have ever been found inside the park. Imagine how many more cats would be in Shoreline Park had 240 cats not been trapped and spayed or neutered on Google's property. Many of the cats would have had kittens who would have grown up in the park. Thanks to dedicated volunteers and the TNR program, this cycle was thwarted. Without TNR, cats who are not socialized to people or adoptable are almost always taken to the shelter and killed. The other, equally ineffective approach is to remove the cats and rehome them at great expense to a sanctuary. Both approaches waste tax-payer money, are cruel to cats and are ineffective. Removing cats from a given area creates a vacuum into which fertile community cats will move and reproduce. TNR, on the other hand, is the only humane and effective management approach to community cat populations. It stops the breeding cycle and stabilizes the population. Thousands of communities use TNR to manage their community cat population, and the number is growing because of its success. Burrowing owls* face many serious threats in Shoreline Park-from golfers, cars, landscape maintenance staff, landfill repairs, etc.-which have impeded growth of burrowing owl populations in the park. Blaming a few dozen well-fed, much-loved sterile cats living near to the park for the decline of burrowing owl population is a horrible case of mis-direction. There is not a single verified case of a cat killing a burrowing owl in Shoreline Park.
*(As you may well know, burrowing owls are a species that used to thrive in Santa Clara County, but have moved away in the face of rapid land development by humans across the past four to five decades. They are not listed as either Endangered or Threatened by either the State of California or the Federal Government, but rather are a Species of Special Concern. Populations are thriving in other parts of California, as well as in arid sites rarely frequented by people in the San Francisco Bay Interior Region, including in Santa Clara County. I support efforts to protect burrowing owls, but it has been brought to my attention that there is a question about whether attempts to attract them to Shoreline Park are of any help whatsoever to the species. Further, I strongly oppose witch-hunts that target cats.)It is also worth noting that requiring GCat to cease caring for these cats is cruel, as this colony has come to depend on food from these caregivers. TNR is sound public policy and the best available tool for responding to those cats already living outdoors. I respectfully ask that you please allow this program to continue. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP][Your Email]