Michigan Residents: Support Protections for Community Cats!

344 x 361_AAPage.pngThis action is ONLY for residents of Michigan

The Michigan House of Representatives is considering House Bill 4596, which creates lifesaving changes for community cats and protects their caregivers.

The bill saves community cats' lives by supporting Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) and clarifying 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 and improve their communities.

If HB 4596 passes, community cats will be exempt from shelter stray hold periods so they can return to their outdoor homes immediately through a TNR program. Cats will also not be subject to dangerous legal requirements like at-large provisions and feeding bans.

Ask your legislators to pass HB 4596 to protect community cats and the programs that help them.

Recipients

  • Your State Representative or Representatives

Message

Please Support House Bill 4596

Dear [Decision Maker],

As a resident of Michigan, I ask that you please support House Bill 4596. If enacted into law, this bill 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 communities.

HB 4596 saves cats' lives by encouraging the use of Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) programs. TNR keeps community cats out of animal shelters, where most are 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 4596 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 4596 supports community cat caregivers by exempting them from the definition of "owner." 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.

The bill will also exempt community cats directed to a TNR program from shelter stray hold periods, so they can be immediately returned to their outdoor homes. The shorter time a cat spends in a shelter, especially a community cat, the less likely she is to be euthanized.

Finally, HB 4596 exempts cats from licensing requirements, feeding bans, and at-large provisions. When subject to those measures, community cats are at risk of unnecessary impoundment and their lives are endangered.

Overall, HB 4596 reflects what citizens like me want for our cats. Through TNR, cats live long and healthy lives with their bonded cat families outdoors, also called colonies, without further reproduction. TNR is the humane and collaborative way to address community concerns so cats and people can coexist.

I ask you to please support HB 4596 and protect Michigan's cats and their caregivers.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

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

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