Proposed changes to Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control Ordinance 98-22

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On Tuesday, May 19th the first reading of proposed ordinance revisions for Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control Ordinance 98-22 will be held.

The proposed changes are necessary to significantly decrease the euthanasia of cats in our community, and an important step in the Countdown2Zero effort approved by the Commission on February 4, 2014.

Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Return has proven (around the country and right here in our community) to be the only effective and humane alternative to failed trap and kill policies and feeding bans.

Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control should see their live release rate of cats increase from 30% to 80% in a relatively short amount of time if you approve the recommended changes. They will also gain the support of countless volunteers and foster parents who will support the agency’s goal of saving lives.

The proposed changes will also present an opportunity for funding from Best Friends Animal Society and PetSmart Charities to pay for surgical costs and other support services to implement the programs and services needed to reduce the population of free roaming cats, currently estimated at 230,000 (human population divided by 6). These two foundations strongly support communities with public policy that authorizes humane alternatives to trap and kill.

Imagine the change this will make for the county employees who love animals, but are tasked with the responsibility of ending the lives of thousands of animals each year.

Not only is Trap Neuter Vaccinate Return (TNVR) the more humane alternative to addressing the free roaming cat problem, it is also less expensive. At Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League the direct cost for a TNVR package which includes spay/neuter, microchip, left ear-tip, rabies vaccination, FVRCP vaccination (core vaccines including distemper), antibiotic injection, pain medication injection and a dose of Revolution (anti-parasitic) is $50.00. Animal Care and Control spends an average of $400 per cat whether that cat lives or dies.

Ultimately, effective trap-neuter-vaccinate-return programs reduce the populations of free-roaming community cats, reduce the number of cats entering shelters (a burden on taxpayers), positively impact public health and, with a reduction in the cat population, the threat to bird populations is reduced.

Please approve the ordinance revisions as recommended.

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