Feral cats, other animals, a problem at transfer stations

  • Pigs and cats eat food left for them near the Kealakehe Transfer Station. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

  • Chickens and a cat gather by the Kealakehe Transfer Station. (Photos by Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

  • Chickens and pigs roam the brush at the Kealakehe Transfer Station. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)
  • Pigs roam the brush at the Kealakehe Transfer Station.

  • Pigs approach the road looking for food at the Kealakehe Transfer Station. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)
  • A herd of pigs approach the road looking for food at the Kealakehe Transfer Station. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

HILO — Hawaii County garbage transfer stations are going to the dogs. But especially the cats. Not to mention the pigs, the goats and the chickens.

County officials are trying to get a handle on a feral animal proliferation problem by pushing, in the case of cats, a catch, spay-or-neuter and release program and urging people not to dump or feed animals at the transfer stations.

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“People abandon their pets at the transfer stations as if they’re garbage,” said Puna Councilwoman Eileen O’Hara, who’s been working on legislation to put some teeth into the county code.

She said there are more than 100 feral cats at the Keaau transfer station alone, and it’s not the only transfer station with problems. Feral cats also remain a problem at the Kealakehe Wastewater Treatment Plant, a nesting ground for threatened and endangered seabirds.

O’Hara’s first attempted solution was to allocate some of the $215,000 that’s slated for spay and neuter programs annually in the county’s $2.1 million animal control program to various animal welfare nonprofits to increase animal sterilization countywide. That effort proved unsuccessful.

Her newest effort, Bill 192, will require the county to control “nuisance factors” such as plant species, feral cats, dogs and pigs that affect environmental and human health at facilities controlled by the Department of Environmental Management. The bill requires the department to establish best practices for a comprehensive quality control program at transfer stations as well as wastewater treatment facilities.

The County Council Environmental Management Committee is scheduled to have the bill on its Nov. 1 agenda. The meeting time has not yet been set. On a favorable ruling from the committee, the bill goes to the county Environmental Management Commission for its consideration and recommendation before being heard twice more at the council level.

Environmental Management Director Bill Kucharski said the department already uses best practices. The bill, he said, will make the procedures more formal. The bill also requires the director to allocate sufficient resources to effectively develop the project.

“There are people that very much love cats and try to take care of them,” Kucharski said. “We’re trying to find a different way to manage the feral cat population.”

Kucharski said the department discourages feeding of cats and other feral creatures to try to keep them from accumulating in large numbers and procreating.

O’Hara said the county would need to spay or neuter 5,000 cats a year to get the population under control. She said about 800 are spayed or neutered annually now.

The county isn’t the only level of government trying to do something.

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The state Department of Land and Natural Resources has declared the common cat an invasive species, saying the feral animals kill native birds and are also a required pathway for a Toxoplasmosis parasite that is deadly to endangered monk seals and nene. DLNR says the public should not feed feral cats.

That policy is going even farther with DLNR’s Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation. DLNR has approved a rule barring the public from feeding or adding to colonies of cats at boat harbors, and stray dogs and cats at boat harbors can be seized by authorities and disposed of according to state law. The rule, scheduled to start Jan. 1, has yet to be signed by the governor.

  1. KonaLife October 25, 2018 5:42 am

    Look at how the problem has come about: people have left their unwanted cats at the transfer stations. They have bred out of control. The AdvoCats has then fed these cats daily, as well as the the growing population of feral pigs in that area. They claim to have a trap-spay/neuter program, but it’s obviously not applied vigorously, as the feral cat population is out of control. After 25 years of the AdvoCats way of (allegedly) trapping and spay/neuter we need to admit it hasn’t worked. If it did, there would be almost no feral cats, as the lifespan of a feral cats is usually less than 3-5 years. Other programs in the country have reached almost zero feral cats in a very short time, so it’s clear the AdvoCats don’t have the willpower or resources to work toward a zero feral cat goal.

    We simply need the courage to admit that what has happened isn’t working…at all. The only solutions are an aggressive trap-destroy, a no feed policy on public land, a consistently applied trap-spay/neuter program or some combination of the above. Letting what hasn’t worked for 25 years continue guarantees a continuation of the problem.


    1. OLDWOLFE October 25, 2018 8:18 am

      AdvoCats does not feed cats! They are a Trap Neuter Return organization that helps control the population so feeders have less cats to feed. Ferals in Hawaii can live up to 15 years. If you have lived here long enough you would notice a decrease in many areas. One of the woman that feeds at the transfer station ( by the HIHS) has been harassed many times . She traps every month and just got 10 cats S/N at AdvCats 3rd clinic of the month in which 70 cats where done. How about the rats,mongoose,chickens,pigs,goats that are running amok? How about the government and the public start really helping instead of complaining and sabotaging their efforts? How about the headline. Hawaii kills beloved cats and lets vermin live?


      1. KonaLife October 25, 2018 8:54 am

        It’s the same people! You say that the woman that feeds the cats works with AdvoCats on the S/N. I have seen Advocats ask for volunteers for feedings and ask for cat food donations for feedings. To suggest cat feeders and AdvoCats are not one in the same is just dishonest.

        You mention feral pigs. Look at the picture accompanying this article. It’s feral pigs eating cat food! I’m sure the mongoose and rats in that area love the nightly feedings, too! The AdvoCats cat feeder at the dump is responsible for a considerable amount of damage to the native ecosystem. Her behavior is myopic and not very respectful to Hawaii’s fragile ecosystem.

        And, just because we have a problem with other invasive species, it doesn’t mean we can’t work to solve the feral cat problem. The solutions are clear; we just need the courage to do them.

        Again, if trap-spay/neutuer–as the AdvoCats has done for 25 years worked–we’d have almost no feral cat colonies. In others parts of the country, if effectively done, feral cat populations go to almost zero in a few years.

        It’s not working!


        1. guest October 25, 2018 9:14 am

          You nailed it in both comments! The feeders and enablers are a huge part of the overall continuing problem! I see people out feeding these animals, its organized groups and individual bleeding hearts, I just shake my head. All the other animals mentioned are attracted because of these supplied food sources, they get trained to where the food is going to be. We supply poison food to rats and mice to keep populations in check, if not they would overrun the island. Population control is needed for all these animals and the first step is to STOP FEEDING THEM. Then various other methods can be used to reduce populations.


        2. Du Mhan Yhu October 25, 2018 9:26 am

          You are very uninformed and ignorant of the difficulty Advocats has with other people feeding them. My wife went out two days ago to trap a colony for s/n. No cats were trapped as they did not come around.

          Reason? Someone’s kid locally feeds them so they did not come around to be trapped at the usual feeding spot. Advocat feeding is mostly to keep a colony of cats in one spot for ease of trapping.


          1. KonaLife October 25, 2018 9:35 am

            I honestly don’t care if the AdvoCats are having problems feeding them. They should not be feeding them!


          2. Du Mhan Yhu October 25, 2018 9:43 am

            You clearly missed why they feed them: to keep the colonies together for ease of trapping. The colony at the Lako Shell was almost completely devoid of breeding cats from this program. Of course, some @sshole that did not want his cats dumped more fertile ones and the program goes on.


          3. KonaLife October 25, 2018 10:00 am

            Have a look at the pictures accompany this article. See what’s eating the cat food? I’m sure the rats and mongoose get a bite, too. Though I haven’t been there in awhile, I remember watching the mongoose eat cat food side-by-side with the cats at the old Borders lot.

            Again, most of these problems would go away if we had a “No feeding” policy on public lands. You want a feral cat population on your land? Get consent from your neighbors, where all the feral cats will defecate, did up gardens and potentially spread nasty diseases.. To maintain colonies on other peoples’ land or public land is disrespectful, selfish and ignoring the science that says feral cat populations are horrible for native wildlife.


        3. OLDWOLFE October 25, 2018 9:27 am

          Have you done anything?


          1. KonaLife October 25, 2018 9:33 am

            Yes, all my four-legged animals are S/N and are not allowed to run the into property of my neighbors. My animals are licensed and chipped and receive regular care from out vet.

            I do not feed feral animals, though I constantly have cat feces on my yard and in my garden from my neighbor’s feedings of stray cats.

            But it’s not what I do that matters. It’s what misguided and ill-informed, and dare I say very selfish, people who perpetuate feral cat colonies do that is the problem.


      2. KonaLife October 25, 2018 3:08 pm

        You need to look at the AdvoCats website. The page called FEEDING will show their involvement in, well, feral cat colony feeding. Look it up.


    2. hokuula October 25, 2018 8:57 am

      The pigs and goats are a problem now because of over population of humans. Overdevelopment has destroyed their habitat. Cats are not an invasive species. They have been in our Island homes and families for over 100 years. Queen Kapiolani loved cats and had many of them as pets at Iolani palace. TNRM works if funded and applied correctly. It works in over 600 communities across the USA. HIHS receives over $2million tax payer dollars annually for animal control and over $200,000 to conduct spay and neuter programs. The spay neuter program run by HIHS is ridiculously inadequate. However the county continues to fund it. Did you know there has never been a comprehensive strategic plan to address the issue of pet over population on our Island? Did you know that the animal control contract has not be changed in over 25 years in order to meet current needs of our Island animals? Animal advocates across our Island got together drafted and shared a strategic plan with the county council, the mayor’s office and HIHS. That plan was reviewed and endorsed by the best legal minds in animal welfare and reform. We could have this under control in three years if that plan was implemented correctly. There is no lack of a humane solution, there is however a refusal to change. Killing doesn’t work either. The county, HIHS and the DLNR have been mass slaughtering animals for decades. HIHS kills over 12,000 animals a year as a way to manage the pet population, half of those animals are cats. The emphasis and incentive to kill as a solution has to end and a comprehensive, coordinated effort has to be enforced at the state and county level. Its not rocket science, its common, humane sense.


      1. KonaLife October 25, 2018 9:18 am

        Please read the article: cats are an invasive species.

        Yes, agreed, that feral pigs are, too, a problem. Please look at the picture in the article to see what they are eating: cat food left by the dump’s cat feeder. I would assume the rats and mongoose in the area love the food that is left for them daily as well.

        We’ve had 25 years of the S/N in Hawaii, and it hasn’t worked! Other S/N programs in the U.S. get to almost zero feral cat population in a few years, yet the dump’s feral population persists, for at least two decades that I have seen.

        Feeding is a big part of the problem and for the cat feeders not to understand this, is just selfish, hide-your-head-in-the-sand thinking. We need to stop the feeding and remove feral populations from public land.


        1. OLDWOLFE October 25, 2018 9:42 am

          BS


          1. KonaLife October 25, 2018 10:09 am

            Which part:
            1. Feral pigs are eating the cat food at the dump?
            2. 25 years of S/N hasn’t worked in Hawaii?
            3. Other S/N programs on the Mainland get to almost zero feral cat population in a short time?
            4. Feeding feral cats is big part of the problem?


          2. Denise T October 25, 2018 11:06 am

            1. Feral pigs are a problem, and they need to be dealt with also.
            2. 25 years of S/N HAVE WORKED in Hawaii
            3. Dead wrong there – Do you know how many feral cats there are still in big cities like L.A.? They have dedicated vets who worked several days a week!
            5. Feeding feral cats are NOT the biggest part of the problem!


          3. KonaLife October 25, 2018 11:33 am

            1. Then stop feeding them! Look at the pictures in this article.The pigs, chickens (and I’d argue rats and mongoose) are eating cat food!
            2. Nope. Feral cat colonies have not decreased.
            3. Nope. You provide an anecdote of LA. Do some true research on feral cat colonies and using S/N to eradicate them. You’ll see several very successful programs that have the goal of eliminating colonies and being able to do so. I’d argue the cat feeders have no goal of eliminating colonies here.
            4. Yes, there are other problems, but let’s focus on an important part of it: eliminate the feeding. That will have an impact. BTW, the DLNR does recommend a no feeding policy, too. As the top natural resource and environmental protection part of our government, I’m going to give a lot of credence to their recommendations.


      2. KonaLife October 25, 2018 9:27 am

        I do agree there needs to be a plan. The DLNR has asked the public not to feed feral cats. It has prohibited people from doing so at the harbor. The science behind this-transmission of a deadly virus to monk seals and death of native bird species is well documented and solid.

        Let’s start with the this practical solution:

        Can we all agree to stop feeding on public land?


        1. guest October 25, 2018 9:36 am

          Not only agree to stop feeding on public land but make it illegal to do so with significant fines attached and a tip line to report violators.


          1. OLDWOLFE October 25, 2018 9:46 am

            BS How about learning how to trap and get them S/N or is that to inconvenient?


          2. KonaLife October 25, 2018 9:51 am

            My solution would not be trap S/N. I don’t support it. It hasn’t worked.

            I am in favor of a “no feeding” rule for public property. That will work much faster and will have a much greater impact on our invasive feral cats than the S/N program which obviously hasn’t worked. S/N without a feeding ban is bound to fail, as the past 25 years have shown.


          3. guest October 25, 2018 10:00 am

            I have a trapping license and have trapped all species of animals for years outside of Hawaii. I don’t support the trap, S/N, release and feed model, feeding is WRONG! If you want I’ll trap/dispose and that would make a huge dent in the population in short order. This works as proven by hundreds of years invasive/pest management outside Hawaii. Anything short of that is a feel good measure for some but a complete waste of time, money and resources.


          4. KonaLife October 25, 2018 10:05 am

            Agreed! Some people are so deluded into believing that they are “saving cats” that they perpetuate their colonies and continue to destroy native species…and, I would add, support a fairly miserable life for the cats. Non-feral cats live up to 15 years or so; feral ones 2-5 years (at best).

            Continue S/N if you want, but you need a comprehensive solution and that is to stop feeding.


          5. hokuula October 25, 2018 10:38 am

            Destroy native species? I can tell you from direct experience as a cultural practitioner the most destructive force on our islands are humans, with their need to perpetuate a lifestyle that is incoherent with island life. And of course the military. Its myopic to blame cats in the face of the massive military presence and unrestrained development and crumbling infrastructure.


          6. KonaLife October 25, 2018 10:58 am

            Your post is just an attempted deflection from the issue of feral cats being bad for the environment. We’ve lost monk seals in Hawaii to a virus that is only present (and persistent) in cat feces. Cats, globally, kill billions of birds annually, and predate on many lowland birds in Hawaii. The problem is so pronounced that our DLNR is now going to ban feral cat feeding at the harbor. The science about the negative effect of feral cats on the environment is solid.


          7. Eileen McKenzie October 26, 2018 2:17 pm

            The science about the negative effect of feral cats on the environment is NOT solid. It is based on junk science that has been proven wrong. The virus that you claim is only present in cats has been found in many marine animals and may have been present in marine life even before cats were domesticated. By wrongly putting the blame on cats, you are doing a disservice to the entire ecosystem because it is HUMAN ENCROACHMENT causing declines in wildlife; not the cats.


          8. KonaLife October 26, 2018 5:05 pm

            Again, you deflect!

            Feral cats are also a problem. Both can be true! It’s not either-or!

            Feral cats are horrible for Hawaii’s native species. Here are two irrefutably scientific examples:

            A video a feral cat predating two pailia chicks:
            Go to dlnr.hawaii dot gov/
            restoremaunakea/
            threats/
            predators/

            or google, “restore mauna kea predators”

            You could also google “3 More Monk Seals Die From Disease Linked To Feral Cats” and see the facts on taxoplasmosis from NOAA scientists.

            Will you view the video? Will you read the story? Are you able to change your mind based on a video or NOAA scientists’ research?


          9. KonaLife October 27, 2018 11:19 am

            You’re simply hiding from the facts about feral cats’ negative impacts on the environment. Even PETA, the most pro-animal organization out there (and an organization I don’t support at all)–is against TNR and feral cat colonies. They recognize the horrible lives these cats live, the magnet effect of providing dumping grounds for unwanted pets, the lack of proper vet care for these animals, as well as the negative effect on native (and non-native) species. If you truly love cats and animals, you would not prolong the suffering of both as caused TNR and feeding stations.

            Google to “TNR Is Dangerous Both to Cats and to Other Animals” to see PETA’s position and the evidence they cite. Or go the the Hawaii DLNR’s Restore Mauna Kea (cited below) to see how feral cats affect endangered, native species. Or go a story on NOAA’s research on the death of three endangered monk seals (cited below) that could only have been caused from feral cats. Two highly credible organizations and, surprisingly, PETA.

            I suspect you don’t live in Hawaii, as you don’t seem to understand at all the peril these cats put our endangered and highly fragile ecosystem in. Anyone who lives here and has open mind understands this, which is why nearly 70% in a recent Oahu survey wanted the feral cats euthanized. Google “69 Percent Of Voters Want Feral Cats Removed From Hawaii”


          10. Denise T October 25, 2018 10:58 am

            No, you are dead wrong! Well fed colonies do not eat birds and they can live for many years unless some speeding asshole runs over them! They do kill and eat rats – where you would poison them, so hawks and owls would eat them and die also?? That’s a great idea! And you are also wrong that S/N has not had a impact on the amount of feral cats. We have tourists and other people tell us that they see far fewer cats than there used to be.
            It is a human problem that we continue to have to fight this battle! Stupid people don’t fix their cats, and then they dump them when it becomes inconvenient to keep them, or they leave the islands and leave their pets behind!
            All we need to do is to get everyone behind fixing their animals, with much more help from the Humane Society offering free services.
            You are a heartless person if you would deny these poor animals, who through no fault of their own, have been abandoned to survive. It is humans fault, and we are responsible to fix and care for these creatures in a humane way until attrition finally drops the population down and keeps it there!


          11. KonaLife October 25, 2018 11:16 am

            I think it’s more heartless to perpetuate the feral cat colonies.

            It’s heartless to the endangered monk seals we’ve lost to viruses only contained in cat feces.

            It’s heartless to the billions of birds feral cats kill a year (globally).

            It’s heartless to maintain colonies in residential neighborhoods, where there might be pregnant women who could be infected with toxoplasmosis.

            It’s heartless to the neighborhoods where cat feces is deposited in gardens, lawns and everywhere else.

            Most of all, it’s heartless to maintain the populations of feral cats, where they live a only 15% to 25% the lifespan of a domesticated cat, often in horrible conditions.

            These animals live very short lives, and, yes, run into roads and get run over–I see 3-5 stray cats a week, dead, in the street. I’ve seen blinded feral cats (due to mites) and many with severe ear infections (don’t think they have hearing anymore). Of course, we’ve all seen severely maimed and disabled feral cats due to natural causes, other animals and cat fights.

            Feeding these colonies perpetuates them and gives (truly heartless people) the justification to get rid of unwanted cats because, “they are fed and people take care of them.”

            Stop the feeding and we’ll make progress, lots of progress to reducing these populations.


          12. Eileen McKenzie October 26, 2018 1:41 pm

            Do you think they will magically disappear if no one feeds them? No, they won’t. They will slowly starve to death. How heartless is that? Oh, and some of them will be more inclined to go after wildlife because they don’t have any other food. Those supposed studies that claim that cats kill billions of birds are exaggerated claims based on junk science and are only used by cat haters who want the cats to be killed. Cats are not invasive, they do not destroy wildlife and they are not the sole cause of the loss of endangered monk seals due to viruses. Toxoplasmosis is found in many different marine animals and may have been present in some marine life even before cats were domesticated. It has recently become more prevalent in ocean life due to HUMANS flushing cat poop down the toilet. Monk seals are endangered because of HUMAN ENCROACHMENT, and blaming the cats does a disservice to the seals. If you truly care about your monk seals, stop wrongly blaming the cats and start doing something to protect the seals from…yep, you guessed it…HUMANS.


          13. KonaLife October 26, 2018 3:39 pm

            Yes, the feral cat problem will decrease dramatically if we stop feeding them, and, yes, though it is less than ideal, we do need to trap and remove them from critical habits, which happens a lot more than you know right now. Unfortunately, many of the feral cats will have to be euthanized. We have done variations this with ungulates for years to protect critical habitats and we’ll have to do it to cats, too. The AdvoCats have feed and sustained these populations, so they are partly to blame.

            I agree 100% it’s a human problem and the feeders are big enabler for perpetuating the problem.

            Again, you try to say, “but….also happens, “but….is also a cause” “but…humans are to blame, too.” Yes, all of this can be true, but the putative facts are that feral cats are a major negative to monk seals, alala, nene, other endemic and non-endemic bird species, pregnant women and anybody who has a cat colony feeder in their neighborhood because of the cat feces, destroyed vegetation and general nuisance.

            As we can see in this story, the feeder at the dump also sustains, by feeding, highly understandable ungulate populations and probably rats and mongoose, too.

            It’s also a horrible life for the feral cats, which receive no ongoing vet care, flea/tick treatments, shelter or palliative care when dying or maimed.

            We know feral cats are a problem, and for certain, as you note, there are other problems, but deflecting to other problems does not change the fact that we can and should address the feral cat problem more aggressively than we have for the past 20 years.


          14. KonaLife October 26, 2018 4:55 pm

            Go to dlnr.hawaii dot gov/
            restoremaunakea/
            threats/
            predators/

            There is a wondeful video a a feral cat predating two pailia chicks on Mauna Kea.


          15. KonaLife October 25, 2018 10:22 am

            Let’s do both! Would you agree to a feeding ban on public property?


        2. hokuula October 25, 2018 10:42 am

          Why don’t we agree to a coordinated effort to enforce the strategic plan? Killing doesn’t work either as we can see from over 25 years of that failed effort.


          1. KonaLife October 25, 2018 10:47 am

            So, do you agree to a ban on feeding as the DLNR has requested?

            That’s part of a plan that makes sense. Everyone can start today. I guarantee that the results will be noticeable and lasting. Continue to S/N if you’d like, but stop the feedings, as they most certainly perpetuate the problem.


        1. KonaLife October 25, 2018 10:49 am

          It’d be nice not to read your political bashing in a discussion that is decidedly not political. Take it elsewhere, please!


          1. Du Mhan Yhu October 25, 2018 10:52 am

            Continue on with your cat hatred, you are on a roll.


          2. KonaLife October 25, 2018 11:41 am

            I don’t hate cats. I’ve had cats my whole life. They are all taken care of (S/N, and receive regular vet care). I am, though, against the damage to our ecosystem and neighborhoods due to people sustaining feral cat populations. It’s not good for the cats, our endemic wildlife and our communities.

            Your political baiting is fine in another forum or story, but is just out of place for the reasonably intelligent discussion of feral cat populations.


          3. Du Mhan Yhu October 25, 2018 11:52 am

            “Intelligent” and your one path ranting is not connecting. but carry on.


          4. KonaLife October 25, 2018 2:10 pm

            Let’s see, I’ve asserted that feral cats lead difficult and greatly-shortened lives, they are bad for neighborhoods and the people that live in them, the feeders are feeding ungulates (pigs) and probably mongoose and rats, S/N has not worked for 25 years, the DLNR is against feral cat feeding, feral cats kills billions of birds a year, they have killed endangered monk seals in Hawaii, they are dangerous to pregnant women, AdvoCats support and organize the feeding of feral colonies and it is the feeding of feral colonies that sustain them.

            Hardly one note.

            Yes, though I disagree with many of the posters here, I respect their willingness to discuss the issues. Your “Neuter Liberals” is just not constructive or even remotely tied to this issue. My goal is to provoke thought and discussion, not to make stupid political opposition-baiting graphics, clearly not posted in an appropriate spot. We have enough of the labeling, tribal discourse, so it’d be nice if it were where it belongs. I’m sure there’s a place; it’s just not here.


          5. Du Mhan Yhu October 25, 2018 3:13 pm

            AdvoCats support and organize the feeding of feral colonies, feeding
            them creates more justification for people to discard their unwanted
            cats because they are “fed and taken care of” and it is the feeding of
            feral colonies that sustain them.

            You may have a point there, but implying Advocats is making the feral cat problem worse it just your opinion, and “we” all know about opinions.

            My irritation with liberals does boil over, but the point was made about human over population.


  2. Servite Omak October 25, 2018 8:18 am

    ever heard of guns?


    1. OLDWOLFE October 25, 2018 8:28 am

      To use on yourself?


    2. guest October 25, 2018 9:26 am

      Many in Hawaii are afraid of guns because of various social factors and government has made them mostly illegal, taboo or a royal pain to acquire. Its a liberal paradise and snowflake state in nearly all respects. Interestingly a .177 caliber pellet is a very effective tool but get caught killing what those in rural mainland consider “pests” and you’ll likely see jail time equivalent to killing your neighbor not to mention the public outcry.


      1. Denise T October 25, 2018 11:01 am

        As is should be – killing defenseless animals is a crime and people should do time for it! And if you don’t like our ‘liberal’ paradise, then why don’t you go back to wherever you came from??


        1. Du Mhan Yhu October 25, 2018 11:15 am

          “Where you came from”, the usual BS from mainland liberal transplants uneasy about where they came from. Just where did you “retire” from?

          I agree about killing defenseless animals unless they are a pest. If a stray un-neutered tomcat is attacking my two outside cats, i will take care of it.


        2. guest October 25, 2018 3:13 pm

          Most animals would be considered defenseless, but that’s entirely irrelevant in any argument other than an emotional one. Like it or not humans have been killing animals for food and clothing as well as other needs since the beginning of time, its not going to change. In some countries cats and dogs are just another food supply. Animals need to have their population’s controlled by some factor, its either going to be by man, nature, disease, or starving to death. Humans that continually intervene by feeding and “protecting” are doing nothing but harm. I won’t allow rats, mice, cats or other animals overrun where i live, its a health hazard. You are welcome to take them in but don’t tell me I have to. These invasive animals are a hazard to everything based in nature on this island, claiming anything else is just absurd.


          1. KonaLife October 25, 2018 3:20 pm

            Well said!


  3. OLDWOLFE October 25, 2018 9:39 am

    Magic cats ? They disappear when you don’t feed them and all the pigs and chickens and goats and mongoose will disappear if you starve them in paradise. Of course the HIHS with all that county $$ and right there can’t do anything. O they have killed almost 3000 cat so far this year. Maybe you can get the police that are right there to do something? Good luck with that!


    1. KonaLife October 25, 2018 9:47 am

      Yes! Stop feeding the colonies and they will eventually cease to exist. The feeders have created these problems, and if they are prohibited from feeding on public lands, I am certain the problem will go away. It’s a reality we need to face if we are going to avoid further harm to monk seals, native bird populations and our ecosystem in general. DLNR recognizes this, which is why they are banning feeding at the harbor. The County needs to step up and do the same for our public lands.


      1. OLDWOLFE October 25, 2018 10:50 am

        Feeders are not the problem. The people that abandoned them in the first place and the community not stepping up. AdvoCats as an organization asks for people to trap and bring the cats to a clinic. Yesterday 70 cats from all over (some from county property) got S/N by 1 Vet. and about 20 hard working volunteers at the Old A. No help or $$ from them or HIHS.


        1. KonaLife October 25, 2018 10:59 am

          How many of these feral cats, do you think, would exist if they were not supplied food by people?


          1. OLDWOLFE October 25, 2018 12:37 pm

            How long would they suffer? And what kind of human would let a starving kitten die? Besides you?


          2. KonaLife October 25, 2018 2:21 pm

            They suffer tremendously now, and the evidence for that is the lifespan of a feral cat is 15%-25% that of a domesticated cat. They receive no medical care, vaccinations, flea or tick treatments or shelter and often end of squashed on our roads.

            The DLNR will be using a trap-destroy process after they ban feeding at the harbor, and I guarantee that’s much more humane than the continued feeding of and sustaining feral cat populations. The danger to our monk seas (you do know that some have died from a virus only present in cat feces) will be decreased, and the native bird population will have a better chance in that area, too. Yes, sometimes we have to destroy what we have done wrong to create what is right for our environment and communities.


        2. KonaLife October 26, 2018 9:37 am

          Don’t you think that the fact that there are feeders encourages people to abandon their unwanted cats there? Do you think that might be contributing to the problem?

          This is my point: the AdvoCats sustain and perpetuate the problems through their promotion of feeding. Sure they do S/N clinics, which are important and commendable, but you need to look at their actions in total, and I believe that there goal is not to eliminate these colonies; their actions with the support of feeding stations show otherwise.

          AdvocCats: Is your goal to eliminate the colonies? If not, how can you justify the continued harm to our native species, our neighborhoods and to the cats?

          AdvoCats: Could you agree to stop the feeding of the feral cat populations? If not, how can you expect any change in the feral cat populations if you continue doing as you have done for 25 years?


  4. KonaDude October 25, 2018 11:15 am

    Posting some feral cat recipes might help??


  5. feralpower October 25, 2018 11:50 am

    I totally agree with a well funded TNR program. TNR is th only humane solution. The cats should be fed and maintained so any new cats will be fixed right away. The population of cats will gradually decrease over time. Of course people shouldn’t ever abandon their cats.


    1. KonaLife October 25, 2018 1:53 pm

      We’ve tried it on Hawaii Island for 25 years, and the feral cat populations have not decreased. How much longer should we continue what hasn’t worked?


      1. Eileen McKenzie October 26, 2018 11:28 am

        If it’s not working, that means it’s not being done right. Each cat colony needs an assigned caretaker who feeds daily and checks for any ill or injured cats. All uneaten food needs to be picked up after the cats have eaten so that other animals won’t come in to eat the leftovers. Newly abandoned cats need to be trapped right away for spay or neuter and adopted if friendly, or returned to the feeding station where they were found. In order for TNR to work properly, it needs to be done consistently and on a daily basis, and it will take some effort to get it done right. Also, the public needs to be educated about why it is important to spay and neuter their pets, and why it is irresponsible to abandon their unwanted pets. TNR does work when done right, and it’s the humane way to solve the problem. Killing the cats is cruel and inhumane, and should never be an option unless the cat is too ill or injured.


        1. KonaLife October 26, 2018 1:22 pm

          Here’s the way it (doesn’t) work in Hawaii.

          Food is left out for cats, rats, mongoose and feral pigs to eat. We are feeding vermin and unwanted ungulates at our dump. (See the picture with the pig eating cat food). Cat food and cat feces are never cleaned up, as the feeders don’t hang around after feedings.

          The feeding of the feral cats creates a place where people think they can dump their unwanted felines and they will be taken care of. This aggregates our cat populations and makes them grow.

          Cats do what cats do, and since a lot are recently placed or not caught right away, they breed. Cats can give birth to litters every four months, hence the near impossibility of catching and S/N them before they breed. One unsterilized feral cat can create 16 offspring a year.

          The public is enabled to be irresponsible owners by the cat feeders on public property. Irresponsible owners just figure that their cats will be OK if left in a colony of ferals. It’s not right, but it they know the re-homing chances at the Humane Society are not very good.

          So, the problem here is that the feedings are creating a “safe place” for people to dump their animals, and the people doing the feedings can’t possibly catch all the fertile cats before they breed, hence, the feral populations have been steady, if not increasing in some areas. One local organization-the AdvoCats-have been at it for 20 years.

          Yes, in an ideal world, people would not dump their cats at these feeding stations, and they would S/N every four-legged friend, but they don’t. That’s certainly part of the problem.

          The other part of the problem is the feeding stations are not properly run. In addition, these feeding station perpetuate the damage to Hawaii’s endangered species (monk seals, nene, alala) and keep predatory cats to roam and kill native (and non-native) birds. I’ve seem bird predations by feral cats twice, once with a hysterical child watching in horror. By maintaining these invasive species colonies, the feeders are causing proven harm to a very fragile ecosystem.

          That’s why trap S/N without a feeding ban should not be allowed to continue.


          1. Eileen McKenzie October 26, 2018 2:07 pm

            Instead of making excuses to why TNR isn’t working, go to your animal shelter and see how you can start an education program to teach people how to be responsible pet owners. These problems are not unique to Hawaii; they happen everywhere. People need to be taught that their cats need to be spayed/neutered and that they need to find good loving homes for them rather than dumping them at the feeding stations. Put the blame where it is due – on the HUMANS, not the cats. Teach the people how to take better care of the ecosystem…and their cats. Do you think that the cats will magically disappear if people stop feeding them? Did it occur to you that hungry cats will be more likely to go after birds? That’s why a feeding ban is irresponsible…and very, very wrong. While you’re at it, why don’t you contact Advo-Cats to see how you can be part of the solution by helping them instead of fighting them with excuses and false claims about cats? You can’t claim that the cats should be starved or captured only to be killed without being heartless yourself.


          2. KonaLife October 26, 2018 3:51 pm

            Yes, the cat population will decrease dramatically if we stop the feeding stations. That’s self-evident. That’s why the DLNR is banning feeding at the harbor.

            I view the AdvoCats as enablers of a failed approach. It’s very clear their goal is not eradication of the colonies, because if it were, they would have accomplished this tens of years ago. They have been around since 1989, I believe. They should continue S/N and stop feeding. Within a few years, those feral populations would approach zero very quickly. Add trap-destroy and you’d have the populations to near zero in a matter of months.

            But, I’m convinced the the AdvoCat feeders want to sustain these colonies and do so by feeding and creating a magnet for community members to dump their unwanted cats at the feeding stations.

            Work on public education- I’m all for that.

            I don’t like to see flea-ridden feral cats predating bird populations, which I have seen, twice. I don’t like to see feral and stray cats squashed on the road. I don’t like to see pigs eating cat food at the dump. I don’t like to see monk seals dying of toxoplasmosis from cat feces, which one did this year. I don’t like to see any animal mistreated, but when humans make a mess of something, we need to have to courage to make it right.


          3. Chickie Galore February 18, 2019 5:39 pm

            That is absolutely not true. They do NOT cull any sick cats. Nonsense. Cats don’t belong here. Or really anywhere outside for that matter. Ok then, don’t bother to respond. I am done. And you are right it is HUMANS that screw every pouch. But deal with it. There are other animals to be protected. I.e Birds and Monk Seals. Aloha.


        2. Chickie Galore October 26, 2018 3:36 pm

          No, if you did your research you would find that it does not work and the feral cats should be euthanized. Why is it cruel and inhumane?. Just because you like cats? They are a plague on the island and its bird life. Drive up on Mauna Kea and read the sign that states 70 something percent of folks in Hawaii think they should be eradicated. It is only the nut jobs that think they are nice, disease free kitties. And what is so humane about dumping them out sick and feeding them. Especially when I see them hit on the road and trying to crawl away with a broken back. Can you explain how is it humane that they eat 37 birds to each mongoose or why it is humane that they spread disease to people’s pets? Best part is you don’t want to kill feral cats but Ill bet you a buck that you are an abortion supporter.


          1. KonaLife October 26, 2018 3:53 pm

            I don’t think she lives here, so she probably has a very limited understanding of the island’s ecosystem and how destructive feral cats are to it.


          2. Eileen McKenzie February 18, 2019 4:59 pm

            The thing is, I have done my research and I know that TNR DOES work. If you had done your research, you would know that TNR programs take out the sick cats and nurse them back to health. All you have done is repeat the same mistruths that have been proven to be nothing more than junk science. Since you brought political beliefs into the conversation, I will simply suggest that you look at your own hypocrisy before trying to insult others. Right back at ya!


  6. OLDWOLFE October 25, 2018 1:12 pm

    Ironic that this is published the day after a free S/N clinic at the Old A. that did 70 cats. AdvoCats has tried to get this paper to cover one of our clinics (at least one a month ) for years. I get your paper every day and recycle it to line the cat traps so they can express their opinion on it.


  7. Bond October 25, 2018 6:29 pm

    a 12 gauge shot gun fixes the problem quite well a little messy but our friends the Myna birds clean it rite up– you bleeding heart liberals are the root of the problem –if we started today it would take 10 years to solve the problem


  8. Du Mhan Yhu October 27, 2018 11:19 am

    31 out of 68 posts from this KonaLife character. Obsessive, much?

    I might suggest changing your screen name to “Needs a Life”


  9. OLDWOLFE October 31, 2018 6:49 am

    Fake news: The Gov. did not sing DLNR’s death bill and according to Eileen O’Hara, about 800
    cats are now spayed or neutered annually. Reality: AdvoCATS s/n 1,154 cats in 2017 & 683 cats were s/n at the
    Animal Balance clinic in July 2017. = 1837 🙏🐈


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