Rescuers Save First Ten Cats In JFK Airport Roundup


The controversy over feral cats at JFK Airport continues.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has begun rounding up cats that have been living near the Delta Airlines cargo area. Officials claim the cat food left out for the cats attract birds, and in turn, the birds pose a potential danger to aircrafts at the airport. After being rounded up, the cats have been dropped off at an Animal Care and Control shelter.

Many animal rescue organizations fear that the cats will be euthanized after being taken to shelters.

With combined efforts from the NYC Feral Cat Initiative staff, the Animal Care and Control of NYC, and caring volunteers, the first ten cats caught in the Port Authority’s roundup have been saved from being euthanized and have found foster homes. The cats will be evaluated to see if they can become house pets.

“It’s a true inspiration to see the NYC community coming together to rescue these victims,” said Bryan Kortis, Executive Director of Neighborhood Cats. “At the same time, what an outrage that the cause of this travesty is a powerful government agency which has not only defied the community’s will, but repeatedly and boldly lied to its face.”

Kotis added, “If 10 more come tomorrow, I guarantee we won’t have anywhere to put them. We just decided we’d scramble, and how many we could save, we’d save, but it’s only going to be a dozen or so.”

An Animal Care and Control shelter spokesman said that he expects that most of the cats rounded up will be feral and will eventually be euthanized. He added that the shelter will not be able to hold all of the cats that the JFK airport will give them.

Strict measures are also being taken to ensure that the feral cats are not being fed by airport employees. Susan Baer, General Manager of JFK Airport, threatened in a recent memo to penalize any airport employee who is caught feeding cats.

Source: Newsday

Photo: Gothamist

(Thanks Carl)

11 Responses to “Rescuers Save First Ten Cats In JFK Airport Roundup”

  1. Nora and Rufus says:

    HURRAY!!!!!!!!!!!!! And what a darling little classic striper there in the picture.

  2. Debbie4747 says:

    I hope they can all be saved. Kudos to those that took them in as fosters!

  3. Ricky says:

    Of course it had to be a government agency.

  4. mittens says:

    feral cats who are older and have been ‘ wild’ longer or born such and grown are notoriously impossible to socialize- therefore the R in TNR( trap neuter, release/RETURN). however it is understandable that the airport is a unique situation as opposed to other feral cat colony locations-the safety of the airplanes needs to be strictly maintained because human lives could be in jeopardy. cats are very territorial and therefore relocating the ones who can’t be placed in homes( possibly a major portion of the adults) could be highly problematic. not an easy situation to rectify -we can’t have a plane load of humans perish because of a few stray cats but you do always want to do the most humane thing.

    i have 2 feral kittens who i suppose would be considered semi-feral now. trapped as 3 month old feral mom born kittens ,they have been slow in coming around. if not for my older cats i dont think the ‘ semi’ could be employed. you have to have a certain temperment to have ferals in the house-imagine calico catittude to the nth degree and a pet who may spend the first month you have them under a bed hissing invective at you. but if youre up to the challange no feline love is more special then the one gained from a feral cat whose trust you have patiently gained. i just love my feral girls and from the amount of time they spend rolling around in my laundry i think they like me.

  5. Amanda says:

    I hope they can save them all :( No planes are in danger from these cats, they just don’t want them around.

  6. Don Earl says:

    I think Mittens has the right of it in this situation. Ferals will adopt a sort of semi feral attitude toward people who feed them, but past a certain age the house pet thing isn’t something they can adjust to. The ideal solution would be something along the lines of the feral rescue set ups where there’s remote acerage and a barn, where the cats can live out their lives under the best conditions the outdoors will allow, with a little help from a friendly caretaker.

    I rescued my cats as feral kittens when they were around 6-8 weeks old. From what I understand, this is sort of the magic window where they’re old enough to leave their mom, but young enough to easily adopt to domestic life. IMO, the main difference between domestics and ferals is domestics decide they’re people, where ferals decide their person is a cat.

    I think ferals get a bad reputation because “feral” tends to be associated with wild and vicious. As one of the smaller predators, it mostly translates to their being very shy and easily frightened. Their best defense is to hide and/or avoid anything unfamiliar.

    Lots of play time is the best way to get feral kittens to interact with their person. After 7 years, mine still like to play most of the same games we played when they were kittens. They’re super intelligent and in my not so unprejudiced opinion, exceptionally fine cats. If a person has the patience and temperment to work with ferals, the rewards are huge.

  7. Catlady says:

    I certainly hope that all these cats can be saved. I do, however, understand why it might have become a problem having them so near an airport. Perhaps the people feeding them would have done better to try to trap them and move them a long time ago instead of continuing to feed them where they are now attracting birds who are a definite hazard to an airplane. In this case, human lives do have to be taken into account first. It is not the cats who are a danger; it is the birds the food for them attract. A very sticky situation. But, thanks to the people who are trying to find homes for them.

  8. Sharon says:

    The cats will not be saved. They are feral. They will be euthanized. More blood on the Bush administration’s hands. The cats caused no problem for years. The problem is the men running our government into the ground. Homeland Security doesn’t have anything more important to do than this? It’s our tax dollars that are paying for the killing. Remember that the next time you vote.

  9. Radcliff, Allie, Luna, & Ozzie says:

    Yeah, Yeah, Sharon. We get is. We get it.

    Bush Evil. Bush Bad. Bad Bad Bush.


  10. mittens says:

    sharon-you’re really really misguided and contribute nothing to the discussion. this isnt a political situation-it’s a safety issue and confusing it with national political raving helps no one in this situation- it obscures the FACTS as unhinged ranting and blame mongering often does. feral cats have been euthanized because of being feral for a very very long time-it’s SOP for every kill shelter and animal control concern in our entire country. people often still go at them with guns and in most cases picking them off this way is not a crime. i suppose it’s bush’s fault that some jackass college kid or moving family dumps their cat outside and scrams- the most common cause of feral cat problems. republican hacks, every one of them. those bastards! halliburton certainly has in on ithe whole irresponsible pet owner right wing conspiracy.

    birds and rodents also pose a danger to aircraft - is trapping and poisoning them also a torture george bush invented? if killing some wire eating rat will save 200 people from dying in an aviation disaster i will willingly fork over the money for the RID with my blood soaked hands.

    i take it you’d be the first one bitching it was bush’s fault if a plane did go down because of birds attracted to the cat food-” why didnt those nazis DO SOMETHING about those cats….”

  11. cat lady says:

    NYC AC&C can’t keep from euthanizing tons all the time for “space” and because they have colds, and are too young and too old and list will go on…but I am suppose to believe they won’t euthanize a feral?

    I’ll bet they have a bridge for sale too…..

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