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Activists Urge P.G. County To Reduce Cat Euthanization

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Prince George's Feral Friends wants P.G. County to adopt a no-kill policy for strays.
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Prince George's Feral Friends wants P.G. County to adopt a no-kill policy for strays.

In Prince George’s County,  animal rights advocates are urging county officials to adopt new procedures to lower the high kill rate in the county’s animal shelters.

In 2009, the  director of environmental management, Charles Wilson set a goal to save more stray animals immediately. Animal rights advocates with the Prince George’s Feral Friends say the county didn’t follow through on its promise and instead established an historically high kill rate for stray cats brought into the facility.

 Tim Saffel, the organization's president, says this is a problem.

“We’re not sure of the exact number, but 85 percent of the cats that go into the facility over the past decade have been killed," says Saffel. Many of those put down were healthy, adoptable cats, he adds.

“The county’s approach right now is to catch and kill, and it’s very difficult when you have a cat in a trap whether it’s a feral which is legally considered a wild cat, or a frightened pet that has escaped," he says.

Saffel says his organization would like county officials to adopt a so-called no kill approach: a series of different programs that are implemented simultaneously to place animals that are adoptable, treat those that need medical help, and rehabilitate those with medical problems.

"Only euthanizing those who are terminally ill or suffering," he says. Calls to the county’s head of animal management were not returned.

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