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Teen proposes roaming cat service for Fond du Lac


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FOND DU LAC (NBC 26) — The Fond du Lac City Council is thinking about a proposition to deal with feral cats in the city—and it’s all thanks to one high schooler’s enthusiasm for assisting animals.

At a current City Council conference, Madison Hernandez provided a proposition months in the making: motivating the city to adopt a TNR—or Trap, Neuter, Release—prepare for Fond du Lac’s feral cats.

The concept is to record feral cats, which cannot be domesticated or live easily with human beings, and avoid them from replicating.

“You can trap and eliminate which decreases it in a breeze, like it’s gone,” Hernandez said. “But no one desires cats to pass away. And it does not even help the issue, due to the fact that there’s this thing called the vacuum result whereas when you do take cats out of a nest and you eliminate them, more cats will simply fill back therein.”

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Hernandez dealt with regional saves to establish her proposition, which Mo Dumas, cat foster organizer at Sandi Paws Rescue, said will lower the variety of feral cats gradually.

“The problem is that one cat within seven years has the capability of producing 400 cats,” Dumas said. “So, we want to get those cats to have that where they are spayed or neutered.”

Right now, TNR is illegal in Fond du Lac. But after Madison brought the subject to the City Council, that might alter.

“I think the idea of neutering the wild cats makes a lot of sense,” Fond du Lac City Council President Patrick Mullen said at a March 8 conference.

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There is science to back this up: a research study at the University of Central Florida discovered that a TNR program triggered the feral cat population to decrease by 66 percent in 11 years.

Other cities like Cudahy and La Crosse have actually embraced comparable programs, which Madison utilized to style her proposition.

“I went about emailing and researching other places in Wisconsin that do it,” Hernandez said. “And they told me kind of what they do.”

Feral cats are among the primary problems in the city’s continuous settlements with the Fond du Lac Humane Society, which shared a declaration on their website in assistance of TNR, however said this may not be an instant service to the issue.

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“Even with a TNR program for feral cats, it will take several years to decrease overpopulation. The city must include feral cats in any animal control contract,” a Humane
Society board director said at a March 8 City Council conference.

This began as a task Hernandez started in November at Fond du Lac STEM Academy. Her instructor Adam Grassnickle aided with the job, stating he made use of his experience operating in city government in Madison.

“I think having a hands-on experience like this is the perfect introduction to being involved in something locally like it with the government,” Grassnickle said.

And Hernandez said she thinks this job might become a real-life service.

“Now I have a whole group of people talking about it,” Hernandez said. “I have the Humane Society… the three other rescues in Fond du Lac talking about it, and the whole entire City Council talking about it, and we’re still gonna keep talking about it.”

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