This article examines the public policy debate over control of stray animal populations, in particular, feral cat colonies. The author, director of a feral cat advocacy group, explains that many of the individuals who act as caretakers for feral cat colonies are caught in a conundrum as to whether they should come "out" as caretakers or remain in secrecy. Much of the current legal policy for animals stems from antiquated animal control laws that do not accurately reflect the attitude of the country toward companion animals. Because at least 80% of these stray animal caretakers are women, the author further suggests that their inability to form a politically significant voice stems in part from entrenched gender prejudice in the country. The author contends that their views should be heard in the animal control debate.
(Reprinted with permission)
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