Beautiful photos and message: http://www.onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/elizabeth-jason-putsche-feral-cat-photographs/
Putsche elaborates, “Many people think all cats belong inside,” and as the result, when they see a cat outdoors they think, “[that] must be someone’s pet that got out, or that the cat needs help or needs a home. “In this manner, many people feel obligated to call animal control and report the stray animal. “They think they are helping the cat by getting it to a shelter where they can be adopted — when really millions of cats have never spent a minute inside a house, nor would they want to.”
Additionally, by reporting this cat and turning them into a shelter, they may be endangering the cat’s life. Depending on the area, the cat could be taken to a high-kill shelter and ultimately put down, despite the fact that is was perfectly healthy and able to survive.
The mission behind the Putsche’s ”Community Cat” project is to change our perceptions towardsferal cats and show how they can be a perfectly symbiotic part to our world.
Putsche tells OGP, “In other areas, especially more rural areas, cats are always outdoors. They are part of the landscape, and many times serve as rodent control. We want people to know that all cats have homes — they just aren’t all with people.
Additionally, the project aims to show that there are humane alternatives to shuttling stray cat communities into shelters.
“There are ways to improve an outdoor cat’s life, through Trap-Neuter-Return. But even if you do nothing — the cats are still ok outdoors,” says Putsche.
By integrating TNR programs into shelters, cats that aren’t adopted can be released back into their community. Putsche formerly worked with Alley Cat Allies, the national non-profit dedicated to the protection of community cats, and has seen the success of TNR programs in action. By trapping stray cats, bringing them to be neutered or spayed, docking their ears to indicate they’ve been neutered, and then releasing them back into the community, neighborhoods can better control stray cat populations and learn to live in harmony with their feral friends.
In this manner, Photographers for Animals hopes to bring awareness to the animal rights issues that rarely get our attention. When people see stunning images of cats living happily outdoors in a community independent of humans, they are inspired to learn more and to explore options like TNR programs to help preserve these beautiful animals.