After committing to do this, I started to wonder about who the other panel speakers are. I remembered something about a guy from the Audubon Society being on the panel, that made me nervous. So, I started to do a little research as to who the other two panel speakers are. Bob Sallinger is the Conservation Director of the Audubon Society of Portland, Oregon and Karen Kraus is the Excutive Director of the Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon.
I came across an article written jointly by both Bob and Karen in the Portland Tribune that really got me excited, as I think it embodies the mission of the CCC, Working Together to Find Solution To Cat, Bird Struggle - Portland Tribune - wow! I am so thrilled to see their shared vision for finding a solution when so many bird and cat advocacy groups are pitted against each other.
Most importantly, we agree that the real solution to these issues must focus on establishing a culture of more responsible pet ownership. Neither rounding up feral cats nor trap, neuter and return programs alone will be successful as long as there is a steady stream of new cats entering the environment on a daily basis. Focusing solely on feral cats misses the point - studies show that well-fed, free-roaming pet cats are just as likely to hunt wild birds as feral cats do, and somewhere in the lineage of every feral cat is an abandoned or unfixed pet. Real solutions need to focus on the root of the problem and that lies with pet owners.
By finding common ground, we can and will move ahead while other cities continue to disagree on how to help cats and wildlife. There are no perfect solutions, but when mired in arguing, there are no solutions at all.
- Bob Sallinger and Karen Kraus
I so agree with where Bob and Karen are coming from. I like TNR as a short term solution to keep the feral cat population in check, but ultimately it's not the answer. The community cat puzzle will not be solved by TNR alone, as the feral cat problem is less about cats and more about irresponsible humans.
I'm honored to get to share the stage with two people who really understand the problem and want to work to find solutions more than they want to fight with each other. How awesome it will be to share about the Community Cat Coalition and what we are doing to help the cause.
Has anyone attended one of these symposiums? If so, please let me know what it was like.