A few days ago, I mentioned that some parts of the 2008 animal ordinance struck me as particularly silly. One was regarding feral cats.
Seems that if you want to do the right thing for any strays around your home - which is to trap, neuter and release them - The City of Dallas must give you their blessing first. This is is listed as an exception in the "Tethering" section of the ordinance:
a feral cat participating in a trap, neuter, and return program approved by the director.
The phrase "approved by the director" intrigued me, so I called DAS*. Seems that, if you want to do TNR, you need to be approved as a Feral Colony Manager by someone who is tight with DAS or the Animal Shelter Commission.
This strikes me as Big Brotherism taken to the extreme. I mean, if you're sufficiently concerned about stray cats to provide food, shelter and birth control, do you really need someone else's blessing? It's not like DAS doesn't have other things to do. Like bringing down that 82% euthanasia rate.
Also, only two rescue groups - Kittico and Feral Friends - can dub you Sir or Dame Feral Colony Manager. I'm not sure how much butt you need to kiss to get accredited.
When I visited the Feral Friends Web site, I found that they aren't terribly helpful. For example, they won't even loan you a humane trap (I think Kittico still will, but you may have to deal with the Harridan in Charge).
Plenty of other local cat rescue groups loan humane traps, even the vilified Texas Pawprints. So why are only two groups recognized as knowing their stuff regarding TNR? Wouldn't it make more sense to refer enquiries to Alley Cat Allies? If anyone can be bothered to contact DAS for more information, it follows that they can contact Alley Cat Allies.