Priests Starve Cats at St. James Church
Church Groundskeeper Threatens Poisoning as Next Step
Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals
New York, NY — Monday, March 19, 2012 — The small colony of eight feral cats has not been fed for almost two weeks at historic St. James Church in lower Manhattan. Father Lino Gonsalves and Father Walter Tonelotto have locked out caretakers there in an effort to starve the cats off church property. The priests refuse to meet with the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals to discuss any plan for cat care, though caretakers are willing to address any concerns the church may have for security or hygiene. Where will the cats be welcomed if even a church is throwing them out?
Those who wish to comment directly to St. James Church officials can e-mail Father Lino Gonsalves at firstname.lastname@example.org. (The Archdiocese of New York and the Vatican will be copied on your e-mail.) You may also call Father Lino Gonsalves of St. James Church at (212) 267-8376 or Joseph Zwilling, Communications Director for the Archdiocese of New York, at (212) 371-1011 ×2997.
Historic Manhattan church in catfight over feral colony by Amy Sacks and Lisa L. Colangelo, New York Daily NewsSaturday, March 17, 2012
The cats are all neutered and vaccinated, following the guidelines of Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR), the only proven effective and humane method for controlling feral cat populations. When contacted for comment by the New York Daily News, Father Gonsalves derided, “The cats will not be poisoned, but we don’t want the people to feed them on church property.” Since the church owns all property in the vicinity, does the Father imagine that starving them out is somehow less cruel? Eradication of the cats is clearly the church’s goal, if not by poison as once declared by the groundskeeper, then by starvation. Until now, St. James’ feral colony was a model TNR project for which the church could be credited with humane leadership by example. This recent public banishment of the cats sends a very cruel signal to others facing the decision of how to approach feral cat management. Read more…
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