Not in my back yard

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I live next to the Bauer property and want to clarify a couple items for the people who have written in support of the TNR program, believe there is a push to shut it down and do not want that to happen. 

First, nobody is demanding the TNR program to end — that is the Bauer’s decision. The fact is: it is only a TN program, without the R (for “release”). About 75 cats are being held in kennels at the Bauer property, rather than being released, after surgery. That includes about 20 cats whose owner was dying and wanted them euthanized after her death. They did not comply with her wishes and instead brought the cats to their property. There are additional strays that stay around their house being fed. That is not a TNR program.

There are lights strung over the kennels and it looks like the Ringling Brothers circus at night from our house and yard. We cannot open the windows that face towards their property because of the odor. The fly population has exploded since the cats started being housed there and, as a result, we had to hang fly strips inside our home this year.  It is a disgusting and unhealthy situation, for both cats and humans.

The situation has gotten completely out of hand — although it began with the best of intentions. However, the Bauers’ great efforts for these animals do not give them the right to diminish their neighbors’ quality of life.  

For anyone to make disparaging remarks or threats about the neighbors because we are tired of this foul situation is unwarranted and unreasonable. Would you be so supportive if they were housing 75 cats next to YOUR home? Would you want this situation 50 feet from YOUR kitchen window?   

In theory, a TNR program can be a good thing. In reality, this one has become an intolerable situation for the neighbors and impossible to ignore any longer. Instead, it has become a 75+ cat sanctuary on a 75-foot wide lot. Should we have kept quiet until there were 175 cats or 675? Where would you draw the line?

You can support the cats by finding homes for them or adopt a few yourself, helping to find no-kill shelters that the cats can be transferred to (instead of living in kennels in a residential neighborhood) and by not encouraging a cause that you don’t have the facts on.

There are legitimate TNR programs that release the animals after they are fixed and there are legitimate cat sanctuaries, but they are located in places that do not impose unsanitary conditions on the neighbors. This is not one of those situations.

But, if you still feel the need to opine on the matter, walk by the Bauers’ yard and take a deep breath — I promise that you will have a different opinion after that. And, carry a fly swatter. 

Ada Lang

Cedar Key