ASNV Comments on Fairfax County Domestic Cat Policies

Members of ASNV met last April with representatives of the Fairfax County Animal Shelter Advisory Board to discuss concerns about the impact of free-roaming cats on birds and other wildlife and about the shelter’s Trap, Neuter, and Return program.  At the conclusion of the meeting, animal shelter officials invited ASNV to comment and offer suggestions on how the subject is covered on the shelter’s new website.

ASNV submitted comments urging the use on the website of more scientifically based information, including such statistics as:

  • Free-roaming, unowned, and “community cats” have contributed to or caused the extinction of 63 species of bird, mammal, and reptile worldwide.   
  • In the United States each year, cats kill 2.4 billion birds and 12.3 billion other native animals such as chipmunks and squirrels. 
  • In North America, cats are second only to habitat loss as the largest human-related cause of bird death.

The ASNV members added that in the best interests of cats, birds, and other wildlife, the animal shelter should add a section to the website titled, “Cats Safe Indoors,” to educate visitors about the many benefits of keeping cats indoors and the risks posed to birds, other wildlife, and cats themselves by allowing cats to roam free.  The group also wrote that the website would be strengthened by including local, state, and federal laws regarding the release of unwanted pets. 

You can see the entire response  here.