New Policy To Control Feral Cats In Wake County

Jun 5, 2012

In the past, Wake County euthanized all unwanted cats. But not anymore. The county is adopting a new approach to control its feral cat population.

Asma Khalid: Feral cats are unsocialized. They can't live indoors. This new policy allows private animal groups the right to trap, neuter, vaccinate and then return these alley cats to the outdoors.  The Wake Audobon Society opposes the plan. It fears more outdoor cats will mean fewer birds. But, Pam Miller says that's not true.

Humans have an inconsistent relationship with animals. Some of them we invite into our homes and treat as family. Others we send to slaughter and happily eat. Still others we are content to let roam wild, unimpeded by human hands.

Firefighters in Durham will now be equipped to save more lives when they're called to rescue families from burning homes and apartments. Many survivors emerge distraught to find little can be done for their pets because of severe smoke inhalation. But now, every one of Durham's 16 fire stations will have kits containing oxygen masks to help resuscitate man's best friends.

Animal Control officials say at least 10 packs of wild dogs are roaming neighborhoods in Cumberland County. Residents have recently reported feral dogs attacking or killing family pets. County Animal Control director John Lauby says more owners are abandoning their pets as they struggle with an economy still coming out of recession. Dogs instinctively join packs after being without food for long periods of time. Lauby says some residents have been feeding the wild dogs, which takes away his ability to trap them.

Ari Friedlaender with Humpback whale in Wilhelmina Bay, Antarctica
Alison Stimpert, University of Hawaii

  Duke scientists are finding record numbers of humpback whales feeding on krill on the Western Antarctic Peninsula. A new report shows scientists observed more than 300 whales in a bay in May 2009. Scientists say a sheet of ice should have prevented whales from feeding on krill by that time of year. But Duke’s Ari Friedlaender says climate change is shortening the winter season and ice is forming slowly. So the krill are exposed for feeding.

Little Brown Bat with white-nose syndrome in Greeley Mine, VT, March 2009.
Marvin Moriarty/USFWS

White nose syndrome has arrived in North Carolina. The syndrome is a fungus that's been killing bats up and down the East Coast. In New York state, about 90 percent of some species of bat have died. Biologists have closed caves to spelunkers and hikers in an effort to control the spread.