A letter to the editor in yesterday’s Virginian-Pilot censures TNR because of the risk of ringworm from a sandbox. The letter was written in response to “Norfolk Council Wants Fewer Animals Euthanized” (12/4/13) and notes that “someone mentioned that children are getting infected with ringworm after playing in a neighborhood sandbox” at the council meeting. The letter also calls Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) “a short-sighted option.”
The “someone” was Sarah Bishop, who spoke on a different topic. Ms. Bishop’s comments regarding ringworm were made in connection to playgrounds and came approximately six minutes (5:50) into the meeting, 50 minutes before David Freeman began speaking about the Animal Advisory Board or TNR was discussed.
Ringworm is a zoonotic disease, which means it can be passed to humans. There’s no connection, though, between TNR and ringworm: Any cat can have and transmit ringworm.
From January to the end of November of this year, 1,672, or 61%, of cats that entered the Norfolk city shelter were killed. Since 2004, this statistic has held steady at 60% to 75%. If TNR is “a short-sighted option,” what does the author, and other TNR opponents, propose as a long-term option? The status quo is not saving lives. To borrow Council member Protogyrou’s words, “[We] don’t want to know how we can’t…[we] want to know how we can.”