I am writing in response to the articles that were printed, beginning June 2007, in the Manhasset Press as well as the Port Washington News in regard to the cat sanctuary at Leeds Pond. This sanctuary was destroyed supposedly due to flea and rat infestations. A few facts should be known. I run the Humane Urban Group which is a trap-neuter-return organization for cats. All of the cats in that sanctuary came under our care. They were spayed, neutered, inoculated, checked for fleas, ear mites, and anything else that might be necessary. Then they were placed in that sanctuary. If any further attention was needed, for any reason, they were retrapped and seen by our veterinarians.

Can anyone possibly believe that the caretakers of these animals, all of whom have their own pets at home, would risk bringing fleas into their own house and transmitting them to their pets? This idea is even more absurd when all of those caretakers were able to get Frontline Plus as well as other treatments for fleas and ticks from me for free.

Furthermore, as to the supposed rat infestation that is alleged to have existed, many questions arise. The first question is the actual idea of rats co-existing with 12 cats in an enclosure, as well as feral cats outside the sanctuary. The second perplexing question concerns the gardeners who have been growing plants, fruits, vegetables and flowers there for 20 years. How come they have never complained about all those rats doing damage to their crops? How come they have never even seen a rat in those gardens? And as a last thought, are we to believe that the mothers and teachers who brought their children and students to the cat sanctuary would do so if the area were rat and flea infested? The children observed the cats, named them, and learned about the compassionate and humane way of dealing with stray animals. It's a lesson everyone should learn.

Jack Hausman

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