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Priests Starve Cats at St. James Church

March 19, 2012 | Cats / TNR / Take Action

Church Groundskeeper Threatens Poisoning as Next Step

Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals

New York, NY "“ Monday, March 19, 2012 "“ The small colony of eight feral cats has not been fed for almost two weeks at historic St. James Church in lower Manhattan. Father Lino Gonsalves and Father Walter Tonelotto have locked out caretakers there in an effort to starve the cats off church property. The priests refuse to meet with the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals to discuss any plan for cat care, though caretakers are willing to address any concerns the church may have for security or hygiene. Where will the cats be welcomed if even a church is throwing them out?

Those who wish to comment directly to St. James Church officials can e-mail Father Lino Gonsalves at sjc@stjosephnyc.org. (The Archdiocese of New York and the Vatican will be copied on your e-mail.) You may also call Father Lino Gonsalves of St. James Church at (212) 267-8376 or Joseph Zwilling, Communications Director for the Archdiocese of New York, at (212) 371-1011 x2997.

Historic Manhattan church in catfight over feral colony by Amy Sacks and Lisa L. Colangelo, New York Daily NewsSaturday, March 17, 2012

The cats are all neutered and vaccinated, following the guidelines of Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR), the only proven effective and humane method for controlling feral cat populations. When contacted for comment by the New York Daily News, Father Gonsalves derided, "The cats will not be poisoned, but we don't want the people to feed them on church property." Since the church owns all property in the vicinity, does the Father imagine that starving them out is somehow less cruel? Eradication of the cats is clearly the church's goal, if not by poison as once declared by the groundskeeper, then by starvation. Until now, St. James' feral colony was a model TNR project for which the church could be credited with humane leadership by example. This recent public banishment of the cats sends a very cruel signal to others facing the decision of how to approach feral cat management. Read more...

Comments

They call themselves Christian??? What would Jesus do??

These innocent beings have no home through no fault of their own. The Church should demonstrate compassion towards these animals not stave them.

I am ashamed to be a Catholic when such aberrant and cruel behavior is practiced by priests. Saint Francis would not recognize these priests as his brothers. These priests are DEVILS.

St. Francis would be talking to them and praying for them and those mean acts to animals.

I love animals and however being a father who has had several stray pets just forced on me per say by my compassionate children ..... I can see the dilemma these church officials are undergoing. However they are indeed doing the wrong thing.. for one most Laws if you feed the feral animals you indeed become responsible for them including rabies vaccines and microchipping if needed by that State... "It is not against New York City law to feed feral and stray cats. In fact, New York State is unique for making it a criminal offense to deprive any animal, including feral cats, of necessary food or water. Agriculture & Markets Law, section 353, in defining cruelty to animals, provides that, “A person who … deprives any animal of necessary sustenance, food or drink, or neglects or refuses to furnish it such sustenance or drink, or causes, procures or permits any animal … to be deprived of necessary food or drink, is guilty of a class A misdemeanor….” These cats need rescue not trolling the Catholic Church this has zero productive values whatsoever, these of these comments are very rabid and looking like CNN... Someone in New York area needs simply to call the authorities and have the issue resolved..... so the crime of starving the animals stops and the church resume ownership responsibility and feeding or the cats removed humanely.

I can only wonder where the food was left (?). In one area where the cats gathered, or "all around" as the pastor said. If it was left "all around", I think there's reason to be annoyed. The pastor said the caregivers are free to place food outside the Church property. As I understand, that means outside the gate, so what is wrong with that? The cats will smell food, and go for it, even if it's moved. If it's placed near the gate on the sidewalk, the caregivers will have to stay around until the cats are finished and clean up. Do the caregivers not want to stay until the cats have eaten? I also think it might be difficult to distinguish the caregivers from others who may be roaming school/church grounds for other reasons.

This is not the place to argue about the Catholic Church, but since the subject of priest abuse has been raised, know that it is a grave mistake to associate all priests with that crime. Based on several studies, only 6% of all Catholic priests had allegations of abuse, and of that number only 2% of accused priests were found guilty. So it's fair to say that at least 90% of priests should not be included in these accusations. Editors; Note: Back on topic it's 8 cats who need assistance and the kindness that apparently only Priests can extend.

What is WRONG with these men?

I sent an email to father Gonsalves, the abomination they are doing hardly exudes what they have SUPPOSEDLY have learned from the example of St Francis

This is a disgrace! They have no right to preach to people about any kindness or sympathy when they turn around and do this. Everyone, please write or call them! They will have to respond to human laws and demands.

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