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Urban Rescuers (2003)

Astonishingly, nearly 4 million stray or feral cats inhabit the streets, parks, back alleys and backyards of Los Angeles County, and they are reproducing at an alarming rate. The current ... See full summary »

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Astonishingly, nearly 4 million stray or feral cats inhabit the streets, parks, back alleys and backyards of Los Angeles County, and they are reproducing at an alarming rate. The current solution is round-up and kill. But is there a better way? Urban Rescuers profiles a group of fiercely dedicated animal welfare crusaders in Los Angeles who skirt the law in order to rescue feral cats from the certain death they face upon landing in animal shelters. The methodology involves a controversial solution for feral cats known as "TNR" (trap, neuter, return), which calls for sterilizing these animals and then allowing them to live out their lives in the wild. As the TNR process is revealed, passionate and surprising arguments on both sides of the issue are heard from the heads of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), the Feral Cat Alliance, the Los Angeles SPCA, and the Los Angeles Department of Animal Regulation, among others. The documentary shows that TNR is legal in other ... Written by Nikki Corda

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A walk on the wild side

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Documentary | Short

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2003 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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What this does best is raise the issue of feral cats...
16 January 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Urban Rescuers is an interesting documentary about the plight of feral cats in general and in LA County more specifically. It focuses on a controversial and in many cases, illegal, program of Trap Neuter and Return. This system has the advantage of allowing the feral cats to live out their natural life in the wild while preventing these cats from breeding. Thus, the overall population of feral cats should diminish without killing them.

The film deals primarily with the TNR system as a workable alternative and much of the film discusses its benefits as told by a group actively involved in it. Some of the objectors to such programs are given a chance to voice their thoughts as well.

But what this film does best is to raise the issue of feral cats and bring it into the public consciousness. I doubt that most people (myself included) really have any idea of the extent of the problem in the United States.

It is well filmed, with an interesting and informative script and has made me aware of an option I had not previously heard of. In addition to TNR, I would hope that groups considering this type of program would include a vaccination program while they are neutering these cats-especially for rabies.

Definitely worth seeing.


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