This is a decidedly unfamiliar problem on college campuses. According to an article by Nathan Crabbe in the Gainsville Sun:

[University of Florida pest management coordinator Ken] Glover said about 100 cats roam free on campus, a designated wildlife sanctuary, often killing birds and other native animals. The cats also spread fleas and disease, he said.

The cat policy at Florida prohibits students and staff from feeding wild cats on campus, which is a wildlife sanctuary, but routinely collects the animals and takes them to Alachua County Animal Services. That means they’re usually euthanized.


Some animal-lover employees object to the policy, since it ultimately results in the death of almost all cats.

Many other colleges have “trap-neuter-return” programs, where colleges periodically capture pets and release them into the wilderness. UF veterinary professor Julie Levy apparently prefers such a plan. She runs a program, Operation Catnip, which sterilizes cats before releasing them. As she explained:

UF is uniquely positioned for taking a humane approach to cat management because we do have the vet school here, and we have a lot of compassionate staff at the university who want to help.

Well, maybe. UF’s Environmental Health and Safety Director William Properzio, suggests that’s not realistic. Campus construction means there aren’t really open spaces available to release the cats

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Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer