Originally Posted by Ataturk
Let me just say--you people really get on my nerves. How can you think it's more humane to "release" feral animals? Either find homes for them or destroy them. Sheesh.
Real feral cats can't be homed - you'd be lucky to even touch one without getting a bite. We actually do have a few true ferals that we've placed (including one at our house, who took about 3 years to come around to the point where we can even touch him, and even then he still has a wild-look in his eye that makes you think twice...) but generally speaking, it's just not an option.
That said, ferals are capable of living in the urban/suburban "wild". They've learned to scavange since birth and are appropriately fearful of most everything. Their biggest problem is usually cars or people harassing them and not much else. That said, we're reconciled with the fact that is the real world and, yes, we've had to put down a number that were mortally wounded from incidents with such things.
fyi: for the ferals we do re-release, it's usually a colony of sorts and we're supervising. We make regular weekly rounds, we source/buy/donate the food ourselves, we know the cats and the people/environment around them. We usually have local volunteers enlisted to handle feeding and keep their eyes on them. Since the food is regular, the cats stay around and don't venture. We have also moved individual cats and even entire (small) colonies when it just wasn't practical where they were located (usually because people politely objected).
I think what you're confusing cats that are lost, dumped, abandoned with ferals. We catch and fix many more of those and generally get them adopted out - either directly or through various groups that we volunteer with. Indeed, I have a little of 4 kittens fostering in my garage right now (+2 adults) that I'm desperately looking to get homes for as of now.
So, in general, we do what you ask - if a cat is re-home'able, we get them placed. But real ferals aren't, so we don't. In some cases, sadly, when the animals are injured or just unsustainable, we do have them put down. Additionally, I'll add that plenty of pregnant cats get litters aborted in the process of spaying, which is a shame but - in the end - means less cats on the streets. I think that's what we're both hoping for.