All Politics is Local

When the community cat program was “Kitty McNuggets”

KITTYMCNUGGETSClark County Council has passed an ordinance creating a “Kitty McNuggets” program.

Well, maybe if your understanding of the world is still shaped by political ads from 2016.

Last week, the county council passed an ordinance  that created a “community cat” program. The program is intended to legally recognize cats that are stray, feral or rely on several residents of a neighborhood for food. The program allows groups like the Humane Society for Southwest Washington to sterilize, vaccinate and then release these not-quite-domestic felines back outside without committing animal abandonment.

The ordinance has been years in the making.  In July 2013, when the then county commission was discussing the program Tom Mielke said that when feral cats are released they would be fed to coyotes. A giggling David Madore said “they become Kitty McNuggets.”

Madore’s remark was later used in an attack ad against him in his reelection bid that featured the heads of helpless-looking cats on chicken nuggets. The ad claimed that Madore, who lost his bid for reelection, suggested feeding Kitty McNuggets to hungry coyotes to cut down on animal shelter costs.

But, of course, that’s not how the program is supposed to work. Community cat programs have been adopted across the country and are touted as a way to better manage populations of stray and feral cats. Apparently, the program is also a political football in what was a strange election.

The attack ad may have persuaded some voters to vote against Madore. But the mischaracterized program moved forward.

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