The US National Park Service is Being Sued Over Stray Cats

Angela Vuckovic
by Angela Vuckovic
Oxana Oliferovskaya/Shutterstock

The US National Park Service was sued by a non-profit organization due to its controversial plan to remove the famous stray cats of Puerto Rico, a historic district in the US territory. The lawsuit was filed by  Alley Cat Allies, a non-profit based in Maryland, and it comes four months after the radical announcement that left many in shock. The Federal agency revealed that it would contract an animal welfare organization to remove around 200 stray cats that live in Puerto Rico’s historic seaside fortress in Old San Juan. 

What the organization still hasn’t decided upon is whether the captured stray cats would be placed in foster homes, kept in shelters, adopted, or face a different fate. What is more, the federal agency did not reveal if a third-party organization has been hired yet. 

The National Park Service also added that it would hire a “removal agency” if the organization it contracted ultimately failed to remove the cats within a six-month period. 

The news caught many by surprise, as many locals – and tourists alike – loved the cats, and many considered them a delight and a local attraction. Alas, many considered the cats a nuisance too, as the National Park Service stated in a report in 2022 that the cat population in the city had grown out of proportions and that the smell of feces and urine in the area was becoming too strong.

The announcement of their plan roused many animal rights activists, who say that six months is not enough to remove such a great number of cats. They fear that, as a result, many cats would be killed. 

Ultimately, the Alley Cat Allies filed its lawsuit in an effort to ensure the best possible outcome for the felines in question. They requested additional environmental statements from the National Park Service, and asked that “a judge find its actions allegedly violate acts including the National Environmental Protection Act.” It remains to be seen what will be the fate of these kitties – but one can only hope they won’t be harmed in the process. 

Angela Vuckovic
Angela Vuckovic

A proud mama to seven dogs and ten cats, Angela spends her days writing for her fellow pet parents and pampering her furballs, all of whom are rescues. When she's not gushing over her adorable cats or playing with her dogs, she can be found curled up with a good fantasy book.

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