Regarding R. Picardi's letter ("In Lily's Name," Jan. 22), as a city councilwoman I am spearheading the reworking of animal services provided by the city of Pittsburgh.
We have had Animal Control moved from the Refuse Department to the Public Safety Department. Gerald Akrie is now supervisor of the bureau that will be called Animal Care and Control, and it is our intention to develop a full-service no-kill shelter within the city.
We have begun work in my district, the northern neighborhoods of the city, by implementing a trap-neuter-return program using my district's "neighborhood needs" money and volunteers. TNR helps control the populations of feral cats in our neighborhoods. We will institute it citywide this year.
You see, if we simply remove the cats, new cats will move in; when cats are neutered and returned to the colony, natural attrition will slowly reduce the numbers while we gain control of the rest of the colonies in the area. Meanwhile, those cats also provide us some amount of pest control.
My office has been working with volunteer organizations, universities, scientists, veterinarians, psychologists, attorneys, professors, neighborhoods and Mr. Akrie and his officers toward implementing a full-service, self-supporting Bureau of Animal Care and Control. We are educating ourselves about the best facilities elsewhere and how we could make them better.
We do care about our animals and all the love and service they can bring to us individually and as a society.
We are working toward making every day Spay Day. Responsible pet ownership is important to us all.
COUNCILWOMAN DARLENE M. HARRIS