A recent New York Times article came out about the feral cats that Google employees are feeding at their corporate headquarters, called Googleplex. Instead of focusing on the good work these employees are doing, the article discussed criticism Google is receiving from bird groups.
According to the article, bird groups blame the feral cats Google staff are trap-neuter-returning for the population declines of the burrowing owl. While Alley Cat Rescue cares deeply about bird populations, the connections between the feral cats and the owls are minimal at best. The article states one instance of an owl being found dead after being followed by a cat, and one photo of a cat with a bird in its mouth as evidence that the cats are causing the population declines.
Instead of grasping at straws, we should focus on the true causes of the burrowing owl’s population declines. According to both the Urban Bird Foundation and California Audubon Society, loss of habitat is a central cause of the burrowing owl’s population declines. In fact, a golf course next to the Googleplex has caused multiple owls to die. The article states, “One of the biggest threats uses the Shoreline golf course. A bleak Mountain View report three months ago noted there have been deaths ‘due to direct contact between golf balls and burrowing owls.’”
Alley Cat Rescue has reached out to Google to ask them to keep implementing their trap-neuter-return program and we ask you to do the same! Trap-neuter-return will help to manage the feral cat population and will reduce problem behaviors such as roaming, keeping the owls and cats apart. Further, if eradication methods were used against the cats around the Googleplex, these methods could kill the burrowing owls as well.
You can contact Google here:
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, CA 94043
Alley Cat Rescue is leading in the way in promoting humane and compassionate care for ALL cats.