BETWEEN STANFORD UNIVERSITY
THE STANFORD CAT NETWORK
CATS LIVING AT STANFORD UNIVERSITY
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Agreement was adopted in January, 1989  , and
is bilaterally revised as appropriate . It permits
homeless  cats to live on the Stanford
University campus , subject to population management
and continuing care. The Stanford Cat Network is authorized to and
responsible for providing this, in coordination with the cognizant
University Facilities office . The conditions
of this working agreement are as follows:
control  and continuing care. The
Stanford Cat Network is responsible for making every effort to assure
that every homeless Stanford cat is:
(spayed or neutered).
against distemper (4-in-1) and rabies
Registration in the Stanford Cat Registry with a caregiver
notch (effective Fall, 1993, for any cat requiring anesthesia)
a caregiver of record who monitors the health and safety of
the cat and seeks veterinary care as needed .
Trapping. Trapping of cats is done by the Stanford Cat Network.
trapped by the University or its outside contractors will be
surrendered to the Stanford Cat Network, which assumes responsibility
for its identification and disposition .
exception is a cat exposed to hazardous or infectious materials,
about whom the University will notify the Stanford Cat Network
but will assure its humane euthanization in lieu of surrender.
or its outside contractors will notify of and/or surrender to
the Stanford Cat Network any injured, sick or dead cat found.
Problems involving homeless Stanford cats are reported to the cognizant
University Facilities office, which will promptly notify the Stanford
Cat Network. They will cooperate to mediate with the parties involved
to reach a mutually-agreeable solution [10, 11].
education . The Stanford Cat Network will
undertake efforts to educate students and other members of the Stanford
community in the humane treatment of animals and responsible pet
ownership, with the cooperation of University administration. Faculty
and staff residing on Campus will be encouraged to spay or neuter,
vaccinate and identify their pets.
1. The Agreement was negotiated in response to the
announced intent by the University Administrative Council to trap
and euthanize the feral cat population living on the Stanford campus.
Primary concern was for the health of the cats, many of whom were
diseased and starving in areas where no one was caring for them.
This concern was addressed by the conditions of the Agreement, which
extended to the entire feral cat population, not only those cats
for whom care already was provided. Of secondary concern was the
perception that feral cats were decimating the indigenous bird population;
however, the impact of loss of habitat to buildings and paved areas
also was noted, as well as the abundance of birds and wildlife observed
in open areas. Later community concern for the potential health
risk to humans was addressed in a memo of November 24, 1992, from
G. Morrow of EH&S to B. Witscher of Facilities (available on request).
Initial agreement was approved by the Administrative Council, as
negotiated between the University and the Stanford Cat Network.
The University was represented by Peter Sidebottom of the Office
of Public Affairs, and Herb Fong and Ron Parker of the Grounds Division
of Operations and Maintenance, in consultation with Crane Pest Control.
The Stanford Cat Network was represented by Dolores Arnold, Patricia
Elsen, Carole Hyde, Carole Miller, Christina Peck and Hildegard
Taleghani. Revisions have been made by agreement between Herb Fong,
Ron Parker and Stanford Cat Network representatives named above.
Homeless describes all cats whose ownership is not claimed
by anyone independently of the volunteer caregiver under the auspices
of the Stanford Cat Network. Wild and semi-wild cats are released
on Campus to the care of a caregiver of record; however, every effort
is made to find the owners of tame stray cats. Unclaimed stray cats
and any kittens are boarded or fostered until they can be placed
permanently in carefully-screened adoptive homes. No cats are euthanized
unless medically warranted by a consulting veterinarian.
The original area referenced in the Agreement encompasses the main
campus, student housing and the Medical Center--including Hoover
Pavilion, the ChildrenŐs Hospital at Stanford (CHAS) and the main
Hospital/Medical School complex. Ongoing efforts extend to SLAC,
faculty/staff housing, the golf course, stables and Stanford Barn,
Welch Road and beyond.
Coordination and cooperation with the University has been through
the Grounds Division of Facilities which is responsible for implementation
of the Agreement by the University.
The homeless cat population was stabilized at about 250 healthy
animals and is decreasing slowly through natural attrition. In recognition
that this is a dynamic situation, the Stanford Cat Network diligently
monitors the cat population for newcomers, who are trapped before
they are assimilated into the Campus cat population and begin reproducing.
See Note 4 above.
Initially, cats were required to be collared and tagged. However,
cats repeatedly lose collars, and collars are unsafely worn by wild
and semi-wild cats. The veterinary staff of the Palo Alto Low-Cost
Spay/Neuter Clinic, with whom the Stanford Cat Network cooperates
in the spay/neuter program, will not collar any cat if it must be
done under restraint or anesthesia. As of February 2001, microchip
identification is being utilized for cats trapped and re-released.
See document Feeding Guidelines,
Because many cats behave wildly when trapped and many cats lose
their collars and tags, it cannot be readily determined whether
a trapped cat is wild/tame, homeless/owned pet. See Note 4 above.
Problems are most effectively resolved on site, by changing feeding
times or relocating feeding stations within the same area (See document
Feeding Guidelines, June,
1993). Relocating cats away from their established territories often
results in: a) uprooted animals wandering away from relocation sites
and caregivers losing track of them, which undermines the program
of continuing care; b) other cats moving in to the vacated territory
without oversight of a caregiver; and c) the cat population being
concentrated in limited areas, which potentially increases its environmental
impact on humans, wildlife and itself in those areas (The natural
distribution of the homeless cat population minimizes such impact
The only exception to on-site resolution of problems involving homeless
Stanford cats is the Cat Exclusion Zone encompassing the Facilities/Athletics
area in the vicinity of the Child Care Center on Pampas Lane (memo
of November 18, 1993, from Herb Fong to Carole Miller available
on request). Many cats have been relocated from the Cat Exclusion
Zone to the designated CHAS Relocation Site. Cognizant Facilities
staff are responsible for monitoring the remaining cats in the Cat
Exclusion Zone for any population increase or health problems, notifying
the Stanford Cat Network and cooperating in further relocation as
Experience indicates that Stanford students are the source of most
tame stray cats on Campus. Every year most hungry, tame strays show
up at Campus feeding stations coincident with the beginning of the
schoolyear, quarter breaks and after school is out in June. The
Stanford Cat Network supports University Housing Policy which prohibits
student residents from having pets in or around Campus housing.
It endeavors to discourage students from adopting cats and then
abandoning them and offers assistance as appropriate. The Stanford
Cat Network also is instrumental in helping faculty and staff residents
of Campus find lost pets.