Michigan mayor taunts cat lovers on Twitter

February 13, 2014

White kittenSterling Heights, Mich., mayor pro tem Michael C. Taylor seems to think mocking cat lovers is in keeping with his office. He also apparently isn’t familiar with how Twitter works.



(Looks like he’s also unfamiliar with the saying, “When you’re in a hole, stop digging.”)

And in case you believe he’s “just kidding,” check out his repsonses to two very polite emails from concerned citizens.

On Feb 12, 2014, at 7:18 PM, Michael C. Taylor wrote:

It sounds like you know better than the residents who have complained to me about wild cats defecating in their yard, “terrorizing” their dogs in the fenced in yard, destroying their gardens, and being a nuisance by making noise late at night. I’ll tell them you think its ok. That should help.

Very truly yours,
Michael C. Taylor
City of Sterling Heights Mayor Pro Tem

The next one is not quite as abrasive, but shows his ignorance, whether willfull or not. In it, he states that neuter-return programs do nothing to reduce citizen complaints, which is not the case.

Many behaviors humans find annoying are mating-related behaviors — yowling, fighting, roaming. Obviously neutering and spaying the outdoor cats reduces or eliminates that behavior.

And he knows this, or should, because his city’s animal control officer was at a presentation given by Dr. Kate Hurley last summer, in which she reviewed data from these programs and showed that citizen complaints and dead animal pickup went down (along with shelter intake), not up, after the program was implemented.

Also, he thinks cats are terrorists:

On Wednesday, February 12, 2014 2:30 PM, Michael C. Taylor <mctaylor@sterling-heights.net> wrote:

Thank you for your email. Unfortunately, TNR does not address the issue of eliminating the nuisance caused by feral cats in a neighborhood. Simply neutering, giving one round of vaccinations, and then releasing them back to the same neighborhood they have been terrorizing does not fix the problem. I understand your argument that eventually new cats may replace the cats that have been removed, but there’s no guarantee that will actually happen. Residents should be able to enjoy their property, neighborhoods and parks without wild animals roaming and becoming a nuisance. Feral cats are, at best an annoyance and nuisance, and at worst a public health risk. TNR doesn’t adequately address either of those problems.

Kindest regards,

Michael C. Taylor
Sterling Heights Mayor Pro Tem
(586) 822-3500

Need some background? Sterling Heights is in Macomb County, where the county animal control agency realized their current approach to stray and free-roaming cats wasn’t working to control population or reduce citizen complaints. And since it was a policy of “catch and kill” neighborhood cats, it was also far from humane.

So, with the support of the county administration, the new animal control director, Jeff Randazzo, implemented a policy of neutering, vaccinating, and ear tipping the county’s healthy stray cats, and returning them from whence they came.

Since pet cats who enter shelters only have a 2 percent chance of being found by their owners, and more than 60 percent of the cats who return home do so on their own, this policy clearly has a far greater chance of getting lost cats home than keeping them in the shelter.

And since Randazzo obtained funding from a non-profit for the program, it was also free to county and participating municipalities.

Five towns had ordinances on their books they felt precluded them being involved in this program. One of them, St. Clair Shores, researched the issue and made the very rational decision to suspend those ordinances for a one-year pilot study.

Three others — Warren, Eastpointe, and Roseville — are still considering the issue.

But Sterling Heights has been adamant that they won’t let their town be “terrorized” by no stinking cats, and has signed up with a chain of animal hospitals to handle their feline extermination duties.

Oh, they belatedly issued a statement saying it was all about the money and that the vet hospitals would be scanning for microchips and doing adoptions, but given that the program is free to municipalities, the dismal statistics for sheltered cats finding their way home, and the policy of killing all cats deemed “feral” or otherwise “unadoptable”  —  you know, terrified pet cats? — that one is pretty easy to see through.

And now Mayor Pro Tem Taylor is whining about hearing from cat lovers? He ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

You can contact Taylor on Twitter at @TheMayorProTem, by phone at (586) 822-3500, and by email at mctaylor@sterling-heights.net. CC cityhall@sterling-heights.net. And be polite.

If you’d like to make sure Warren, Roseville, and Eastpointe don’t make the same mistake, encourage them to do what St. Clair Shores did and conduct a one year pilot program and give the county, and cats, a chance.  Contact information here.

Filed under: no-kill — Christie Keith @ 10:27 am


  1. Clearly, these towns are no better than Sochi. Citywide “extermination” of companion animals, even when feral, is against everything this country is supposed to be about, yet it continues in plain sight (think Shelters, labs, class B dealers, universities, and now our Veterinary Hospitals!). I say shame them all by continuing to publish names so the citizens can decide.

    Comment by Cindy S. — February 13, 2014 @ 12:29 pm

  2. Educate yourself on the issue. TNR does work and seems to be the best solution for all involved!

    Comment by M. Katherine Medici — February 13, 2014 @ 1:17 pm

  3. So sickening. Why do the biggest idiots who are uneducated with regards to such things, insensitive and selfish like Taylor get to be have any say in this. People like you Mr all knowing Taylor make me detest the city of Sterling Hts and drive me away from living here.

    Comment by ATB — February 13, 2014 @ 4:21 pm

  4. Ignorance begets ignorance. This small little man has a lot to learn. He has no idea what he did here, and it shows.

    Comment by John — February 13, 2014 @ 5:10 pm

  5. Our City should not be run by FERAL people!!!!

    Comment by Gail — February 13, 2014 @ 6:37 pm

  6. Great work Mayor Taylor.
    Unfortunately many cat-lovers are brain-damaged (toxoplasmosis) individuals who are not capable of understanding your clear, logical, future thinking benevolence

    Comment by Vikki Irons — February 13, 2014 @ 7:38 pm

  7. Clearly a person who has “the power” planning to use it unwisely. This issue clearly needs to get as much public attention as possible. Some minds will never be changed that’s a given but there are plenty of folks out there who really care what happens to these community cats.

    Comment by SMRW — February 14, 2014 @ 7:13 am

  8. Goodness, what a very stupid and ignorant man.

    Comment by Fyre — February 14, 2014 @ 7:29 am

  9. Apparently Mr. Taylor is an “expert” on feral cats. I beg to differ. For starters, he needs to go to Great Britain and learn from them, how Trap, Neuter, Return programs have been successful for many, many years, at controlling rats and other vermin in the cities. And how something called “The Great Plague”, (in the 1300’s) killed off a large part of the population of Europe, when rats (who carried the Plague) overran the continent after ignorant people killed all the stray dogs and cats. Also, what does a feral cat do to “terrorize” citizens? I really don’t get that one, not at all. Mr. Taylor needs to put down whatever it is he has been smoking, clear his brain, and get educated!!!!

    Comment by Charlotte Strohme — February 14, 2014 @ 11:28 am

  10. Was this ignorant man elected or just happened on the office? Someone needs to run against him, someone with some intelligence and compassion. Is this the type of person who should represent his people, barbaric, inhumane, and intolerable of any thought but his own? So he hates cats. Does he also hate short people or loud children? How about barking dogs or chirping birds? Vote him out and get a real person in there. TNR does work.

    Comment by bonni — February 15, 2014 @ 7:02 am

  11. “Ten Lives: A Feral Cat Odyssey”
    Earth View Productions


    Watch it…it supports everything we do for ferals/community cats.

    Comment by Joan Hammond — February 15, 2014 @ 4:52 pm

  12. This person shouldn’t even be Mayor if he doesn’t know how to control the population.. Every state are starting a TNR program. I always say that Death should never be an option for a shelter animal. They deserve a loving home.. they deserve to live. I’m tired of officals that think MURDERING animals is the right thing. I know more humans that are a nuisance .. you won’t go and murder them! TNR
    will control the population AND quiet the cats down. I am sure that there are a lot of cat lovers on this site that would agree.
    Oh, and by the way,Killing cats is a crime. Every state plus the District of Columbia has laws against animal cruelty that clearly make killing any cat, whether she’s someone’s pet or a feral cat living outdoors, a crime. Any killing of a cat must be seriously investigated, and the perpetrator must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

    I will not stand by while cats are intentionally—violently—killed. And I am sure that no one on here would either.

    Comment by Debbie Morgenstern — February 21, 2014 @ 7:51 pm

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