In support of animal shelter
I write in response to an article in the March 29 edition of The Compass headlined “ Proposed shelter getting cold shoulder,” and a letter to the editor written by Laura-Lee Hiscock headlined “ Setting the record straight on cats” that was published in the paper’s April 5 edition.
Did you know in seven years, one female and one male cat and their offspring can produce 420,000 kittens? Cats reproduce at a very high rate, resulting in the current overpopulation problem. The longer we try and ignore this problem, the larger it becomes.
What is unique to our cat population problem is the weather. With thousands of stray cats across the province, countless suffer and die in the cold. Cats are here because people brought them. As domesticated and therefore dependent on us as our pets, our companions, we are responsible for their well-being.
People feed strays out of compassion and due to a lack of other options available. It is cruel to allow such a situation to continue untreated. Could you be the one to go to work everyday and decide which cats will be put down and which ones will get another day? This is not just about showing support for animals; it’s about showing support for the shelter workers and volunteers who care for them.
This situation has a solution. It takes a commitment of a community and its government, i n v e s tme n t in a spay/ neuter program and well-funded animal shelters.
The cat overpopulation problem is easily treatable if sufficient resources are allocated.
It takes a community and its government to consider this as an example. The population of our province is just over 500,000. If each person, on average, contributed $ 10 per year and government matched this dollar-for-dollar, this could fund 10 shelters with vet clinics in our province.
We need only to say the current way of doing things could be improved upon and go from there. A well-supported shelter can house these cats; a full-time veterinarian can spay/ neuter every healthy cat that comes through their doors; a funded foster and adoption program can place most in loving homes.
What will inevitably come with time is a reduction in the cat population. This is a real solution to stray cats roaming. The sooner we start spaying/ neutering our pets, the less quickly their numbers will grow.
Every day, the problem grows more expensive. This is not just a matter of compassion; it makes economic sense.
Not only would it nip a problem in the bud sooner rather than later, but shelters like the one being proposed by Laura-Lee Hiscock and the Baccalieu Trail SPCA would also create employment in the community.
I respect Dwayne Parsons’ initiative in spearheading a petition. If the petition was to encourage a subsidized spay/ neuter program, this would actually help solve the problem.
Taking the “ Not in my backyard” approach to an animal shelter allows the problem to grow — literally. If you don’t want stray cats hanging around, you should support a shelter in your region. Laura-Lee Hiscock is trying to be part of the solution; we should support her in her efforts. This is a good thing. Dana English