Re­duc­ing An­i­mal Over­pop­u­la­tion: What You Can Do

FLUX Hawaii - - WHAT THE FLUX?! -

1. MI­CROCHIP

There is a 74% in­creased Prob­a­bil­ity of own­ers find­ing Lost Pets if the an­i­mals are Mi­crochipped.

• 1 in 3 pets will get lost.

• Dogs are 2.4 times more likely to be re­turned to own­ers when mi­crochipped. Cats are 21.4 times more likely to be re­turned to own­ers when mi­crochipped.

In 2015, a Si­amese cat named Bo­gie, who es­caped from his car­rier at the Honolulu In­ter­na­tional Air­port dur­ing his fam­ily’s move to Michi­gan, was re­united with his own­ers af­ter 19 months. Bill An­tilla, a vol­un­teer with Hawaii Cat Friends, was able to fa­cil­i­tate the re­union when he found Bo­gie in Honolulu and scanned his chip to dis­cover that the fe­line’s fam­ily lived in Detroit.

2. ADOPT

If one in ev­ery five of the Amer­i­cans who are con­sid­er­ing get­ting a dog or cat chose to adopt from a shel­ter or res­cue this year, rather than buy­ing from a breeder or pet store, eu­thana­sia among healthy, treat­able pets would be erad­i­cated.

26%

Per­cent­age of O‘ahu pet own­ers who ac­quired their pets from profit-mak­ing en­ti­ties rather than shel­ters or res­cues.

3. SPAY AND NEUTER

An es­ti­mated 378,000 dogs and cats be­long to fam­i­lies on O‘ahu. Nearly 30 per­cent, or about 113,000 of th­ese an­i­mals are not ster­il­ized.

• One fe­male cat and her off­spring can the­o­ret­i­cally pro­duce 420,000 cats in 7 years. One fe­male dog and her off­spring can the­o­ret­i­cally pro­duce 67,000 dogs in 6 years.

Only 1 in 10 Do­mes­tic cats en­ter­ing an­i­mal shel­ters Have Been spayed or neutered Prior.

4. TRAP, NEUTER, RE­TURN

Feral cat pop­u­la­tions can be bal­anced by res­i­dents’ par­tic­i­pa­tion in a trap, neuter, and re­turn ini­tia­tive. The Hawai­ian Hu­mane So­ci­ety has traps avail­able on loan or for pur­chase.

There are 300,000 + free-roam­ing cats on O‘ahu.

In or­der to ef­fec­tively re­duce the pop­u­la­tion of feral cats on the is­land of O‘ahu, at least 75 per­cent of th­ese 300,000 cats must be ster­il­ized.

• Seven­teen per­cent of O‘ahu res­i­dents re­port feed­ing cats they did not own. Of th­ese res­i­dents, 70 per­cent said they didn’t know if the cat was ster­il­ized or not.

• Only about 6,000 feral cats are ster­il­ized an­nu­ally via the ef­forts of Hawai­ian Hu­man So­ci­ety, Hawaii Cat Friends, Hawaii Cat Foun­da­tion, and other cat ad­vo­cacy groups.

5. BE­COME A FOSTER PAR­ENT

With lim­ited space avail­able in shel­ters, an­i­mals that need ex­tra care (they may be too young, sick, or in­jured) or that are slow to be adopted are some­times placed in the tem­po­rary care of vol­un­teers. “We keep them as long as it takes to find them a home. There is no time limit. We foster for space when needed and need more peo­ple to choose adop­tion.” —Hawai­ian Hu­mane So­ci­ety

2,000 +

Num­ber of an­i­mals placed in foster homes by the Hawai­ian Hu­mane So­ci­ety in 2015. Twenty per­cent of an­i­mals avail­able for adop­tion have ben­e­fited from fos­ter­ing.

6. AD­VO­CATE FOR MORE PET-FRIENDLY HOUS­ING

25%

Per­cent­age of those who sur­ren­dered pets to shel­ters be­cause their res­i­dences did not al­low pets. The next most com­mon rea­son cited for pet dis­place­ment was be­hav­ior is­sues, trail­ing at nine per­cent.

7. VOL­UN­TEER AT YOUR LO­CAL AN­I­MAL RES­CUE

In ad­di­tion to the Hawai­ian Hu­mane So­ci­ety, which is lo­cated on O‘ahu and re­mains the largest of such or­ga­ni­za­tions in the state, there are many shel­ters in Hawai‘i that spe­cial­ize in an­i­mal res­cue:

• On O‘ahu, Poi Dogs and Popoki fo­cuses on as­sist­ing eco­nom­i­cally dis­ad­van­taged pet own­ers by help­ing them pro­vide their pets with safe liv­ing en­vi­ron­ments (such as in­stalling fences to keep dogs con­tained rather than se­cur­ing them with chains) and by of­fer­ing spay and neuter ser­vices.

• On Lāna‘i, The Lāna‘i Cat Sanc­tu­ary, which cares for about 300 cats in an open-air, 15,000-square-foot fa­cil­ity, was started by Kathy Car­roll and Loretta Hell­rung, who set out to trap and ster­il­ize the is­land’s feral cat pop­u­la­tion nearly a decade ago.

• On Maui, the Maui Pit­bull Res­cue, the only one of its kind in the state, saves pit­bulls who may be con­sid­ered oth­er­wise un­adopt­able due to health or ag­gres­sion is­sues. Maui Pit­bull res­cues in­clude those aban­doned by breed­ers, de­formed pup­pies, in­jured or lost hunt­ing dogs, and bait dogs that have been dumped by dog fight­ers.

• On Big Is­land, Three Ring Ranch of­fers sanc­tu­ary to ex­otic an­i­mals al­ready in the state, which has in­cluded ze­bras, nēnē, hawks, flamin­gos, al­paca, and oth­ers.

*Sources: Amer­i­can Ve­teri­nary Med­i­cal Foun­da­tion’s U.S. Pet Own­er­ship and De­mo­graph­ics Source­book; a 2012 Amer­i­can Hu­mane As­so­ci­a­tion and Pets­mart study on pet re­ten­tion; “Un­der­stand­ing Oahu’s An­i­mal Pop­u­la­tion & Com­mu­nity Re­spon­si­bil­ity,” pub­lished by Hawai­ian Hu­mane So­ci­ety in 2013; Hawai­ian Hu­mane So­ci­ety’s 2015 An­nual Re­port; Hu­mane So­ci­ety of the United States; O‘ahu So­ci­ety for the Preven­tion of Cru­elty to An­i­mals; Hawaii Cat Foun­da­tion.

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