There is little chance of improving cat welfare if the public and the authorities don’t know or understand what the problems are. A lot of what is going wrong with respect to the cat welfare continues because it happens under the radar. People are either ill-informed of unaware. This leads to an unintended acceptance, which, in turn, leads to a perpetuation of the problem.
The greatest cat welfare problem in the USA is the numbers of unwanted cats that are killed at animal rescue facilities. The problem is that no one knows how many. All the figures are estimates. We know how unreliable estimates can be. Each year, it is in the millions, though.
Therefore, I am very pleased about the enlightened approach taken by the legislators of the state of Florida. There really are some good people who run the state. Although they recently failed to pass a Bill to support TNR, I read, today, that a Bill (Senate Bill 872) will become a statute (law) on July 1, which greatly benefits the cats of Florida.
The Transparency In Animal Shelters Act (please check that this is the exact wording of the Act) makes it obligatory for animal pounds and animal shelters to publicize information on how many dogs and cats they receive and what happens to them.
The sort of information that they have to provide is: numbers….
- of animals taken in
- adopted out
- of animals reclaimed
- transferred to rescue
- that die in the facility and/or go missing or are lost.
I am informed, by Ally Cat Allies, that what is really nice is that similar legislation has come into force in Maryland with Bills going through government in two more states: Illinois and Alabama.
This puts a smile on face. Is this a trend? Is it the beginning of the end of mass cat slaughter? I don’t know. However, there appears to be commitment amongst some state legislators to, at last, deal with what can only be described as the settled but unpleasant state of affairs at many animal shelters and pounds in the USA.
Despite the presence of the cat shooters and haters, the vast majority of people believe that feral and stray cats should be left alone and not killed at shelters.