By Elisa Black-Taylor
Does the news media prefer to cover dog stories rather than cat stories? I always thought the media would be unbiased, until many of my rescue friends clued me in that cats get less publicity in times of emergency than do dogs.
There’s a situation going on right now at the shelter where almost all of our cats were rescued from. Greenville County Animal Care Services made the news last week when several hundred dogs were facing euthanasia when their five day hold was up. I won’t even go into the situation from last week, except to say more than 250 dogs were rescued/fostered/adopted.
This large amount of dogs needing rescue happened in the midst of an emergency, when one dog who died of canine influenza led the shelter to remain closed to cats until September 3, when the shelter will reopen. There’s an extended period before dogs will be allowed to leave, due to a quarantine order.
No one is allowed in the buildings except staff. Rescues, fosters, the public and volunteers are banned. The shelter says this is because the canine influenza can be transferred on shoes, and it’s just a precaution.
I wrote an article a few days ago, telling the public about the 300 cats and kittens who are at risk of euthanasia if not out of the shelter by Tuesday or Wednesday. I sent the information to local news stations, but as of Saturday night no one has covered the story.
This is an important story for the cats at the shelter. All cats being adopted out through September 6 will have the adoption fee waived. Cats will be tested for FIV/FeLV, vaccinated, microchipped and a paper signed and appointment made for spay/neuter to be done after the shelter gets everything up and running again. Many kittens as young as three months old have already had the surgery and are ready to leave.
Anyone who wants to adopt, please take a look at the cats listed at the links below. There are 95 cats listed on the urgent list for September 3, and an additional 74 who must leave no later than 7 p.m. on September 4. Any cats remaining will be at risk for euthanasia.
Since the shelter is closed to the public, people who want to save a cat have to email the shelter at pe*******@gr**************.org with the cats name and animal I.D. number. They’ll be given a time to come by the shelter to pick up their cat.
Almost all attempts to save the cats have been through the various rescues and fosters in the area. One rescue, Foster Paws, took as many cats as they could to Petco for a six hour adoption event on Saturday. I haven’t seen any mention about this on any news station, despite sending them the information.
Which makes me agree with what those in the cat community keep telling me – that cats facing euthanasia don’t get nearly the publicity as the dogs do. For the record, I’ve also heard there are more dog rescues than cat rescues out there.
For the record, around 180 dogs are also on an urgent list, meaning they need to leave the shelter on September 7, when their quarantine is over. I want to be fair, so their link is here https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.485536848191249.1073741833.194011810677089&type=3
There are those of us in the rescue community who are becoming physically ill because of this situation. We feel the shelter should extend the deadline, seeing they’re trying to adopt out several hundred cats over a major holiday weekend. The suggestion of an adoption event was met on deaf ears by shelter director Shelly Simmons.
Labor day is Monday, and the cats only have until Tuesday or Wednesday to get out.
Is it true that dogs get more publicity than cats? It would seem so, but I’d like your opinion. And PLEASE share this article.
Listed below are the articles I’ve published detailing with the crisis: