A cat shelter owner, Susan McNair, living and working in Australia has become frustrated with cat owners because she’s been saving the lives of kittens for 20 years and has seen little change in the habits of a minority of cat owners who fail to spay and neuter their cats.
It seems to me that she has been fighting an heroic battle largely on her own with zero funding from the local authority. Despite this, the annual cost of de-sexing the kittens which she cares for is AU$100,000. This is a large sum of money and she has to raise it on her own. In fact, the overall costs annually to run her shelter amount to AU$250,000. This presents a heavy responsibility.
In truth, she does not have to do this. She does it out of the kindness of her own heart and her love for cats and I will presume other animals.
I think she needs more help. She needs more appreciation. The name of her cat rescue is the Kitten Inn. She has a Facebook page with 23,000 followers. She says that if all her followers donated one dollar a week it would cover her annual expenses.
Obviously, therefore, followers do not donate or perhaps a small minority do. Maybe it should be obligatory to donate one dollar a week if you follow her Facebook page (no one would follow!). She needs help. People cannot place the burden of doing this arduous and responsible work on a single individual. If people care they should really do more than simply follow and provide emotional support. I’m sure, though, that some followers do a lot more than this but I’m just making the point that it’s about money at the end of the day.
This is where I think the local authority should step in. There’s no reason why they can’t make a small donation at the very least because she is serving the community. She is providing a valuable, voluntary service which improves the amenity of the area where she lives and improves the lives of many cats. Surely this is a good reason for the local authority to provide financial support.
McNair, rightly so, believes that the community has to accept a greater responsibility for their cats. Once again it is down to a minority of people who act irresponsibly with respect to cat ownership. Some cities and some local authorities have passed ordinances making spaying and neutering obligatory together with micro-chipping (Australia leads on this). It’s quite rare but it is happening. The problem is there is a very poor uptake and these ordinances are difficult to enforce. People are aware of the problems, the difficulty is in fixing them and changing attitudes.
In fact, the local authority could do more than simply providing funds. Why can’t they set up some sort of forum both online and on the ground where they can provide seminars and educational sessions with the objective of changing attitudes? The bottom line is it’s about education and regrettably it’s a fact that the less well educated cat owner is more likely to act irresponsibly regarding both the adoption and caring of cats.
Kitten Inn is holding a 30 hour adoption session on Saturday, March 3 at 8 AM at 247 Major Drive, Kelson. Please help this lady. She deserves it.