by Elisa Black-Taylor
Good morning, readers. If you pour yourself a cup of coffee before settling down with this article, promise me you won’t burn anyone with it. Because by the time I’m finished, you’ll be ready to lash out at someone. I’m rambling again. I don’t do that often. There are several issues causing me distress at the moment. I thought I’d just throw them all into a pot together and see how “stewed” we can all get.
With all of the anti-cat situations taking place, particularly in the United States, it makes me wonder if cats will ever be illegal to own. It seems like everywhere I look cats are getting a bad rap for NO reason. Every problem I want to inform you of today can be traced back to one cause. MAN. The failure to use a little common sense is putting our feline companions at a cruel disadvantage. I say this because every issue I want to discuss can be traced back to humans as the cause.
Even the declawing issue falls under animal cruelty.
It certainly fits the criteria of willful harm to an animal. With all of the media attention, both the cat owner and the vets know how cruel this practice is. Yet nothing is done about it. Cats are suffering because humans are too misinformed, lazy or unwilling to educate themselves about the physical and mental problems caused by declawing. There are pet nail files to help keep the claws at a safe level. There are also groomers who will trim claws at a very reasonable price. DO PEOPLE NOT KNOW THIS! I’ll inform everyone at the end of this article why I’m so hot on this today.
Now for the other issues.
Does anyone out there know the leading cause of death for animals in the U.S.? It comes as no surprise to me that the leading cause of death is euthanasia. Killing shelter pets, unfortunately falls under this same category.
I hope my readers caught the word “killed” instead of euthanized. There is a big difference. Euthanasia is a medical term meaning the animal concerned is sick, suffering, injured and non-treatable. While many shelter cats meet this criteria, most do not. These animals are “killed.” The unwanted, unloved, strays and ferals brought in usually fall into this category.
The National Animal Control Association Statistical Study states that 66% of all animals turned over to a shelter are killed. The rate for feral cats turned into shelters is close to 100%, as these animals are not considered adoptable. Just being labeled a feral often means they are labeled “unhealthy” regardless of the physical condition of the cat. The number of feral cats in the United States may be as high as 82 million.
One problem with researching the actual number of cats killed in shelters is that the shelters do not publicly publish the number of cats killed in shelters. The results are obtainable only after filing thru the Freedom of Information Act to gain access to these records. This is so sad.
I really don’t know if the “truth” would save many shelter cat’s lives. What if the shelter legally had to inform the pet owner relinquishing the pet that by leaving said pet, said pet will most likely be killed. Not euthanized. Killed. As in MURDERED. I seriously doubt it. Humans have a lot of practice at going thru life with blinders on.
One law that is only going to add to the number of euthanized strays is the leash law. These laws vary by region, but basically state than any animal found outside without a collar bearing a license is subject to removal from the area found and taken to a shelter. It basically gives the cat a death sentence for committing the crime of being outdoors. Many areas are either enforcing or creating new laws, so please check the laws in the area where you live. The story on pictures-of-cats,org involving the RSPCA really upset me. That story can be found at The RSPCA Stole My Cats.
Leash laws were created to protect citizens from the danger of physical and property issues (significant harm) caused by dogs. Cats don’t even fall into the same category. Since there is no legal owner for the feral cat, their reward for being homeless is death. Never mind that many of these cats are cared for by members of the community.
Officials and cat haters argue that cats destroy wildlife such as birds. This is a unfounded statement. Urban development destroys bird and other small animal population. Construction, road building and dams just to name a few. So have pesticides. We’re destroying their sanctuaries in the name of progress. Trying to lay the blame on cats is just an attempt to keep society in the dark about the real truth. Humans are to blame-NOT the cats.
While I’m on the subject of stupid laws, Brookhaven, NY is trying to implement a “no feeding” ban. A petition to prevent this ban can be found at http://www.thepetitionsite.com/482/petition-to-stop-brookhaven-towns-law-banning-feeding-feral-cats. The ban will prevent the feeding of feral cats on town property including parks and beaches. Penalty for breaking this law will be $250 for each offense and up to 10 days in jail. There is a date of June 1, 2010 on some of the articles about the feeding ban, so it may be too late to sign the petition for that cause.
. Without the table scraps, etc. left by the caring feral lovers of this community, there is fear the cats will slowly starve to death. Isn’t starving an animal to death illegal? Think of the rodent problem we’ll have without the ferals who keep the rat population down. I’ve semi-owned ferals in the past who were excellent hunters who often presented me with “fresh gifts.”
Now I want to jump to the declawing issue. Ruth, you’d better sit down for this one. Macon County, Illinois Environmental, Health, Education and Welfare voted 8-0 recommended a $125 fee for declawing a cats front claws. This is after receiving over 600 opposing emails. If these fees are approved by the county board the service will be available July , 2010. This is an option offered in a spay/neuter package by the Macon County Animal Control and Care Center. The centers vet, Dr. Devon Forden believes he’s offering a great service at an affordable price.
Oh please, just give me strength to finish this article without getting any madder than I already am. He’s a vet. He knows this will cause long term pain and disability to a cat and he offers a “discount” to do this. I thought doctors took an oath to “first do no harm.? Or does that only pertain to people?
I think I’ve made my point for the day. Now I’m going to go somewhere safe where I won’t allow this bad mood to ruin my day. I’m sorry for all of the bad news. These are all subjects we really need to consider before and after we adopt a cat. No cat should ever have to face any of this. They should be loved, cherished and protected. Anyone who doesn’t agree with this logic doesn’t deserve the undying love of a cat.