Kind people are sometimes compelled to help stray cats but are fearful of complaints and worse. A lady responded to Rae’s article (see link below) which is about helping a woman who become overwhelmed in providing care for stray cats. The woman asked Rae for help and she provided it in the most charitable and kindly way as did her veterinarian.
This other lady (Madeline) has the same problem. She feels that she has to do something to help unwanted street cats. She can’t ignore them but at the same time she is fearful about neighbor complaints or the authorities (Animal Control) and the cats being trapped and euthanised.
What Madeline says
I do believe there are many of us like this lady [Rae – read her story] you helped. I myself have about 20 cats that I care for. Of course I understand i should never have started feeding them as they me to my home and yes i became overwhelmed with kittens, TNR etc. I try my best.( i know you have heard that before) i am now waiting for a group that will trap for me and return the cats back to me.
They are going to trap 2 at a time. Some i had spayed on my own. These cats are outdoors. I provide food and shelter for them and medication if it is needed and if they allow me to help them. I am 81 years old. The cost for food is amazing but it is something i started and will continue……. so yes, as I have read this there are many of us. Many will not come forward for fear of the town shelters coming and giving us summons. I have had these threats too but fortunate that a group here allows me to use their name in case of a compliant. These critters need us. They did not ask to be born…..
Thank you for all you do. No i was never ashamed of what I do….
There is a genuine problem in many countries, including the USA, where kind people (most often women and normally middle-aged to elderly women) volunteer their time and money to help stray cats. In doing so they take on a big responsibility which can overwhelm them in terms of time and expenses. They are fighting a battle which is unwinnable and they themselves sometimes need help.
I have this image in my mind of an old lady trying to hold back the tide. The tide represents the constant stream of unwanted cats who find themselves on the street. As Madeline says they never asked to be there. They were put there by irresponsible cat owners supported by an inadequate response from society’s leaders.
Society should not place these kind people in this predicament. They can’t ignore these cats who need help. It is in their character to help these animals (often heroically). But when they do they can be subject to complaints and worse. They are getting pressured, in a pincher movement, by two groups (1) irresponsible cat owners providing a stream of unwanted cats which can overwhelm them and (2) neighbours and the authorities who may object and complain. This is all because they want and need to do the right thing from a moral and ethical standpoint. Surely society has got this wrong?
Society must not persecute these kindly cat rescuers. Society should support and praise them. Rae did a wonderful thing. She just helped the overwhelmed lady and did not contact the authorities, which was very sensible.
If neighbours criticise volunteer cat carers they are being unreasonably intolerant. They are blind to the issues. Rather than being critical they should join in and assist or lobby local government to do more to change the way society deals with irresponsible cat ownership and how society picks up the pieces.
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