Will stoppage of long term benefits increase cat relinquishment?

In the United States, federal long-term unemployment benefit that was instigated by president Bush is to be stopped this Saturday. It is a generous welfare benefit and stopping it will severely affect about 1.3 million Americans initially. The numbers will climb.  In California alone half-million people will lose payments by June.

When I read what the people in receipt of this unemployment payment are saying it makes me think of cats and dogs. People are talking about having to move home and pawn possessions etc. to get by. For some people this is a very big deal. We know that keeping a cat properly is not cheap. It all adds up.

We also know that the cost of keeping a cat and moving home are two of the most common reasons for relinquishing a cat.

Add up all these factors and there would appear to be the sad prospect of a lot more cat reliquishments over the forthcoming months.

About 46% of Americans keep a cat. That means that almost 600,000 of the people who are about to lose benefits have a cat. If just 10% relinquish their cat there will 60,000 more cats in shelters.

I just wanted to make the point, speak out on behalf of the cat that this federal government policy, amongst other things, will probably indirectly result in cats being PTS.

The difficulty is that the federal government can’t afford to keep running this welfare scheme to support the long term unemployed, plus the crisis is meant to almost over.

27 thoughts on “Will stoppage of long term benefits increase cat relinquishment?”

  1. I think there may be more of a balance than you think between us, Michael.
    I know some things from my London friend. When he visits the States, we go shopping mostly for jeans. He tells me that the $35-50 that he’s paying is cheap and will buy a half dozen of them.
    Medical insurance, healthcare, and education costs here are through the roof.
    He was diagnosed with Hepatitis C a few years back and all of his treatments are free. Those treatments here cost thousands and thousands of dollars (trust me, I know).
    Also, he always wanted to be a father and was never able. But, 7 years ago he and his wife underwent insemination. It was all FREE!
    So, at age 55, he became a father.
    Do you have any idea what that surgery, or any elective surgery, would cost here?
    I’m sure I don’t know all there is; but, I think some things just balance out.

    • I agree Dee. There is still a lot about the USA that is still great and a lot about the UK that is a failure. We both have big national debts which is a huge underlying problem.

      We have long-term unemployment and it is not provided on a special basis and it is often abused badly particularly benefits for people with disabilities. They often fake their disability. The abusers make it more difficult for genuine people in need.

      • We have the same problem with those who fake disability, people who claim many more dependents than they have, and women spitting out baby after baby in order to receive more and more benefits. It can leave the bank pretty dry for those in actual need.
        There are no benefits for pets.

      • Yes and those fakers are rife around here! They get rent free, council tax free homes, benefits, free prescriptions etc. Some get free motibility cars. Yet a woman working 20 hours like my sister does, has to pay into the system to keep those scroungers and she has to pay for her prescriptions etc. The government are ‘cracking down’ on the wrong ones, they say they can’t afford state pensions so keep putting the age up and it’s the hard workers paying. There are thousands of young unemployed people here, most want to work but there are not enough jobs, putting the retirement age up is making it worse, jobs used to be freed up for young people by those who had done their share retiring. Now the government have made it possible for employers to finish employees who can’t manage their jobs any longer, it’s all very worrying for older people like my sister! The young are blaming the old, the older blaming the young, our country is in a dreadful state!

        • Is 20 hours/week considered fulltime?
          Our fulltime here is 36-40 hour per week.
          Most jobs are (5) 8 hourr days; but, some jobs are (3) 12 hour days.

          • No it’s part time but not only was there no full time jobs for Babz after she was widowed after caring for her disabled husband for 5 years, we decided we would cut our cloth to manage with her 20 hours and my pension. She had to go out to work just 3 months into her bereavement or live on £44 a week bereavement benefit for a year then nothing because she has no children. That job came along and she applied and got it, she’s very good at it having been bereaved herself but it’s hard physically and emotionally on her.

            • OMG!
              How horrible! The choices she’s had to make…
              I don’t think 3 months is any time at all for her to lose him. She had to put all on hold. That sort of thing can really take a toll on our physical and emotional health.
              I could just cry for her.
              It’s not fair.

              • I do secretly cry for her at times Dee and no it’s not fair at all, she missed out on widow’s pension by 2 years and now has to work to 65 and 1/2 and keep paying in contributions too and where did her John’s pension contributions go?
                Her age group has been discriminated against in many ways and although we’ve campaigned and we still are, the government don’t care about women born in the 1950s. Our only hope is labour getting into power in 2015 because they were against the accelerated pension age rise but outvoted by the Conservative and Lib Dem coalition. But it’s a vain hope.

              • Babz has been just plain robbed!
                Where are John’s contributions?
                Does anyone have an answer?
                I wish every politician would have to live like we are made to live.

    • Yes 7 years ago Labour were in power. This Conservative led coalition government want rid of our NHS, our hospitals are bad enough here already, poor people have no chance if the Conservatives get in on their own in 2015.

      • The trouble is that Brown did a poor job of leading the Labour Party and the country. That has put people off voting Labour. The Lib Dems are fairly ineffective. The leaves the Conservatives. I think you’ll find that there will be another coalition at the next election.

        • Some people here who have always voted labour are talking about voting UKIP, I hope not as that will split the votes and Nigel Farage is as bloodthirsty as Cameron and co, they all want the fox hunting ban lifted and the rich to get richer and the poor to get poorer!
          I wish David Miliband was labour leader rather than Ed, but it’s not the present labours fault that Blair got hated and Brown was left with his mess.
          The coalition blame labour but labour didn’t cause the mess in other countries and they are in a bad way like us.
          It’s getting worse here 🙁

          • Depressing isn’t it? UKIP will do well next election. No question. David Milliband should have been elected leader and if he had Labour would be a much bigger force. A lot of people have given up on politicians.

  2. I don’t know if it’s as bad as the USA in our whole country but here up North it certainly is, people being made homeless because of the hated ‘bedroom tax’ and benefit cuts. All our Sanctuaries are overflowing and because thankfully we have no kill shelters’ the waiting lists are long. Recently Marion had 100 cats waiting to come into CP care. The trouble is though that not all the people wanting rid of cats are genuine. Just the other day a woman posted that she wanted a home for her 2 cats as a family member was allergic. When advised you can get treatment for that she changed her story to her landlord not wanting cats. I remembered seeing a month ago that one of her cats had litter tray problems, she’d been shouting at the poor thing. She got lots of advice but probably didn’t take it and that’s the real reason she doesn’t want the cats any more, she can’t be bothered to treat them properly.
    There seems to be no solution to this never ending stream of unwanted cats 🙁

    • Ruth, it’s worse up north financially than here in London. It is as if London is immune to the tough times. Of course, there are poor areas and people going through difficult times but I don’t see it around me. Everything has been pretty much as normal. Low interest rates has benefited a lot of people too particularly property owners.

      You are right. The unscrupulous will use the recession as an excuse to abandon their cat.

    • What do the people who are on the CP waiting list to surrender their cats do?
      Are these people more willing than here just wait while still caring for their cats?
      Or do they just put them out to fend, drop them off somewhere, or worse?
      Those actions are the makings of feral colonies.

      • I’m sure it is a combination of the two. Bigfoot wandered up my street soon after the housing crises was in full swing. I could tell he was a house cat, not a street cat. I’m sure he was dropped off.

        But remember in the flood and hurricane zones, so many people would not leave when told, because they refuse to leave their pets. They would rather die with their beloved animals than go to a shelter (no pets allowed) leaving the pets home to who knows what fate. That, I can understand. It is always two extremes, isn’t it. And some middle ground, but it is a serious problem.

  3. Yes!

    It gets worse and worse.
    It’s so hard to keep screaming for an end to kill shelters when people keep filling them.

    There is, absolutely, nothing in place that provides assistance to people so they can keep their pets.

    I won’t stop screaming; but, it gets to the point where people stop listening or taking it seriously because we can’t come up with any viable alternatives to killing that bring fast results.

    I wish I could buy a secluded island somewhere and create “cat country”.

    • Dee, for many people in Europe, America still has the reputation as a rich country with plenty of opportunity, cheap products, the best life you can get.

      But this seems to be an image that might be a bit out of date. I don’t know, but when I read this story, it made me wonder if America is the country that is was – a land of dreams.

      There seems to be a lot of people living on the edge but still a lot of very rich people. The difference between poor and rich has expanded.

      The poorer people are often good cat caretakers. It is a shame that some will struggle to keep their cats.


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