The facts and the story … we can do better!
According to statistics from the Ontario SPCA and other animal protection groups and service providers, thousands of cats and dogs are killed on purpose each year in shelters because of their sheer volume.
A volume created by cats and dogs not being spayed and neutered so they cannot have more unwanted babies that grow into the cats and dogs that have to be euthanized.
But kittens and puppies are cute. Many people want the cute babies … but not so much when they find out the commitment they need, the care, cost and training they need and of course, that cats and dogs, like people, lose their baby cuteness and the behavior and antics that once seemed cute and endearing are troublesome and are desired gone … and if they do not disappear as their owners wish, many of the cats and dogs are forced to disappear by being released in the country, dropped off at shelters, neglected, abused and even killed by their adoptive parent(s) or strangers.
Then there is the disparity between what veterinary clinics charge for spaying/neutering and what places like the SPCA charge. Vet clinic prices ranges start around $400.00, though locally, the total charge is even higher once all the other costs are added, but the SPCA offers the same service for $65.00 Canadian and additional costs are minimal in comparison to vet clinics. Even spending the dollars to get to their three locations in Barrie, Newmarket and St. Catharines is still less than half of driving a few miles or even thirty miles to nearby vet clinics.
It is ironic too, that many of the people who often need cats and dogs the most, are often those with little else in their lives, including money, but their cats and dogs.
I am writing this entry because of what I experienced in the past year and a half since I rescued an alley cat that found its way into my life one autumn night one and a half years ago when the seven-month old calico tomcat stood on his hind legs and reached up to me when I entered the basement of a place I was employed.
With a tiny thirteen-year old female cat at home, I was reluctant to take the alley cat home, but there he was. No one else wanted him, shelters were full and he was begging for a home. At the same time, most of my free time was consumed with my Dad’s care, as was my income, that was not fully supporting me and my Dad’s needs, so I did not have the money to have the tomcat fixed right away. But then, because he was not fixed, one horrific tom fight a few months later drove me to rush him into the vet clinic for an emergency appointment. A $300 invoice later with a quote for several hundred dollars more to be spent to neuter him, the escalating costs of being available for my Dad as well as the incredibly high hydro bills of this area, plus having to quit two jobs to be accessible for emergency care for my Dad has made it impossible for me to yet have the now two-year old tom neutered with the local high prices.
One day that will change and my tomcat will be a tom only in his dreams. It has been suggested I add his body to the pile of cats to be euthanized since no one else came forward to give him a home in response to my ads. It has been suggested, quietly and almost silently, that I set him free once again, since after all that is how he spent the first several months of his life. Even when I talk of how his companionship fills a void, how he loves to be near me, how he, along with my other furry friend, make me laugh and keep me company, there is talk of what a problem he is because he wants to be outside tomcatting.
But interestingly enough, no one from this area told me in the past year and a half when I had the resources and vehicle to take him to be neutered at the SPCA that the SPCA even offered this service for such a low-cost in comparison to local fees. So I am also writing this for all the cat and dog lovers in this area to inform them there is an alternative to adding yet another cat or dog to the feral cat and dog population or to the euthanized pile of bodies … with the request that when someone rescues an animal, adopts a new furry friend, tell them they have choices if financing the surgery may be too costly for them here. In fact, take one step further animal lover and drive the animal and its owner to one of the SPCA locations yourself. You will feel good about your good deed and you will prevent more cat and dog bodies from being abandoned, neglected, abused or killed because they are considered disposable because of our low RESPECT LEVEL for their lives.
March 15, 2014
Kaitlin A. Trepanier
All Rights Reserved by DARK HORSES PRODUCTIONS/KAITLIN A. TREPANIER … CREATIVE WRITER, ADVOCATE, and PROJECT SPECIALIST responsible for the creation of the global initiative Connecting the Dots … with The RESPECT PRINCIPLE … because every child … every person … should know, by their own experience, they are valued … RESPECTED.