I love all animals but if I had to pick one true love, it would be cats. Unfortunately, as many of us are aware, there are many perfectly lovable and healthy animals that are killed every single day at shelters…. 8-10 million per year to be exact. That number does not include animals who die from being hit by cars, abuse, etc. Many perfectly healthy animals at shelters are put down for “behavior problems.” Let me ask you this, how well behaved would you be if you were given up by your owner or picked up off the street and thrown into a cage to sit on death row?
While many of us have good intentions and want to save these cats (and dogs and other animals), the truth is that even with all of our good will and wishful thinking, there will simply never be enough loving homes available. I’d adopt them all if I could. But even if I had the money and space to adopt 10,000 pets today, there would be 10,000 more tomorrow up for adoption. The problem is not going away. There are just too many cats and dogs that need homes.
I wish people would realize how to solve the problem rather than point fingers at shelters or fight for an end to euthanasia. Cats breed with each other because that is their nature, like any other animal. Euthanasia is, unfortunately, a necessary evil. It is simply a way to deal with the overpopulation problem, that is actually in large part caused by HUMANS. Overpopulation is caused by 3 things:
1. People who have pets and fail to spay/neuter them.
3. People who abandon their pets and dump them at shelters or outside (due to anything including allergies, behavior problems, moving, death of the owner, etc.).
Correct me if I’m wrong, but these all appear to be problems with us as humans, not with the animals. The animals are completely innocent and by mating with each other, they are simply doing what Mother Nature intended. They have the will to live but are not given the option. They are fed their last meal and then hauled off to be killed. They y don’t know what is happening and certainly don’t deserve it. If you hate the idea of innocent animals dying as much as I do, you can do something about it.
1. Obviously, if you can, adopt a pet or multiple pets. Make sure you can afford it (food, healthcare, etc.) and have the time to take care of your pet. Also, pets can live upwards of 15-20 years. Make sure you are willing to make the commitment. If you can’t adopt, you can help in smaller ways. You can volunteer at a shelter or foster a pet temporarily (to buy it some time for adoption). You can also simply use your energy and time to spread the word about how to help the overpopulation.
2. Always SPAY/NEUTER your pets!!!! Also, tell friends and family why this is so important. Most shelters offer this service as part of the adoption fee. You can also look in your area for low cost neutering programs.
3. NEVER ever buy a pet, i.e. get your pet from a pet store. There is a difference between adoption and buying. If you buy an animal, it is more than likely from a puppy mill or breeder where they abuse the animals and keep them in deplorable conditions. By giving them your money, you are supporting this.
4. Do not breed your pet or support breeders. For every litter of animals born, that many animals will die. Overpopulation of animals means we need to put a stop to breeding. There are already too many animals without homes. Why would anyone choose to bring more into the world? For profit of course. Disgusting.
5. If you have to give up your pet for any reason, try to find a friend or loved one to take care of him/her for you. If you have allergies, see a doctor for medication. If you are moving, find pet-friendly housing. Sure, these things may be a bother and take extra energy and cost money, but you committed to caring for the animal. Chances are, it will die in a shelter. You can save a life. Not just any life, the life that you signed up to love and care for. No one would condone throwing away a child, why is an animal any different?
All animals live and die at the whim of humans. The underlying disrespect for animals in this world is truly appalling. They are innocent and they have absolutely no say in what happens to them. Any pet owner will tell you that all these animals want to do is love you and give you affection. They are loyal. They have unique personalities. They feel fear and pain just as you and I do. Please be the voice that they do not have. Support animal rights causes and trap/neuter/return programs and of course, if you have the resources, adopt a loving pet from your local shelter.
Here is some great info from the ASPCA about feral cats and how to control the overpopluation of cats: http://www.aspca.org/adoption/feral-cats-faq.aspx