As an advocate for dogs and someone who has given up a large part of my life to advocate on behalf of dogs; both pets and shelter dogs, I am saddened by the plight of cats at the shelters. They truly are the silent victims, often shut away in small cages and killed in far larger numbers than dogs. For some people this is a well known fact, but for many it is completely foreign. If a dog’s chance is 50-50 to get out of the shelter, a cat’s chance is about 30%. That means if you’re a cat, you’ve got a better chance of getting out the back door of the shelter in a barrel, than out the front door. This is sad in many ways, and one of the biggest is that many of the cats that are killed are neo-nates (under 8 weeks) and feral cats. Feral cats which can be re-integrated into their homes.
Bound Angels has advocated for several cats and saved them through our video campaigns, we have also created adoption campaign posters to promote cat adoption from shelters. The one thing that we are not actively involved in, since we are primarily focused on shelters and dogs, is TNR – Trap, Neuter, Release. There are great organizations out there that advocate for this lifesaving program for cats that are already feral.
I encourage you to educate yourself to these programs by searching Alley Cats, Stray Cat Alliance and Fix Nation, among others. Cats do well in the wild and do not pose a nuisance if handled properly. The key thing is education. Furthermore, if dog overpopulation is a problem, cat overpopulation is an epidemic. Remember, for the most part, dogs are contained (at least by responsible owners), cats are often left to roam in and out of the house. If you own a cat and it’s not neutered, you should have your head examined. Or, at the very least, you may consider visiting a shelter during this time of year when the cat cages are jammed full and shelter staff is walking through trying to decide which cat(s) will be killed next. They come in the front door faster than they can kill them. Then take a walk to the killing room and watch them kill a dozen or so cats that take their last breath no knowing what they did wrong. Never understanding that their selfish human was too lazy to fix the problem when it could still be fixed.
Cats are a shelter epidemic and deserve our attention. When I walk through the shelter my heart goes out to the cats that are crammed in small cages and whose hope at adoption are often less than 30%.
Our shelter programs, although somewhat specialized for dogs, can easily be replicated to help cats, and with the help of responsible TNR organizations we can see a strong reduction in the shelter cat crisis.
Take a moment and give a cat a chance…