LETTERS: Re: Dear orange cat owner

It’s time we all took responsibility for our pets so that animals don’t continue to suffer.

The tragedy of the situation is that this cat is but one of hundreds of thousands of cats across North America that fight for survival.

An Aug. 30 article by the CBC stated:  ‘Cat crisis’ erupts in Surrey, where strays number in the thousands.

Penticton has similar problems. In August 2011, Geoff Urton, then Animal Welfare Manager, BCSPCA, informed Penticton City Council of “an emerging crisis in Penticton.”  A BCSPCA province-wide research project had identified Penticton as having the ninth highest intake of stray cats and fourth highest intake of kittens.  At that time, it was a 35  per cent increase from 2008.

Although the SPCA does a fabulous job of rescuing and adopting out animals, the numbers are now too large to permit them to take in every starving animal.

Critteraid, which has been providing a sanctuary for needy cats and other animals for years, also is no longer able to take in the number of cats that need food and shelter.

AlleyCATS Alliance which was formed in 2012 to address the needs of feral and orphaned cats and kittens, is attempting to alleviate the crisis by offering low cost spay and neuter clinics, but they can’t keep up with the demand.

One of the solutions could be for cat owners to recognize the importance of having their pet spayed or neutered.  Another solution is to have indoor cats. The National Companion Animal Coalition stated that, “cats can have a fulfilling life indoors,” and “are generally healthier, don’t get lost, disturb neighbours, kill wildlife or spread disease, and generally don’t contribute to the growing problem of cat overpopulation that forces animal shelters to euthanize many thousands of cats every year.”

No individual can possibly take in or otherwise take care of all the strays that come their way.  It’s time we all took responsibility for our pets so that animals don’t continue to suffer.

Margie Colclough

Penticton