Stray & Roaming Cats
We are all reminded about how important an animal's life is after the recent case of the cat hit by a truck. The jury had much to consider and we can't know how their final decision resulted in a hung jury. We would like to applaud the DA's office for the prosecution of this case, the City Police officer for bringing it to the DA's office, and the witnesses who testified. It was more than "just a cat"!
As the DA stated, "this all ties together, animal cruelty and neglect, to child and human abuse."
In the aftermath of this case, we are sadly reminded of the many stray and left to roam cats with and without owners. Some cats after experiencing the outdoors are difficult to keep inside. Their predator instincts take over and they do anything to get out. The Humane Society has alternatives and suggestions for owners who want to keep their cats safe by placing them and providing them a caged or fenced enclosures for the outside. This saves our wildlife, prevents the cats from being injured by other animals, traffic and people and reproducing.
The true stray cat belongs to no one and yet to everyone it comes in contact with. They roam a neighborhood after being abandoned by an owner that did not take the responsibility of assuring their cat would be cared for and safe, they were left or dumped as trash. Stray cats can be the offspring of a cat that was abandonded, but again, no one is taking the responsibility of ownership.
The issue of what is right for the stray cat, becomes cloudy when one or several people begin to feed the cat and continue to feed over a long period of time. They get attached and feel they are doing a good thing. Feeding the cat to establish a food site for humanely trapping the cat is key to helping the cat and offering a solution. Feeding the cat and not accepting ownership with offering a home, providing vet care and vaccines is just adds to the problem.
The intentions of the people feeding a stray cat are good at first. However, they don't think of the long term effect. The cat is trying to survive going from door to door and is put in harm’s way on the street. These cats need help and not left to reproduce, cause accidents, starve, walk around sick and injured. Every animal owned needs veterinary care at some point in its life. The stray does not get that provided unless a human takes responsibility. If you are feeding a stray and know it is in need of vet care and do nothing, shame on you.
People are often hesitant to bring the stray cats to the Humane Society. They won't take responsibility for the cat's veterinary needs, offer a donation or offer to adopt the cat, so they think leaving it roam subjected to outside dangers, sick and injured is an ok life and is better than bringing it to the Humane Society. It is not. In fact, people who begin to feed animals and continue to feed for a period of time, by law become their owners/keepers of care. The stray looks to them for their food and is dependent on that source. Unless, you trap it, find it a home, vet it or adopt it, the stray should be brought to the Humane Society. We evaluate it, provide vet care if needed, try to find the owner reporting a missing cat and then try to adopt it.
Unfortunately, because of irresponsible owners, the public, there are too many cats left stray or to roam and there are not enough homes that is the sad reality. Do we like it, NO, but we must do the best we can one cat at a time. We have accepted strays at no cost for over 20 years. The Humane Society some how gets blamed, for doing animal control. Imagine a place where 600 cats roamed? We are the ones who care for the animals no one wants, let's place blame where it belongs. We did not produce them or adandon them on the street. Adopt a cat from the Humane Society, make a donation, trap a stray. Be a part of the solution. We spay and neuter, give them vaccines, provide veterinary care and temperament test them to match them to their new home. We offer a safe place to care for the animals that are unwanted. Thank you to the responsible pet owners and the people who care to get them to safety or adopt them and give them a real home and not just the street, because it is not "just a cat"... it is a life and it is important.