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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Attention Cat and Dog Owners

Earlier this evening I saw a post on Facebook of a cat owner announcing that her cat was pregnant. She mentioned to please not post any negative comments. She knew she should have had her cat spayed, but the pregnancy was an accident. Kittens would go to a good home.

A post like that bothers me. How can a pet owner claim the pregnancy was an accident? Anyone with an ounce of responsibility knows that pets should be spayed/neutered at an appropriate age. It’s that simple.

Don’t claim that you don’t have the time. You don’t have to do the procedure yourself, you make an appointment with the vet, hop in your car or call for a taxi, and take the pet to the doctor.

Others claim they don’t have the money for such a procedure. In that case, don’t have a pet. When you adopt a pet, you accept the responsibility for his wellbeing. That means three sets of inoculations and the pet being spayed/neutered.

One shouldn’t just think of the animal, but of the litters that just one cat, or one dog, can produce. If one cat or one dog has 5 litters of 6 kittens or puppies, that’s 30 kittens/puppies. If each of those 30 cats/dogs has 5 litters of 6 kittens/puppies that’s 900 kittens/puppies.

When someone stated that unspayed/unneutered pets should be kept in the house, another replied that it’s cruel to keep a pet indoors.

I remember my father saying much the same, when I told him of my indoor cats. He said that surely they miss walking the neighborhood and feeling the grass under their paws. So I asked him ... “Dad, do you miss climbing Mount Everest and feeling the snow crunching under your feet with every step to reach the summit?” “Of course not,” he said, “I’ve never climbed Everest so how can I ...” And right there and then he understood that it’s not cruel to keep a cat indoors. The animal cannot miss what it never experienced.

Finally I want to address the matter of finding good homes for kittens or puppies. Never assume that when a person shows up to adopt a cat, he or she has the pets’ best interest at heart. Before allowing someone to take a kitten or puppy, you have to screen that person. Pet adoption agencies do it, so why not you? How can you be sure that the little one goes to a loving home?

Adoption agencies almost always rule out homes with young children. When I pointed out that young kids can be cruel to pets, I got a flood of protests. One woman asked if I had kids myself; another said that she found my comment offensive; while others still posted pictures of their children lovingly holding a cat or a dog.

First of all, I said “some” kids and second, the pictures that were posted were of children 6 years and up. I had young kids in mind, toddlers specifically.

Toddlers have no real understanding of right and wrong. By holding a kitten or puppy too tight they can hurt or even kill the little one. That’s the message I was trying to get across.

The point is, if you have a cat or a dog, and you love the animal, have it spayed or neutered. Don’t hide behind lack of time, money or the silly notion that a pet has to be free. Think of the pets’ offspring and what might happen to those hundreds of little ones. Will they find homes, or will they end up in animal shelters where they will be put to death?

The Toronto Cat Rescue is a NO KILL cat shelter. Please pledge your donation today.

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