September 29, 2020

BY KELSEY HEELEY

Since humans first domesticated animals, we have been doing them wrong. We have abused them, neglected them and simply stopped caring for them.

Some people let their cats wander. One of the problems with this is if that cat is not neutered or spayed, it can result in unwanted kittens. The majority of them end up in one of the local humane societies.

Another issue is by letting them wander freely, they cross streets and risk getting hit by a car. You’ll be waiting and waiting for your cat to come back, but it won’t because it will have been killed because you were irresponsible.

Last year, about 4,000 cats were brought to the humane society locally. About 1,600 of those cats had to be put down. While some were euthanized due to health issues, some were euthanized even though they were perfectly healthy.

Domesticated animals depend on loving people to take care of them and feed them. In return, they give love, affection and loyalty. Yet, so many people aren’t fulfilling their side of the bargain. Humane societies only have so much room and money for stray, unwanted or lost dogs and cats. Shelters run out of room very quickly because of people’s’ selfishness and irresponsibility.

While there have been some cases where dogs have run off, gotten lost and then taken to the humane society, they are often reunited with owners because they are chipped. Meanwhile, not as many cats are chipped, so if they get lost and taken to the humane society, they have less of a chance of being reunited with their owners.

There is a solution for all the stray and unwanted cats; and that is cat licences.  Purchasing an annual cat licence would be an unwanted expense for some, however, it would increase the number of stray or lost cats that would be returned home, safe and sound.

Some pet store owners would try to resist this kind of bylaw, but it would reduce the number of kittens and puppies irresponsible owners and reckless breeders would have.

People like to have pets, and many treat their animals like family members. If you are thinking of getting one, remember that with having pets comes the responsibility to treat them with love, care and consideration. It’s sad that far too many pet owners and breeders fail to do that.

The views herein represent the position of the newspaper, not necessarily the author.