Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Cat Crisis Critical
SPCA says overpopulation causing huge hardships on animals, burden on system
Released by SPCA Vancouver/Handout photo
SPCA staff bottle-feed one of the lucky ones.
he British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BC SPCA) has launched a new five-year plan to combat animal cruelty and suffering in B.C.
While the society’s Strategic Plan for 2014-2018 targets a range of new initiatives to improve the lives of domestic, farm and wild animals, BC SPCA chief executive officer Craig Daniell says a primary focus of the new plan is to help B.C. address its overwhelming cat overpopulation crisis.
“We have made significant progress in many areas of animal welfare in this province, but one issue that remains a serious concern in every community across B.C. is the staggering, and unacceptable, number of homeless cats who suffer and die tragic deaths because of human neglect.”
“These abandoned and free-roaming cats are forced to fend for themselves outdoors, suffering from starvation, illness and injury, freezing temperature and predator attacks.”
He notes that 75 per cent of kittens born outdoors die before the age of six months. Those who survive live approximately two years, and during their short lives they produce litters of kittens who will face the same tragic fate.
In addition, every cat, kitten, dog, puppy and rabbit adopted from any SPCA shelter across the province is sterilized prior to adoption.
“We have certainly seen the significant impact of these programs, as the numbers of homeless animals decrease, and in our new Strategic Plan we are ramping up our efforts and proposing creative ways to partner with local governments, veterinarians, businesses, rescue groups and members of the public to save more animal lives,” he says. “Pet overpopulation is a completely preventable problem and we are challenging every community in B.C. to work with us over the next five years to be part of the solution.
“Promoting pet-friendly housing can also be a major factor in ensuring that more homeless cats can be adopted into loving families,” said Daniell.
“The SPCA will always be a safety net for our province’s most vulnerable animals, providing sheltering, cruelty investigations and emergency treatment for injured, abused and homeless animals. But we are also deeply committed to helping communities address the root causes of cruelty and neglect so that animals don’t suffer in the first place.”
“I am confident that, working together, we can achieve this same success for cats. Our goal is that every animal born in B.C. will experience the Five Freedoms, an international animal welfare standard that includes freedom from hunger and thirst, distress, pain, injury and disease and the freedom to exhibit behaviours that promote their well-being. Animals are interwoven into the fabric of our society and we have a responsibility to provide them with protection and the best welfare possible.”
More details about the BC SPCA’s 2014-2018 Strategic Plan are available on the society’s website at www.spca.bc.ca.
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