To the editor:
The intensive, year-long cooperation between a Glenmore association and the Okanagan Humane Society (numerous reports and data to the City Hall) resulted in the first bylaw to control the cat overpopulation.
This is the first tiny step to improve the lives of domestic (not wild) cats and kittens being dumped on a daily basis by dozens of irresponsible people who couldn’t bother to have their female cat fixed.
These are people that take a “free” cute kitten seen in a zillion ads; people who throw them out later when they’re not so cute any more, in heat, pregnant, just like a pair of an old socks, making them live a life of starvation, suffering, disease.
The city staff directed their focus on retail pet stores only; it took 12 months.
Mr. Fleming says there are three pet stores that would be impacted by a bylaw. Breeders, classified ads, however, would not.
Wow! First of all, there is only one pet store in Rutland left still selling unaltered animals. Two largest pet stores in town, recognizing the cat problem in the community, signed contracts with the Humane Society and other animal charities to help find homes for the homeless, 100 per cent altered animals.
This happened without any incentive from City Hall. The cooperation started long before city staff decided to put it on the table.
The remaining pet stores sell no pets, rather top quality pet food only.
So, “hitting” the pet stores will not change anything in a disastrous situation. Cats and kittens are left all over the municipality, the SPCA shelter is full to the rooftop and the number of people on the “waiting” list to dump their cats is a staggering 300. Waiting? Really?
The answer is clear: Introduce a bylaw that requires all cats to be spayed/neutered unless one buys a breeding licence from city.
“Some will protest that such strict controls are more government interference in private lives, and that education is the answer. That has already proved to be patent nonsense.
“Publicity campaigns urging people to voluntarily get their pets fixed haven’t worked. Now it’s time to get tough. If people can’t be responsible owners on their own, society must force them. No pussy-footing around” —Capital News, Our view, July 12, 2000)