By Sherril Guthrie. As Researcher and Associate Producer for the 2011 CBC Documentary CAT CRAZED, by Bountiful Films, I cannot remain silent on the issues raised by supporters of the Fraser Valley Humane Society re: the “current” cat overpopulation crisis.
Do cats deserve a better life and better owners? You bet they do, and I’d like to see it happen. Unfortunately . . .
Photo: Alley Cat Allies from Cat Crazed
Cat overpopulation is not a current problem; it’s a chronic one! One that’s definitely getting worse as wrong-headed choices (driven by good intentions) are made and ill-spent funds keep flowing out the door. Not enough money to solve the problem? Of course there isn’t enough and there never will be. Not until we focus on the root cause of the problem and implement the same best practices that are working in other more progressive cities and municipalities in Canada. These cities and municipalities have RESPONSIBLE PET OWNERSHIP PROGRAMS with the BYLAWS to match. And it’s working!
The Root Cause of Cat Overpopulation
IRRESPONSIBLE CAT OWNERS. Pure and simple. These cat owners, among other things, still get away with the OUTDATED PRACTICE OF FREE ROAM – a practice that keeps cats at the same status level of rabbits, squirrels, possums, rats and mice (which is why many owners won’t spend money on them – I mean, why bother if their cat could easily get hit by a car, eaten by a coyote or just disappear). Many cat owners remain irresponsible because of OUTDATED MUNICIPAL BYLAWS – animal control bylaws crafted in the 1950’s, that are still in place and expected to apply in the year 2013. Pure craziness (yup, Cat Crazed) and the current approach to the problem is an absolute sinkhole for public and private funds.
So when I learned that the District of Mission, like so many other municipalities in BC, has opted to remain on the expensive, “do nothing” merry-go-round of cat overpopulation, I decided to offer my 10 cents.
First, here’s the CBC Doc Zone link to the documentary. It clearly outlines the road to resolution and management of this problem, and it’s all do-able! So I hope anyone who hasn’t viewed CAT CRAZED will do so online. Also, I’d be happy to drop off a DVD to Mission’s Mayor and Council or any other groups interested in public education geared to resolving the cat overpopulation crisis. There is a solution that will benefits cats, the District of Mission, the FVHS, and definitely residents and taxpayers.
Why not give it a try? I mean, seriously, what have you got to lose? The cat overpopulation problem as it exists today, will only get worse – and with it the treatment of cats.
Second, I’ve taken all of my research into cat overpopulation (including some findings that didn’t make it into the documentary) and created an Executive Overview for BC Municipalities. This document clearly outlines the Causes, Impacts and Solutions to BC’s Cat Crisis, and it’s FREE!
So you really want to solve the cat overpopulation problem in Mission and beyond? Let’s do it! How about a pilot project using proven best practices?