The Solution To Stray/Homeless/Feral Cats

By March 14, 2015Letters, Pets

Phase Two – The Solution 

Dear Editor. In my recent Letter I addressed the issue of an out-of-control dilemma facing Communities across BC, notably Stray/Homeless/Feral Cats in many Communities running into the tens’ of thousands.  As well, many Humane Society Shelters caring for hundreds of Cats of all ages, all seeking a loving, caring and long-term forever homes.


Bringing a Cat into the World has similar responsibilities as having Children, with each birth comes the need to be a Guardian and Parent and no, I am not suggesting Cats or Dogs be elevated beyond Humans but presumably as thinking and most compassionate Humans, these Domesticated Animals depend upon Humans as care-givers.  To start, my decision is to make sure my Cat is not dinner for the local Coyote.  Most Cats adapt and are to be retained indoors, free from predators, inclement weather and harm’s way.


The hundreds of thousands of Cats & Dogs neglected and most across North America are summarily killed if they are caught and brought to Shelters.  Some Shelters are so barbaric they still engage gas chambers to kill unwanted strays.  In Canada we are often less heinous in our attempts to rescue and find new Guardians but the causes aforementioned still prevail, thus, we have past the reasonable time frames to rid Society of such negligence by both irresponsible Guardians but equally Politicians we elect to govern and thus set acceptable standards of care for our Companion Animals.


Simply, each Municipality must adopt consistent and effective, adequately funded No-Kill Animal Shelter and appropriate complimentary Bylaws to Control Breeding, Care and Control of Cats & Dogs.  Crucial to success is a new philosophy by Veterinarians, as each must share in the solution, which, in large part, is to control breeding, thus spay, neuter and tattoo ought to be low-cost or free, with “blitzes” year around until the problem is resolved.


An amnesty period of six months ending October 1, 2015 is to be granted to all persons having a Cat or Dog, un-spayed or un-neutered in their possession, that they may attend at a Veterinarian to have the operation performed.  We encourage all Veterinarians to consider providing a free service.


Effective October 1, 2015 any person with a Cat or Dog in their possession, five months or older, that has not been spayed, neutered or tattoo is subject to a minimum fine of $300.00 plus an order to have the operation performed within thirty days.  Exclusions that are justified by Medical, Age or justified reasons not to have altered, must be documented at local Municipal Hall Bylaw department and retained on file.


Any Dog not possessing a Municipal Licence by October 1, 2015 is subject to a $200.00 fine, plus directive to obtain a current Dog Licence within 30 days, that if complied with, may render the Guardian a $100.00 refund on the fine.


Any Guardian desiring to Breed their Cat or Dog must obtain a Breeder Permit, $25.00 annual but amount to be determined, prior to the Animal becoming five months of age.  Failure to have the Cat or Dog spayed or neutered by five months of age will result in a $300.00 fine per Animal.  If a Breeder Permit is obtained the Guardian may permit the Cat or Dog to have a litter once per year.  All Breeding facilities may be subject to Inspection by the BCSPCA.


Any Cat or Dog to be advertised for sale or change of Guardianship must have proof of the Animal being spayed or neutered & display the Breeder Permit Registration number on all advertising materials or documents of sale or gift.  No Cats or Dogs are to be listed on electronic media, such as Craig’s List,  or otherwise.  Nor are any Cats or Dogs to be sold in Retail stores, Flea Markets other than a Breeders home/office location.  Professional Show Breeders of Cats or Dogs may be excluded from possessing Breeder Permits but all Care & Handling Bylaws apply.


I believe these few rather obvious and simple steps will contribute to resolving this predicament swiftly, prevent reoccurrence and permit Society to regain its compassionate standing as to how we treat our Animals, as Gandhi stated, “The Greatness of a Nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way in which its Animals are treated”.


George F. Evens

“The Cat Father”


Response to a Local Citizen who questioned a TNR Program (Trap Neuter Release)


Response to Mike Miller, prior to 1995 I shared some of your impressions or cautions about a TNR Program but over the subsequent years, as I became informed, having read literally dozens of articles, a few books, viewed countless Animal Relations web.sites and videos & talked with a host of knowledgeable Advocates, I have come to accept a new more factual understanding, a passion for abolishing Animal cruelty and in this instance, the realization Cat over-population, in its many forms, for our purposes Feral Cats, can be controlled.  Thus, your observations about no-kill, feral Cats and need to be euthanized are plain and simple wrong conclusions.  Many Feral Cats can be rehabilitized and found homes.  Those that can’t, being too wild per se, are caught, Veterinarian checked, shots, spayed or neutered and Volunteers visit colonies regularly to feed and no, they are neither a public health problem nor harm to native wildlife, with occasional exception.  Indeed, man and high-rise glass buildings, encroachment upon habitats and environmental sensitive areas are greatest threat to birds, fish  and all wild life, of all types.  Over time feral Cats that are in TNR programs and altered, stop breeding and combined with those adopted. in fact reduces feral cat population and prevents further births, think about it in full perspective.  Currently, some smaller shelters, like local, only accept maybe 30 Cats, in large part due to moribund Councils and lack of funding and yes, it is frustrating to many who wish to surrender or have a local stray caught/surrendered to be told, “shelter full” and this is part of the process I seek to improve with proper funding and larger facilities.  Indeed, some Shelters, no-kill too, are taking in over 700 at one location, another I’m told takes in over 300, both in Richmond, I believe.  But others exist and where proper funding by Municipalities, effective Bylaws I proposed, with corresponding fines, observing my prescribed approach, “Legislation supported by Education”, the travesty can be brought under control.  Until SPCA stopped providing statistics, in fact, hiding the atrocities of killing unwanted Animals, both Dogs & Cats,  Abbotsford alone was killing approx. 10,000 Cats annually, can you just imagine the carnage that existed.  Sadly, we, since I started 1995 have come a long way in understanding but little progress, in large part, due to a lack of “political will”, abject failure of Media to adequately inform the public and hold politicians feet to the fire, lack of effective bylaws & fines, so, we still find a small minority thinking, perceived quite cavalier, as you convey to the public but as well, obvious failures, as recently disclosed 34,000 feral/stray in Surrey and 22,000 in Langley, but what about elsewhere and would you just summarily “kill most” as it seems many will not find a home as your solutions seems to be that?  Can you, on the other hand, imagine how many caring Volunteers, how much food, how much cleaning and attending to Cats Volunteers do and our Mayors simply fail to accept their role, fail to adequately fund remedy of what Society has created.  In closing, compassion & passion that develops a mindset that does not accept killing as a solution is the fundamental characteristic that will measure a Communities and Societies moral progress but like I have been striving to do, create awareness, dialogue, stimulate interest & funding, not rely upon Volunteers to fundraise and collaborative action will eventually achieve results.  Mike, hope I have given you pause to think deeper upon this travesty?

Leave a Reply