An SPCA in Danville, Pennsylvania says it wants to change its image as a dumping ground for animals. Their new policy, according to an article by John-Erik Koslosky in the Press Enterprise, is that if they don’t think a pet can be adopted, they will not accept it into the shelter. Oh and “cats are wild,” says Roxanne Greiner, Danville SPCA team leader. “They survive on their own.”
I am all for organizations trying to reduce euthanasia, but they can only become “no kill” when there is an animal control facility in town to handle the overflow of pets. I am assuming their town has an animal control facility to handle the homeless pets that are not “accepted” by the SPCA.
But I am less than thrilled with Greiner’s comment about cats being “wild.” While they may survive in a neighborhood, thanks to people that feed and look after them, they are receiving less than acceptable care for a pet. They often don’t go the vet when they are sick, live fewer and more dangerous years, and are certainly prone to more illnesses and diseases than the average house cat. While trap-neuter-release is a great way to help feral cats in a neighborhood, the real problem is the excess number of litters, which ultimately don’t get into the shelter because of lack of space at the shelter or the shelter is a no-kill. The cats are then dumped and the problem grows. That is not an an acceptable solution for an animal considered to be the most popular pet in the nation.
All too often shelters are putting the cart before the horse. Increase your community’s capacity for spay/neuter surgeries and encourage and educate people about the need for sterilizing pets before slamming and locking the shelter door.