One Person Equals 15 Dogs and 45 Cats?
For Every Person that is born, fifteen dogs and forty-five cats are also born.
That’s 15 dogs.
That’s 45 cats. Out in the world. Cold, hungry, unwanted and unloved.
What can you do? Education is the key.
Pet overpopulation is EVERYBODY’s problem:
Only 1 out of every 10 dogs born EVER finds a permanent home.
Only 1 out of every 12 cats born EVER finds a permanent home.
In Sonoma county alone, where I live, scores of kittens are “dumped” on the steps of shelters every spring…sometimes with the mom, sometimes not. If no one claims them, they are all euthanized; the mom too.
Then, there the kittens you chance to hear in the bushes, without food for days because the mom was run over or shot by some uneducated person. (See my photo above…it happens.)
They are so starving, they will come right up to you in most cases.
And if you’ve ever looked into those tiny, pleading eyes, you’ll never be the same.
You may be wondering “There are so many, where do you even start, and what do you do?”
That’s exactly what I thought 16 years ago when I first stumbled on
this “problem” after getting married and first coming to the tree farm. They were everywhere.
The first step is education. I had never seen so many kittens and cats in my life, many of them sick.
The first thing that went through my mind was “where did they all come from?” I would later learn that 2 adult cats can create 2 to 3 litters a year. Not all survive, but in a young cat, that’s 8 to 12 kittens a year.
These grow up and reproduce, and year 2 is around 66 cats. The third year is 2,201 cats. Now we’re talking. By the fourth year, the number goes up to 3,822.
Then year five is the big jump: 12,680 cats. I could hardly believe it! This all started with 2 cats that were left alone and forgotten.
You don’t know what you don’t know, and sometimes you’d rather not know. But the problem doesn’t go away. (More on what I did in a future post.)
Just by reading this, you are becoming aware, or being reminded of something you know of already.
That’s the beginning.
Second, start with your own pet, and pets of people you know.
Make absolutely sure that your pet, or one that “shows up” occasionally that you feed, is spayed or neutered. (I’m basically talking about cats here, but dogs too.)
Letting your pet have a litter so your children can “experience” the miracle of birth is a poor reason. After the amazing moment is over, then what? Some people tire of it, and then the kittens get pulled away and “dumped.” If you want a kitten, or to see them, take your child and go visit the local shelter, or look in the paper…you’ll have lots of choices.
Talk to those in your own family, your neighborhood. Big results start with one small spark.
Mention it to your neighbor. Most people don’t mean to be thoughtless, they just have no idea of the suffering that goes on because of ignorance.
Don’t think your pet isn’t old enough to be “thinking about that”….it happens.
According to Best Friends Animal Society, “Female cats can become pregnant at the age of four months. People don’t know that cats can get pregnant so young.”
Another thing to do is call your local animal shelter.
There are never enough hands/ laps to go around, they all desperately need volunteers, and will be very grateful for even an hour or two a week from you. If you’re unable to do that, donations are always needed, and it doesn’t have to be money.
There are probably things you might have on hand such as old towels and blankets you no longer use…these would be much appreciated. February is National Spay/Neuter Month.
As the operator of a small animal rescue myself, and “mom” to many fostered litters over the years; currently managing a colony of 15 +, I have seen first hand the needless suffering that goes on, apparently unnoticed. Animals have no choice. But we do.
Do you have a cat/dog story to share? Although I’ve written primarily about cats, I love dogs too… please share! Love to hear other’s pet stories!
Thanks for listening, and
Have a great day everyone!
PS. A great site to take a look at…. “Don’t make more, fix by four!”