In honor of today as National Feral Cat Day and next month's National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week, us here at Modern Pet Living would like to take a moment to express our compassion and love for all of the strays out there in the streets and for the dogs and cats who end up in shelters. While our own pets take up too much love (and space in our home!) for us to provide for even more cats and dogs, we always try and extend love and passion to these animals when we come across them. That's why on a day of remembrance and advocacy, we feel need to drive even greater support toward the welfare of these animals who are in dire need of compassion, care and above all, a home with a loving family.
To anyone with a pulse on animal or pet welfare in the United States, the fact that this country is suffering from numerous pet overpopulation problems will come as no surprise to you. While the problem of strays, feral animals or general pet overpopulation may be 'out of sight and out of mind' in most areas of the country, the number of cats and dogs entering shelters in the United States is approximately 6 to 8 million each year.
Sadly as most know, approximately 3 million of these cats and dogs will be euthanized. Just as disheartening, more than 80% of these 3 million cats and dogs are healthy and treatable enough to have been potentially put in a loving home with a new family. The situation is especially dire for cats, where about 70% of cats who enter shelters are killed and for feral cats that number is closer to 100%.
While no solution to this problem is entirely bulletproof or 110% perfect for protecting animal welfare, our general attitude and positions toward curing this problem breaks down as such.
Adopt Don't Shop
While our lovely cats are from a proud line of farm cats, our golden doodle is a beautiful and healthy adopted rescue dog. In a Adopt Don't Shop position, not only are you most likely directly saving an animal's life, you are also not supporting any misguided big brand pet store who has inadvertently supported puppy mills.
Yes it's a mouthful of words, but hear us out!
To some the 'Trap Neuter" portion may not be entirely humane or compassionate toward animal welfare and depending on the point of view and manner of the program, we definitely agree. As said before, nothing is bulletproof or 110% considerate of animal welfare. Especially in the capture stage where all sorts of ridiculous gimmicks may be used and the overall hurt it could do to naturally wild cat populations who are of no harm to humans. To us TENVAC is the modern and more optimal big brother of 'Trap. Neuter. Return. (TNR)' and it best supports all sides of the issue, from humans to animals to public health and all else.
Cat & Dog Owner Responsibility
Readers of the Modern Pet Living blog will surely know we don't shy away from this issue. Irresponsible pet owners are simply too large of a part in this issue for them to not be called out, as there are so many ways irresponsible pet owners contribute to the 6 to 8 million number of cats and dogs that enter shelters each year. Whether irresponsible pet owners simply abandon their pets, hoard dozens on their property or sinisterly operate puppy mills, if humans were better guardians of our pets than that number of 6 to 8 million cats and dogs would absolutely be less! We must hold each other accountable and responsible!