1,000 plus cats on wait list
HALIFAX – The Nova Scotia SPCA is pleading for assistance from communities across the province to either adopt or donate. A recent internal survey finds that their network of SPCA branches is currently experiencing a severe wait list problem again this summer, totaling over 1,000 cats that are not able to be accommodated at the present time. This is up nearly 25 per cent from the same time last year.
"We are once again at the height of breeding season and we are now experiencing a second round of kittens being born and this creates many challenges and pressures for intake on animal welfare organizations and regrettably, many animals need to be turned away," said director of animal care, Sandra Flemming, in a news release. "Triaging for space is very challenging, and owner and public surrenders are often a lower priority than cruelty cases, sick and injured animals, and pregnant moms," Flemming added.
The Nova Scotia SPCA is a no-kill organization and therefore will not euthanize for space. It is therefore imperative to ensure adoption rates remain high. Adoption promotion, the use of off-site adoption locations and other strategies are critical to success.
In response, shelters across the province are offering discounts on adoption fees and the Provincial Animal Shelter has many cats up for adoption that have had their adoption fees waived completely.
The SPCA’s network of shelters and foster based branches rely on donations to carry out their work and at this time of year the demand for the Society’s services outpaces the ability to respond to all requests for assistance.
“Unfortunately, what we are seeing now are wait lists growing each year during breeding season and unfortunately organizations like ours and small rescues are the only ones responding to the crisis” adds Flemming.
More government involvement at all levels is what is needed to combat this crisis.
What can the public do?
Every individual is a powerful advocate and can make a real difference in the lives of animals in every community in Atlantic Canada. Here are some of the ways in which you can help:
Foster – Become part of your local SPCA or Humane Society’s animal care network and expand their ability to support animals in need by providing a loving, safe environment for an animal in your home.
Adopt – Every animal that is adopted makes room for another to come into care. If adoption was everyone’s first choice, there would be no displaced animals in need of loving homes. If you can’t adopt from a shelter, consider adopting a stray and providing for their needs.
Donate – Help humane organizations expand their capacity to offer care. Donations directly go to enhancing the ability to help animals in need.
Support local rescue groups and TNR – Local rescues take in thousands of animals each year and TNR (trap, neuter, return) groups work with feral populations to ensure that they do not reproduce and populations naturally decrease.
Call the media or use social media – Be heard and bring attention to the cause. Broadening awareness of efforts on the ground and issues that need to be addressed is vital to improving cats’ social value.
Talk to government – Understand where your tax dollars go and advocate for stronger regulations and bylaws that are inclusive of the needs for cats in particular – stray and owned.
ID your pets – shelters are full of pets that never find their way back home because they have no ID. Indoor pets may even escape through open doors and windows. Safety collars with ID are a great start, but the best form of permanent ID is a quick and painless microchip, which lasts a lifetime.
To learn more about the Society's life-saving work, to make a donation or to view adoptables, please visit www.spcans.ca.