Stop Stacking the Deck …

I love the Company’s Coming recipe book series!  Why?  because it is consistently reliable of course!   Whether the harvest is in full throttle with aromatic preserves …. or I am looking for a spectacular sweet,  experience has taught me that every recipe works!   It is a lovely thing to be as confident in the success of today’s new venture with Zucchini Marmalade as I am of the tried and true favourite Mustard Beans.

Mind you, like anything else in life, the recipes work better if one actually follows them, eh?

A couple of days ago, we were all pretty darned excited to hear that CTV news would be doing a piece on the Cat Population Explosion.    Even given the constraints of a supper time sound bite, it is always a good thing to see this issue out in mainstream media.

Sadly I was nowhere near as impressed with the companion poll that is on the CTV news website.   It asked “What is the best way to deal with the cat population explosion?” and offered four choices

  • License cats
  • Mandatory spaying and neutering
  • Seize loose cats
  • Forget it, it can’t be controlled

If we were playing cards, this would be referred to as stacking the deck.  Anyone who cares about cats knows that licensing or just seizing cats is going to great Unimaginable Numbers of Unhappy Tails.    Nor would they be willing to throw in the towel and let things escalate!

So many chose Door Number Two … mandatory Spaying and Neutering …. as the lesser of four evils!   Ok … so now this is when people are going to start throwing things at the computer screen!

What is wrong with that?   Why do I think that is a problem?    Would that not be a good thing?    Isn’t spay neuter important?

Of course it is!   But mandatory spay neuter laws create more problems than they solve!  Why?   Money may not be the root of all evil … but studies have shown that lack of it is directly connected to compliance rates for mandatory spay neuter laws.   When the cost is beyond their means,  they are simply unable to comply.    In other words, mandatory spay neuter laws directly discriminate against low-income pet owners.

Even worse, this law would discourage low-income pet owners from ever visiting a vet … out of fear of being reported and losing their pet!

What about the irresponsible pet owners who could afford the surgery … but simply do not see spending that kind of money on a cat as a priority?   How is mandatory spay neuter going to punish them?   The short answer is that it will not.   If the worst happens and animal control seizes their cat … there are dozens more ‘free to a good homes’ waiting in the wings on Kijiji, eh?

And of course that begs the question as to  what will happen to all the unowned  community cats?  The strays and ferals will be ‘illegal aliens’ and there will be no happy tails waiting for any of them either 😦    Anyone familiar with ferals knows that there is a Vacuum Effect, which is short means that killing ferals only means that new ferals will gravitate to the area .  To put it bluntly … someone will just have to keep killing and killing!

This of course does not even cover the real elephant in the room …. the financial cost of enforcing mandatory spay neuter legislation.  In these economically strapped times, local governments will not want to pony up for the cost of additional staff needed to enforce the law.    In the long run, it would be much cheaper and much more effective for municipalities to support low-cost spay neuter and the volunteer TNR groups.

The good news is that there is already a proven and time-tested solution for all this.  It is called the No Kill Equation and … like my little marmalade recipe … is already tested and proven!

What time is it?   It is time to remember that it is wildly unrealistic to expect that any problem that has been unaddressed for so long cannot possible be solved by one single thing!     So I applaud CTV for bringing everyone’s attention to the kitties … but seriously suggest they stop stacking the poll deck with a solution so fraught with peril!

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