Friday, November 18, 2011
BECAUSE WE CAN, THAT'S WHY
Even though we have one of these
and one of these
and one of these
and I spend a lot of my time rescuing these
In December this
is coming to live with us and here is why:
The Euthanasia Issue
In 2007, 13,000 animals were euthanized at the Orange County Animal Shelter. This number will continue to grow because the number of animals in the county increases each year. This growth in animal population will continue until the number is reduced through some form of intervention such as a mandatory spay/neuter program. In 2006, the OC Animal Care impounded 17,691 dogs with most adopted or reclaimed and just 4,341 (24%) euthanized. Of the 15,705 cats brought to the shelter, only 467 were reclaimed by their owners, another 4,361 were adopted by new owners, and 9,711 cats were euthanized (61%).6 The average total cost to the County to euthanize an animal is $159.70. (Reference: http://www.ocgrandjury.org/pdfs/dogstudy/dog-study.pdf)
While Anna is in Orange County, California, she has been fostering kittens for Orange County Animal Care. The devoted employees there do the best they can for the animals they rescue, but there are just too darn many, thus the 61% euthanasia rate (and that includes kittens).
This kitten is her second foster, her name is Poppy, and she is a very sweet, dear kitten. Anna's first foster, Milly, got adopted very quickly upon return to the shelter. We're not pushing luck, so there is no way Poppy is going back to the shelter, except to be spayed and vetted. Anna will be adopting her and Poppy will be flown to us on December 14, and Anna will be driving home. Poppy will be here in time to tear down the Christmas tree.
Now, anyone who knows my passion for all of God's creatures knows this diatribe will not stop here. Nope, of course not. I am very lucky to live in New England, where there are nearly no puppy mills, and our spay and neuter rate is very high.
This is not true in most other areas of our country, and probably anywhere you visit in the United States, there will be a shelter with statistics exactly like those quoted above. If I lived in one of those areas, I'd probably end up on one of those animal hoarding shows. Just knowing how many dogs and cats and kittens there are in this shelter made me cry, I am just not used to this scenario. While in Orange County, I had to call Denise, one of my partners in rescue, and have her talk me out of pulling dogs from the shelter and flying them to New England.
Soooo, if you are a person who owns a cat, dog, horse, rabbit, what ever, who is not neutered or spayed, will you please do so? You may think it's a nice lesson for your children to see an animal pregnant and then birthing. You are wrong. Getting that animal spayed is a much more valuable lesson, and one that will be passed down through the ages and perhaps at some point High Kill shelters will not exist. But that will only happen if people stop their insane behavior of breeding their animals for fun or profit.
Perhaps you are asking why in the world we would welcome yet another animal into our home, the answer is simply because we can, that's why.