Tuesday 26 July 2011

Cat Rescue becoming Cat Hoarding

The no kill cat rescue concept is said to be turning some private and independent cat rescue operations into cat hoarders. That is an idea that had crossed my mind and it has been referred to in a news story; the source of this short post. Caboodle Ranch could perhaps be cited as a classic example.

Apparently cases of cat hoarding are on the increase in respect of cat rescue centers (25% of cat hoarding cases concern rescue operations). I can see the problem. In fact you could say it is almost bound to happen where the person is not practical and/or inexperienced.

This is because the supply of cats needing homes has for many years been higher than the demand for these cats. This inbalance between supply and demand may be getting worse. If that is the case someone has to care for the cats if they are not to be euthanised and that burden often falls upon the concerned cat lover who wants to do something.

They start off with good intentions and then it gets out of hand until what they are doing is bad for the cat not good because they are unable to care for large numbers of cats sufficiently well. Cats become ill and die etc.

This is allegedly what is happening at Caboodle Ranch and now at Haven Acres Cat Sanctuary, a private, no kill animal shelter owned and operated by Steve and Pennie Lefkowitz. They present on their website a true haven of tranquility and harmony for their rescued cats but in truth it was more a slice hell for many cats.

For the person who wants to get rid of their cat they presented a perfect solution. We know that most cat shelters end up euthanising (actually it is killing) unwanted cats because of limited facilities and oversupply. The image presented by the Lefkowitzs no doubt encouraged people to go to the Haven Acres Cat Sanctuary. Of course it was too good to be true.

We are told that they had a license to keep a maximum of 144 cats but when Animal Services got involved and entered the premises with a search warrant they discovered 697 cats! Clearly it had got out of hand.

This case highlights the divide between people such as PETA who believe that killing cats humanely is better for the cats who are living miserable lives, and the people who support TNR and protecting life.

I disagree with PETA profoundly. If we just kill unwanted cats we keep in balance the imbalance. By killing cats we support the oversupply problem. Plus it is immoral and people kill cats not for the sake of the cat but for their personal reasons. Much more work needs to be done on proactively tackling the root cause of the problem. See also feral cat problem.

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