Elisa has written about the various ways people make excuses for surrendering their cats. But what about the people who simply have to abandon their cats...anywhere and anyhow. Or at least that is what they think they have to do.
Apparently New Yorkers are abandoning their cats and dogs on the streets, under bridges, in plastic bags, in parks, in apartments they just left, in cemeteries, just about anywhere in fact. What seems to be a white purebred Persian was, it appears, dumped outside an Apple store. I wonder if the owner thought that a typical Apple customer would take a fancy to a cute purebred cat?
Abandoning animals is apparently illegal in New York. I guess no one gets prosecuted, though, because no one gets caught in the act. Unsurprisingly, most abandoned cats end up being hit by traffic.
There are obviously many examples where the reasons to relinquish a cat are reasonable. For example, there are many good people who take in and care for semi-feral cats who then find they can't cope because of ill health and are left without a means to re-home the cats. However, there are many cases where where people recklessly abandon their cat for no good reason.
The dire state that this puts the cat in is being compounded in New York by budgetary cuts and overstretched rescue centers. People who try to relinquish their cats in a reasonably responsible manner are being forced to dump them. They feel that there is no help out there.
This is a very sad state of affairs. Overall you can see how the economic problems facing the United States is impacting the domestic cat on two fronts: people feel they can no longer afford to keep a cat and the government can't afford to pick up the pieces.
A lot of the people who simply dump their cat outside think the cat can cope by reverting to the wild - become feral. This is not the case. A few domestic cats might cope and some will manage better than others but all domestic cats will struggle and most will not survive that long.
I think that people who want to surrender their cat should:
- Firstly re-examine the problem. "Do I really have to abandon my cat?"
- If the answer is yes then a greater effort to find a placement at a rescue center should be made.
- Use Facebook to network and/or the other social network websites. Although this is not always successful.
- In New York you can relinquish your cat to the NYC AC&C shelters. The cat may be "euthanised" however. The shelter fees charged might be waived.
[Photo illustrating this short article is by Stefan Tell - Flickr]