Showing posts with label dumped cats. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dumped cats. Show all posts

Wednesday 27 December 2023

American families dump pets as costs surge

NEWS AND COMMENT: Although some shelters have quite definitely gone against the grain in terms of having too many cats and dogs to rehome [check out the empty shelter], in general, The Times reports that US families are dumping pets as the cost to keep them has become untenable. This is mainly due to inflation and lack of proper long-term budgeting, I believe.

The Times reports that American animal shelters are at their most overcrowded in years. The reason? Fears over the economy. And the end of boom times when many dogs and cats were adopted during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

I feel (I hope not harshly) that many people adopted dogs and cats who shouldn't have. This was impulse adoption without really doing due diligence to figure out the costs and even more importantly to check out the health of the animal that they were adopted. 

That last point particularly applies to the French Bulldog which is one breed which is being dumped on shelters faster than many other breeds. Clearly the owners have found out how expensive they can be to take care of.

However, many adoptions were carried out responsibly. Many people relinquishing their companion animals have lived with them for a long time. It's be tough for some to consider relinquishing their pets.

However, according to the Shelter Animals Count, there are an estimated 250,000 more companion animals in shelters this Christmas then there were over the same period last year.

And it appears that many if not most kennel operators say that they are in crisis. Their facilities were already overcrowded before the Christmas festivities.

As mentioned there was a sharp rise in pet ownership during the pandemic. One in five households in America had a companion animal according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

There are fears over the economy in America and the rising cost of living. The cost of owning a pet is out of reach for many. They decided to abandon their animals.

Kim Alboum, of the Bissell Pet Foundation, an animal welfare organisation, said that "The economy right now is really challenging for a lot of families. And with the housing crisis, people are losing their homes and our having to downsize or move in with others. And this is a recipe for disaster for people that have larger dogs."

The Times reports that shelters are experiencing a big influx of puppies in particular including those of the French Bulldog breed as mentioned. There's been a period of inflation recently in America resulting in vets and pet product businesses raising their prices making it even more expensive to be a pet owner.

I'm told that veterinary prices jumped by 9% from November 2022-November 2023 according to the Bureau of Labour Statistics. Pet food costs rose by 5.6% over the same period.

Sarah Barnett runs an animal shelter in Philadelphia. She says that she has seen hard economic times which has challenged pet owners financially.

She said that people are losing their jobs have to decide between putting food on their table or feeding their companion animal. They've been left with few options.

Obviously, many people giving up their companion animals have had a very long term and good relationships with them. And I agree with Sarah Barnett in that not all people self-indulgently adopted cats and dogs during the pandemic. 


The story really highlights a very valuable point namely that looking after a companion animal properly is expensive. You can't do it properly on a shoestring. Perhaps the first stage in the adoption process is to check your budget, work out the maths, and make sure you maximise the chances that you can and will be able to afford to look after your new friend to a good standard for the remainder of their lives.


P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Thursday 30 November 2023

Are these the two women who dumped two cats at a pet store in Dewsbury, UK?

NEWS AND COMMENT: Remarkably, it appears that a couple of women dumped a couple of cats in a carrier which was taped up at the outlet of a well-known chain of pet stores called Pets at Home in the UK. This particular store is located in Dewsbury.

The cats were frightened but unharmed and they been taken by the RSPCA to their hospital, Greater Manchester Animal Hospital, for a check-up and routine deworming and de-fleaing treatments.

CCTV footage from the store has been passed to the RSPCA which shows a couple of women entering the store with the carrier at 3:06 PM and leaving within just minutes later at 3:09. In very much looks like that these are the people who dumped the cats. Here is the pic:

Are these the two women who dumped two cats at a pet store in Dewsbury, UK?
Are these the two women who dumped two cats at a pet store in Dewsbury, UK? Image: Pets at Home CCTV.

It is quite unusual if not rare to put faces to people who abandon cats in this kind of way. There are many ways to abandon domestic cats. It's unusual to abandon cats at a large pet store but I guess their thinking was that the cats would be found quite quickly and then taken by a rescue group to a vet and then be rehomed. That must have been there thinking actually.

So, perhaps we have to give them some credit for the fact that they didn't dump the cats on a quiet road in the countryside somewhere where they might have died quite quickly bearing in mind the sub-zero temperatures overnight in the UK at the moment.

The carrier was sealed up with tape. The cats apparently were healthy and in good condition. But neither were micro-chipped.

Although unlikely that anybody using the store will read this post, if you know anything about this incident then please contact the RSPCA on their appeals line number on 0300 123 8018.

P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Saturday 5 November 2022

Rescue centre insists people contact them if they want to relinquish their cats

North Wexford Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NWSPCA) ask people to contact them if they want to relinquish their cats and not dump them in the car park!

Joe Murray, the chairperson of the NWSPCA is upset because when people just dump cats near the rescue centre that he manages it creates all kinds of problems because they are suddenly presented with a large number of cats. It upsets the management of the cats currently in their charge and those cats due to be taken in.

Cats and kittens dumped at NWSPCA in sealed containers
Cats and kittens dumped at NWSPCA in sealed containers. Image: NWSPCA.

And of course, the dumped cats can be at serious risk of harm. He prefers it if people contact the rescue centre and discuss the matter with them so that the cats can be handed over in a controlled way which is good for the health of the cats and good for the management of the rescue centre.

What sparked this request was a couple of incidents in which sealed boxes were dumped on the premises with mother cats and kittens inside. The fact that the boxes were sealed is I think unforgivable because the cats inside could have been harmed.

RELATED ARTICLE: Cat rescue centres in London, UK – mapped to facilitate finding them.

Joe Murray said that it was extremely hot day. Two adults and ten kittens were dumped. The second incident involved two adults and four kittens. It seems certain that this was a failure to sterilise cats. This happens far too often, and it is due to carelessness and ignorance.

Joe Murray said: "They weren’t left at the cattery, they were left in the car park, and it was only by chance that one of us noticed the boxes and decided to look in. If it wasn’t for that, they probably wouldn’t have survived the night in that heat."

Rightly, he said that dumping cats in this way is unacceptable and that it hinders the operation of the rescue centre and therefore the service that they can offer other animals and other caregivers.

The North Wexford rescue centre has limited resources and they are trying to service as many people as possible. They have a waiting-list. They only have a certain amount of space and dumping cats leads to the dumped cats jumping the queue. 

This means that people who want to relinquish their cats in a reasonable way and who are working with the rescue centre are then pushed back which is unfair for both people and cats.

They are forced to turn away people who are doing the right things he said. He further added that "Dumping cats like this is selfish of people because they're not giving us a choice."

RELATED: A cat rescuer describes what she faces when those who won’t spay/neuter are part of the problem.

He said that the cats were probably fine where they were, and they could have stayed there for a week or so which would have enabled the rescue centre to organise themselves and help with food and then use crates when they took them in at the next opportunity at a time when there was space available at the centre.

The key point that Joe Murray wants to make is: "The answer is to contact us and work with us."

As anybody who follows cat rescue knows, it is quite commonplace for people to dump cats at rescue centres either over the weekend or at night even in freezing weather in order to avoid meeting with the rescue staff because no doubt the person relinquishing the cats is embarrassed.

They should swallow their embarrassment and take courage to admit that they can't cope and then make arrangements with the rescue staff to hand over the cats in a controlled manner.

Friday 15 April 2022

Why do people abandon their cats? Lots of reasons!

Rescued Ragdoll cats. These cats were voluntarily relinquished by the person who bred them or who is breeding them
Rescued Ragdoll cats. These cats were voluntarily relinquished by the person who bred them or who is breeding them. Photo: MSPCA.

There are many reasons why people abandon their pets. In descending order of importance, I have listed 10 below the spreadsheet. There are actually at least 3,207 reasons (😢) to relinquish your cat according to a study by the Regional Shelter Relinquishment Survey (Salman and others in 1998). Here are the top 41 reasons. Below that list are the reasons that I thought of before I discovered the 3,207 reasons!

Here are my reasons which came to my head fairly quickly.
  1. Moving home. It sounds frivolous and careless but it is apparently true. People for whatever reason do not want to take their animals with them sometimes. I suppose the classic reasons are that the new home does not permit pets or is too small (leasehold contract). The downsizing may have been forced on the person for economic reasons. However, often the true reasons are not disclosed. Indeed, the person may even deceive himself.
  2. A second reason for abandoning a pet is that the person adopted the companion animal when he or she was a cub or kitten and then is surprised (overwhelmed) at how large the animal has become when adult. This problem applies to dogs.
  3. Purely economic reasons - the owner can't afford to keep a companion animal. This may be because of misplaced expectations or dire financial circumstances beyond the control of the person.  You will probably find, though, that the car stays as will the iPhone and the $100 a month telephone bill!
  4. Another reason is that the companion animal was bought as a present and the person receiving the present becomes disinterested after a while. This may happen when parents give a child a kitten as a present. If the child gives up caring for the cat, the parents take over and then they give up later.
  5. Expectations about maintenance and costs can be misplaced and when reality clicks in the owner gives up and abandons the cat or dog. This can be avoided by reflection and careful objective consideration before adopting.
  6. For cats, so called "behavior problems" are a big reason for abandonment. These "problems" are often human expectation problems because the cat behavior is normal cat behavior and their owner does not like it. Once again it is about expectations and education before adopting. Should education be obligatory before people acquire a pet? If it was, you would need licensing. This is one of those moot questions. There is a need for better cat ownership to minimise the creation of feral cats.
  7. Inappropriate elimination (urinating outside the litter tray) is a potential reason for abandonment. The reasons behind this behavior might be found in the environment that the person has created (too stressful for example) and nearly always will be or the cause is medical. Inappropriate elimination is appropriate for the cat because the simply react naturally and instinctively to forces beyond their control.
  8. Another and controversial reason why people abandon their cats is declawing. Declawing a cat can result in behavior problems such as being unable to use litter trays as it hurts too much. This can lead to relinquishing the cat to a shelter.
  9. Sometimes people become too old, frail of sick to continue caring for a cat or cats.
  10. Rarely cat hoarders have a light bulb moment and realise that they can't cope and seek help. This as mentioned is mightily rare.

Sunday 9 May 2021

33 cats dumped on the roadside with food then 15 of them shot dead

DUNN COUNTY, WISCONSIN, USA - NEWS AND COMMENT: In a heinous crime of great brutality perpetrated by a person or persons, 33 cats appear to have been abandoned on the roadside with a pile of cat food. Then somebody shot at them killing 15.

33 cats dumped on the roadside with food then 15 of them shot dead
 33 cats dumped on the roadside with food then 15 of them shot dead. Photo: Humane Soc.

Jamie Wagner, Kennel Manager at the Dunn County Humane Society attended the scene which she said has left her haunted. She said: "I was not prepared for what I saw. I have been working here 15 years, I have seen a lot of things. It was very horrific."

She said that it appeared that somebody had abandoned 33 cats and 15 had been shot. They don't know the circumstances as to why someone would do this. Comment: I know the reason why they did it. It is because they are cat-hating, nasty, insensitive, psychopathic individuals who think they can treat cats as inanimate objects without any consequences for what they're doing.

UPDATE 4/30/21: The reward for information leading to the person/people responsible for this act has been raised to...

Posted by Dunn County Humane Society on Wednesday, April 28, 2021

In a Facebook post from the Dunn County Humane Society they provided an update on April 30 telling us: "The reward for information leading to the person/people responsible for this act has been raised to $5000. Please report any tips directly to the Dunn County Sheriff's Department!"

They follow it by stating: "This is not the type of post we enjoy putting up, but this is such an act of cruelty that we need to do everything we can to find the person/people responsible. Any information regarding this incident would be greatly appreciated."

The details to contact these people are as follows:

  • Dunn County Humane Society (715) 232-9790
  • Dunn County Sheriff’s Office (715) 232-1348

Comment: I have been reading news media stories about this sort of cat abuse/cruelty in America and in other countries, let's be clear, for 14 years. To me, it is not surprising or shocking. I have seen similar acts of cruelty reported in news media before. This story stands out somewhat because of the numbers involved. And it is the first time I have read of cats being abandoned on the roadside and then shot at. 

It takes a particular kind of individual to do it. It seems that a person abandon the cats then stepped back and shot at them but it is entirely possible that there were two or more perpetrators namely the person who abandon the cats and then another person came along, saw them, and decided to shoot at them. Therefore the police may be searching for two or more people as the Facebook post indicates.

God willing they'll be caught. But don't hold your breath because there is invariably a lack of evidence. This probably occurred in a remote place. No cameras. No evidence.

Note: The embedded FB post may stop working. If that has happened I apologise but I have no control over it.

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