I feel it is important to dedicate today’s Simon Says to the sad state of affairs for cat welfare in Delaware. We are such an under served community of animals in this state, with very little protection and even fewer resources.
There are no resources for a lost or stray cat, no safe place to go for a while when we are conducting our search for our lost human. What options do unwanted cats have? Currently in this state we end up either dumped on some farm, tossed by the side of the road…or worse (I can’t even begin to discuss the worse, there are some topics far too sensitive for your human ears).
So what is the best option? Many would say just open up all the shelters to cats, fill to the brim! Pack us in several to a cage or a room. Right? WRONG! That is the same as hoarding, and us cats don’t like it one bit. What do you think it is like when you have a small group of very healthy cats that have been in a stable population and you put an unknown cat in… what if that unknown cat has calicivirus? That is going to run through the healthy population at an alarming rate, and very possibly be a death sentence to all of us healthy cats (for more info on calicivirus, go here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feline_calicivirus).
I do not think that NOT allowing cats to enter shelters is the answer, either. The thing is, as space allows, an animal shelter should lovingly admit cats while ensuring the quickest possible processing, including a necessary quarantine period to ensure no deadly viruses, spay/neutering and vaccination.
I also think that licensing cats is a good idea. Dogs get the additional collar bling, why not me?! The funds will assist the state in financing safe sheltering while we are looking for our family. It will help return us to our humans because this current system is NOT working! Did you know that cats have the lowest return to owner rate?! I think that microchips should be our internal license, as some of us are crafty and will slip out of some of the embarrassing collar selections our humans choose for us (my co-workers think it is a blast to put me in a pink rhinestone ensemble…nuff said).
Why is it that in this state our canine counterparts have rights and are counted? Why are they given extra steps to find their way home? They count in this state, and we deserve to be counted, too!