SPCA pleads for responsible pet ownership

By Brady Bateman
January 8, 2019 - 5:00pm

The Prince Albert SPCA is reminding community members how important responsible pet-ownership is, after a P.A. home was found to have more than 35 cats.

Kathleen Howell, operations manager of the Prince Albert SPCA said the residence was initially found to have a plethora of cats after a series of complaints from a concerned neighbour.

“About a year and a half ago was when we first started dealing with this house,” Howell said. “We got phone calls from the surrounding neighbours with concerns that there was just an unmanageable amount of cats coming in and out of the house.”

SPCA staff, in conjunction with bylaw officers, went to the home and discovered approximately 30 cats within the residence. The homeowner assisted with the removal of the cats, and all of the animals were found to be friendly and healthy.

“Now were facing the same issue with the same house again,” Howell said. “Now we’re upwards of 20 cats removed again, and we’re thinking it will be upwards of 35 cats to be removed.”

Howell noted her concern with a situation such as this, is how common it is to find homes with an abundance of animals.

“This isn’t as uncommon as it sounds like it should be or as people think it would be,” she said. “To me this highlights really strongly the need for responsible pet ownership in terms of spaying or neutering.”

Howell added cats are able to have upwards of 10 kittens per litter, and six or seven litters within less than two years, creating a snowball effect that leaves owners inundated with high numbers of animals.

“We do have a program through the SPCA where we will help with low-income spay and neutering,” Howell added. “It’s just really important to make sure your pets are spayed or neutered so you don’t find yourself in a situation where you can no longer manage the pets that you have.”

The City of Prince Albert’s bylaws specify that no home may have more than five cats at any given time, as well as all cats must be indoors or tethered on your property.

Howell also noted she believed this specific homeowner purchased the animals off of local buy-and-sell websites, which is also illegal under Prince Albert bylaws.

“We have a huge overabundance of cats and dogs in this city, and when you go to the buy-and-sells you’re encouraging backyard breeding,” Howell said. “Most backyard breeders aren’t educated in terms of how to ensure health. There’s a lot to breeding a cat or a dog safely, and on top of that the SPCA has over 100 pets in our care almost all of the time so adopt, avoid breeders.”

Each cat brought to the SPCA will cost roughly $1,000 to care for, with the adoption fee for each cat priced at only a $20 minimum donation.

“Between the 30-40 day wait for each cat to be adopted you end up looking at $1,000 per cat,” Howell said. “When you look at a situation like this where we are taking in far more than we usually do in one go you’re looking at $35,000 to $40,000 dollars we’re spending.  That’s when we really need to lean on our community for support.”

 

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