Interesting Read in This Morning's Newspaper - Jan. 10, 2011
Alexandra Davis had an interesting piece in this morning's The Daily Gleaner.
Animal Essentials is a satellite adopting centre for the FSPCA and we've witnessed first hand the tremendous success and cooperation of adopting cats. We have two cats at the store now with Minto and Tootsie Roll bringing charm and enthusiasm to the store.
'According to the Vietnamese calendar, 2011 is the Year of the Cat, and a new national volunteer organization called Care for Cats is recognizing the occasion with an initiative of the same name.
The goal of the Year of the Cat program is to increase the value of cats, whether they're owned, homeless or feral, and to address the cat overpopulation problem in Canada.
About 80 per cent of the animals that come into the Fredericton SPCA are cats, and it can be difficult to return them to their owners as they're less likely than dogs to have an identifying microchip, collar or other identification.
Jen Eastwood, shelter co-ordinator at the Fredericton SPCA, said she hopes this new program will help educate people about the importance of being responsible cat owners.
"Coping with the seemingly never-ending stream of stray, abandoned and feral cats that enter our shelter each year is a growing problem ... not only in our community but also across the country," she said.
"With the Year of the Cat resources to assist us, we can work together to create responsible and compassionate communities where people care for cats."
She said the key message she wants to get across is that cats need to be treated with the same level of respect that pet owners give their dogs.
"We believe that our participation in the Year of the Cat program will help us deliver this important message in Fredericton," Eastwood said.
"The free resources and promotional materials that have been made available to us by Care for Cats will help us present a powerful and unified message about responsible cat ownership."
She said a number of special events will take place throughout the year, including a cat awareness campaign and adopt-a-thon in May, a National Cat ID Week from Sept. 23-Oct. 2, focusing on permanent identification, licensing and registration and, hopefully, a Fur-ever homes adopt-a-thon in December.
Dr. Elizabeth O'Brien, a veterinarian and feline specialist from Hamilton, Ont., is the official Care for Cats committee spokeswoman.
She said the Year of the Cat program is based on a successful campaign created by the Hamilton-Burlington SPCA in 2008.
O'Brien said Care for Cats has built its campaign around solid facts, such as those revealed in a 2008 Business of Urban Animals Survey commissioned by PetLynx Corporation for the International Summits for Urban Animal Strategies.
According to the survey, there are 8.5 million cats in Canada, and 36 per cent of Canadian homes have one or more cats.
Of those cats, 50 per cent didn't receive regular care in the 12 months prior to responding to the survey, less than 25 per cent have permanent identification such as tattoos or microchips and 41 per cent hadn't been vaccinated in the past four years or had never been vaccinated at all.
The survey also found 54 per cent of cat owners who hadn't already spayed or neutered their pet said they were unlikely to have their cats fixed in the coming year.
"(The survey) provided statistical proof of what people working in animal shelters and veterinary hospitals have known for decades: cats are not generally valued as much as dogs," O'Brien said. "In almost every category covered by this survey, dogs received better care than cats."
She said she's hopeful the national campaign will change the way people view their feline companions.
"The message we need to get to the public is not only about the importance of spaying and neutering cats as a way of population control," she said. "We also have to try to change attitudes about the intrinsic value of cats in our society.
For more information on the campaign visit www.frederictonspca.ca.'