Dear Editor. I last made a delegation to Mission Council seeking empathy for stray & feral Cats in Mission but was initially attacked by an unfounded rant by Councillor Stevens claiming, “I was full of hot air”. Then, as a few Councillors had not witnessed strays in their neighbourhood it was felt no problem existed and a few questioned the estimated 3000 stray & feral Cats I suggested were in the District of Mission.
While no scientific proof or means to accurately record the actual numbers exists, the lack of numbers seems to justify to the indifferent and uncaring politician they do not need to do anything, least of all be compassionate to any determined number, small or large, just go into denial and bury one’s head is their solution.
You might appreciate the astonishment last week hearing Surrey had a stray/feral Cat problem of over 34,000 Cats, followed later by Langley claiming 22,000 Cats, in Municipalities with progressive bylaws and No-Kill Animal Shelters. So, it does not take a “rocket scientists” to imagine Abbotsford or Mission, with no progressive Bylaw with “Breeder Permit” conditions, nor adequate Shelters, that 3000 strays in Mission is reasonable to expect, with Abbotsford somewhere in between. A lack of diligent enforcement or education contribute to a worsening situation, thus appropriate funding becomes crucial to success.
Abbotsford has an SPCA but no local contract to address Animal Control which is foolhardy, at best. Mission pays over $250,000.00 for a Dog Pound but no Cat control, beyond the vastly underfunded approx. $22,000.00 Fraser Valley Humane Society and lacking Volunteers and adequate shelter space. In reality, should be an estimated minimum $ 85,000.00 fee with a shared facility, Dog Pound expanded to accommodate Cats. Recalling back to mid 1995 then Mayor Hawes claimed, “Mission has no appetite for your Animal Welfare Bylaws” I had proposed, at that time, to deal with approx. 300 Cats and $10,000.00 cost to remedy. Fast forward to day, same Mayor, expected to perpetuate same indifference to deal with exacerbated problem, as Cats are prolific breeders, several times a year.
The major cause & solutions of Cat over-population, first, ignorant, indifferent Mayor & Councillors, lack of progressive spay, neuter, tattoo and Breeder Permit Bylaw at 5 months of age, with significant fines (ie; minimum 2X adherence cost, for a violation), Bylaw to reclassify “owners” to more appropriate “Guardian” designations, following my “Legislation supported by Education” approach; second, Veterinarians have the monopoly of medical care, thus failure to respond with frequent low-cost or free spay & neuter clinics exacerbates the causes, lack of effective trap, neuter, release (TNR) programs, due largely to under-funding; lack of Foster Guardians; media lack of continual public awareness campaigns and the irresponsible Guardian who fails to provide a caring home, instead, neglects to have Cat spayed or neutered to prevent unwanted litters, throws Cat out at night to get pregnant or worse, provide dinner for Coyote’s, often in most inclement weather, pouring rain or freezing cold, out goes the Cat to roam around all night or find Dogs tethered or incessantly barking.
The time for compassion and to overcome the ignorance and indifference of leaders, has long past, with good examples of Shelters at Langley Township or Maple-Ridge, Basic Animal Care & Spay, Neuter, Breeder Permit Bylaws adopted across Metro Vancouver, there is no excuse today for such negligent care of Companion Animals, so the burning question exists why are you permitting this travesty to continue?
George F. Evens
“The Cat Father”
www.thecouncilclaw.ca ‘click CONTENTS’ “Our Position On Issues” Animal Relations Program, Section 31 for details