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Columbus Cats in Crisis

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  • #65651

    Press Release – For Immediate Release

    Capital Area Humane Society launches “Be an AdvoCAT” campaign to educate the community and address cat overpopulation in central Ohio

    Columbus, Ohio (January 30, 2007) – There’s a cat crisis in Columbus. Cat overpopulation has remained consistently high over the last decade, and today some local animal organizations estimate there are more than one million stray and feral (or free-roaming) cats in central Ohio.

    Unfortunately, even when these cats are found, they have nowhere to go. Unlike dogs, local laws provide no protection or services for cats that stray, and cats are not accepted at the county’s animal control facility, the Franklin County Dog Shelter. As a result, the privately funded Capital Area Humane Society serves as the default animal control facility for cats.

    During 2006, the Capital Area Humane Society took in more than 13,000 homeless animals, which include dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs and other companion animals. More than 10,000 of the animals brought to the shelter were cats. Nearly 8,000 of the cats were reported to be strays, meaning that more than half of all animals received by the Humane Society were stray cats. The sheer number of cats that the Humane Society and other cat organizations take in every year is straining already limited resources.

    “No publicly funded agency accepts cats and although there are a number of other privately funded organizations devoted to cats, their resources are limited so the vast majority of stray or feral cats are brought to the Humane Society,” said Jodi Lytle Buckman, executive director of the Capital Area Humane Society. “No other shelter accepts additional cats once they reach their capacity and while we are an open-admission shelter, we simply do not have the resources to care for all of them. Our organization responds daily to cats in crisis as the default animal control service for cats in the community and the numbers are too large for us to be able to find homes for all the homeless cats in our community.”

    In 2006, the Capital Area Humane Society was able to find homes for almost 3,000 of the animals they took in. The placement rate for dogs at the organization is 81 percent, with the remaining dogs being ineligible for adoption due to severe medical conditions or temperament that makes them a threat to the community. Comparatively, the Humane Society is only able to find homes for 15 percent of the cats brought to the organization. Tragically, nearly 9,000 cats were unable to be placed in permanent homes due to acute medical conditions, poor temperament, owner-requested euthanasia or because they were feral. “The placement rates for cats are dramatic and heartbreaking, and is directly linked to the volume of cats we take in as an organization,” said Buckman.

    Be an AdvoCAT

    The Humane Society is launching the “Be an AdvoCAT” campaign to educate the community about the cat crisis and implement programs to help improve the plight of cats. Through the Be an AdvoCAT campaign, the Humane Society is launching an educational effort to inform the community of the seriousness of the problem and what they can do to help. Each month, the campaign will feature a new message related to cats in our community – including microchipping, keeping cats indoors and spay/neuter programs. “With the introduction of the

    Be an AdvoCAT campaign, the Humane Society is asking members of the community to join us in addressing this problem for the good of the animals as well as the good of the community,” Buckman said.

    The first focus of the year-long campaign is programming for lost and found pets. Local laws require licenses for dogs, but not for cats, which help in reuniting families with lost dogs. Also, there is no law-enforced method for handling cats that stray, meaning that many communities are not required to pick up stray cats and there is no standard location, such as the Franklin County Dog Shelter, where they are brought. “These hurdles combined with the lack of a coordinated community approach to finding lost pets, can hinder a family’s likelihood of being reunited with their lost and much-loved cat,” said Buckman. “A missing pet is a missing family member. In addition, if lost pets are not spayed or neutered, they can add to the problem by producing unwanted litters.”

    The Humane Society is improving its lost and found process by partnering with Pet FBI (Pets Found by the Internet), a non-profit organization which runs a Web site (www.petfbi.org) that provides information on missing and found pets in Ohio. The Humane Society has installed a computer workstation in its building at 3015 Scioto-Darby Executive Court in Hilliard, where community members can search databases for lost dogs or cats, or post information about a found pet. Templates for posters and door hangers will be available, as well as the opportunity to print copies of a lost or found poster. In the coming months, the Humane Society will also work with other area animal organizations to coordinate a standardized, real-time approach to lost and found reporting, and develop a regional approach to increase the use of implanted microchips for both cats and dogs.

    “This is just the beginning of a year-long campaign to engage the community in addressing cat overpopulation in central Ohio,” Buckman said. “We have many more ideas and will be implementing them with the help of our animal welfare partners and the community. We believe that the best way to make progress is to educate and work collaboratively with our community. We’re asking for the community to join forces with us to become an AdvoCAT for the cats in crisis in central Ohio.”

    To become an AdvoCAT with the Humane Society, interested individuals can sign-up in person at the Humane Society, located at 3015 Scioto-Darby Executive Court in Hilliard, or by sending an e-mail, including name, mailing address and e-mail address, to [email protected].

    About the Capital Area Humane Society

    Capital Area Humane Society, a non-profit animal welfare organization founded in 1883, is dedicated to addressing the needs of animals and people in our community. Visit http://www.cahs-pets.org for more information.

    # # #

    Contact:

    Nicole McCloskey

    Fahlgren Mortine Public Relations for Capital Area Humane Society

    Phone: 614.888.1239

    E-mail: [email protected]

    Abby Rosenberger

    Capital Area Humane Society

    Phone: 614.738.5042

    E-mail: [email protected]

    #119671

    lifeliberty
    Participant

    micro chip your pets people, easy, quick, painless (well, to you anyways..lol, to the animal as well), and cheap.

    #119672
    Coremodels
    Coremodels
    Participant

    Doesn’t solve this, most of those cats weren’t every anyone’s pet.

    #119673

    I promise this question isn’t rhetorical: What’s the problem with feral cats? I mean, we let squirrels and chipmunks run around all over the place; what’s wrong with having wild cats, as well?

    Anyone have any insight?

    #119674

    desecration
    Participant

    twistofreality wrote I promise this question isn’t rhetorical: What’s the problem with feral cats? I mean, we let squirrels and chipmunks run around all over the place; what’s wrong with having wild cats, as well?

    Anyone have any insight?

    I do not see the problem with feral cats so much as with feral cats not being spayed or neutered to prevent further population problems. I recall reading that an organization went around collecting up cats and then having them spayed or neutered and then re-releasing them. I believe that may have been Wisconsin. That would be an option to consider here. It would be nice to find volunteers to help with the collecting and a doctor and facility willing to donate their services for free for the cause. Just a thought.

    #119675

    desecration
    Participant

    (I could have worded the first sentence better, but I think the reader will know what I meant…hopefully.)

    #119676
    Coremodels
    Coremodels
    Participant

    1. Overbreeding. The other animals in question have adjusted their breeding habits and lifestyle to urban areas…cats haven’t.

    2. Non-hibernating. The feral cats mostly die during the severe cold and weather of Ohio winters, whereas the other wildlife either hibernates or something similar.

    3. Breeding with domestics. Lots of people have inside/outside domestic cats…not a good mix.

    There’s other things, like people tend to react differently if suddenly they see half a dozen squashed cats in the road vs. squashed squirrels, but those are the 3 biggies.

    One of the best solution is a trap, fix, and release program like a friend of mine operates for free.

    #119677

    Coremodels wrote 1. Overbreeding. The other animals in question have adjusted their breeding habits and lifestyle to urban areas…cats haven’t.

    2. Non-hibernating. The feral cats mostly die during the severe cold and weather of Ohio winters, whereas the other wildlife either hibernates or something similar.

    This is probably a bit more long-term than most would consider acceptable, but won’t wild cats eventually adapt, like everything else? Assuming you believe in the basic precepts of natural selection, they would have to, or they’d simply die out. They must have adapted somewhat to being urban wildlife if the population is such a “problem”.

    3. Breeding with domestics. Lots of people have inside/outside domestic cats…not a good mix.

    This is where I think pet owners really do have a responsibility. There’s no reason at all not to have a fixed cat unless it’s a special, pure breed they intend on breeding with other cats. I got my cat from a pet store unneutered. Maybe pet stores could do more by neutering the cats they sell prior to selling them.

    There’s other things, like people tend to react differently if suddenly they see half a dozen squashed cats in the road vs. squashed squirrels, but those are the 3 biggies.

    Cat X-ing signs! They have them for geese…

    One of the best solution is a trap, fix, and release program like a friend of mine operates for free.

    It’s awesome that your friend does this, but maybe we’re just being impatient. Nature tends to balance itself out eventually, right?

    … right?

    #119678

    lifeliberty
    Participant

    I posted regarding this part of the artilce

    “Be an AdvoCAT

    The Humane Society is launching the “Be an AdvoCAT” campaign to educate the community about the cat crisis and implement programs to help improve the plight of cats. Through the Be an AdvoCAT campaign, the Humane Society is launching an educational effort to inform the community of the seriousness of the problem and what they can do to help. Each month, the campaign will feature a new message related to cats in our community – including microchipping, keeping cats indoors and spay/neuter programs. “With the introduction of the

    Be an AdvoCAT campaign, the Humane Society is asking members of the community to join us in addressing this problem for the good of the animals as well as the good of the community,” Buckman said.

    The first focus of the year-long campaign is programming for lost and found pets. Local laws require licenses for dogs, but not for cats, which help in reuniting families with lost dogs. Also, there is no law-enforced method for handling cats that stray, meaning that many communities are not required to pick up stray cats and there is no standard location, such as the Franklin County Dog Shelter, where they are brought. “These hurdles combined with the lack of a coordinated community approach to finding lost pets, can hinder a family’s likelihood of being reunited with their lost and much-loved cat,” said Buckman. “A missing pet is a missing family member. In addition, if lost pets are not spayed or neutered, they can add to the problem by producing unwanted litters.”

    The Humane Society is improving its lost and found process by partnering with Pet FBI (Pets Found by the Internet), a non-profit organization which runs a Web site (www.petfbi.org) that provides information on missing and found pets in Ohio. The Humane Society has installed a computer workstation in its building at 3015 Scioto-Darby Executive Court in Hilliard, where community members can search databases for lost dogs or cats, or post information about a found pet. Templates for posters and door hangers will be available, as well as the opportunity to print copies of a lost or found poster. In the coming months, the Humane Society will also work with other area animal organizations to coordinate a standardized, real-time approach to lost and found reporting, and develop a regional approach to increase the use of implanted microchips for both cats and dogs.

    #119679
    Coremodels
    Coremodels
    Participant

    I think the idea that they’d adapt probably is more time consuming than is realistic, yeah. Add to that by breeding with domestics it kinda breaks that chain as well.

    #119680

    Schoolboy
    Participant

    true

    feral cats breed too often with domestic

    like mentioned, don’t have over population control that we know of built inside of them like most wild animals

    when rabbits or squirrels over populate an area, as happens with rabbits every 5-8 yrs no matter what… a genetic desease is triggered like the flu, and wipes them out. this resets the population if you will.

    well what if cats have this as encoded in them as well. they might. it’s never really been tested. probalby don’t though. thus a “cat lady” would have probably killed off a household or two by now. still, what if ferel cats overpopulate triggering a genetic flu… thus also killing all of your domestic friends in the area as well.

    ya might not like that too much.

    i personally hate cats. so it wouldn’t bother me so much. i feel for the wild ones though. i’ve lived in the country, and can say for sure that out there, they do not die in even the harshest of winters. not sure about here in the city… but i would assume here they would survive even better. probably trash collecting and eating trash wipes many of them out, instead of the actual cold. the ones that learn to hunt squirrels, birds, and mice wouldn’t have a problem at all.

    still… if a large number of wild cats adapt… the urban squirrel population wouldn’t be able to survive. only humans are allowed to wipe out other species in an area don’t ya know!

    just my take on it.

    #119681

    dKilla
    Member

    I see an opportunity here to improve the marksmanship skills of many local residents. :twisted:

    #119682

    dKilla wrote I see an opportunity here to improve the marksmanship skills of many local residents. :twisted:

    I can vividly see the video game opportunities here… Any casual game makers in the audience?

    #119683

    Hey now.

    Cat killers….nice…, real nice :shock:

    We took in a cat a couple of years back that either someone set free or she got out…..declawed, too. Old, sickly, but very friendly. She kept coming to the house and after a few days we noticed, she was declawed. Poor thing. Was about half starved to death.

    She’s still living. I didn’t think she’d make it a month as ratty looking as she was. Had some litter training problems, too, but with a little patience, we got that resolved.

    Sometimes I think humans are the least evolved of the species to turn cats out that become “a problem”. We got a nice pet out of it, even though it was a bit trying at first.

    #119684

    gramarye
    Participant

    We had two outdoor/barn cats for a while, but we had several acres for them to run around in (and Kirkersville is not exactly a highly developed area). I don’t think I’d be all that interested in a house cat; too much work, especially cleaning.

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