Free feline fixing? Winnipeg
Free feline fixing?
Spay Day Program Considered
Winnipeg Sun, Canada - July 7, 2006
By TAMARA KING, STAFF REPORTER.
Learn the law, cat owners
City hall and the Winnipeg Humane Society are eyeing a program to fix felines for free.
"Spay days" are being considered as a way to deal with Winnipeg's cat overpopulation problem, according to a report that will be discussed at a Monday morning meeting.
It's part of a strategy being crafted between city hall and Winnipeg's biggest shelter following several years of frequent and sometimes heated discussions about handling the 100,000-plus cats in the city.
NEEDS TO BE REDUCED
At first, the humane society asked the city to implement a cat licensing program -- a suggestion swiftly rejected by most politicians. A public catfight ensued between the two agencies, but in recent months both sides seem to agree there needs to be a reduction of cats at the shelter and strays wandering the streets.
A part of the plan involves picking up cats in poorer neighbourhoods and having them spayed or neutered at no, or low, charge, the report states.
"We're talking about the areas that tend to have more problems," said Coun. Gord Steeves (St. Vital). "We could have more targeted (advertising) drops and spay days, going into areas to help people out."
Humane society officials hadn't seen the report late yesterday, but said they're happy the city appears to be taking a look at a serious problem.
"At the humane society, we're so committed to the low-cost spay and neuter program. Cats are a part of your family, whether you're rich or poor," said spokeswoman Alix Sobler.
She noted the shelter partnered with the city's Animal Services Agency in a recent advertising blitz that warns cat owners to sterilize kitties not by choice, but by law.
"Our focus now is not to tell people it's a good idea to spay and neuter, it's the law."
The city report suggests better targeting future advertising campaigns, something Alix agrees with wholeheartedly. She said the humane society briefly considered placing adverts at local veterinary clinics, but realized most customers at the vet already know about fixing their pets.
According to a December 2005 Probe Research telephone survey, 27% of Winnipeggers reported owning a cat. Steeves, who chairs the city committee responsible for the Winnipeg Humane Society, said it's the first time such a survey -- ordered by the shelter -- has been conducted.
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Posted yesterday on this blog:
Cat population control strategy
CJOB, Canada - July 6, 2006