Spring showers, red robins and unwanted litters of kittens being left at animal shelters are all tell-tale signs of the arrival of spring. Spaying and neutering is the only humane solution to address the pet homelessness crisis, which impacts every animal shelter in the province of Saskatchewan. The Regina Humane Society’s (RHS) community based solutions, such as its Subsidized Spay and Neuter Program, have targeted the overpopulation crisis supporting a steady decline in unwanted cat numbers over the last 8 years. That is until 2016. Following an unseasonably warm winter and early spring, 2016 became the “Year of the Cat” in Saskatchewan.
Last year, the Regina Humane Society received 500 more cats, mostly kittens, than in any of the previous 8 years. Adding to the total 3,000 felines in need, the cat/kitten influx in 2016 dangerously taxed the organizations resources and capacity to provide care.
As the Society prepares for peak season incoming cats, we are reaching out to the community to become a part of the solution to pet homelessness instead of part of the problem by following these simple steps.
- If you see a stray pet, assume it has an owner. The RHS Lost and Found Department and on-line directory (reginahumanesociety.test ) as well as multiple other on-line forums exist to connect lost pets with owners. If attempts to find an owner are unsuccessful, deliver lost pets to the Humane Society, or contact RHS Animal Protection Services (306-777-7700) for pick-up, so that unclaimed stray pets can be sterilized and rehomed.
- Contact RHS Animal Protection Services (306-777-7700) for information on how to bring stray cats to safety.
- Identify your own pets. A license, microchip or ID tag is a lost pet’s ticket home. The RHS offers monthly Microchip Clinics providing this valuable identifier for only $30.
- Spay or neuter pets that you are caring for inside, or outside, of your home. Well-meaning community members feeding unsterilized community cats create a healthy breeding environment resulting in hundreds of unwanted kittens who face starvation, injury or death and contribute to the thousands of animals in need filling community shelters and rescues. Contact your veterinarian to arrange for spay/neuter. If financial assistance is required, apply for the RHS Fully or Partially Subsidized Spay Neuter Program at 306-543-6363.
In spite of record numbers of cats flooding into the RHS in 2016, the Society also saw a record number of adoptions. This, however, is not sustainable. Only through working together as a community will the pet population, particularly cats, be brought under control and unnecessary pain and suffering of companion animals be eradicated.