Estevan has a sad but preventable problem

The Editor:

Estevan, we have a real, very sad, very preventable problem as of late.

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Stray animals like we’ve never seen before and this is entirely our fault.

Currently, Estevan Humane Society’s shelter is home to 60 cats, 20 of whom are kittens. They are also housing five dogs. They are full and the litters keep coming. The Society does its best but this is unacceptable and preventable. Some of these poor animals are born to breeders who sell them for a profit. Some are born to people who want their cat or dog to have the “experience” of having a litter, or, who want their children to witness the “miracle of life,” and sadly most result from allowing fertile animals to roam freely and mate.

So spay and neuter your animals people!

Whatever the reason, the number of cats and dogs far exceeds the number of loving homes available. Many people drop animals off in rural areas, thinking that someone will take them in. In fact, we had two helpless kittens in our basement last week that we nursed back to health and found homes for. They had been dumped at my husband’s workplace, in the yards. I promise you, these babies are not able to fend for themselves.

The tragic fates these animals face include cruel treatment, starvation, disease, freezing, traffic and more unregulated breeding. Even if someone can find homes for one litter of kittens or puppies, the overpopulation cycle continues if they are allowed to breed. Animals from breeders occupy homes that could have taken in homeless animals, which ultimately will be destroyed.

Please adopt from animal shelters, and don’t forget about adult cats and dogs which are frequently overlooked by those looking for a puppy or kitten. The adult pet may often have the advantage of being housebroken and trained.

Before you commit … think. Some animal’s life is in your hands. For most responsible pet owners, every day spent with your pet gives you an unconditional love that’s hard to beat. Deciding to bring a pet into your life is a commitment that should never be done lightly, and if you do decide to offer it a home, it should be for the pet’s lifetime. Responsible pet ownership means promising to take care of it through sickness and health, in good and bad times.

Are you ready for a lifetime commitment or responsible pet care?

Adopting a dog or cat means you have considered the expense for a lifestime of quality pet food, veterinary care, including vaccinations, spaying or neutering, toys, beds, leashes, collars and any other associated expense. Taking care of a bed isn’t cheap. A pet will stick with you through thick and thin, it’s only fair we do the same for them.

Unfortunately, there are pet owners who never made that commitment. They see pets differently and have no problem getting one for a short time before giving it away and then getting another one, repeating the cycle every few years. Pets are not fashion statements, they are living things with feelings. They feel pain and mourn the loss of another pet, or their human. Dogs and cats love being with people they trust and respect. They are there when we’re sad, happy, angry, or when we just want to be alone.

We can do better than this. Stiffer fines need to be applied by the city. Mandatory spay or neuter programs put in place, and for the love of God people, before you adopt, think.

Pets are not a thing, they are being. They should become family. If you aren’t able to give them as much love as you would any other family member, may I suggest a stuffed animal? You don’t deserve the real thing. You don’t decide to just “get a pet one day.” Think it through and realize you are committing to the health and well being of another living soul.

If you can’t adopt today and have been responsible with your choice, but love animals, the Humane Society could sure use some help … or donations.

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated,” Mahatma Gandhi.

Sincerely,

Roxy Blackmore

Estevan

© Copyright Estevan Mercury

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