Every day, thousands of kittens are born to family pets, stray cats living on the streets, and unowned cats. Kittens can get pregnant as early as five months old, producing more kittens and continuing the tragic cycle of overpopulation. A female can have 2 litters per year, perhaps 3 in warm climates, with an average of 3 to 5 kittens per litter. BC SPCA published this infographic and encourage the public to share it to help spread the message of the importance of fixing cats.
The shelters of the British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals take in almost 30,000 animals per year. As with most shelters, the animals adopted through the BC SPCA are spayed and neutered, ensuring that those animals can’t contribute to pet overpopulation. But their efforts to curb pet overpopulation don’t end there.
The BC SPCA has established three veterinary facilities in Vancouver, Kamloops and Prince George. Collectively they sterilize more than 8,000 cats, dogs and rabbits annually. All provide for either free or low-cost sterilization of unowned cats as well as pets belonging to the financially disadvantaged. Animal intake at the Prince George branch has dropped a whopping 25 per cent, and Kamloops is also seeing a decline in animals needing shelter.
Since 2013 they’ve also offered a Community Spay-Neuter Grant program that provides between $1000 and $7500 of funding for local spay-neuter initiatives by registered animal charities, municipalities, veterinarians, First Nation’s governments and tribal councils, as well as BC SPCA branches.
They also urge municipalities to establish spay-neuter funds for low-income residents and they have a humane education program to teach young people about the responsibilities of caring for animals and their appropriate treatment.
According to Cats in Canada, a national study of the cat overpopulation problem by the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies, only 80% of pet cats are fixed. The BC SPCA’s approach, with it’s combination of education, municipal advocacy, no-cost procedures for feral cats, and subsidized surgeries for the pets of low-income residents, can improve that number, and help decrease the unowned cat population. That will, in turn, help birds as well.