OSPCA & Cornwall Team Up for Cash Grab Cat By Law ? By Jamie Gilcig

Cornwall Ontario –   So is there really a feral cat issue in Cornwall or is there simply a political push to grab cash from overburdened cat owners in the River City?

Reading a report to council it reeks as a money grab for the OSPCA and local vets.

The OSPCA has offered the services of their mobile clinic this Summer, for a three (3) day period. One of those days could be dedicated to cats trapped and delivered by the City to the mobile unit for Grant funded procedures. The unit’s capacity is twenty-five (25) surgeries per day available to Cornwall resident owners at an OSPCA subsidised One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) (the market fee is approximately $320.00 for female and $200.00 for male cat).

Anyone with google and a phone who calls regionally will be able to find vet services to spay/neuter a cat in nearby Massena for about $100US.   In Quebec you’re talking about $150, and that’s retail for the owner of a single cat.

Having a cat clinic four times per year where vet students and vets power spay/neuter like the mobile unit idea would put a deep dent into the population.

Likewise the biggest issue from reading social media for the last few years locally isn’t so much feral cats, but people who let their beloved kitties out to do their thing.

We also have a minor issue of those that feed stray and abandoned cats.  Do we really want to penalize people for being humane, or do we want to make it easier to have females in that situation fixed (cats that is) ?

Another large issue in a community that has a very low income level is the surrender fees for cats.

No, what’s needed more than simply money train for some of our over priced local vets in Cornwall is an education program and a finer system.    And the city needs to either pony up some cash to the OSPCA for cat control for when kitties are in trouble or being trouble.

The problem seems to be that Cornwall simply doesn’t want to pay the piper, and can you really blame them when they have high priced lawyers to pay for, and old bank buildings to buy?   Not too mention the many titled Geoff Clarke’s ever expanding fiscal needs at City Hall?

  • The OSPCA has issued the following formal statement on restricting cats to be indoors: “The Ontario SPCA encourages pet owners to keep their cats indoors for the safety of their pet. In addition to the risk posed by wildlife, pets at large are also in danger of being struck by vehicles and could become lost. If your cat does go outdoors, we encourage you to supervise their time outside. It’s also important to ensure all cats are spayed or neutered, up-to-date on vaccinations and are micro-chipped to help keep them safe, healthy and ensure they aren’t contributing to the issue of pet overpopulation and unwanted animals.”

No argument there.  Cats should be indoor pets or allowed up on a leash or supervised on their own grounds like dogs. I wish more of my neighbors downtown would not let their lovely cats run loose as to many of them end up in my yard.

Creating licensing and other bylaws simply is going to create costs for the city and lead to unpleasant interactions with the public at large.  It really won’t resolve the issue, if it truly exists, but clearly we need education and a change in cat culture in this city, especially in areas like the East End.

Sadly a local lawyer offered a free year of advertising for such an exercise to the local OSPCA via this newspaper but the were busy having cat discount days due to overcrowding to ever get back to us the multiple times we reached out to them.

Imagine, a year’s free advertising to promote issues without a response to the city’s largest newspaper?    That clearly didn’t impress a lot of folks, or some of our sponsors and supporters when we first shared that,  and still doesn’t which could be why our local OSPCA needs a lot of support, but better management just might lead to that support.

In the meanwhile Council just put this report where the cats can use it best, lining the bottom of the box.

The cost of care for each cat captured/surrendered to the OSPCA is in the five hundred dollar ($500.00) range which includes vaccination, spay/neutering and follow-up medical care prior to being offered for adoption, or in the case of feral cats being released. Additionally, euthanasia fatigue can add considerably to animal shelter expenditures.

Last year, these costs exceeded $350,000 which is not sustainable for a charity organization in a community of this size.

When your primary business is dealing with unwanted cats and you’re spending $500 per you need a new job.  Honestly, you really do.  The OSPCA has to get that number down by a lot.  That’s simply way too much cash to be spending and the bigger question is where are they getting it from?    It’s nonsensical and clearly being spent on some large vet fees and management salaries.

It was the same for euthanization where a local vet wanted $150 for what I paid $35US for in nearby Massena.

That was my Sam in the feature photo who was 25-27 years old when he passed this year.   He was a rescue cat back in 2001.  They were going to put him down for being anti social, but I fought for him and they agreed to let me keep him even though the first thing he did was bite me.    They said he was between 8-10 and had been an outside cat.

He adjusted fine to not only being an inside cat, but to living with three dogs!   And then two more later in life.

There simply is no justification to charging $300+ to fix a cat.  That’s robbery, and that’s why there are so many unwanted kittens in a community with our average income.  It’s not rocket science and Council and the city don’t need to come up with new ways to make life difficult for those who simply want the joys of owning a feline friend.

The OSPCA should not be a feeder to high priced vets.  They should be training grounds for student vets and those that care enough to heavily discount their fees.   If pet food companies like Royal Canin can donate and discount food so should vet services.

What do you think dear CFN viewers; many of whom are cat crazy mommies?  You can post your comments below and feel free to share pics of your cats.

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