Thank you for doing an in-depth article on the situation of cats in our society. The cat problem is actually a people-caused problem. All it takes is one unaltered female and within a year you can have a dozen cats, generally unwanted and often neglected and abused.
I would encourage The Chronicle to print the Oregon State laws as well as the Lane County laws regarding animals (abuse, neglect, abandonment). And since cats are animals, they are included in these laws.
There are a number of responsible choices that can be made regarding cats that help everyone:
▲ Obviously, get your cats (and dogs) spayed and neutered.
▲ If you are a landlord, an apartment or trailer park manager or owner, or are in property management, and if pets are allowed, mandate spay/neuter. One trailer park manager told me that he would not rent to someone whose animals were unaltered, because it showed irresponsibly, and if you are irresponsible in one area, you usually are in other areas.
▲ Stray animals in unincorporated Lane County (outside city limits) or towns, with a contract, can be taken to 1st Avenue Shelter in Eugene. Contact Greenhill Humane Society’s 1st Avenue Shelter to find out what would be involved in getting a contract that covers stray cats.
▲ If you want the City of Creswell to get a contract that covers stray cats, attend city council meetings and write letters to the editor and to the council.
▲ Invite a Lane County animal control officer to speak at a city council meeting to educate everyone.
▲ If a stray cat shows up, take care of that one cat. Spay or neuter it. If you don’t want it, contact an agency or rescue. Do NOT run it off – make it easy for someone to help you.
▲ If you feel overwhelmed with all the stray cats in your neighborhood or on your property, contact someone to help you. Greenhill Humane Society offers free spay/neuter for wild, stray and free-ranging cats. If a tame cat is dumped on your property (in unincorporated Lane County), contact 1st Avenue shelter.
Too many times, people are given the wrong information. They are told to ignore the cat, not feed the cat, leave the injured cat alone, and this is advice is nothing more than animal abuse and cruelty.
Cats, and other animals, often pay a very horrific price because of what people do, or don’t do. That can change, if everyone simply shows a bit of compassion.