Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Cat(ch) 22

I could have used some of this nice cool weather last week when I was rushing to put the wood away before Earl arrived.  I'm a middle aged grandmother not a twenty-nine year old weight lifter and it would have been so much easier to tarp it down securely and hope for the best.
Happily, I'll never know if that would have done the trick.   The lovely summer sundried wood is snug and safely tucked away now so anything else would be just sheer speculation.
One of the other bits bout being a middle aged grandmother is understanding the real value of an ounce of prevention.  And nowhere is that more evident than in the urgent need for low cost spay neuter clinics.  
If there is one single, solitary subject that everyone in the rescue community agrees on, it is the need for low cost high volume spay neuter clinics.   Every discussion that I've had with every group this summer has included some version of the phrase" this is the worst summer we have ever seen for stray cats and kittens"
Why?  In everyone's perfect fantasy world, the only people who would get pets would be the ones who could afford to alter them.  But here in the real world, when it can cost a months groceries for the surgery, it just isn't happening.
Here in the real world, people fall in love with the cute face.  Decisions on the affordability of pet ownership are based on the cost of food and litter without calculating the cost of trips to the vet.  Nor does it help the situation that the "free to a good homes" aren't screening for vet records.  Nope .. they are simply grateful to have their own oversight settled so easily without worrying about that.
So there is a Cat(ch) 22 where the very people who should be adopting the altered cats either don't qualify or don't have the adoption fee readily at hand.
Here in the real world, most people still haven't heard of early age spay neuter ... nor are all the vets in this province on board with that either.  All too many folks also live in that fantasy universe where they will be able to keep a cat in heat from getting into mischief.
Which in turn of course creates more "free to a good homes" or worse, more strays when the teenage mommies are abandoned ... often because there is no 'room at the inn"   Another Cat(ch) 22
Should low cost/ high volume spay neuter only be available to low income families?  Not if it is to be effective!  Especially in times like these, there is a country mile between net income and disposable income, eh?   Life events of all sorts can leave no wiggle room at all irregardless of the tax bracket.
So what happened to the wonderful Low Cost / High Volume Spay Neuter clinic proposal that the Nova Scotia SPCA presented to HRM council back in Jan 22?
Was it put on the back burner?   What happened to it?
Was it too expensive?   Not self sustaining?  Or was it just another instance of politics being played at the expense of the animals? 
The only thing we DO know is as of this writing its still just a great idea.  A well considered thoughtful idea based on a successful program in another province.  But the longer it sits on the drawing board the more urgently it will be needed.  Cat(ch) 22, eh?
What time is it?  Its time to recognize that every summer from here on in will be the "worst one ever" until somebody smartens up and turns off the tap.  As always, the way ahead will only be paved by strong voter feedback:

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