Pontiac October 14, 2022
With the nights getting colder peoples, concerns about stray and feral cat populations in the Pontiac THE EQUITY thought now would be an appropriate time to check in on the organization that tries to deal with that population, Animal Aide Pontiac.
Animal Aide Pontiac is a non-profit organization that works to care for, find homes for and spay and neuter as many cats as possible. The organization is having a hard time keeping up, according to Katherine Morris, who works with the group.
“We can never meet demand,” said Morris. “Demand is overwhelming and has remained that way the last three years even though in 2021 we put 600 cats through surgery. I have to decline approximately five requests per week, sometimes four in a single day from people trying to get mothers and kittens taken out of their yards. It never ends. We have kept a running number of 53 rescues the last few months. As one or two are adopted after going through our surgery process and sometimes after many weeks of medical treatment, another three to five kittens and a mother are being rescued. We would never be able to keep up. This is costing us thousands of dollars every few months and we also can’t keep up with donations. We are needing to put our own paycheques towards food, litter and vet costs.”
According to Morris the next four to five months are completely booked with appointments to go to farms to trap feral cats and prevent them breeding, and these operations alone cost approximately $450 a week, all from donations, according to Morris.
She stressed the importance of fixing domestic cats, or at the very least not letting them out.
“So many people allow their cats out that haven’t had surgery and then are overwhelmed when pregnancy happens. Then the kittens become four to five months old and start breeding with each other. What happens is they’re being put back outside and repopulating areas we’ve already worked on. It’s very stressful. I’m driving to our vet in Montreal and Brockville several times a month to try and not fall behind and we do a trip to SPCA Outaouais every Friday for the farm and feral surgeries.”
The consequences of Animal Aide not performing their work can be dire, especially as the population of animals grows on an exponential scale, which inturn adds to the scale of the problem.
“The consequences also of people not getting their cats spayed/neutered is again unwanted kittens and kittens being given away to people who also can’t afford to spay/neuter and the breeding continues with them” said Morris. “A lot of these cats and babies are then abandoned outside and the consequence is diseases going untreated and eventual death. It’s a very vicious cycle. We put in a full day’s work plus upwards of 50 volunteer hours a week and it never gets easier. There is no break. If we don’t continue on, even when I’m so tired I can barely see the road driving, the consequence is another mother having babies outside and her kittens being born outside and remaining wild with diseases that need to be treated.
The 600 cats we do get to are a very small drop in the bucket compared to the numbers of cats and kittens in the Pontiac needing rescue, surgery, homes and medication.”
However the consequences of not treating those 600 would be worse, according to Morris.
In order to help rescue and treat cats in the area Morris said:
“We have 58 rescues right now and the best way people can help is through monetary donations through e-transfer to firstname.lastname@example.org. We also currently have our fall raffle going on, great prizes and that is all done through our Facebook page. Also important to go to our Facebook page to look at our cats and kittens available for adoption. Adoption fees are $200 for a male, $250 for female and that covers their spay/neuter, deworming, microchipping and vaccination.”
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