There’s a commercial currently running on tv that shows a recent high school graduate lamenting that the pictures of what he refers to as his “crowning achievement thus far” are on his mom’s mobile phone. It appears that she is worried about overages and she already downloaded a cute kitten video. Yes, her son lost out to a kitten.
In the commercial, you can hear the people in the background oooing and aahing over the kitten. Yes, kittens are cute and many people can’t seem to resist their antics. However, while they are cute, kittens (and cats) are also an endangered species…. so to speak. It’s not that they are rare and becoming extinct, it is that there are too many of them and not enough homes. They face dangers like predators, cars, starvation, and euthanasia in kill shelters.
According the site of the High Desert Humane Society of New Mexico (http://www.highdeserthumane.org/halt.htm):
“Everyday 10,000 people are born in the US, and everyday 70,000 puppies and kittens are born, that’s a 7 to 1 ratio that means puppies and kittens are being born at a rate of 5500 per hour, or 2.1 million per month.”
The site goes on to say what that translates into:
“In order for every animal born in the United States to have a home, each and every human being would need to own 6 dogs and 9 cats, that’s 15 animals per person, that means your average family of 4 would have to house, clean, feed, and pay vet bills for 60 animals.”
The pet overpopulation is due to a lack of spaying and neutering of pets. For years, Bob Barker told his audience on “The Price is Right” to spay and neuter their pets, and his successor, Drew Carey, has continued the message. They haven’t been the only ones to share the message, but still there are pet owners that don’t see the need.
If you don’t think spaying and neutering is necessary , here are some sobering statistics from a report on Trap/Alter/Release Programs by Karen Johnson of the National Pet Alliance.
“Realistically, over 12 years, one unspayed female[cat], with all her unspayed female offspring, reasonably can be expected to be responsible for over 3200 kittens if there is no human intervention. (http://www.feralcat.com/feral-tr.html)”
The message is simple: H.A.L.T. (Halt a Litter today), the slogan on the High Desert Humane Society site.
Meanwhile, we’re in “kitten season”, when kittens are born and many little ones are looking for homes. Many shelters and rescues have adoptable kittens (and cats, too) . K.I.S.S. (Kitties In needs of Someone Special) in Hopatcong has several kittens in need of home and they are pictured in the slideshow. For more information, the rescue’s website address is: http://members.petfinder.com/~NJ372/index.php