LETTER: Spay and neuter programs more effective than leashes

I would like to contribute to the cat conversation…

To the Editor,

I would like to contribute to the cat conversation.

I am a cat owner and avid gardener. My cat is indoor/outdoor, and is spayed. There are other cats in my neighborhood. There is cat poop in my garden, which could be from any cat. I simply clean it up.

My cat and I have good relationships with the neighbours and their pets.

I did some research and spoke to multiple animal welfare groups. The short story is there are deterrents that work for cats in the garden. A cat-on-leash bylaw is rarely realistic or practical and is difficult to enforce. It is also not always in the best interest of the cat. What is important is mandatory spay and neuter programs, which help to reduce the number of feral cats. Limiting the number of cats in your family is also important. Two is plenty.

Yes, cat poop in the garden is disappointing, but in my opinion it is a very minor issue in the grand scheme of things.

Currently there are many serious issues negatively impacting our citizens and community.

These include but are not limited to the opioid crisis, homelessness, mental health and addiction, crime, abuse and unemployment.

The pandemic complicates these issues. I am a frontline health care professional and experience this with clients every work day.

I am sure I am not the only person who would be disappointed if council spent time, energy, and money on a cat-on-leash bylaw when there are many serious issues that could benefit from their attention.

D. Schmidt,

Port Alberni

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