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Helping Homeless Cats

Decreasing the abandoned animal population on the Danforth and in Toronto

by Stacey Philipp

Credit: Capellas3 on sxc.hu (http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1361583)

The Danforth Community is an extremely pet-friendly environment, but despite the hundreds of happy tails, there are even more lonely ones due to an extraordinary amount of homeless animals, especially felines. There are 100,000 feral and homeless cats in Toronto, according to Toronto Street Cats, a volunteer run program which works through the Toronto Humane Society. The cause of death for the majority of these cats is euthanasia due to homelessness.

Kim Campbell is a veterinary technician at Riverdale Animal Hospital, and owner of three cats, Meishka, Zen, and Pirate, and one dog, Paris. She offered professional insight into the problem of homeless cats and urges citizens to take action. “Toronto has a huge problem with stray cats. People don’t let their unaltered dogs run around unsupervised, but they do their cats for some reason. Cats seem to be Toronto’s underdogs. [They] roam the streets picking up diseases and breeding nonstop. Their kittens get sick, hit by cars or just starve.”

Campbell encourages the neighbourhood to help decrease the homeless animal population by adopting a pet, by spaying or neutering your animal, and by being a responsible pet owner. “We do not want to contribute to the problem, we want to help with the solution.”

The Riverdale clinic is just one of the places where people can go to adopt an animal. Although they rarely receive stray dogs, many kittens come in from people who cannot find a home for their cat’s litter. “The doctor checks them out, they get dewormed, flea treatment, their first boosters and any other medical treatment they need. Our adoption fee covers the next two boosters and spaying or neutering [the cat]. We do this because we do not want to encourage more unaltered cats running around the streets of Toronto.”

Campbell stresses the importance of spaying and neutering. Not only do these procedures allow the animal to live a healthier lifestyle, the females won’t go into heat, and the males will be less aggressive, therefore helping with overpopulation.

For more information on homeless animals and proper pet care, feel free to check out the following services:

Credit: joediev on flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/joediev/2199258924/)

Homeless Animal Services

Toronto Animal Services

Ontario SPCA

Toronto Humane Society

Helping Homeless Pets

Toronto Street Cats

Local Veterinarians

24-Hour Animal Hospital

Riverdale Animal Hospital

Donlands Animal Hospital

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