Monday, May 16, 2011

Seasonal Increase in Stray Cats Begins at Ottawa Humane Society

Spring has sprung at the Ottawa Humane Society (OHS) and that means significant increases in the number of homeless cats arriving at the shelter every day.

The flood of felines will continue now that the warm weather is here. Warm weather coincides with kitten season, and the inevitable pregnant cats and litters of orphaned kittens will continue until winter arrives.

"When the weather turns warm we see an increase in the number of animals admitted each day," says Bruce Roney, OHS Executive Director. "The problem is that cats are allowed to run free, without identification, and owners don't usually look for them until it's too late. Many owners also let their cats breed indiscriminately. And sadly, many people give up looking for their cat too soon—so by the time it arrives at the shelter, its owners have long-since stopped looking."

The OHS believes that encouraging people to become more responsible pet owners will go a long way toward alleviating the chronic lost cat and cat overpopulation problems. All pets should be spayed or neutered and properly identified using a microchip, collar and tag. To reduce the number of lost cats, cats should not be allowed to roam freely. While the OHS actively seeks to reunite lost pets with their owners, the current claim rate for cats is 5%. The number of cats that the OHS can return to their owners would increase drastically if more pets had identification. It's the best way to make sure a lost cat, dog or other pet has the best chance of coming home.

There is currently a great selection of cats available for adoption. For more information, visit www.ottawahumane.ca/ or call the OHS Adoption Centre at 613-725-3166 ext. 258. Pictures of many lost cats admitted to the shelter are also on the OHS website.

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Margarita (A125833) is a two-year-old cat who has been searching for a new home since January.

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