Today on the news they were advertising a free spay and neteur clinic for feral cats in Scarborough. The aim of this campaign is for people to bring in stray cats roaming the GTA and help cut down the cat colony population. They stated many times during the promo that this clinic was NOT for anyone with a cat, but feral cats only. The operations were being provided for by donations and money from intrastructure.
It's a good start but it doesn't address the real problem with people not spaying or netuering their cats. The real reason behind the huge feral cat population in not only the GTA but every city in the world is that the cost for spaying an animal is way too expensive.
I know some people will say "If you can't afford to properly take care of the animal, including medical expenses, you are not responsible enough to own a pet" but people do anyways. Small animals like hamsters, rats and gerbils are cheap. You can pick them up for under 10 bucks. Why would anyone spend $100 for medication for these small animals when they get sick, when you can just get another animal for a cheaper price, especially when the life span of these animals is so short?
People will not justify paying $100 to alter small animals so they don't end up with accidental litters, which they then need to get rid of, or become over run with animals.
The fact is, pets are cheap. If you don't want to spend the money on a pedigree animals, you can pick up one cheap or for free on Kijiji or Craigslist. Anyone can pick up a kitten anywhere for free.
Back to the cat epidemic; there are way too many cats roaming the streets because people dump unwanted kittens after deciding it's way too expensive to spay Fluffy and she never goes outside anyways, so why spend the money, yet someone she escaped when someone left the door open too long. They dump them in the city, them dump them in the country. These cats then run around and breed, and it's a vicious cycle. Most of these cats in the country find homes at farms where they hunt for mice. Farmers are welcoming to have cats on the farm to protect the feed for their livestocks, but they aren't going to pay to get each one of those cats fixed. The barn cat population either naturally keeps itself in check, or it explodes. There are many reasons why the barn cat population can keep froming becoming an epidemic. There are many hazards for a barn cat. They are not vaccinated, they are not medicated when they get sick, they are prey to wild animals and they sometimes get kileld by farm equipment and machinery. If none of these factors are in place, then it can be over run by cats who will eventually starve unless they are humanely put down.
The news today reported that a spay or neteur can cost anywhere between $200 and $400. The cheapest I have heard for a spay is $95 which is slightly more reasonable than $200, but I still feel that even $95 is too much. I realize that vets need to make money, and that the drugs used in the surgery are part of the cost, but I think the price must be very inflated.
If Bob Barker wants us to take his advice, the vets need to lower the cost or else it's just going to continue, especially in this economy.