Saturday, May 28, 2011

Person has a wee rant

It's not that she doesn't like dogs. Rilly! But she's a Cat Lady at heart. And so when she watches a video that's a "tribute to Animal Rescuers" ... and out of the entire 5 minutes, she sees one (count'em ONE!) "token" kitty... she feels like the video should have been named "Tribute to Dog Rescuers."

Not that Dog Rescue isn't terribly important! And a video that tributes them is a very nice gift.

BUT. As a cat-specific volunteer at her local no-kill shelter, she knows she's in the minority. If her shelter is typical of all U.S. shelters then the number of people who choose to care for the feline overpopulation and the needs of stray and displaced cats is shockingly low when compared to the number of dog volunteers.

It's just heartbreaking to see. Especially when considering statistics from the ASPCA which state that:
"it is impossible to determine how many stray dogs and cats live in the United States; estimates for cats alone range up to 70 million."

70 million!

According to the ASPCA, "approximately 5 million to 7 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year, and approximately 3 million to 4 million are euthanized (60 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats)."

Yes, it's epidemic for both species. But the number of people willing to chip in their time, dollars and resources to help care for and rehome dogs far exceeds the number of volunteers willing to do the same for cats.

How can this be, when the number of pets in the U.S. is just about 50/50, according to the National Pet Owner Survey? Yet the number of cat volunteers versus dog volunteers in the average shelter (again if hers is any indication) is more like 20/80!

Recently, when our shelter rescued animals from another shelter where conditions had rapidly deteriorated and the animals needed out if they were to survive, the only reason many dog volunteers were willing to take a cat was from fear they would expose their own dogs to disease.

Cat rescue is in need of strong advocates, people willing to promote this desperate need for volunteers to help. Please pass this along! And if you haven't ever considered volunteering to help your local cat're missing out on a rewarding experience.


  1. Oh, so you're the Ryker Tyker we've seen mentioned on Twitter. Nice to meet you.

    There are cat rescuers and shelter volunteers out there. We've run into quite a few of them around the web. You're going to have to unite!

    Our shelter mgr/AC always says "animal" but he means "dog." So we understand.

  2. *waves paw* HI Miss Jan! Nice to meet you too! We're Faraday & Maxwell, Ryker's Proteges that he mentors from OTRB. He calls us the Rugrats & he's helping us learn how to Properly Train our new humans (Mommy & Daddy).

    Mommy tries as hard as she can to promote helping the kittehs in our area (she sure does come home smelling like other kittehs a lot!).

    She was very happy that she gotted all those dog people to foster kittehs from that other shelter last month. They were all so worried about bringing something home that their doggies would catch and she popped right up and said, "then save a kitteh life!" Esp. since most diseases don't cross species! YAY!

  3. Your mama does such good work pals. I never realized that about volunteers. I supposed they think it's more fun to walk a doggie than scoop litter. They just don't understand how nice and loving kitties can be and how easy it is to clean a litter box.

  4. Hi Ryker Tyker! It's real nice to meet you. :)

    Please tell your mom that we are thankful for the awesome and valuable volunteer work she is doing to help cats! We, too, are big-time cat volunteers, and we agree ... it's an amazing experience.

    Your new pals at Animal Shelter Volunteer Life


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