Too Many Intake Requests

The phone at ARK rings continually every day.
It’s the sound of people seeking help.

This time of the year, we get a lot of requests to take in cats, especially stray cats and kittens.
“I want you to help these kittens that were thrown away in a paper bag.”
“I want you to take in a stray cat weakened by injury or illness.”
“I fed her and she stayed, and then she had kittens, and the neighbors are complaining. I want you to take them.”
There are also cases in which the owners of cats did not spay their pets, and they now have more cats than they can handle.

So many people tell us “I can’t keep them.”

People feed stray cats because they feel sorry for them. With better nutrition, it’s easier for them to have kittens. If one female cat has three litters a year and each litter has three to five kittens that means ten to fifteen new cats in a year. With that many cats, the smell of excrement becomes problematic very quickly.

Giving a stray cat food out of pity is cruel and only serves to makes people feel better about themselves. It does not seem to me that these people are really thinking of the good of the cats.

Rescuing stray cats doesn’t make for a happy ending. If you don’t do anything about the mother, the same thing will be repeated over and over. The solution is Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR).

The most important thing to do to keep the problem from becoming worse is spaying and neutering.

Dog consultations mostly come from owners of dogs.
They’ll say things like “I got divorced,” “I lost my job,” or “I’m moving.”

Consultations about elderly people and their pets have increased. “My parent died, or went into a rest home, and I want you to take in their dog/cat. I don’t live in pet-friendly housing, or I already have a pet so I can’t keep it.”

These problems are too big for ARK to solve. We are chronically short on space, and we can’t take in every pet we are requested to. When it comes to stray cats, people in each area need to cooperate and compromise.

But we always do wish, “Please just don’t take them to the hokenjo or aigo center.” At the hokenjo, they come closer to the death room each day, where death by suffocation from poisonous gas together with scores of other pets awaits them. Some animals who don’t inhale the lethal dosage are still alive when they are burned along with the rest the animals.

I am depressed that I can’t help, that I can’t do anything for these animals.
I always wonder, “What happened to those animals we couldn’t take in…?”

 The next Adoption Event at Green Dog will be held on Sunday, August 2.
 On Sunday, August 22, a PR exhibit will be held at Takarazuka Summer Festa 2009 (Japanese only). The theme is, “The lives of animals who were abandoned and then rescued when their families moved away.” This is being held in collaboration with ALIVE

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