February 25 2014 (Ottawa, Ontario) – In celebration of World Spay Day Canada’s celebrity cats join the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies (CFHS) to launch an innovative report, The Case for Accessible Spay/Neuter in Canada, that illuminates the lack of accessible spay/neuter in communities across the country and what can be done about it.
“Take it straight from the cat’s mouth – we need to elevate the way we care for cats and dogs. The first step for any human who wants to be a responsible pet guardian is to spay and neuter your companion animals,” says Earl Grey who is running for Premier of Nova Scotia. Earl Grey, a beautiful domestic long-haired cat and passionate political campaigner has almost 20,000 fans on facebook and succeeds his even more famous brother, Tuxedo Stan, who ran as a mayoral candidate for the Regional Municipality of Halifax in 2012. “As I like to tell people, I’m neutered and I’m proud of it. Testicles are over-rated.”
While animal welfare organizations and veterinarians widely agree that a key solution to the crisis of overpopulation and homelessness of companion animals is accessible spay/neuter surgery, it can be surprisingly hard to find in Canada. The CFHS report describes how the key barriers that prevent more animals from being spayed and neutered are the lack of clear and accurate information, the high cost of surgery, and the lack of proximity of veterinary services. Meanwhile shelters are at or over capacity to deal with the animals being brought in.
“In addition to reducing companion animal overpopulation accessible spay/neuter programs encourage people to develop a relationship with a veterinarian. This works to improve the health and well-being of companion animals, and I fully support anything that improves the health of cats and dogs. Especially cats,” says Tiny of Fredericton who praised the findings of the report. “Everyone needs to know that spaying and neutering “alters” your community for the better.” Tiny caught worldwide attention when he took his weight loss battle public. More than 8,000 adoring fans have supported Tiny on his weight loss journey. He resides at the Fredericton SPCA.
Overpopulation has significant societal costs, such as the tremendous loss of animal life and the associated animal and human suffering. Research conducted by the CFHS found that over 170,000 cats and dogs were taken in by shelters in Canada in 2012, and over 60,000 were euthanized. Not having accessible spay/neuter programs can be expensive to a community due to excessive costs of impounding and sheltering unwanted animals, extensive spending by local governments responding to animal complaints such as dog bites and other nuisances, and public health and safety risks.
“The simple reality of the indiscriminate breeding of cats and dogs is overpopulation. When there is overpopulation animals suffer,” says Barbara Cartwright CEO of the CFHS. “Once any existing barriers to spay neuter initiatives are removed we can properly address and end pet overpopulation.”
The CFHS report identified many actions that communities can take to implement accessible spay/neuter across Canada, including all shelters incorporating mandatory spay/neuter programs for their adoptive animals, veterinary medical associations working with community stakeholders to identify barriers within their current regulations, and municipalities investing directly in spay/neuter initiatives.
To read all 15 of the recommendation and to download a copy of the report visit www.cfhs.ca.
The Canadian Federation of Humane Societies (CFHS) is the national organization representing humane societies and SPCAs in Canada. Founded in 1957, the CFHS works toward positive, progressive change to end animal cruelty, improve animal protection and promote the humane treatment of all animals.
To set up a media interview Ms. Cartwright, Earl Grey or Tiny contact:
Kim Elmslie, Communications Manager, CFHS, 613-224-8072, 1-888-678-2347 ex. 12, firstname.lastname@example.org