For Immediate Release
May 7, 2013 (Halifax, Nova Scotia) – April showers, red robins and unwanted litters of kittens being dumped at animal shelters are all harbingers of the arrival of spring in Nova Scotia. The Canadian Federation of Humane Societies (CFHS) is in Halifax this week to seek community based solutions to cat overpopulation at the Nova Scotia SPCA 3rd Annual Animal Wellness Conference on May 10th and 11th.
The CFHS launched a ground breaking multi-stakeholder report titled “Cats in Canada” late last year to draw national attention to the plight cats face across the country. “The report identified that the Canadian animal sheltering system is at, or dangerously over, capacity to care for the cats that arrive at their doors. Cats are twice as likely as dogs to end up abandoned at a shelter or rescue,” says Barbara Cartwright, CEO of the CFHS.
“Each spring, our branches, which are already operating at capacity, begins to overflow with kittens, the result of unwanted litters produced by animals that haven’t been spayed or neutered,” says Kristin Williams, Executive Director of the Nova Scotia SPCA. “Spaying and neutering is the only humane solution to address the overpopulation crisis, which directly affects the cycle of abuse, neglect and cruelty” she said. Currently less than 20% of the cats surrendered to shelters are spayed and neutered.
“We need to reduce the number of unwanted cats, get more lost cats back home and to increase the number of homes willing to adopt!” says Ms. Williams. Canadians are more likely to acquire a “free” cat from a friend, relative, as a give-away, from their pet’s offspring or take in a stray than they are to adopt from a humane society, SPCA or a rescue group. Currently only 44% of cats in shelters are adopted out.
On April 22nd Mrs. Laureen Harper and Minister Steven Fletcher were on hand in Ottawa to unveil the new Canada Post commemorative Choose Adoption stamp set. The CFHS had submitted the adoption theme as a unique and innovative way to promote the importance of adopting animals from shelters such as the Nova Scotia SPCA.
The CFHS is a 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.
The NS SPCA has been protecting animals from cruelty since in the province since 1877. The Society enforces animal cruelty laws, making the Nova Scotia SPCA unique among animal welfare organizations in the province. The Nova Scotia SPCA also has the distinction of being founded in the first place in North America to pass laws for the prevention of cruelty to animals.
To read the Cats in Canada report visit www.cfhs.ca. To learn more about the Nova Scotia SPCA 3rd Annual Animal Welfare Conference visit http://www.spcans.ca/events/conference/about.html.
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Kim Elmslie, Communications Manager, CFHS, 613-224-8072, 1-888-678-2347 ex. 12, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kristin Williams, Executive Director, Nova Scotia SPCA, 1-888-703-7722 ex. 228, KWilliams@spcans.ca