Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Walmart argument about Suncoast Humane

Why are some people so angry?
In the cat food aisle of Walmart today, 3 women were pushing carts and one told another, you must have lot of cats, since the lady had a load of food and litter. She said, "I have 40" (maybe it was 20, I just don't recall the exact number but the woman had A LOT, ask me I know what a lot is)...

Anyway, I tried to stay out of it, but the other lady who had made the little comment started telling Mrs. Many Cats about a nice stray orange cat in her yard and what could be done, was she a cat rescue? It was getting cold again, the cat couldn't be brought in "because I already have a cat" etc.

The lady with all the stuff in her basket advised her to bring the cat to Suncoast Humane, where "they never kill any animals. My vet is on their board and they never kill animals there."

I decided at this point to say something, since most of us know that dropping a cat off at Suncoast equates to about an 80% chance of the cat being killed. (Their kill rate in 08 for cats was something like 77% of those taken in killed, according to their application for a grant from the state, which they got.) I spoke up, "Excuse me, they killed more than 2,000 cats there in 08. I wouldn't tell them to take the cat to Suncoast. Take it to St. Francis if you have to take it somewhere."

The lady who likes Suncoast sort of went ballistic at this point, becoming very angry and telling me that I didn't know what I was talking about.

She asked how much I spent on cats last year, and I told her. Then she told me she'd paid her vet $17,000 for her cats, and she asked me how many cats I spayed or neutered. I responded, about 660. This only infuriated her more (she still didn't ask who I was or what group I represent). She just fumed at me, "Mind your own business."

Well, the cats are my business. And they cannot speak for themselves. She huffed out of the aisle. I offered my card to the other women, asking them if they wanted help with their stray cat. At this point, several spectators in the cat section were watching this, mouths agape. The stray cat ladies mumbled no and shuffled out of the aisle.

I went on my way... wondering why this information had infuriated this woman, who obviously loves cats, so quickly. How could she overlook the facts on cat deaths. She had been careful to tell me that Suncoast lets "healthy, adoptable" cats live.

That may be, but this poor abandoned orange cat has a better chance of rehoming himself than going to a shelter (any shelter!) but in particular Suncoast. Look at the thousands of cats turned over to "no kill" shelter Tenth Life in the last 4-5 years. Only 350 made it out alive. Thousands dead.

If education takes place in the aisles of Walmart, so be it!

Please speak up when you hear someone planning something that is harmful to the animals, even if it makes you unpopular. These blessed ones, feral or tame, cannot speak for themselves. We humans have a voice and sometimes we have to use it!


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