Animal shelters and other animal welfare organizations do a great deal to help cats and other pet animals that are living on the streets. This is critical because cats and other pet animals can struggle in such environments, thus leading to enormous suffering from disease, starvation, and various other issues. Unfortunately, while animal shelters and other animal welfare organizations are doing their best, there is a limit to what can be done with the very limited resources at their disposal.
Due to this, a very high percentage of the animals that are brought into animal shelters and other animal welfare organizations are euthanized on an annual basis. The numbers can see a fair amount of variation from place to place because such organizations can see a fair amount of variation in their resources, but it isn’t uncommon for more of the animals to end up euthanized than not. This can seem cruel, but the problem in that such organizations have limited resources with which to provide their charges with both food and medicine, meaning that it is better to provide the animals with a merciful ending than subject them to a long, torturous ordeal that would lead to the same outcome anyways.
How Can Trap, Neuter, and Return Programs Help with the Problem of Euthanasia in Animal Shelters?
Fortunately, there are various ways to combat the problem of euthanasia in such organizations. For example, trap, neuter, and return programs are having a fair amount of success in locations where they have been implemented. Something that could mean a huge reduction in the number of cats that need to be put down in the future.
In short, trap, neuter, and return programs are exactly what they sound like. The people at animal shelters and other animal welfare organizations will catch cats, either spay or neuter them, and then return them to their previous habitats. First, this is useful because a lot of these cats are feral, meaning that most of them would have to be put down under other systems because they are very unlikely to be adopted and very unsuitable for adoption anyways. Second, this is useful because cats can breed at a very fast rate, which is why their numbers can see huge upswings whenever and wherever there is sufficient food to sustain them. Third, returning the cats to their previous habitats ensure that they will maintain their territories, thus ensuring that other cats can’t just move in. Something that is particularly important because letting other cats move in would just result in the same problem returning in the future when their fast breeding rates start showing the effects.
Of course, there are still a lot of issues with trap, neuter, and return programs that must be overcome for them to have their full effect. For example, it isn’t unknown for the traps to sometimes catch cats with human owners, with one particularly amusing story being that of a veterinarian who didn’t realize that he was looking at his own cat until he checked its microchip. Furthermore, there are cases of people who will go out of their way to sabotage the traps, whether because of malice or because of the mistaken perception that the people at animal shelters intend to euthanize the trapped cats. On top of this, there are even cases when people will steal the traps as well as the trapped animals for various reasons. Luckily, each of these issues has its own particular solutions, meaning that the more that trap, neuter, and release programs see use, the more information there is for other interested parties to implement their own versions in the most efficient and effective manner possible.
Summed up, the euthanasia of cats and other pet animals is a serious problem. However, it is one that can be combated with success through smarter strategies. For proof, look no further than the fact that euthanasia rates in the present are much lower than those from no more than a few decades ago. Due to this, there is a real chance that at some point in the future, it will be possible to implement a no-kill policy across the United States and beyond.