To the editor:
The last paragraph of the story "Vacant building may be filled," (April 10) raises questions. This story was about Toronto's Council meeting. It is doubtful that many people continued to read about the mayor's request to allow him to hire, "An individual to collect cats and other feral animals in the city." Council approved the request unanimously for the animals "to be taken to shelters or environments more suited for the animals."
There is no mention as to whether or not council asked the mayor some appropriate questions: Will pet cats be trapped and taken to shelters or other places to face euthanization? Does the mayor, or council for that matter, know the difference between feral and domesticated cats, including those that have unlawfully been dumped by irresponsible owners? If the shelters do not take these animals, what is an environment the mayor considers more appropriate? Who is the mayor considering hiring, and is this up for bids? How will these animals be trapped and where will the traps be set? Has the county humane officer been consulted to check the feasibility, legality, licensing, qualifications and certification of the person hired? I doubt that anyone else would be more versed in these laws than the humane officer.
This decision raises questions for me, a former dog warden and humane officer in Medina County. I grew up on a farm and have had pets my entire life. I know what it's like to have someone "relocate" their unwanted animal to my home without asking me first.
I found out about this through my best friend, a Toronto resident. She consults me on numerous issues regarding the care and treatment of animals. She also has been reported to the humane officer for owning 100 cats (what an exaggeration) and was not cited because she had nothing remotely near such an amount. She also was questioned by an agent from the health department due to (a questionable) complaint from a neighbor who complained (but did not witness) that her cat relieved himself under their hedges. How would this person know whose cat, if it was a cat, did this under their hedges without witnessing it?
Sounds to me that the mayor and others in the city hate cats. Also, my friend told me that there is a rash of animal drop-offs throughout the city, and if it wasn't for concerned residents rescuing them and having them spayed and neutered as their own expense, the overpopulation of cats and dogs would be at enormous proportions.
My friend is adept at research and finding better solutions. She is intent on finding help for these animals despite people trying to intimidate her. She is aware of many programs that animal shelters and humane organizations promote and all are logical and efficient solutions. I hope the city is willing to listen and adopt whatever she presents them. These are real solutions, not just Band-Aids, for a situation that can have a better outcome for all involved.