There was an interesting article in the Providence Journal this past Sunday. The commentary was drafted by Alisa Mullins, a writer for PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). Although PETA sometimes has very polarizing opinions, this article provided food for thought. A recent study by the Smithsonian states there are approximately 80 million stray and feral cats in this country. The piece goes on to comment about the "bad rap" that indoor-outdoor cats have. Of course, it is safer for cats to remain indoors, but many people believe that outdoor cats are responsible for the decrease in the songbird population. The Smithsonian states that it is actually the strays and ferals that kill approximately 3 billion birds and 20 billion mammals annually.
Each year, shelters need to stop accepting cats because they are overwhelmed by the sheer number of strays and "turn-ins". For many people, cats are "sturdier" than dogs, and they have no qualms abandoning them, due to a move or the end of school. They figure they can fend for themselves, living on mice and birds in the environment.
While I don't agree with Ms. Mullins idea that a leash law for cats is feasible, I do agree that cats should be spayed and neutered. The cat population is out of control and we must all do our part. The next time your home needs a new furry thing to love, think of adopting someone older-they have so much to offer.