Pet overpopulation a crisis in Toronto

With anywhere from 100,000 to 300,000 homeless cats living on the streets, shelters for our furry friends remain in full capacity as a silent crisis of pet overpopulation has emerged in the city, according to the Toronto Humane Society.

As the number of kittens being born keeps going up and up, The Toronto Humane Society on Tuesday came out with National Spay Neuter Day – an initiative to help spay and neuter unwanted and wanted cats and dogs.

“We’re working really hard with a coalition of different rescue organizations and a coalition of individual people who work with the cat colonies and were trying to spay and neuter them as much as we can,” says Barbara Steinhoff, communications manager for the Toronto Humane Society.

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To give people an idea on how fast cats reproduce, if two cats produce two litters a year, and its survival rate is 2.8 kittens per litter, the result is 12,680 cats born in a span of 5 years. And that’s from a single pair.

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“Spaying and neutering is a great thing for house cats and domestic animals as it improves their health,” says Steinhoff. “They tend to live a longer life.”

“With female cats, they don’t need to get the same type of inspections and issues. Male cats aren’t as aggressive,” adds Steinhoff.

While this may sound like just another pet issue for some, for everyone there are financial implications to this growing issue. Tax payer dollars are used to keep unwanted animals in shelters.

“We’ve had over half a million animals through our shelter in 125 years. We really hope that this initiative helps to reduce the pet overpopulation,” says Steinhoff.


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