WINNIPEG — A disturbing discovery has some animal rescue shelters in Winnipeg asking for the province’s help in controlling a growing street cat population.
A total of five cats were found abandoned on the side of St. Mary’s Road in a small carrier last week.
Executive Director of Craig Street Cats, Lynne Scott said a mother cat and her four kittens were crammed into the carrier, which was filled with urine and feces.
“It’s the sort of thing that people in animal welfare have nightmares about,” Scott said.
It is unknown how long the cats were sitting on the side of the road, but Scott said they were all very thin, and attacked the food and water bowls as soon as they were let out of their cage.
Scott said the shelter sees situations like this on a daily basis.
“These cats are found. There are many, many others that are not,” she said.
Now in business for more than ten years, Scott said this is the highest street cat population she has ever seen. She said the shelter is at full capacity, and has to turn away stray cats everyday.
“Over the course of the summer we will be asked to take in over 1,000 kittens. There’s no possible way we can do that.”
D’Arcy’s Arc Animal Rescue said they are also at full capacity.
Adoption councillor Miriam Christensen said there are more than 100,000 cats wandering the streets of Winnipeg, and there is no room for them to be taken in.
“It’s an exponential problem,” Christensen said. “We have a chronic cat overpopulation in Winnipeg. Our shelter is almost always full to the brim with cats looking for homes.”
Both shelters are calling for help from the province to help spay and neuter cats, to help keep population from growing.