SPCA hopes new clinic will solve Halifax's feral cat issue
Published Tuesday, March 19, 2013 6:46PM ADT
Last Updated Tuesday, March 19, 2013 6:47PM ADT
The Nova Scotia SPCA hopes a new vet clinic will help solve the growing stray and feral cat problem in the Halifax area.
The SPCA is expanding its location in Dartmouth, with the new clinic offering affordable spay and neuter operations for its own animals, low-income pet owners and other rescue organizations.
“We really see us getting this up and running this spring in order for us to be ready to go during breeding season,” says Sandra Flemming of the Nova Scotia SPCA.
About 35 wild cats live at the Halifax dockyards and Pierre Filiatreault cares for every single one of them.
“We haven’t had any kittens born here for about five years so it’s a very successful program,” says Filiatreault, who started Pierre’s Alley Cat Society.
The Department of National Defence paid to have every feline fixed. The organization is now run on donations and money from fundraisers.
Filiatreault says other trap, neuter and release programs are modeled after his.
“If the cats don’t get spayed and neutered, the multiplication of cats will be incredible,” he says. “Most of those cats don’t have food, yet they still multiply.”
The SPCA says more than 90 per cent of the unwanted, abandoned, stray and surrendered cats that come through the front doors aren’t spayed or neutered.
Coun. Steve Adams says a report regarding the feral cat population will be presented at city hall in the next few weeks. He wants to see the city invest.
“So it will be a modest investment, a one-time investment that will allow the cat groups and those that are helping them to continue on an going basis,” says Adams.
The SCPA is asking the Halifax Regional Municipality for $40,000 to help with start-up costs.
“We are one of the only provinces in Canada and the only city of our size that doesn’t have an aggressive strategy, or a strategy at all to deal with this issue,” says Flemming.
She hopes there will be a better option for people who can’t afford to fix their cats in a few months, and that the city will be there to support the cause.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Kelland Sundahl