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LETTER: New animal protection bylaws required
The dilemma of cat over-population and unwanted litters is more prevalent today than when I started the Council Animal Advocacy (CLAW) and assumed the moniker “Cat Father” back in 1995. Why is the Fraser Valley so remiss to join 21st century animal welfare thinking? Why is there such a tremendous lack of compassion toward animals, notably cats?
Over the years I have attended, along with countless other animal advocates, at municipal councils across Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, in delegations to create awareness and have councils adopt progressive and effective bylaws to deal with the sad plight of thousands of cats.
Most municipalities, again except the Fraser Valley, have adopted many bylaws, most recently tethering and addressing dangerous dogs among others.
Compassion seems to stop at Maple Ridge, with the SPCA having established a state-of-the-art- animal facility. Across the river is the same scenario. Compassion stops at Langley, and again a beautiful animal facility is erected. Yet nothing in Abbotsford, Mission or Chilliwack in the way of anything resembling a humane animal facility, let alone any bylaws.
The former Mission council purchased an old dog pound building for $600,000 and pays approximately $300,000 for dog control, whereas by contrast the Fraser Valley Humane Society receives approximately a $30,000 fee-for-service, and volunteers must raise donations to pay in part for an unheated basement in an office building downtown.
There is no sane reasoning and certainly no compassion by mayors or councillors in the Fraser Valley who are themselves the greatest impediment to achieving an end to unwanted litters.
The indifference and lack of compassion has reached far into the human population, as well, with the City of Abbotsford's abysmal treatment of less fortunate garnering world-wide attention, to lack of seniors’ amenities in Mission, and councils mostly devoid of good judgment, common sense, compassion and pro-active political will to make our communities not only animal-friendly but age-friendly, as well.
The first step must come from you, the readers of this plea ,and hopefully through your kindness and common sense, will elect new mayors and councils – leaders to adopt our animal relations program and similarly to focus upon working with the homeless in Abbotsford to provide needed shelter.
The broader attempt is to improve the criminal code, by recognizing animals as sentient beings capable of feeling and fearing pain, to impose stringent fines and jail sentences to compel offenders to stop cruelty to animals. As well, an early intervenor plan to act against mostly younger persons harming and killing animals as doing so is a prelude to becoming a serial killer, as most serial killers are psychopaths and have committed inhumane heinous acts of cruelty, including killing Animals. Our website www.thecouncilclaw.ca states steps and bylaws needed, from initially changing animals from property to companion animals, and owners to companion animal guardians. Next steps are animal population control, mandatory spay, neuter and tattoo at five months of age, breeder permits contributing to prohibiting puppy and kitten mills, no sale of pets in retail stores, and all dogs or cats for sale to be registered.
Simple actions include no tethering of dogs, provision of adequate shelter from inclement weather, adequate food, potable water, unfettered exercise and socializing, preferably by retaining indoors, particularly at night. It is a fallacy to believe security of your family is enhanced by tying a dog outside.
The Fraser Valley is a haven for Coyotes and even lots of bears are appearing, so the poor little neglected Cats, thrown outside, at night, could well become dinner for a predator. Sadly, we do recognize some care less – it is only an animal, we hear, hence a mindset that is a major part of the problem.
While the irresponsible pet guardian is at major fault, failing to spay or neuter pets, the indifferent politicians are closely followed by often greedy veterinarians, who fail to pro-actively attack the dilemma by offering spay and neuter free or low-cost clinics to diminish or eliminate unwanted litters.
Simply, if your mayor and council have not adopted these simple and fundamental bylaws they are remiss and shall remain a major part of the problem, so we are praying that your conscience may guide you and your compassion for animals may finally awaken you to the immense need that exists today, that you can help remedy now.
George F. Evens