Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Soapbox Alert....

I had meant to post some pictures for you all, but have been failing miserably as a photographer. Not a good shot anywhere, I do not have, sadly, that skill. But I will keep trying.

I do have something to say, though, if you will permit me a moment on my soapbox.

I received an e-mail this morning from someone in my Foster Kitty Group, passing on a, surely well intentioned, but completely idiotic e-mail, urging people to boycott PETCO because they support California's mandatory spay/neuter law that is going into effect soon.

HELLO?! Can we get every state on board? YES, make some laws. Good first step. Something needs to be done about the HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of un-wanted animals being killed each year, because They Do Not Have Homes. Applaud PetCo. And anyone else who is standing up and saying this has to stop.

Letters , like the one I was sent are simply incorrect and ignorant, and do more harm than good. Responsible pet owners will always be able to have litters if they want them.

It really made me angry. I want to scream and shout from the walls. Here is what I have to say....At the top of my voice.

Love and Spay/Neuter Your Pets,

Hello All,

I have to respond to this....

Something as simplistic as saying " Boycott Petco, they support this " does as little as saying " If we have this mandatory Spay/neuter law, it will solve the problems. "

Obviously, we here , as Foster Parents for Kitties, are responsible to our pets, and doing more by taking care of Kitties that need homes. Most of you, like myself, probably also spend time at your local shelter.

I believe this law is a good first step, but we need more. I spend a lot of time in Los Angeles, and have been to shelters there. Not hundreds, and not thousands, but HUNDREDS of thousands of pets are being killed each year because there are no homes for them. If this law helps in any way, it will be worth it. Here in the country where I live, we have a no kill shelter that has 138 cats waiting. In big cities, shelters cannot, in any way, meet the demand.

(also here in the country, the prevailing thought seems to be "well, college is over for the year, can't take kitty home, or wow she just had more babies, can't find homes, well, no problem, we can just take them to the country and let them go and they can live on a farm." Hi people. Would you like a number on the cats I have taken in, fed, found homes for who have showed up starving on my doorstep? Yeah. I'm angry about people not getting pets fixed.)

Remember when re-cycling started? Not a lot of people did it. But now, how weird would it be not to? Same with Spay/Neuter, if it can be an automatic, well yes, have to get them fixed, and that becomes the norm, then so very many animals will be saved. There will be people who don't, as in re-cycling, but that number will become far less.

I have been following this debate for some time, and I know the criticisms , I do not believe it will discourage people from helping strays. The Pet Police are not going to come down on someone trying to help feral cats. I do not believe it will discourage people from getting a pet, because they can't afford to get it fixed. I think it will make them think, well yes we can get it, and we will have to get it fixed. If people don't realize that PETS COST MONEY they need to.

And there are a LOT of places that will help you acquire an animal that is fixed.

As far as the government interfering in our lives, well it is the sort of law that if you are doing the right thing, it will not effect you. But far, far too many people are not doing the right thing, and animals are breeding out of control. The government NEEDS to help out here, because we, and all of the people working to save animals lives each year, CANNOT do it alone.

The money from fines is being sent straight back into programs with shelters, and rescue, and to fund low cost spay/neuter programs.

Did anyone see the ELLEN show where she had Paris Hilton on? Paris mentioned she had 37 dogs, and Ellen, said, simply WHY? And Paris answered " They keep having Babies..." It was the only time I have ever seen Ellen unable to speak or have anything to say. When she recovered, she said " PARIS, you HAVE to get your pets fixed."

People have to get their pets fixed. And they are not.

Best, Lorraine


At 10:50 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...


In LA, it only costs about $60 to get a pet fixed; less, with discount coupons, and it's free for seniors. Adoption fees for animals from shelters ($40ish) include neutering. But it costs $135+ to euthanize an animal. California has almost 1 million animals abandoned every year.

This is beginning to remind me of people being up in arms about being 'forced' to wear seatbelts. Sheesh.

At 11:51 AM , Blogger Rubius said...

You go girl!!!

At 12:39 PM , Blogger ivenotime said...

I agree with this as well - we have neighbors down the road who allow their cats to roam in and out of their garage - they feed them, call them theirs, but thats as far as it goes - guess where they have had three litters in the last 2 years? Under our shed - these people will not neuter or spay. It's frustrating as all get out as I feel so bad for these kitties, our feral population is exploding, and rabies is on the rise. And we have had numerous dropoffs of cats over the years as well, cuz we live in the country. NOT a good situation. Hey Lorraine, I am curious, are there provisions in this law for those who want to responsibly breed? I'm not talking puppy mill types, those who are interested in producing good, sound dogs, or cats as the case may be. We have no licensing of cats here, but for dogs, the license cost is extremely high for a nonfixed dog, as opposed to a fixed one.

At 1:24 PM , Blogger Maureen said...

First - Beware clicking on the DOUM link above. It took me to some kind of malware site. I have a Mac so all it did was annoy me. I don't know what it would do you you PC folks.

What are the specifics on the law? I'm behind spaying/neutering in general, but agree that it needs to not be overly restrictive for those who do breed well-loved, healthy animals for pets. Otherwise you'd have no bengals, and I'd not have my two lunatic terriers.

There also need to be exceptions for reasons such as health. I love Robin but will not be breeding him - nor neutering him - because he has a heart defect. To subject him to anesthesia may kill him.He's 100% a house dog, so he can't get out to find a girlfriend. :-D

At 1:54 PM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

There are exceptions, for breeders, medical problems and a variety of other reasons.

And the pet police are not going door to door. You would get a fix it ticket, and once the animal is fixed, you don't pay the fine. Or you are able to explain the reason you are not, or why the animal was roaming free.

What they are trying to stop is NOT responsible people breeding , and finding homes for animals , but what you described Sue, and what we go thru out here. Free roaming unfixed cats and dogs, unwanted litters, dumped litters.

In California alone over 500,000 animals were destroyed last year because there were no homes for them.

It's awareness. And making people aware.

The bit I wrote about Paris Hilton ( no ones idea of a roll model before this ) was true. She said that on ELLEN. They keep having babies. Hopefully someone on her staff can find good homes for all of them.

It is this kind of irresponsibility the law is trying to put a stop to.

For people like that , the penalty should be they have to spend a month in a shelter. And make it one where animals are destroyed.

Or perhaps Death By Firing Squad.

At 3:52 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want to counter the impression that those who proposed the Los Angeles mandatory sterilization ordinance had any concern at all about the fact that home-based conscientious cat or dog breeders would be affected by this law. The ordinance ends "responsible" breeding of pedigreed cats and most dogs. The exceptions in the ordinance are not workable. Exemption for a registered cat actively being shown is impossble to meet - most cats are shown for a short time and then they are valuable for breeding and don't go back to showing. Kittens can't even be in a show hall until they are at least 4 months of age (supposed to be altered by then)and for puppies it is 6 months. An exception for those with a breeder's permit doesn't work because LA zoning laws only allow 3cats or dogs per household so this does not allow a person to have a responsible breeding program with genetic diversity - I doubt that there are any breeders left in the city of LA. Four months of age for sterilization is OK for most cats but ANY surgery is intrusive so the decision on when should be the pet owner's not government. Think about the freeroaming/unowned or feral cats with no owners to comply with this ordinance. These cats will be ignored when people fear fines or punishment if they take "found" kittens to the shelters. Ignoring unowned cats means their reproduction will greatly increase in LA. I hear there is a waiting list of at least 6 weeks in LA to get a veterinarian willing to alter a feral cat. If you feed/harbor a stray or feral you are the owner and must comply. This law is bad policy and especially for the unowned cats. That is why so many of us who love cats, whether pedigreed or stray or feral, are vehemently opposed to mandatory spay/neuter. It is nothing more that an LA type media-hyped "quick-fix" awareness campaign. It will simply die doown and not solve any real problems for the animals.
My opinion - Joan M

At 4:44 PM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Joan, Thank you, for speaking out.

From what I had read, it seemed that breeders were an exception. And , also, I agree with what you say.

Sorry if I seem to be jumping on a ship that has been sailing for a long time, I know a lot of people have been working long and hard on this problem, the millions of un-wanted animials needing homes.

Perhaps, (much like the abortion issue,) the answer is not banning abortion, or making spay/neuter madatory with laws, but in preventing un-wanted pregnancy.

It's not breeders, or responsible pet owners that are the problem, but rather, feral animials, and irresponsible people dumping un-wanted pets and litters.

The question is, what CAN and SHOULD be done to end the suffering?

I am afraid I don't have the answer.

Thanks again, if enough people get involved maybe we can change some things.

I save every one that comes to my door, but it is like making a lake one drop at a time.

At 5:55 PM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Wow. And here we have my HORROscope for the day.

Eerie, eh?

"You've been trying to ignore it because you've been so busy dealing with the more frivolous aspects of life, but today your need to feel socially useful will finally overpower your other urges. Don't worry -- getting involved doesn't have to turn your entire life on its ear. All you need to do is devote one or two hours a week toward helping out a cause you believe in. "

At 10:27 PM , Blogger spacedlaw said...

At work, we have loads of semi feral cats that would have by now taken control of the place if they were not - every now and then - ambushed and neutered. Having a couple of kitties around is fun but they soon grow families which we need to look after (food, medical care) and for (they tend to sneak into offices and pee everywhere - more costs).

So good soap box.
But this Horrorscope is creepy. Way too close for comfort.
Our little stray cat - Microbe - did not come back home last night. Nor this morning. We neutered him, so it can't be a case of spring fever. Whatever happened to him, he won't be bringing more little microbe into this world. Is that comfort? I want my little stray pest back.

At 11:21 PM , Blogger Rubius said...

Oh Nathalie, I am sorry to hear Microbe is missing. My best wishes are with you. Microbe is probably just having some fun with friends... cats do that sometimes. Let us know what happens. My friend's cat went missing once and it took a while but he did come home. We think the crying of the other one helped.

It is a very tricky issue and politics always adds a layer of complexity - yucky miserable politics and bureaucracy.

At 4:26 AM , Blogger ivenotime said...

What a horoscope! But I think this is an excellent issue to be aware of- this is a difficult situation like you said Lorraine, with no easy or quick answers. If only people would behave responsibly!. We have taken in many stray cats over the years and the first thing we do is fix them. All our dogs are fixed with the exception of two my husband is actively breeding, and they are never unsupervised. As I write, Tank is going insane barking at the two dogs from across the street who are allowed to roam free, typically to my yard to do their business. There are leash laws in this county, but many who live out here simply ignore them, even tho one dog has been hit by a car twice! Irresponsible. I heard the Paris Hilton story too, and also heard she is being investigated as the max number of pets allowed is three. Wish I could've seen the Ellen episode - I would have loved to see her floored, tee hee. Spacedlaw, hope your Microbe returns safe and sound!

At 6:50 AM , Blogger spacedlaw said...

I just called home and Microbe came back this morning. Cesare could not sleep from the worry so got up after I had gone out to work, looking for him. He has been trying to lecture him on the necessity to call home if he plans to sleep over at a friend's but the silly creature is just going "purrrr", which Cesare says is supposed to mean that he tried to call but my mobile phone was turned off. I think it just means "feed me" but I am the cynical one. Glad to know the silly critter is back home, though. My heart feels so much lighter, now.

At 8:03 AM , Blogger Rubius said...

Nathalie, so happy to hear your mini Microbe returned. There is nothing quite like pet stress.

Yes, creepy creepy Horror-scope. Sometimes they get it right on.

At 1:07 PM , Blogger Kitty Cat said...

Quiche, you are a great advocate for the voiceless animals.
this is a tue beautiful quality.
love you & happy to hear the Wandering Microbe came home,,,what a great name!

At 2:14 PM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

I am glad Microbe came back too, it's sad when they don't, but at least they are not making babies....

OK, Off the soapbox tonight or tomorrow at the latest, and I will try and have SOMETHING fun for you, hee-hee...

At 4:41 PM , Blogger Dan Guy said...

That P. Hilton quote is just horrifying.


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