03/19/13 — Cats cause: Stricter penalties needed for those who dump animals

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Cats cause: Stricter penalties needed for those who dump animals

It is good that the city of Goldsboro is addressing the feral cat problem -- an issue that has plagued just about every city in the country.

And there is a reason to consider humane ways to control these felines who are doomed to a life of sickness, hunger and danger.

But to address the feral cat issue, there is another aspect that needs to be considered -- irresponsible owners.

It is not OK to dump a domestic animal in a wooded area or on a roadside -- cat or dog -- and leave it to fend for itself. It is cruel. It is heartless, and it should come with one hefty fine.

Same thing with those who allow their cats to roam free around neighborhoods, and who are not responsible enough to have the cat spayed or neutered. They create the problems, too.

If you have a cat or a dog that you can no longer care for, take it to a local rescue group or to the animal shelter. Do not dump it, abandon it on someone's property or otherwise behave like an irresponsible jerk.

At the shelter, although there are many animals waiting for homes, that cat or dog might have a chance at a new family, a new life. You owe that to any animal you bring into your home.

Think carefully before buying or adopting a new pet. They are not disposable, They are living, breathing beings who experience loss, sadness, despair and pain. They love their families and do not understand when they are abandoned or neglected -- and they mourn.

The responsible thing to do if you are going to own an animal is to spay or neuter it -- as soon as possible. That reduces unwanted litters and makes it possible for abandoned and neglected animals to find new homes.

The rules should be strict -- and anyone caught mistreating an animal or dumping one by the side of the road should pay a hefty price.

That has to part of any effective solution.

Published in Editorials on March 19, 2013 10:54 AM