Acting like animals

Published 10:28 pm Monday, September 28, 2009

When stray dogs and cats roam free, it negatively affects everyone.

There are potential health problems and safety issues, and a neighborhood full of strays is much less attractive to potential buyers.

Those are just the problems for people.

The animals themselves are worse off when they don’t have people to take care of them. Food and shelter, of course, are more difficult to come by, and many people’s answer to the problem is a gun.

Strays lucky enough to be taken to the humane society usually suffer a similar fate—but not because the staff at the society want it that way.

Animals are euthanized because they have to be. There are simply too many animals brought by and not enough picked up. Some good news recently was that the Chilton County Humane Society reported a steady decline in animal intake over the past three months, from more than 600 animals in June to about 350 in August. Also, adoptions and rescue transfers are on the rise.

But the reality is still grim.

“It’s just a drop in the bucket,” director Joe Murphy said. “We’re not going to adopt or rescue our way out of this problem.”

The only solution is for people to start taking responsibility for the their pets by having them spayed or neutered, identified and confined.

The shelter requires that all adopted pets be altered, but, to fix the problem of pet overcrowding, people are going to have to start doing things without being forced to.