Albany - Cats are being euthanized in animal shelters in record numbers, far surpassing the number of dogs that are put down. The lack of proper care for cats, and cat owners allowing them to roam the streets is part of the reason for this nationwide problem.
Some are calling it a feline fiasco. "Last year in this facility alone we euthanized a little over 2000 cats, and the majority of those were someone's pet at some point."
A problem that persists. "The Albany Humane Society takes in hundreds of cats every month. This month alone we have already taken in 93. Only three of those have actually been claimed," said Donna Strickland, Director of the Albany Humane Society.
Owners allowing their cats to roam free is part of the problem. "We take in cats and litters daily. So if you allow your cat to roam, it needs to be spayed and neutered. The males are part of the problem as well."
Many of those roaming the streets don't have collars or tags. "Its very difficult to keep a collar and a tag on a cat. They do manufacture break away collars in case a cat gets hung up, it snaps rather than hang the cat."
But doing all of the above is still no guaranteed that your cat won't become a statistic. "Most of the people out here know that we have a cat, but they haven't seen him in a while. So we are very worried because we miss our cat," says Jhakira Russell, who has lost her cat.
Cat owners in the same situation should go to shelters as soon as possible. "On an average they are held for five days to wait for an owner. So if you are used to your cat roaming being gone for a week or two, and then he doesn't come back, he may have already gone through the shelter," said Strickland.
With the proper care, you can prevent your pet from contributing to these numbers. If you come across any stray cats, you should call animal control.