It's Raining Cats and Dogs

In Jacksonville, Florida alone, the population, or over-population, of cats and dogs is astounding. The Humane Society in the city of Jacksonville takes in every stray or abandoned cat and dog left at their door only to find they have no room for them. In a year, they are forced to euthanize over 200 pets due to over-population. Only 25% of the animals they take in are adopted.

I, myself, have considered purchasing purebreds to breed as a side job, but it seems such a selfish way to earn a few extra dollars while so many unwanted animals are being put down. I just can’t find it in my heart to be part of the problem.

I live in a rural area, two miles away from the nearest paved road. Hunting is a favorite sport among most out here. The use of hunting dogs is especially a favorite. Driving around the area you may see dog pens at close to 30% of the homes. When these dogs don’t fulfill the owner’s expectations as hunting dogs, the owner will take the dog to the middle of the woods and leave them stranded. When I drive to town and back, I may see as many as three starving hound dogs along side the road just within a distance of ten miles.

A family in the city may get that adorable puppy for their children, and then as it grows into adulthood, the novelty wears off and they decide the dog is just too much trouble and too time consuming. The family thinks they are doing the dog a favor by letting it go into the woods. “Out of sight, out of mind.” These are domesticated animals; they do not survive in the wild.

We live on a small farm and have found our livestock lying dead all over our yard, or our trash spread across an entire acre of our property. Not only are these dogs suffering, they are looking for any means of nutrition which becomes a nuisance to those who live out here.

These “pets” are also severely neglected when it comes to the population. They have not been spayed or neutered. This causes the stray dogs to overpopulate the rural areas. Many farmers find the only alternative is to shoot them and leave the bodies in the woods for the buzzards.

Then there are the cats. So many people get that adorable little kitten, but then fail to have it fixed. One female cat can have an average of six kittens per litter. Those kittens then multiply, and so on. Cats have a tendency to survive better in the wild, but they are everywhere you look and also a great nuisance.

It’s time we do something about the ever-increasing pet population and take to heart the words of a very well known wise man, Mr. Bob Barker of the Price is Right, “Have your pet spayed or neutered!”

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