The no-kill shelter movement can be traced back to the early 1990s when the president of the San Francisco SPCA decided to stop killing unwanted strays brought in by government animal-control officials.

It was a decision made with the heart, but not the intellect. Yet the movement caught on and spread because no one wants to kill the animals we’ve domesticated.

However, the result of this misguided endeavor could have been predicted. Eventually there would be too many animals for too few homes, and not enough space or money to house and feed the cats and dogs perpetually at shelters. “Eventually” arrived locally in 2018 when shelters started advertising for people to take “barn cats.”

Barn cats “are feral, un-socialized, or free-roaming cats (also called “community cats”) who cannot be placed in a home environment.”

In other words, barn cats are not capable of being companion animals to people. They are instead advertised as a type of “pest” control, which is nothing more than an urban myth.

Outdoor cats kill any and all wildlife, which is something every thinking person should be concerned about at this time in history. Do the research; it’s easy to see that the natural world is in big trouble in too many ways to enumerate here, and it’s all thanks to mankind. It’s high time to stop adding insult to injury.

We cannot make our own rules for living within the natural world, and when we ignore this truism, there are harmful consequences. One consequence of overpopulations of pets (and people) is the need to produce enough food for them, the difficulty of which has brought about the creation of factory farms with their inherent animal cruelty and environmental pollution. This reality may be out of sight, but it should not be out of anyone’s mind.

We may not like it, but there simply is not enough room or food to keep every unwanted pet alive. And governments should not be supporting this unsound idea with tax dollars. Rather, government policy should forbid ownership of unneutered pets, and those animals found roaming free must be killed if homes are not found within a reasonable amount of time.

That may seem harsh, but it’s the reality we can change only by limiting the baby dogs and cats created in the first place.

Marlene A Condon

Crozet

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