We are appalled at the level of cruelty, abuse and neglect being perpetrated against cats and their caregivers, and the fact that our society is so jaded that media no longer responds to reports of such things. This week alone we have responded to 4 separate incidents involving cruelty to cats and one involving assault of an elderly cat caregiver:
1. a 4 month old kitten found missing a rear foot and dumped in a rural area. The foot has been cleanly cut off, indicating that this was not an accidental injury.
2. an elderly woman who has been caring for a managed colony of cats, with permission from the property owner, has been harassed and stalked by a neighbour who objects to the cats being on his neighbour's property. This person has threatened the caregiver with a crow bar, and hurled insults at her in the past. Yesterday he threatened to poison the cats, and threw shovels full of dirt clods at the caregiver, then followed her home and uttered more threats against her. A police report has been made, but police declined to intervene.
3. six 4 week old kittens put into a cardboard box and tossed into a dumpster, saved by a passerby who contacted a dog rescue, which then contacted us.
4. five cats and one dog abandoned by their owner, who simply left them behind when moving. We have advised the property owner that Animal Services and the Winnipeg Humane Society must deal with the situation as abandonment is a crime.
5. late this afternoon we received a call about 2 kittens tossed from a moving car at Broadway and Colony. Sadly, we were not able to accept those kittens, as we are absolutely out of space and money. We advised the caller to contact WHS to report the incident and ask for help placing the kittens.
That's just this week.
Over the past 2 months we have seen more cases of deliberate cruelty than in the previous 6 months combined. Media releases about them garner less and less attention. This is troubling because it means that cruelty to animals is no longer news worthy.
More troubling is the fact that the agencies charged with responding to these events (police, animal services, Provincial Vet, Winnipeg Humane Society) either won't or are so overwhelmed with even more horrible cases that they can't.
Most troubling is the fact that these cases garner very little tangible response from the general public. Caring for abused, injured and abandoned animals is incredibly expensive, yet pleas for assistance draw virtually no response beyond 'sharing is caring' and anger directed at the perpetrators of whatever cruelty has most recently transpired. A few incredibly generous people give every single time, but cruelty has become so common that fewer people respond to each subsequent event.
What a sad commentary on the state of our society.