Letter: Richmond's no-kill cat shelter makes no sense

Dear Editor,

Re: “Letter writer’s comments ‘hurtful’ to animal society,” Letters, Aug. 1

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I am sorry that Ms. Nicholson feels the way she does toward my letter.

I was, for the most part, pointing out published facts, but I thank her for encouraging me to express my views in a more detailed manner.

Ms. Nicholson failed to address my point, pertaining to the City of Richmond refusing to licence cats, and also why they are allowed to roam free (ie: defecating in gardens/sandboxes).

I’m not sure of this logic, when cats are presently the shelter’s most numerous inhabitants.

Personally, I don’t care if there’s a no-kill shelter with tens of thousands of animals, as long as it has a sustainable business plan; I’ve never seen one.

It’s inevitable that the present shelter population will only continue to grow, and it seems Richmond taxpayers are now bearing the majority of these increasing costs.

Let’s do a rough estimate of animal care costs: Assuming an average cat has a lifespan of 18 years. The cost of food is approximately $500 per year. This is NOT including veterinary services, grooming or other incidentals.

Over an 18-year span, it works out to $9,000 for a single cat — conservatively.

If a shelter has a static population of 500 cats, this works out to 4.5 million of today’s dollars — for food alone.

Again, this is not taking into account any housing, medical or other extraneous costs.

There are local children, families and homeless people who can barely afford their next meal, while healthcare and medical needs wait for months, yet millions of Richmond tax dollars are being used to provide stray cats with daily meals, veterinary care and accommodations to live very nicely for their entire lives?

Next time a Richmond taxpayer is waiting for hours in emergency or waiting months for surgery, they may want to reflect that at least the cats are happy. 

In my opinion, in this day and age, having a taxpayer funded no-kill shelter for an introduced, invasive, domestic species is indeed, sheer lunacy.

Brian Bennett


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