Cat Limit Restrictions Close Doors for Loving Homes!
This petition had 4,102 supporters
In 2012 Miami Dade County voted in favor of establishing a long overdue Miami Dade Animal Services which supports a "no kill" ideology.
The November 2014 Board of County Commissioners’ meeting deferred a topic regarding the number of residence cats. At that time reassurance was provided that this discussion was in an effort to help the community as well as the animals. On December 15th, 2014 the topic of placing a limit of cats was raised. All four speakers who have extensive animal and community involvement shared one thing in common. They unanimously opposed setting a limit. They cited multiple reasons ranging from existing laws, mentioned social services and foster care.
There are more than four people who oppose a limit and this petition is an effort to have their voices heard as well as bring to light some extra items which were not discussed at the meeting.
1) The November claim of allowing people to retain their pets is inconsistent with placing a limit. Any animal over the limit becomes at risk (just based on the set parameter) even if the owner is responsibly caring for it. A person who is capable of responsibly caring for another cat might reject doing so.
2) What benefit is it to the community or the cats if a responsible owner who finds out he/she is "over the limit" out of fear decides to place the excess cats outside?
3) In the meeting examples were given of large amounts of cats in conditions which led to complaints. Not even one example was given of a large multiple cat residence where the cats were well cared for and clean. Citing the negative and omitting the positive is not a balanced discussion.
4) The word "hoarding" was not only presented but discussed yet there was no clear definition of what constitutes hoarding. There were no statistics of what percent of the Miami Dade community is comprised of hoarders or how those numbers were obtained. The main focus was directed at setting a limit with a complete disregard towards discussing negative growing pains initiated by such a change
5) The expense and time of enforcement was not discussed. Nor was it presented that free spay and neuter as well as community education might be an alternative.
6) The word "adopted" was used at some point in the meeting. The word is easy to say but an actual adoption is not always that simple. It is not simply “good intentions” (quoting the Commissioner) which lead to a multiple cat home. It is an absence of support. Not every individual is prepared to make a 15 to 20 year commitment to caring for an animal but that cat's life is worth saving. If it means adding one more bowl, a litter box, medical care, and love to create a multiple cat home then it is a choice which a responsible citizen can make. The current "no limit" laws for cats offer that opportunity. It saves lives!!!!
7) Cats are already "free roaming" in Miami Dade County. The deterrents in place to keep parks clean and animals safe is not consistent with limiting the people who can actually take more into their homes responsibly.
8) There are clean and successful facilities with large numbers of cats. National Geographic ran a story of one woman with 700 cats creating the largest rescue in the United States but there are many more smaller but equally dedicated individuals. http://www.cathouseonthekings.com/
9) Comparing the limits (or lack of limits) of other municipalities and counties does not mean they are effective. Not only does the population, and in some cases climate differ, but an apples to oranges comparison presents more of a red herring than a solution.
10) There are many things which every animal lover has in common.
* No one wants an animal to live in deplorable conditions.
* No one wants the community to become unsanitary.
* Everyone wants the animal to be kept healthy, safe and loved.
Together as a community this can be accomplished but placing an arbitrary number limit on those who are already taking the best interest of the community and animals is not the solution.
Provide assistance, compassion, education, and support in the absence of limits and we as a group can help these cats who are so greatly in need.
Bernie Alfonso - Pet Partners Rescue Home
To view the commissioners meeting on December 15th. 2014 click here:
Click here for information on cats in Miami Dade-County
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