LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Ontario SPCA, SD&G Animal Centre offers support for community cats

Dear Editor,

The pet overpopulation in Cornwall, which historically has been challenging, has spiked recently with an abundance of homeless cats.

The Ontario SPCA and Humane Society continues to provide resources to the City of Cornwall to assist city officials in meeting the urgent needs of community animals. We will continue to provide resources including food, litter and transition cages to support community efforts.

Residents of the City of Cornwall are to be commended for their concern and compassion for these community cats. Currently, residents of the area are caring for over 170 community cats in their private homes. While this response to the crisis situation is likely appreciated by municipal officials, it does not address the urgent requirement for a community animal management strategy to provide a sustainable, long-term solution to the plight of homeless animals.       

We encourage the City of Cornwall to establish a Municipal Community Animal Management Strategy. Such a strategy will help reduce the pet overpopulation and create a healthier environment for pets in the community.

An effective Municipal Community Animal Management Strategy aims to promote and facilitate a municipal environment of responsible and considerate ownership of dogs and cats. The municipal strategy addresses the well-being of the community, including animals, as well as people; the framework of thorough municipal animal by-laws; realistic costs of animal services; oversight; and community outreach. The Ontario SPCA is available to assist the City of Cornwall with the development of a Municipal Community Animal Management Strategy.

On an urgent basis, the Ontario SPCA encourages the City of Cornwall to support its residents and lead the emergency response efforts by providing appropriate sheltering space and financial resources to resolve the current issues. The Ontario SPCA works hard each and every day to support communities in protecting and caring for their animals.

The programs we offer and encourage include access to spaying/neutering to help prevent future litters, microchipping to help reunite lost pets with their families, fostering and adopting to help reduce the number of homeless animals in communities and humane education to help share the message of responsible pet ownership and animal care.

Due to the severity of the current situation in Cornwall, Ontario SPCA Rescue & Relief Services is preparing to take the following steps during the week of July 3, 2017 to protect animals and support local residents:

All adoptable cats currently being sheltered at our local site will be transferred to other animal care centres throughout the province for adoption, making space for urgent sheltering needs. Ontario SPCA Rescue & Relief Services vehicles will arrive in Cornwall to accept community cats and kittens from residents currently fostering these animals and transfer the animals for adoption into forever homes. Treatment needed by these cats and kittens, including spaying/neutering procedures, will be provided by the Ontario SPCA in advance of the pets being adopted, ensuring that future litters are prevented.

The Ontario SPCA is a charity and relies on the generosity of donors to provide Rescue & Relief Services. Your support is appreciated and helps to save animals lives.

The Ontario SPCA thanks our staff and our volunteers for continuing to work diligently to care for animals and support community animal welfare efforts while the City develops solutions. This situation is urgent and, on behalf of the animals in need, we will continue to support community-based efforts and we will continue be available to the City of Cornwall to assist them in getting solution-based resources in place.


Tanya Firmage
Chief of Humane Programs and Community Outreach
Ontario SPCA

Share this article