Fairly amazing. Now you see it, now you don't. Here's how it goes:
The nice family brings in a cat to their local shelter. They came in last week to borrow a trap and successfully trapped him in their yard. The little girl is proudly carrying the trap with both hands, confident that she is doing a really great thing for animals. She is sure that somebody is going to adopt this cat that she has grown fond of, but can't pet. Somebody will tame him, give him a wonderful home and he will live happily ever after.
The woman at the front desk politely fills out the paperwork, smiles and nods her head. The nice family may leave a donation to the shelter for all the good work they do. The woman at the front desk calls a kennel attendant to come and get the cat.
Now here's the trick: Poof! - the cat is gone. Never to be seen again.
The nice family asks "how soon it will be before the cat is put up for adoption, can they come visit it and how will they know when the cat has a good home?" The woman at the front desk says "Watch the website. Thank you for coming in," and then pretends to be busy with something else.
The nice family leaves, blissfully unaware. Or maybe, just maybe they are starting to catch on; with the nagging suspicion and the sinking feeling in their stomach that they didn't "rescue" the cat and bring it to a "shelter". Maybe, just maybe, they sentenced the cat to death.
The truth is that 81 percent of the American public would rather leave a cat where it was (outside) than have it brought to a shelter and put to death if it knew that those were the only two options available. But unfortunately, many shelters don't tell the truth.
If your shelter does not offer Trap, Neuter, Return, does it at least tell the truth about the outcome for the cats that are brought in? Acknowledging the truth is the first step to solving the problem. Does your shelter perform feline friendly practices as outlined by Alley Cat Allies so that we can begin to end the killing of cats in America's shelters?
Or does your shelter still perform the trick - the Magically Disappearing Cat?
I want to say that in the last couple of years there has been a remarkable improvement in Wisconsin regarding TNR and barn buddy programs. There is still a long ways to go but progress is being made. Thank you to those that are speaking out on behalf of cats in Wisconsin.