The whole country has to deal with the issue of abandoned dogs and cats and the number of semi-captive animals. Some cities established a neutering program and took care of the financial resources which are needed for it in order to control the number of animals living on the streets. We can also come across neutering programs at some vets and associations who neuter animals for a symbolic fee.
The problem is that according to a new wording of an act, only a trained professional with a licence who works for a registered animal shelter may catch an animal living on the streets. Therefore, if an unsheltered cat roams on your garden and you would like to neuter it, even if it is used to you and not afraid to be caught, you have no right to take it to a vet. In the opposite scenario, you may face a penalty of up to 50 thousand crowns. The only possible option is when a professional catches it.
Another large complication is the fact that cats in colonies are “smarter” with each generation. They learn soon enough not to get into a trap and also how to take the food from it and not being captured. I was present at several trappings in the past and I saw how cats get the meat from a trap using their paws, how they get inside but avoid the trigger and how they keep kittens away from traps or teach them how to get inside and take the food and not get trapped.
Moreover, each generation is wilder and it is more difficult or sometimes even impossible to get them used to humans again. And it still holds true even if you manage to catch the kittens in their young age. I saw caught two-months-old kittens which didn’t adjust to being with people and couldn’t be touched even after several months of efforts for their domestication and living with domestic cats. They couldn’t even put up with the presence of a human.
With regard to these facts and the truth that shelters are full most of the time or rather burst at the seams, the only solution is the effort of associations of cities and municipalities to catch as much unsheltered cats as possible, neuter them and release them back and hope that their numbers will decrease after some time.
However, it is also necessary that the owners of outdoor cats or those which can go outside neuter their cats. It concerns both female and male cats. That’s why a necessary part of neutering programs is educating the public, spreading knowledge about and explaining the benefits of neutering.
Of course, the problem doesn’t concern only cats but also dogs as well. There are great numbers of both abandoned cats and dogs. The situation is the worst after Christmas and in summer. Therefore, the owners of dogs and cats should prevent (preferably by neutering) undesired mating. Although they might find homes for the undesired kittens or puppies and do not abandon them or, God forbid, do not kill them, many other homeless animals who are waiting for their new owners in a shelter won’t get their chance. This is also the reason why the numbers of animals without an owner do not decrease.