Only about a month old, Oreo was recently rescued by SCRAPS and is now fighting to keep one of his paws. Submitted photo
He is only about one month old, but Oreo is in danger of losing a leg.
The little, black kitten with a giant white spot on his chest, that meanders up his neck and above his mouth, is fortunate to be alive.
When members of the Stray Cat Rescue and Protection Society (SCRAPS) found him, Oreo was crying and afraid of the approaching strangers.
“When he was finally captured with the help of SCRAPS, he was discovered to have a very severely injured front leg that was actually dislocated in his little elbow,” said Anne Marciszyn, a SCRAPS volunteer.“
A veterinarian tried to repair Oreo’s wounded leg, but the possibility of amputation in the days and weeks ahead remains.
Oreo was a feral cat. He is no longer living in a dumpster, an abandoned building or an alleyway, but there are thousands of other cats across the country who are.
“He represents the lives of just so many cats like him,” noted Marciszyn.
According to the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies (CFHS), the number of feral cats is directly related to human neglect. That number is enormous.
The Cats in Canada report carried out by the CFHS in 2012 looked at the nationwide problem of cat overpopulation. The report states that over a seven-year period, one cat and her offspring can produce as many as 420,000 kittens.
Marciszyn also told the Times-Herald that the research the CFHS undertook in writing the report showed that nearly 640,000 cats were waiting in animal shelters throughout the country. Many of those she said, will likely be euthanized at some point in their lives.
She added that most shelters in Canada are either at or near capacity. Marciszyn believes that’s the case in 99 per cent of Saskatchewan animal shelters.
The issue is that there are more cats than there are homes.
“Of all cats put into shelters, only 44 per cent or less will find homes,” said Marciszyn. “The rest of them will be euthanized – or left languishing. “
It should be noted, however, that the Moose Jaw Humane Society doesn’t euthanize any of its cats.
Cat overpopulation is the reason why organizations like SCRAPS exist.
“We're just one of many groups across the country and the United States that has taken this quite seriously in trying to make a difference,” noted Marciszyn. “We look at saving lives through a humane, preventative approach, and we do this through our main focus of what we call TNR, which is trap, neuter and release.”
In the process of TNR, feral cats are trapped, taken to a veterinarian, neutered or spayed, given vaccines and released, but hopefully adopted into a loving home.
Marciszyn believes the most critical thing to do to shrink cat overpopulation is spaying or neutering as many feral felines as possible.
Fostering cats and kittens, volunteering with organizations such as SCRAPS, donating money and raising awareness of feral cats are also important, said Marciszyn.
On Oct. 16, National Feral Cat Day will be recognized, which in recent years has received more public attention
“National Feral Cat Day is a day that has been dedicated across North America to raise awareness about feral cats, their value and currently the crises cats are facing,” said Marciszyn.
In addition, SCRAPS will also be hosting a fundraiser – the Yowling Halloween Pizza Party – at Pizza Hut on Oct. 29.
More cats like Oreo are sure to benefit from donations and increased awareness of feral cats.
Nathan Liewicki can be reached at 306-691-1256 or follow him on Twitter @liewicks