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The role of social media on the stray cat situation

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With the explosion of Facebook in the Montréal area, the misery and plight of abandoned and stray cats have been put right in front of everybody's eyes.

Among the discussions about cats in peril needing assistance, the compassion of these girls (where are the boys ?) for kittens in the cold was exacerbated and the need to act became the norm. The appeals sent on Facebook were discussed and cats taken out of animal pounds for adoption while the employee asked a $20 fee to give away each cat.

Many who never even discussed the idea with their partner, suddenly found themselves adopting kitten after kitten to give them a good life. So much so that many of these rescuers now have more than 20 cats in their home. Very well taken care of, fixed and living a contented life, they are still in peril.

The MAPAQ issued a by-law on November 7, 2013 ordering these good souls to get a permit if they have more than 15 animals either in a home or shelter. That all conterveining with the Québec charter of rights which specify that a residence is inviolable, inspectors intend to visit residences.

The sole purpose of that permit is to get their address in order to send inspectors. The Minister admitted so on radio while promoting the permit.

So if they have your address in their files, the inspectors can show up at your house early in the morning, while the children are preparing for school and demand to see your cats. You're not even dressed and the litter boxes have not been cleaned since last night but nonetheless they have the power to enter your home.

That situation put a cold shower on the persons working in rescue that I call Facebook rescues who were used to take in strays till they find them good homes. How will they react to such inspections, that remains to be seen.

Instead of inspecting puppy mills for which the by-law P-42 was put in place last year and seizing sick little females being raped every few months to produce puppies, the MAPAQ decided it was time to come down on those who did the right thing by getting kittens out of the cold.

I fear this won't help the stray overpopulation and won't educate the population either. People don't care about cats already, what do you think will happen when they have to buy a licence for the cat as suggested for the next by-law.

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