August 26th, 2015 ~ Vol. 85 No. 33
Feral cats need help from community
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Sherry Chanin photo
Sherry Chanin brings to light the issue of Feral Cats which are growing in number in the Pass.
Pass Herald Reporter
There has been a growing problem with the population of feral cats in the Crowsnest Pass.

Some of you may have seen them personally. Sherry Chanin, a teacher at Crowsnest Consolidated High School and Coleman resident, decided to try and do something about it but became quickly discouraged to learn that there are not many avenues of assistance to rectify the situation.

“In June I became aware that my neighbor had un-spayed cats on the premises. They started showing up at my door, starving, so I fed them and gave them water. Within a week there were sixteen cats showing up. One of them had a broken leg and another had an eye infection,” Chanin said.

Chanin said. She began by calling animal shelters around Southern Alberta only to be told most places were already over capacity and could not assist the cats. She also went to the municipality to report the problem of animal abuse and neglect only to learn that although a by-law was written in some time ago, it was overturned by the current council due to what Chanin believes, is lack of funding.
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Chanin said, “I learned that there is a huge population who do not spay or neuter their cats. The problem can very quickly escalate from ten cats, to a hundred cats and so on.”

She went on to say, “I was shocked that with all the phone calls made, nobody was able to deal with this problem and that these cats would be out of luck.” Feeling compelled to continue to try and seek help for the stray animals, she then contacted the Alberta S.P.C.A., a funded provincial organization, that she thought may be able to help.

She was able to plan for the removal of nine of the stray cats through the organization. She also contacted the Meow Foundation and got some insight on what happens to these homeless cats. “The Meow Foundation said because these cats are feral, nobody wants them. They become severely depressed and they will die in a cage.” Chanin said.

She has been a long time advocate for animals rights and has rescued many animals in the past. “As an animal lover I’m horrified. The public really needs to be educated as to the importance of rescuing animals, getting them fixed and getting them their shots.”
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Chanin also urged the importance of finding a pet at the S.P.C.A so that these unfortunate cats can find homes. “ Another issue is people who have cats that are not fixed that are having kittens.

These kittens potentially take a home from a kitten in a shelter that is in desperate need of help. Society is only as good as how it treats its weakest members. Saying we don’t have the money and burying our head in the sand is not going to fix the problem.”

In conclusion, Chanin’s point is clear, we must address this situation; keep these animals from a hard lonely life and a sad end. We must all do our part and get our pets from shelters and spay and neuter them.

It may just help stop an innocent animal from suffering.
August 26th ~ Vol. 85 No. 33
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