Animals pay for human laziness
by: Matt Miller/Staff Writer
From puppy to powerful and feral to friendly, there are many stray animals all over the county, and the numbers continue to increase. As a pet owner, I know the responsibility that comes along with owning a pet. It is not as simple as cleaning out a litter box or taking the dog for a walk a few times per week. By not spaying or neutering your pet, you contribute to the problem the local area is facing now.
In a recent interview conducted with Coles County Animal Control Officer Taran Pinnell, I was given some staggering information was discovered on the number of stray dogs and cats in the Mattoon area alone. From August 2009 to August 2013, control officers have captured a total of 4,192 cats. A heartbreaking 2,779 of those have been euthanized. 862 felines were adopted while only 70 have been returned to their owners. The remaining 481 have either passed on due to natural causes or still remain at the shelter, waiting for a good home.
In the same timeframe, there have been 4,553 dogs caught by animal control.1,558 of them have been humanely euthanized, while 1,635 have been adopted. Very few have been reclaimed by their owners. To put the situation in perspective, an average of 838 cats and 910 dogs per year are captured by animal control. Of these animals, 555 cats and 310 dogs are euthanized annually. There is simply no excuse for this.
If you are looking to help the issue, there are many animals available for adoption at the Coles County Animal Shelter. All you need is an application available at the Shelter. A short background check is performed, mainly to see whether you rent or own your home. Renters should check with their landlord before adopting an animal. A veterinary history is also made to ensure that any animals you already have are up-to-date on vaccinations.
Adoption fees are $41 for cats; which includes a microchip, feline leukemia and aids tests, boosters, deworming, spay or neuter, and flea treatment. The only thing required, but not available at the shelter, is a rabies shot. Dogs are also $41; which includes a microchip, heart worm test, boosters, deworming, and flea treatment. In addition, dogs must receive rabies shots and must be spayed or neutered before they can go home. The adopter is responsible for both of these fees.
The shelter is located at 6818 North County Road, 1120 E, Charleston. Drop in to meet the animals or find up-to-date pictures of the current animals up for adoption on Facebook. The phone number is 217-345-4112.
There is no need for this many friendly animals, both cat and dog, to be destroyed or left homeless due to human laziness. If you cannot afford a pet, financially or time-wise, you should not own one. When I was young, I would always get a chuckle out of Bob Barker ending every episode of “The Price is Right” with some spay or neuter advertisement. After seeing these numbers, I can understand why. The reason for his constant messages is obvious.