By: Sabi Reza
Have you noticed your backyard garden has been destroyed and the possible culprit may be the neighbor’s cat or even the feral cat your other neighbor has been feeding? Chicago is a big city and there is no doubt that every big city has either a rat problem, a bed bug infestation problem or sometimes the occasional stray and feral cat problem.
Chicago does have an ongoing stray and feral cat problem, but some people would jump to the conclusion that in order to solve this problem all shelter cats should be euthanized due in part by the procedure is quick and simple. This won’t solve the problem since cats can always find a way out. Pet owners may be unaware of their house cat leaving the house at night and finding fun elsewhere. For this reason, it’s important to know what it means to become a cat parent, it means not only looking out for your own cat but looking out for cats in the street that need help. The city has implemented a program called TNR or Trap-Neuter-return in hopes of lowering the stray and feral cat population out in the streets. One doesn’t have to be a cat parent to help out since shelters in the city rent out cat traps for anyone that wants to lend a helping hand.
Chicago has various organizations willing to support new cat parents, whether it be finding low-cost vaccination clinics in the area or just looking for pet food assistance for those with tight budgets. Some of the city shelters that offer these services are the Anti-Cruelty Society, Chicago Paws, and the Tree House Humane Society. There are instances where people can become registered Feral Cat Colony Caretakers, this has been allowed by the Cook County Board of Commissioners since October of 2017. What this means is that the person in charge of the colony must look out for the cats by feeding them and keeping a close watch on them, and they must also report any missing or dead cats in the colony each year. There is another widely known city shelter, and that is CACC.
The CACC short for Chicago Animal Care and Control is the charge of the cities “public safety and ensures the humane care of animals through sheltering, pet placement, education, and animal law enforcement,” all this coming directly from their website. There have been rumors going around the city calling CACC everything but humane. The truth is that people working with CACC know of these rumors and are saddened to think that people are not willing to find the truth for themselves. Trusting your local shelter makes a difference in the community not only because they offer many resources but because one can find loving companion there. It doesn’t matter if the one you adopt is a cat or a dog but do keep in mind that everyday stray and ferals are brought in, because yes, they too want to have a second chance at life.