Written by Ron Peltier
When folks come to the Heaven Can Wait clinic, they often ask why we focus so much attention on Feral Cats, Pit Bulls and Chihuahuas. The answer is simple: those animals represent the biggest issues both nationally and here in Vegas.
The Feral Cat Problem:
A feral cat is one that has reverted to its ‘wild’ state. It results from people abandoning their pet cats or cats getting lost without being spayed or neutered. Then the problem worsens as cats average three to five kittens per litter and can have two to three litters a year. In a very short time one feral cat colony can balloon into many cats and kittens that breed at uncontrollable rates.
Further, feral cats cannot be adopted as they have little and often no human contact. The best we can do is trap the cats, spay or neuter them, and release them back to their colony. Thus, HCWS focuses on its Feral Cat Clinics in an attempt to alleviate the problem. A spay or neutered cat can no longer reproduce, sustaining the problem. If you have identified a feral cat colony, please contact HCWS. It’s the best thing you can do for them.
The Pit Bull Problem:
Unfortunately for a pit bull, its reputation precedes it. Of course, like many things its reputation has been unfairly tarnished. They can be loving and loyal companions, but regrettably pit bulls are the dog of choice for people who organize and gamble on dog fights. Breeders can make a tidy profit breeding them to fight. Further adding to the problem is that some music artists and media depict these animals negatively in music videos and movies. All this creates a horrendous problem—a problem that spells doom for most pit bulls in shelters around the country. Consequently, on any given day the animal shelters here in Las Vegas are awash with abandoned and damaged pit bulls. The overwhelming majority of them will be euthanized.
As a result, HCWS has developed a program called “It’s The Pits” focusing aggressively on the problem caused by irresponsible and callous owners. Caring and responsible pit bull owners understand that the dogs are not innately mean or aggressive; rather they are made that way by people. The dog reflects its owner. If you would like to help, adopt a pit bull and save a life.
The Chihuahua Problem:
Here in Vegas celebrity worship is high as it is elsewhere. People pay hefty cover charges to see the latest celebrity at the one of the many nightclubs. You may have seen Taco Bell’s talking Chihuahua, or high-profile celebrities like Paris Hilton toting around a Chihuahua in her designer purse or popular movies like Legally Blond presenting a character that does the same thing with her Chihuahua. Because of these influences, a massive problem has developed. The problem is that these images convey the idea that a Chihuahua is an ornament rather than a living breathing creature. Chihuahuas are not toys. As a result of people wanting to emulate their favorite high-profile star or fictional movie characters, demand for Chihuahuas skyrocketed and unscrupulous people began aggressively breeding them. However when the reality of caring for a living creature sets in, many fans abandon or surrender them. Consequently, Chihuahuas fill animal shelters across the country and here in Las Vegas.
Like pit bulls, Chihuahuas have been ruthlessly exploited and like pit bulls, the exploitation results often in the dog being euthanized because there are too many of them and not enough homes. Between pit bulls and Chihuahuas, the Vegas shelters euthanize these breeds more than all others combined, and it is not even close.
If you would like to help, please consider adopting one, but remember that they are not toys and need to be exercised.
Filed under: Adoptables, Community, Programs | Tagged: animal rescue, animal welfare, animals, Chihuahuas in Las Vegas, feral cat clinic, feral cats, HCWS, Heaven Can Wait, Heaven Can Wait adoptions, It's the pits, pet overpopulation, Spay and Neuter Clinic | 2 Comments »