Surge in abandoned cats at Maine's animal shelters

I picked up on this story about feral and abandoned cats reportedly at an all-time high in the US state of Maine because you have to juxtapose this report against the well-known fact that the state of Maine is the historic home of America's favourite purebred cat, the Maine Coon. 

The Maine Coon is described as America's cat. It kind of looks like an American cat because it's larger and more glamorous than other cat breeds. Everything is large and larger-than-life about the Maine Coon but sadly everything is larger-than-life about the number of animals at shelters in the state of Maine and these two bits of information are not good bedfellows.

Maine animal shelters are asking for help as rescues across the western and central part of the state are reaching maximum capacity. (Greater Androscoggin Humane Society)
Maine animal shelters are asking for help as rescues across the western and central part of the state are reaching maximum capacity. (Greater Androscoggin Humane Society)

It brings it home to us that the Maine Coon cat is created by cat breeders. I'm not complaining about cat breeders. They have their hobby businesses and it helps them earn a bit of money and the cats they produce provide a lot of enjoyment to their caregivers when adopted. But they create more cats when there are too many unwanted cats already in society.

It is a very sad scenario as Fox News described it when animal shelters in that state find themselves in the midst of a major cat problem. The information comes from the executive director at the Greater Androscoggin Humane Society, Katie Lisnik, in an interview with Fox News Digital.

She said that feral colonies and abandoned cats are at an all-time high across central and western Maine. It is described as an explosion among the feral cat colonies by Stephanie Mains, the president of the Cat Coalition of Western Maine in Harrison. She said:

My issue is really with the state of Maine. They’ve got to get a grip on this and really need to listen to us, the boots on the ground, but they just don’t want to listen. - She is referring to her organisation urging the authorities to do more.

The feral cat problem has got worse over the years and attempts to stop it getting worse have failed apparently. The problem is or appears to be that more people are abandoning their pet cats and/or they are continuing to fail to spay and neuter their companion animals which allows them to breed uncontrollably. The message clearly is not getting through about the necessity to sterilise companion animals.

There are many TNR programs in Maine and the authorities are relying upon these programs to try and stabilise the feral cat population. However, there appears to be a problem, agreed upon by the TNR volunteers, which is that there is a lack of veterinary care in the state supporting TNR programs. I believe that this means is a lack of veterinary care at a price which is manageable because often vets provide discount services to TNR volunteers.

Lisnik said, "We need more people to adopt, more vets, more services, affordable services, and it all has to happen at once. The quicker it happens, the easier it’s going to be."

It appears that America has also gone through a difficult time post-Covid with the economy, with inflation and with high unemployment rates. It appears that in America money is short as it is in the UK which has had an impact on cat ownership. It means that there are fewer adoptions at shelters and I presume more surrenders.

It's a problem that needs to be dealt with as a matter of urgency it seems to me based on the reports that I have read. And as mentioned it is a great shame that this ever-popular purebred cat, the Maine Coon cat, comes from this state.


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