“Pay for Strays”?

Please indulge my short rant.

I don’t understand

I’ve seen an increasing number of posts and comments promoting the idea that community cat projects are a “pay for strays” money making scheme. In other words, there’s an incorrect notion that adoption fees are a new thing and that the shelters and rescues are making a lot of money “selling stray cats”.

It’s a strange idea and I’m not sure how or why it got started but I wanted to write a bit about what I think of the adoption fees that I paid when I adopted my cats.

Adoption is not a purchase

To put it as simply as I can, I was glad to pay the fees. Why? Because I wasn’t buying a cat. I was reimbursing the shelter for all the food, cat litter, traps, shelters, crates, toys, general supplies, and veterinary care that my cats received while with the rescue.

In fairness, the costs should also cover the time spent trapping and socializing my cats but that work is done by volunteers. They are not reimbursed for their time.

In the end, if I had gotten free kittens from someone and taken on all that expense myself, I would have paid a lot more than the adoption fees were.

Everyone wins when someone cares

The other reason I am happy to have paid adoption fees is that all of the community cat projects and shelters are working to reduce the feral cat overpopulation issues. Their mission is to rescue and adopt out as many of the cats as they can and neuter/spay and release the ones that cannot be socialized.

Even with the TNR cats, there are costs. While the rescuers may be volunteers, the veterinarians are not. Getting a cat basic medical attention (if needed) and spayed or neutered is not free. Someone has to absorb that cost and adoption fees and donations help with that.

It’s good to remember that without the work of the community cat projects, the overpopulation issues would expand, unchecked. That causes problems for everyone.

I would also like to say the idea that charging adoption fees is a new thing frankly confuses me. Shelters and rescues have always charged fees. I’ve adopted cats and dogs from different places and over many years. Every one of them charged adoption fees. They need to so they can continue their work.

Calling all entrepreneurs…

Lastly, if a person really believes that “selling stray cats” is a great money making scheme, I would support that individual in their new business venture: opening their own community cat project. Seriously, there are so many animals that need assistance, there’s plenty to go around.

That’s it

That’s all for now. Back to photos, cute stories and some pointers on what we did to help our cats adjust to the pampered house cat life.

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