There is an epidemic in Forks, an epidemic of irresponsible pet owners. People are dumping, leaving, abandoning cats all over town. Some of the worst areas have been Steven’s Grove Mobile Home Park, Castle Rock, and near B & P Auto on Sol Duc Way. What is the problem? Well, they are ill and starving and it doesn’t have to be that way and a good place to start is if people would only get their pets spayed and neutered.
The local organization Friends of Forks Animals has been dealing with this epidemic and local veterinarian Pat Dowell has been amazing in helping with ill and dying animals. But she shouldn’t have to and if you are reading this and thinking of getting a pet or have a pet, please get your pet spayed or neutered.
FOFA recently received funding to assist animal owners with spay and neuter fees.
Earlier this summer a couple that lives on Vashon Island named Koch that are interested in donating to nonprofits in Washington became interested in what FOFA was doing in our area. Pam Winney and Jaunita Weissenfels arranged to meet with them and the Kochs flew in to the Forks Airport to take a look at the city shelter and interview the two FOFA members. It was on the spot that the Kochs decided that they would donate $10,000 to the club. Winney said, “Their goal is the same as ours, to reduce euthanasia through spaying and neutering of pets.”
And while $10,000 seems like a lot of money, Winney added, “We are drowning, we are taking on the world, there are cats and kittens everywhere.”
FOFA also recently has assisted with feral cat trapping in the area. An estimated 70 million feral cats — cats who have never had contact with humans and who are the offspring of abandoned, unaltered tame cats — are roaming the parks, parking lots, backyards and back streets of America.
Although ferals are fearful of humans, they still are members of a domesticated species and they are ill-equipped to survive on their own. Feral cats do not die of “old age.” Many are poisoned, shot, tortured by cruel people, attacked by other animals or hit by cars. Others die of exposure, starvation or highly contagious fatal diseases such as rabies, feline AIDS, feline leukemia and feline infectious peritonitis.
Feral cats that have been trapped and spayed or neutered can be recognized by a “clipped” or altered ear.
FOFA also would like to remind people it is illegal to shoot cats.
The bottom line is this is not a cat problem — it is a human problem. DO NOT get a pet unless you are prepared to offer that pet a good quality of life. That means spaying and neutering and be prepared for other things like the cost of vaccinations and occasional trips to the vet.
If you currently have a pet that needs to be spayed or neutered and need help with the cost, contact FOFA at 374-3332, leave a message and someone will get back to you.
Friends of Forks Animals is having a garage sale from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 20, at 190 Second Ave. FOFA’s reduced rate program is provided to residents who qualify to receive these services for their pets.
The group will be glad to discuss its program and sign up surgeries at the garage sale.
Anyone is welcome to drop by for information. Also, there is a reduced rate for female dogs and cats during September. A cat spay is $10 and a dog spay is $20. All surgeries are done with local veterinarian Dr. Pat Dowell.
Call 374-9293 or 374-9825 for garage sale information.