We discussed the problem of abandonment too yesterday. Michelle and I mentioned that this is something that really needs to be tackled to make the programme work. For example, if the TNRM programme is working as it should in an estate, there really ought not to be any increase in the number of cats. However, the problem is when people start dumping.
One of the officials yesterday urged us to get evidence to implicate the people dumping, but as I said to her, it's almost impossible. You find the kittens and cats - and that's ALL you find. Few people are silly enough to leave any form of identification (few but fortunately not ALL). Plus right now, how do you prove they do belong to the person in the end? Even if you can pin the cats to the family, they can come up with all kinds of excuses because there really is no legal ownership of the cats. THIS is where microchipping might come in handy for resident, home cats.
Now the current method of dealing with this is to remove the cats when they are dumped. This means though that every few months, some cats or kittens are taken away to be killed. Meanwhile, in a flat somewhere, the same mother cat is probably getting pregnant or getting ready to give birth again. Who is penalised? The caregivers, who are seen to be 'letting' the population grow, the TC who then send pest control down again, the residents who see more and more cats in the estate and the taxpayers who are paying to have the cats removed.
Who is NOT penalised? The irresponsible owner. He or she is the one who isn't bothered and quite happily leaves the cats downstairs for someone else to handle. Is there something wrong with this situation?