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EDITORIAL: Animals should be treasured, not dumped on rural roads

COMMENTARY: Stronger penalties required for cruelty to animals
(Kathy Robinson photo)

We see way too many of these kinds of stories.

People are dumping unwanted cats and kittens like never before in the Parksville Qualicum Beach area.

Here’s a few more recent headlines, from our website at

“‘Unparalleled’ intake of 280 cats by SPCA draws help from B.C.”;

BC SPCA rescues 31 emaciated, neglected dogs from Clearwater property’; ‘7 dogs seized from ice and snow of outdoor Okanagan pens’; ‘Dog found dead on Vancouver lane may have been thrown from window’; and on and on.

It’s disgusting.

We’d ask what is wrong with people but it’s not like this is a new issue. Some people just don’t value the lives of animals as much as other people do. What would be new, however, would be even stronger penalties for animal cruelty.

Kathy Robinson of the group CatSpan noted the proliferation of dumped cats.

“The vast majority of them are either dumped or somebody’s moved away and left them. It’s just been awful since COVID,” Robinson said. “Until a couple of years ago we were handling about 90 cats a year and now we’re doing 250.”

READ MORE: FORSYTH: Let’s hear it for sidewalks (and we could use some more)

So, when you’re housebound and lonely, get a kitty. When restrictions are lifted, dispose of the kitty. Nice.

Rural roads are the most common place for cats to be dumped, she added, particularly in Errington, Coombs and Whiskey Creek. Keep a watchful eye if you’re on some of these roads.

“We get some from in town, but generally what happens is we get someone who doesn’t want a cat and they’ll just take it and dump it on a country road and then it shows up at an acreage,” Robinson said.

Though pet ownership is and should be a massive commitment (for the life of your pet), there are legitimate reasons for suddenly not being able to care for a pet. Health issues, a reduced income, a significant move and the like.

But there is no good reason for dumping an animal.

Worse is the starving, neglecting or physically abusing the animals. In those cases, the penalties need to be more harsh.

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