In the real universe, people who find a stray or have a companion animal that they can no longer care for take the animal to an animal shelter. It was done to make sure these animals were not left to starve or suffer if they had never learned to care for themselves.
Unfortunately Delaware is no longer in the realm of the real universe. All I could think when I saw the following story is that we've entered that other eerie dimension mentioned in the beginning of each Twilight Zone episode.
In this strange new dimension we've found ourselves in, it's apparently acceptable for a shelter who patrols a county under a dog control contract to ignore a cat suffering when it is hit by a car, but we've come to find out that it's also a crime to drop of cats at the animal shelter.
"Her crime -- saving the lives of two abandoned cats.You definitely need to read the article to see what our new dimension looks like.
Watson, 52, brought two cats living in crates on her former property to the Delaware SPCA in Georgetown. Because the shelter had already reached its capacity, the SPCA had to point Watson in another direction.
Homeless and ill, Watson had no choice but to leave the cats at the shelter, knowing she had committed a crime. In turn, she was charged with two counts of cruelty to animals and has a trial set for 9 a.m., Aug. 30." - DelmarvaNow.com article
"We are not an unlimited admission shelter, so we don't euthanize to make space," Motoyoshi said. "When we're full, we're full. In this case we didn't have any available space. We just can't do anything about it."As you'll recall, we did have one shelter that was still open access to dogs and cats prior to CAPA, and when it was down to only one shelter that was open admission, the no-kill shelters and their elected official friends chose to use CAPA to change that.
I don't take issue with any shelter who chooses to pursue the no-kill path, even if it's usually harmful to the financial well being of that shelter, because their board has every right to operate the entity in a manner that they see fit and that it's membership supports. What I find ridiculous here is that the no-kill shelters wouldn't be faced with animals being abandoned on their property if Kent County SPCA was not financially forced by CAPA to no longer accept cats, except when they have room.
So make no mistake, the situation this poor woman is faced with is a result of CAPA. I've said all along that the cat situation was being passed off by the shelters to residents, many of which can't afford to deal with the problem, but for this woman to be faced with criminal charges is just insane. Personally, I think the judge should arrest the politicians that created this situation, and give this woman a medal for caring.
I understand that Delaware SPCA wants to make an example out of her to make sure people don't just dump animals, but this is ridiculous. The fact is, KCSPCA was willing to take cats before CAPA was shoved down their throats, so if the no-kill shelters didn't push KCSPCA into not taking cats, we wouldn't be where we are now. I still think Delaware SPCA is a great organization, but the answer to the issue of too many cats isn't going to be found by making this woman a criminal, and she shouldn't suffer as a result of mistakes by our no-kill shelter leadership and our legislature that passed CAPA. The answer is to admit CAPA was a mistake, and for everyone to spend time saving animals rather than the constant games and legal wrangling currently taking place.
And let's not forget what a bad example is being made by prosecuting this woman. The next person will know they can't abandon the cats at the shelter, so instead they'll just deal with it in their own way. I won't mention the many ways we know people have done that in the past, but it means that the cruelty will escalate because residents have nowhere to to take cats to. No-kill advocates can say CAPA is the compassionate alternative, but those of us stuck in this alternative dimension know otherwise. Both animals and humans are suffering as a result.