The Betrayal of Uma


The Abuse Continues

Uma was an older female rescued from a house in Kindersley in 2004, along with 116 other cats in the house. Sadly, many of the cats were so inbred and deformed that only 36 survived, including Uma. None of the cats had ever been outside a day in their lives. Other than the elderly couple who lived in the home, the cats saw few people. Because of rampant disease and inbreeding, over 12 cats were born without their teeth and over half the cats were blind in one or both eyes.

Uma was missing all her teeth and was partially blind in both eyes. She was quite shy around people and did not like to be touched or picked up. Her age at the time was thought to be around 4 years, based on the owners’ statements. Ironically enough, the Saskatchewan SPCA was called to the house first, by the town office in Kindersley. The Saskatchewan SPCA stated that there were too many cats for them to deal with and they would not lay charges against the couple as the animals were well taken care of. It would seem that the SPCA criteria for seizures are as much based on politics and monetary gain as anything else.

Fast forward to 2011. Uma is comfortable with her guardian/caregiver. She quite likes the other cats she lives with. Although she hides from strangers and still doesn’t like to be picked up, she does talk a lot and rub up against her guardian. Her world came tumbling down on a cold winter’s day in January of 2011. The SPCA came crashing through the doors.

The SPCA later justified their break and enter by stating that the house wasn’t good enough for animals to live in, that dirty dishes in the sink and laundry on the floor were causing the animals to be in distress. The Animal Protection Act states that owners must provide adequate food, water, medical care, and shelter. Since no definition in the Act clearly states what ‘shelter’ is, the SPCA argued that poor housekeeping was in violation of that ‘shelter requirement.’

As a result, the same organization who deemed poor housekeeping as inhumane to animals put Uma out to a farm later in the summer of 2011. That’s right. The group who claims to look out for the welfare of animals, the group who felt her home of seven years was causing her distress, put her on a farm as a mouser. They, in wisdom only they understood, put an elderly female with no teeth, impaired vision in both eyes and with no experience of the outside at all. They thought she would thrive in the wilds of a barn.

One has to wonder if they expected her to gum the mice to death. How close would a predator have to be before she could see them and flee? How could she survive, much less hunt, if the other cats on that farm did not accept her?

The hypocrisy of the SPCA is very much alive. As seen in many other cases, the SPCAs (certainly in Saskatoon) are not in any way looking out for the animals they swear to protect. Either by cruel indifference or an inability to know (lack of training maybe?), they do not properly profile cats for placement.Their final goal, it appears, is to make money through adoption fees, or make a quick ‘turn around’ as they lose money the longer the animal stays in their care.

This is different from the Sask Alley Cats philosophy, which believes everyone can be adopted. It’s just a matter of waiting for the right home to come along. There is no ‘death row’ or set period of time that animals must be adopted in or face euthanasia. Sask Alley Cats does not have paid staff (unlike unionized SPCA workers) and there are no building costs as the cats are cared for in private homes. One has to argue that if Uma and the other cats could speak for themselves, would the less than perfect housekeeping been a preference compared to the alternative of sitting in a small, steel cage and facing death or an uncertain future? As a pet owner, there is nothing worse than the loss of an animal without closure. A person is always wondering how afraid the animal was, did they die a slow death? Suffer long? Did Uma ever wonder where her guardian was and how long before she gave up?

If you support real animal rescue, support the Sask Alley Cats. Help us stop the abuse the SPCAs across Canada.

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