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Canadian Federation of Humane Societies CEO, RRU alumna speaks up for cats

MA in Environmental Education and Communication (2004 cohort) alumna Barbara Cartwright is the chief executive officer of the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies, based in Ottawa. Her organization recently released a major report, "Cats in Canada: A Comprehensive Report on the Cat Overpopulation Crisis," which was widely covered in Canadian media. Among their findings were:

  • 37 per cent of households in Canada include one or more cats.
  • there are an estimated 10.2 million owned cats in Canada and the owned cat population is growing at a rate faster than the number of households across the country.
  • Each year in Canada it is estimated that hundreds of thousands of companion animals enter shelters and the vast majority of these are cats
  • Cats are less likely to be reunited with their owners than dogs
  • Shelters are at or near capacity to care for the cats that arrive at their doors
  • It is projected that more than 600,000 homeless cats in Canadian shelters did not find new homes in 2011.
  • Euthanasia is the starkest outcome of cat overpopulation.
  • At this point, if large-scale, targeted action is not taken, the cat overpopulation problem will worsen