Overpopulation of dogs and cats is a problem all over the world, causing serious problems both for the animals and for our co-existence with them. The vast majority of governments and local authorities have shown a severe lack of interest in implementing solutions, limiting their actions to carrying out periodic capturing and elimination of animals. This is an unethical choice, unfair on the animals and unacceptable for those of us who care about what happens to them. It has also been shown to be ineffective, as a short while afterwards the animal population gets out of control again. This causes a state of permanent injustice, abuse and waste of public resources.
There are a few countries and regions which are currently showing an interest in the problem, allocating resources to birth control and carrying out prevention campaigns aimed at the families of the animals. Alongside this there is also a tightening of the laws against the illegal trade and breeding of animals of individual households. And although these steps may be in the right direction, they are still insufficient to completely eradicate the problem.
The lack of birth control leads to stray animals, lack of basic care such as feeding or veterinary attention, accidents, diseases, abuse, overcrowding of shelters and mass killings.
Only 25% of dogs and 5% of cats in Catalonia are registered.
Finding a solution to this grave problem is everyone’s responsibility. It requires social awareness of the responsibility that those who live with an animal have. Other steps towards a solution include fostering the culture of adoption, banning the breeding of dogs and cats in private homes, banning trade in animals and making sterilisation compulsory as a truly efficient method of control.