Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Cats hardest hit as city workers pick up thousands of dead animals each year

  • Print

A local animal advocate says Winnipeg needs to do more to educate residents on how to care for pets after hundreds of dead cats have been reportedly found on city streets in the last three years.

Since 2010, City of Winnipeg data show 2,450 people have reported dead cats on public property to the city's 311 hotline. City officials say most of the cats are retrieved from Winnipeg's core area.

By the numbers

Total number of dead animals reported to the City of Winnipeg from 2010 to present.

Cats: 2,450

Deer: 1,661

Rabbits: 816

Racoons/skunks: 629

Geese: 523

Dogs: 383

Unknown: 277

Squirrels: 259

Foxes: 43

 

--Source: City of Winnipeg

So far this year, Winnipeg has received 652 reports of dead cats on public property.

The number comes as little surprise to Lynne Scott, who operates the Wolseley-based Craig Street Cats animal rescue shelter. Scott said some cats get hit by cars, some feral and stray cats don't survive the winter and many others are victims of abuse or are discarded by pet owners who don't know how to properly care for them.

Scott said there is a large portion of the population that does not like cats, and some people leave out poison or find other ways to harm the animals. She said other pet owners simply get rid of them when they are no longer wanted.

"People do horrible things to cats," Scott said. "Right now, I've got a kitten who was tossed from a moving car, another kitten whose owners stopped the car, set it out in the middle of Erin Street and drove away, a litter of six kittens found abandoned in an abandoned house. And that's just one week's worth."

Scott said animals aren't valued in poorer areas of Winnipeg, where families are often not strong units and some pet owners have never been taught how to properly care for an animal. She said the recently launched Paw Tipsters program will help people anonymously report cases of abuse, but the city and the school system should do more public pet education.

Last month, Paw Tipsters -- a non-profit charity that aims to combat animal abuse -- launched on the heels of several highly publicized cases, including one instance where a kitten was struck with a hammer. The group is raising money to pay for tips through the existing Crime Stoppers line. Anyone with information on any crime, including animal abuse, can call Crime Stoppers at (204) 786-TIPS (8477)

City of Winnipeg officials said city crews pick up dead animals and transport cats and dogs to the Winnipeg Humane Society for identification and closure. In most cases, they cannot identify the cat's owner or the cause of death.

"(Education) has to start with kids in areas that traditionally don't view companion animals as valuable," Scott said. "There's a lot of work that has to be done to train people that it's not appropriate to hurt animals."

City crews dispose of dead wildlife in the Brady Road Landfill.

Overall, 2,940 dead animals were reported to the City of Winnipeg in 2011 -- up from 2,812 the previous year. Deer, rabbits, racoons, and geese were the most common wildlife reported dead in public areas.

In an email statement, Winnipeg officials said domestic animals account for about 10 per cent of dead animal pickups, while the bulk is wild animals. Most of the domestic animals are cats and about two-thirds of the wildlife pickups are rabbits and squirrels.

Reesa Atnikov, supervisor of Wildlife Haven Rehabilitation Centre, said animals have learned to adapt and live in the city, particularly as Winnipeg's boundaries have expanded. She said racoons tend to have more babies within a city than they do in the country due to available food.

Atnikov said Winnipeggers can help reduce the population of wildlife and cats by not feeding them.

"I think we could do a better job of educating people," she said. "People need to stop feeding these animals because then they become dependent on you as a food source."

jen.skerritt@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 20, 2012 A3

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Winnipeg Cheapskate: Cheap summer weekends

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A young gosling prepares to eat dandelions on King Edward St Thursday morning-See Bryksa 30 Day goose challenge- Day 17- bonus - May 24, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Marc Gallant / Winnipeg Free Press. Local- Deer in Canola field near Elma, Manitoba. 060706.

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What's your take on a report that shows violent crime is decreasing in Winnipeg?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google