Editorial: Pets and wildlife fill council agenda

Much of the Sooke council meeting dealt with issues around animals

Animals, animals, and more animals were the focal point of delegations coming before District of Sooke council on Monday night.

A representative came forward once again to request land for a cat shelter even though her organization is no longer based in Sooke. The complaint was that Sooke did not support the efforts of the organization in rescuing cats and the CRD was paid to look after animal control. One does not get the support of any elected body when they continually slam the council and berate their decisions.

Another came to the microphone to complain about cats and the mess and smell they left in her yard. She wanted some controls over cats, like one would with dogs.

Then a gentleman came to plead his case about snakes. He bred snakes and he wanted the list of approved snakes in the exotic pet category to include some non-dangerous species of boas and pythons.

The council supported an amendment to the Animal Regulation and Impounding Bylaw to prohibit the feeding of wildlife within the district.

So it is with animals. People are passionate about their pets and many care for them like they are part of the family. Others dump cats and leave it to others to take care of them. Many feed the deer, rabbits, squirrels etc. thereby lessening their fear of humans. They become acclimatized to urban areas and many end up being hit by cars. And no one wants all their plants and flowers eaten by deer unafraid of humans.

So what is the most humane solution? Can feral cats be domesticated? Probably not. Should we include boas and pythons as breeding stock? That would depend on an individual situation. Should we  feed wildlife. That answer would have to be ‘no.’

Caring and empathy for animals needs to be realistic not idealistic. We don’t live in Disneyland.

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