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On International Cat Day, Israel’s 2 million street cats remain a crisis

CM 08/08/2021


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August 8, 2021 marks the 19th annual celebration of International Cat Day, but though cat lovers celebrate and appreciate their feline friends, tragically, around 2 million cats are left stranded in Israel, according to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) in Israel.
In Israel, feral cats are said to be as common as squirrels in the US, and their presence is a defining characteristic of everyday life in the Jewish state. Brought by the British in the 20th century to deal with Mandatory Palestine’s rat problem, the population of cats in Israel has since skyrocketed, with some estimates putting the feral cat population at around two million strong, though the Agriculture Ministry’s official tally is at one million, according to Ynet.
Cats are especially prominent in Jerusalem, with some estimates placing their population at around 300,000 cats.

Over two million cats in Israel living in the streets, suffering,” SPCA Israel spokesperson Gadi Vitner told The Jerusalem Post. “These are beautiful animals, beautiful creatures, but why are they there? Because we treat them so badly.”
Cats are popular worldwide as household pets, and in Israel this is no exception.
“It’s very easy to raise them at home, they’re very friendly and research shows having a cat in the house is healthy for people,” Vitner explained.
“Nobody has made real progress to stop the suffering of this poor animal. It’s very sad. They all say there’s no budget, and animals are kept at the bottom of priorities, and that’s a problem.”
And the SPCA is not alone in sharing these concerns. 
In her debut speech to the Knesset, Yesh Atid MK Yasmin Fridman spoke heavily on the need to protect the well-being of Israel’s animals, and despite being criticized for focusing on what was perceived as trivial matters, she doubled down in her concerns.
Speaking to Ynet, Fridman said she believes the state must establish a national street cat authority to help take care of the country’s feral cat population, as well as spay and neuter to make sure the population doesn’t grow further.
“The state should take responsibility,” she told Ynet. “I do not think that all the burden should fall on the thousands of activists who are collapsing under the burden of feeding, spaying, castrating, and treating the cats all on their own.”
For many Israelis, however, cats remain a cherished part of their families, and some go to great lengths to take care of them.
This is the case for Elisheva Jacobson, of Ra’anana, who rescued her cat, Dwight K. Schrute, from a kill-shelter that was going to put her down.Dwight, a young kitten, is seen being tended to by her new owners after being saved from a kill-shelter. (Photo credit: Elisheva Jacobson)Dwight, a young kitten, is seen being tended to by her new owners after being saved from a kill-shelter. (Photo credit: Elisheva Jacobson)
Even then, rescuing her wasn’t easy.
“Due to the street conditions, Dwight required medical care and like most newly rescued cats, almost didn’t make it,” Jacobson recalled to the Post
“Two years later, she is happy, vibrant, active and cuddly; albeit a little ugly.”Dwight, two years later, is seen in her new home in Ra'anana. (Photo credit: Elisheva Jacobson)Dwight, two years later, is seen in her new home in Ra’anana. (Photo credit: Elisheva Jacobson)
Dwight’s story is reflective of many street cats who eventually find loving homes. 
“I sometimes look at her and wonder what would have happened if she had been left on the streets to fend for herself in her poor condition,” Jacobson added. “She definitely wouldn’t be here right now.”For more information on how to help cats in Israel, visit spca.co.il.

Source: Jerusalem Post

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CM

The host of Coffee Mouth Scare Crow Show and CEO of 452 Impact, Inc. Here is food for thought. Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." John 3:16 "For God so love ed the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall be saved."

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