|Originally posted by TNR1
Honestly, I think we have tried for sooo long to concetrate on getting animals out of shelters alive...that there really hasn't been a lot of research into why do people "dump" animals and what we can do about it.
I think also, just from the mechanical standpoint, it's hard to find someone who would ADMIT to a survey-taker that he or she had dumped an animal, isn't it? I can't really imagine too many people feeling exactly proud of the fact! I am one of those people who can be pretty calm with someone, (almost) no matter what he or she has done. Come to think of it, we had a caller who called several of the local groups a few years ago, and said "none of you will help me to get rid of this stray that's bothering my cats, so I'm just gonna drive him somewhere and let him go." And I have that person's contact info. AND, we are pretty sure that we ended up taking that cat in to our care. If I can get more info out of them than that when I contact 'em, I'll share.
There is also what they call "loosely owned" animals. (Maybe Katie, this is what you mean about cultural things) I don't think that many of those folks actually see themselves as owning those animals -- they see it as a temporary alliance, maybe. Like, someone is stationed with a job at one place, and starts feeding a stray cat. Maybe he lets the cat come inside once in a while. But then, the job changes or he gets transferred. He won't think of this as dumping, I bet, and yet, the effect is the same, ON THE CAT.
I think some of it is the idea that cats belong more to a place, than to people. And, in some ways, it's TRUE, and that's part of what makes those kind of ideas very hard to alter.
Finally, I think if we had better follow-through on TNR efforts, we would be better able to tell when a cat or kittens is dumped, and we'd have more chance to prosecute abandonment, or whatever we need to do to help. SO many people I am in touch with see it as "if I can take X cats *out* of your area I am gonna." And that doesn't really teach ANYONE much about cats and their care. I'm not a big fan of the idea of exporting problems to other places!