Stark reality of Greensborough cat cull

Diamond Valley leader; 12 Jan 10 by Saeed Saeed

 Stark reality of Greensborough cat cull

Kittens wait for a new home at the Greensborough shelter. STEVEN CRABTREE N29DV802

 IT is a small and sparse room, no bigger than 3m by 4m with a small bed in the centre.

 It is here where up to 11,000 cats are destroyed each year.

 Dr Carol Webb, executive director of the Cat Protection Society of Victoria, is quiet when she takes the DV Leader to the room as part of a tour of the organisation.

 “Cats who are deemed as wild, suffering of serious injuries and ill are taken here and we put them to sleep,” Dr Webb said.

 She said this in a matter of fact way and indeed, the way cats are euthanased in the centre is similar to falling asleep.

 One cat at a time is placed on the bench.

 The veterinary assistant would raise the cat’s leg, exposing the necessary vein where Dr Webb would inject an overdose of barbiturates.

 It only takes a moment and the cat is dead.

 No anguished moan or pleading purrs.

 The cat’s eyes close and silence returns to the room.

 Dr Webb is no stranger to this room.

 Sometimes she or a fellow veterinarian can euthanase up to 90 cats a day.

 Earlier this morning she administered a final dose to a cat that was found by a council officer.

 The cat was in agony after suffering severe injuries when it was run over by a car.

 “It is really the saddest and most heartbreaking thing you have to do,” she said.

 “Many people who have to do this go through long-term grief because of this.”

 This could also explain the high turnover of staff in such organisations.

 The Cat Protection Society of Victoria is not only a place where you can purchase a cute and fluffy kitten.

 It is here where you see the daily tragedies of an out-of-control cat population, careless owners and the cruel treatment of cats masquerading as pranks.

 “Cats don’t have the high profiles that dogs have,” said Dr Webb, who herself owns eight cats and today wears gold cat shaped earrings.

 “But they can be more emotionally giving than dogs. It’s just that sometimes you have to take the first step.”

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