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Letter: Dakin’s effort with cats

I’m writing in response to the article by the Associated Press that ran in The Recorder on April 10 about the death rate of feral kittens that are taken to shelters by concerned citizens. The article offered sobering statistics about feral cats and kittens and should be a wake-up call to the country regarding the care and treatment of feral cats.

That article, which stated that “overtaxed shelters will be forced to euthanize most of the millions they receive,” originated in Los Angeles and referenced conditions specific to that area. It’s important for Pioneer Valley residents to know that, due to the efforts of the Dakin Humane Society and our supporters, the outlook is decidedly different here.

For more than 20 years, Dakin has offered assistance to people unable to afford typical spay/neuter fees. Today, through our Community Spay/Neuter Clinic, we sterilize more than 10,000 dogs and cats, significantly reducing the number of homeless animals in our region. Our intake of homeless kittens has declined by 36 percent in just two years, freeing resources to save more lives.

Dakin’s foster program volunteers provide 24-hour nursing care for infant or orphaned kittens, and last year alone they saved more than 1,300 lives. We work hard to save every kitten except those who, sadly, are significantly compromised and simply will not survive due to their condition.

Dakin’s myriad programs and efforts to save feral kittens is a model for success for the rest of the country. Our volunteers and staff are deeply dedicated to saving as many animals as possible while enhancing the lives of the people who care for them. We can’t do this without help, however, so I’d encourage anyone interested in becoming a volunteer to visit www.dpvhs.org or call Nicole at 413-781-4000, ext.111.

LESLIE HARRIS

executive director

Dakin Humane Society

Leverett

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