From our correspondent in the American Colonies.
Wild, outdoor children could be killing far more cats and dogs than previously estimated.
That’s according to a new study published this week in Unnatural Miscommunications that says toddler predation is the single greatest cause of pet mortality in America, more than overly-constricting Halloween costumes, GMO foods, alien abduction, or wind turbines.
It is estimated that some 50 million feral children and upwards of 1 billion owned children exist in the United States. The city of New York may have as many as half a million stray 5-year-olds alone. But the study calls into question the so-called Trap-Spank-Return policy for managing these strays, which is designed to reduce the destructive behaviour of outdoor children without killing them. Some experts argue that when urban communities of feral kids endure they serve as a magnet for parents seeking a place to dump their unwanted offspring. The study’s surprisingly high estimates of pet deaths supports this – large groups of cruel, fur-tugging toddlers could represent dire consequences for cats and dogs allowed outside.
A recent statement by the Inhumane Society’s conservation director, Peter Futt, identified a middle ground in this heated arena:
“Is there such a thing as a cat-person or a child-person? It’s not about toddlers versus cats, it’s about trying to slowly eradicate both.”
But many people involved in pet stroking are far less accommodating. Marjorie Johansson, author of “Wagsy”, a book about her experiences as a professional cat fondler, had this to say:
“As a pet lover, I see firsthand the damage children do to cats. Letting even domesticated toddlers outside, free to roam the gardens where cats provide a valuable service reducing local bird pest populations, is by far the most egregious way to harm pets. People who would never dream of shoving their kitten headfirst into a high-speed blender, ramming on the lid, and turning it on at the megapuree setting go ahead and let their children outside, which more often than not accomplishes the exact same outcome, but in a slower, more horrifying and gruesome way. And the impact of that can have further ramifications. If that cat is a single surrogate mother to an otter pup or baby marmot, those lovely, little, fluffy, cuddly, young animals will starve to death with their tiny faces practically torn off with grief.”