Five of the more than 50 cats surrendered recently from a single Victoria home huddle together. Most of the cats have upper respiratory and eye infections, and need serious dental work. (Photo courtesy of Victoria BC SPCA)

EDITORIAL: Caring for pets a tricky business at times

Animals in crisis have been in the news this week

It’s a proven scientific fact that pets can improve your life. The potential increase in daily physical exercise, the socialization and companionship are just some of the ways dogs, cats and other animal friends have been known to leave a paw print on us as humans.

But, with the benefits comes the responsibilities of pet ownership and sometimes those can fall out of our hands.

In the Victoria News this week, it may seem like a running theme was animals. The story of an apparent hoarder who was housing more than 50 cats in their home struck a chord with readers online. Our video with Victoria BC SPCA branch manager Annie Prittie Bell at the shelter detailed the poor condition of many of the cats, which will ultimately be put up for adoption by the public.

Organizers of this Sunday’s (Sept. 10) Paws for a Cause, the BC SPCA’s annual fundraiser walk, community barbecue and trade fair at Clover Point, aim to raise even more than usual due to the added expense of caring for these cats.

The Victoria Humane Society has accepted close to 50 cats and dogs for temporary adoption, surrendered by people displaced by wildfires across the province.

Despite our best intentions, the animals we take into our care don’t always receive the best we have to offer. What do you do when your circumstances drastically change, sometimes overnight, and you can barely take care of yourself, let alone your pet? One’s financial situation, mental health and housing can all impact a pet’s life.

While our city hasn’t faced mass evacuation or destruction of homes due to wildfires, it’s no secret that for renters, it’s becoming more difficult to find modestly priced housing that allows pets to nestle beside you every night.

So, while science tells us making a set of paws part of the family is a good thing, how can we follow doctor’s orders when it seems like the odds are stacked against us?