I'm writing in response to the letter from Ann Willis admonishing people to "fix their pets," which appeared in the Mirror on July 7.
I respectfully suggest this message may be directed at the wrong people.
I live in a rural area near the Cambria/Blair County line. Apparently, this area has become a designated dumping ground for unloved and unwanted cats. These traumatized and frightened creatures are left to fend for themselves on the mountain.
Most die of starvation, exposure, illness or get run over on the highway.
The lucky ones manage to find we animal lovers to provide food and some type of shelter. But they never regain enough trust to allow contact with their human benefactors.
During the winter of 2010, a dumped, skinny pregnant cat took refuge in our shed.
Likely due to poor nutrition during her early pregnancy, she gave birth to two tiny kittens with health issues and each blind in one eye.
One of the kittens died within the first few months.
The remaining kitten grew up, and over time, I was able to gain a enough trust for her to bring her first-born kitten to show me before she left to deliver her second kitten.
We plan to have her and her kittens spayed and will welcome them into our family.
However, this happy ending does nothing to resolve the problem of the other approximately 15 feral cats that have appeared over the years and are still too fearful of humans to allow me any physical contact with them - let alone try to have them spayed.
What would you suggest I do with them? They are all beautiful cats - siamese, black and white, gray, black long-hairs - and they have done nothing to deserve to be euthanized.
I don't begrudge them the $70 a week needed to provide their food and milk.
But where is the accountability of those former pet owners who were inhumane and heartless enough to dump these beautiful animals and cause them such terrible fear and misery?