I had a delightful and informative tour of multi-talented Siglinda Scarpa’s amazing Goathouse Refuge and Gallery this week.
What an incredibly designed and staffed cat and kittens rescue operations she designed at her home off Highway 87 on Alton Alston Road about five miles north of Pittsboro. It was more like a complete cat city than what I imagined. Given her passion and compassion for caring for unwanted cats of all ages, medical needs or temperament, I was not surprised to read on her web site that this was her childhood dream.
I had such an enjoyable visit that I plan to return this Saturday April 28 sometime between 2 and 5 pm for the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party fundraiser. I have already had some of Siglinda’s natural herbal tea. Please join me to help this worthy cause and enjoy lively music, larger-than-life Jan Filer puppets and your fill of Cheshire Puss Tea, Jabberwocky wine and Alice’s favorite desserts. Ticket price is $50 but will be deducted from the purchase of a Siglinda Scarpa teapot.
However, I was there for was for more serious cat business. Siglinda asked me to look into two possible legislative initiatives: abolishing euthanasia for cats via carbon monoxide and providing free spaying and neutering for low-income cat owners. I told Siglinda that her initiatives sound reasonable and that I would try to learn what other progressive and animal welfare supportive states have adopted to see what appropriate policies might look like.
I have learned that a large number of states prohibit carbon monoxide gas chambers, in large part, because it causes a slow and painful death. It can take up to 25 minutes before a cat expires. Most states authorize injection of sodium pentobarbital or a similar agent. This is quick and painless. I would certainly be willing to pursue this further if I am elected to the legislature.
As to the issue of spaying and neutering, it appears that most of the states have extensive community based non-profit run free spaying and neutering . It was not clear to me if these were financed by state or local government. So, I agree with Siglinda that the best way to prevent euthanasia of unwanted and abused cats is to promote spaying and neutering programs that are free or affordable to all. I am committed to exploring how to provide free spaying and neutering services through the cooperative efforts of state and local government and the non-profit animal welfare organizations.