On any given night in Toronto it is estimated that over 100,000 lost, abandoned and feral cats roam the city streets. Never spayed or neutered, these cats produce thousands of offspring adding to the burgeoning number of homeless pets. In Canada, 400,000 unwanted animals are euthanized each year, at least two-thirds of them cats. Euthanizing unwanted animals has been seen as the only viable solution by animal control agencies to deal with cat overpopulation. Now cat rescue groups, shelter workers and humane societies alike are calling for a stop to the needless killing of healthy, adoptable animals and are demanding humane alternatives.
Cat City takes the viewer into the heart of the issue of cat overpopulation by going to the frontlines of the crisis in Canada, following grassroots activists, shelter workers and cat lovers as they tirelessly work to rescue these vulnerable animals. The documentary faces the crisis head-on, talking to experts in cat population control, one of whom has a solution that could be applied across the country. The Calgary Animal Control plan includes managed cat ownership and low-cost sterilization at a municipally funded veterinary clinic. Cat City asks “Why not Toronto – and why not now? In fact, why not all of Canada?”
Producer-director Justine Pimlott’s film focuses on the selfless dedication of individuals who refuse to let suffering continue unabated, and looks at the solutions available if a unified approach can be taken. “Filming Cat City we found rescue groups are stretched to the limit and saw first-hand the huge personal toll this struggle takes on the people who have given over their lives to this cause.” says Pimlott. “This crisis speaks to us as a society about who we want to be as Canadians. Mahatma Ghandi said ‘The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.’ Cat City asks all of us to take a stand.”
In Cat City we meet:
Robert Brydges, the caretaker of a feral cat colony at Bluffers Park in Toronto, who was in the news this past June when animal control officers tried to intervene on the fate of the colony;
The late Joyce Smith, who passed away during the filming of Cat City, leaving behind the privately-run Second Chance shelter with hundreds of cats waiting for adoption;
Calgary’s Director of Animal Services, Bill Bruce, who offers a municipal model to solve the problem;
Toronto Cat Rescue President Ferne Sinkins, who joins her volunteers in trapping stray and feral cats to take them to foster homes or to be released after spaying and neutering.
The Humane Society of Canada’s Michael O’Sullivan, who asks “What does it tell us about our society when an animal becomes as disposable as a pop can?”
Cat City is directed & written by Justine Pimlott and produced by Maya Gallus & Justine Pimlott of Gemini Award-winning Red Queen Productions in association with Canwest & with the participation of The Canadian Television Fund. For more information visit: http://redqueenproductions.com/.
Cat City will air on Friday, October 9th at 8pm on Global Television’s Currents. Follow links to:
National Feral Cat Day is October 16th:
Red Queen Productions