Cats and kittens arrive here by a variety of means; some are dumped - at the side of busy roads, in car parks, in the middle of nowhere, in the Tourist Office(!); some are reported by concerned neighbors, most are excess of breeding that are not wanted, they are brought with promises that the mother will be neutered - which is often an empty promise.
Others are dumped on the properties of people the dumper believes is an animal person - as far as they are concerned they have done the best by this animal by putting it within reach of someone who actually cares enough to intervene. And still others are less fortunate - they can be tossed from a moving vehicle or worse. The survivors are all lucky to be alive.
Nearly every kitten & cat that has passed through our doors has had a belly fat with worms (in contrast with their undernourished, skeletal body), is riddled with fleas and ear mites and, more often than not, can barely see for some kind of eye infection or other. Adult males are also usually raggedy with torn ears, patches of fur missing and/or numerous scratches from fighting. What breaks my heart is it only takes a few days to see an improvement and often the animal appears completely healthy and cared for after just a few weeks. Kittens we think are only 5 weeks old when they arrive blossom and have growth spurts which leave me wondering if they're actually several weeks older. Males we neuter are much less aggressive and will live longer as a result. Neutered females also live longer - and won't have to cope with scavenging for food for litter after litter that, despite their efforts, end up dying before maturity. Food and care make such a difference; early treatment, before these problems get out of control needn't be expensive and certainly isn't time consuming - if caught at onset eye infections can be often be cleared up simply by regular bathing in water. But for some reason negligence seems to be the rule rather than the exception in this area.
So it was due to what seems to be a shocking case of 'supply seriously exceeding demand' that gave birth to RAWR's mantra: Neuter, Neuter, Neuter.