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Should this person be working for the humane society??

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I just talked with my old neighbor. She and her husband (both elderly) started feeding a sweet calico stray outside last year (they named her Calli). They are both older and are living on fixed incomes so they couldn't afford to take her for her shots and get her fixed. Plus, they are "old school" and not educated in the way to take care of pets. But, they fell in love with her.

Well, she had litter of six. The husband went out one morning and apparently petted Calli the wrong way, and she scratched him. Now, he is in his 70's and on a lot of medication, so immediately called his doctor to make sure there wouldn't be a problem. The doctor said it should be fine but to call the humane society to make sure.

His wife called, explained the situation, and someone from the humane society was there in an hour. She told her "well, basically, since there aren't any rabies shots on record, we need to trap her, kill her and cut her head off and examine the brain to make sure she didn't have rabies".

My neighbor was in tears! Now, I know that is one way to deal with it, but isn't another option to isolate the cat for 10 days to make sure she didn't show any signs? How cold can someone be? She didn't trap her, but the next day, another worker (much more compassionate) came and got her and her kittens. Calli was euthanized and her kittens went up for adoption.

First, I know they should have taken her in to get her spayed once they decided to keep her, but they are living on a very fixed income living on what little social security gave them, plus...like I said they are from a generation that didn't think about spay/neutering. (I will also say these are my old neighbors...as in, over a year ago, and just found out about this today).

But, did she have to say what was going to happen that bluntly? They did love that kitty.
post #2 of 17
Unfortunately, just because your friends are elderly- it does not excuse them from not spaying/neutering their cat. I say their cat- because when you feed an animal for more than 3 days (and certainly a year) it is considered your property. So technically -they are responsible for them...and that includes spay/neuter and vaccinations whether they have the $ or not. If money was an issue- AC should have been called out long before now to pick up Calli and have her altared and rehomed if possible.

I am soo sorry this happened. The person on the phone should have not been so blunt- that is rude! However you are right- in most instances- the animal should be trapped then held on Rabies Watch for 10 days.

NOW that said- the person scratched or bit should still get rabies vaccinations immedately as time is very important (even if you're "sure" the cat is negative- it still pays to be safe and get the shots as without them, if there is the slightest chance the animal is positive- it is pretty much a death sentence.)

Since your neighbor was older- they probably wanted to attend to the situation asap- so having her euthanized immedately and then sending her remains to a lab would be the most quick way to tell them "yes or no" on the rabies. I am soo sorry that they were soo rude to them on the phone- there was no need to upset them like that- but the person was probably just being honest if they asked her what was going to happen to the cat.

I still think they should have held her for 10 days and then decided what to do from then. That's what we normally do before jumping to conclusions and euthanizing an animal unnecessarily. I do hope the kittens go on to find good new forever homes
post #3 of 17
My god, that's so disgusting! You can't speak like that to people
post #4 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by calico2222 View Post
someone from the humane society was there in an hour. She told her "well, basically, since there aren't any rabies shots on record, we need to trap her, kill her and cut her head off and examine the brain to make sure she didn't have rabies".
did they really say that to old person that is so insensitive poor old couple im sad for them and calli

Quote:
Originally Posted by StarryEyedTiGeR View Post
Unfortunately, just because your friends are elderly- it does not excuse them from not spaying/neutering their cat. I say their cat- because when you feed an animal for more than 3 days (and certainly a year) it is considered your property. So technically -they are responsible for them...and that includes spay/neuter and vaccinations whether they have the $ or not. If money was an issue- AC should have been called out long before now to pick up Calli and have her altared and rehomed if possible.
old people feeding calli doesnt make them owner of her and cats arent property they are animals and being that old and not having much money they just feed calli so she dont starve to death

i hope the situation doesnt have bad effect on old couple if they got attached it may break their heart knowing the fate of their poor kitty
post #5 of 17
I would contact the director of the humane society and tell them what happened.
post #6 of 17
Why was she euthanized?? *sigh*

That person was rather rude to your neighbors.........I wouldnt want them working at the HS.
post #7 of 17
heck I wouldn't want them working anywhere.

I understand OK, if the only test method that is available for rabies is via euthanasia, that's one thing. You don't need to be graphic about it.

Maybe this person should into being a doctor...I know some of mine are a bit too graphic.
post #8 of 17
I think I'd call and speak to the director too in this case. Unfortunately there was little the HS could do because there was no rabies shots involved. Too bad the neighbors just couldn't adopt a cat that already was neutered/spayed and then save for the shots, etc.

I feel sorry for all involved.
post #9 of 17
Were you there when this conversation took place?

Anyway I wonder why they would check for rabies on a scratch. You only check when they are biting through and breaking the skin.

Another poster is correct. They can hold the cat for 10 days. This is another option. Unfortionately perhaps they are over run with cats and don't have the space to wait.
post #10 of 17
Why didn't you neighbors adopt one of her kittens? If I were the case worker, I would've offered a kitten up to your neighbors...probably for free. Then only ask for the fees for spay/neuter and shots.
post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Breal76 View Post
Were you there when this conversation took place?

Anyway I wonder why they would check for rabies on a scratch. You only check when they are biting through and breaking the skin.
No, I wasn't there when the conversation took place. I didn't know about Callie until after the fact. I had moved and just talked to my old neighbor the other day.

You can get rabies from a scratch, especially if you have a compromised immune system, and they are elderly on a lot of medication. The doctor recommended calling the humane society for more info, and they came and took the cat.
post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lunasmom View Post
Why didn't you neighbors adopt one of her kittens? If I were the case worker, I would've offered a kitten up to your neighbors...probably for free. Then only ask for the fees for spay/neuter and shots.
They weren't looking to adopt a cat. The wife has health issues so having a cat indoors is out of the question. They were just trying to help her live. They tapped into their own food fund to make sure the cat ate and got some love, and had a dry place to sleep on their porch.
post #13 of 17
Bless the older folks who tried to help the poor soul .... I would love to get a hold of the IDIOT who scared them like that
post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by calico2222 View Post
No, I wasn't there when the conversation took place. I didn't know about Callie until after the fact. I had moved and just talked to my old neighbor the other day.

You can get rabies from a scratch, especially if you have a compromised immune system, and they are elderly on a lot of medication. The doctor recommended calling the humane society for more info, and they came and took the cat.
You know I have never heard of someone contracting rabies from a scratch. lol. I guess you do learn something new everyday. However, I have never heard of a shelter testing for rabies on a scratch. Unless the animals was showing some serious signs for rabies. My god, if every shelter tested for rabies on a scratches they wouldn't get anything done!


As far as what the people were "told" I am sorry but I am a firm believer in (especially when it comes to the subject matter of shelter life.) What people hear and what they are told are two different things. You have already said they were elderly. I think the person who came out told them what was going to happen. But they weren't as harsh as they had worded it to you.
post #15 of 17
I recently learned these things:

1) Cats often bathe themselves. Since rabies is spread through saliva, it can be contracted through a scratch. Raccoons can easily spread the disease this way too because they eat with their paws.

2) The incubation period for rabies in cats is faster than it is in humans. That is why there is no need for the person who was scratched or bitten to have shots if the cat is available. The health department in my area recommends quarantining a cat for 10 days. If he/she is still alive and well, the cat does not have rabies. If the cat disappears it is assumed that he/she did not survive and rabies shots are required.
post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Serpant_King View Post
old people feeding calli doesnt make them owner of her and cats arent property they are animals and being that old and not having much money they just feed calli so she dont starve to death

i hope the situation doesnt have bad effect on old couple if they got attached it may break their heart knowing the fate of their poor kitty
I work for AC in our area...so i am not being mean...just quoting the laws that we go by. (i'm assuming the laws in the area involved in this thread are similar) And yes- as much as many people take offense to the idea of calling our beloved pets "property" -animals ARE considered property in the law's eye. (which is why owners are held liable in cases of dog bites/abuse..etc.) Keep in mind- that these laws also hold people responsible for animal abuse/etc liable when they abuse or mistreat their animal or "property", so in a way- having the law as it is somewhat protects some animals and allows us to prosecute people who harm them. It's not ment to be an insult to the furbabies we love- it's ment to help them and hold owners accountable for caring for their animal.

When a person in our area feeds and animal (that is not theirs) for three days- they become your property. - so technically, if they have been feeding her for over a year (even though they had the sweetest intentions) - she was their property- and when they fed her- in the law's eyes- they assumed responsibility for her. I'm not being mean- but that's just how the AC laws work in numerous states in the US.

I think it was very kind hearted of them to try and take care of her- i wish we had more compassionate people like that everywhere. That being said though- reguardless of the couple's age- the cat did become their property when they started feeding it....so if they saw that they wouldn't be able to care for her properly (by having her spayed/vaccinated...etc) the right thing to do would have been to call out a no kill rescue or an AC officer to pick the animal up and have it altared- so that it might have a chance to be rehomed and find a loving forever home that would be able to afford proper care. Not let it go unvaccinated and then have to be pts as a result of a potential rabies case. They had the best of intentions it seems- and it seems they have a wonderful heart...but sometimes, caring is not enough- animals need proper medical care and prevention.
post #17 of 17
When I was bit by a feral kitten, I immediately called my vet to find out the occurance of rabies in our area and for advice on what to do about the kitten. There were no reported cases in the county for years and he told me to trap and isolate the kitten for 10 days as a precautionary measure.

The humane society should keep up with the occurance of rabies in their area. Perhaps your area has a lot of cases and therefore there was real concern. But it is so rare these days and there is the option to quarantine for 10 days.

While the HS may have followed their process to the letter of the law, they are not doing their community justice by taking the tactic they did with this couple. This was an opportunity to educate, or give them referrals to low cost spaying. This cat was needlessly euthanized.
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