Originally Posted by zoeysmom
I have first hand experience with PFFL (That's where Zoey came from
While I don't know that I'd adopt another pet from the shelter (due to the circumstances surrounding Zoey's illness), nothing there struck me as abusive.
Yes, it smells like cat. But, from what I've heard, the publicly funded shelters here smell even worse. It's not the nicest place in the world, but I really don't think the even a professionally decorated shelter would last too long with all those cats and claws!
From everything I could see, there were plenty of volunteers there strictly for the purpose of giving those kitties the attention they deserve. There were lots of toys and make shift climbers for the cats. All the cats seemed content and relaxed. I didn't see one cat hiding while I was there (and I did walk all the way to the back at one point).
I do, however, wish there there were some safeguards against diseases. I hate the ideas of cats in cages, but at least that way they have their own litter box. Fewer cats coming into contact with each other would be nice, I think, but with so many cats, I can't see how it would be feasible (without spending a lot of money to build small rooms for a smaller # of cats to stay in).
From everything I could tell of Bonnie, she truly cared about the animals. She did not charge me a fee for Zoey and let me take her to my own vet to be spayed. When Zoey got sick one night (she was still a foster), she called me back at 10pm after she got home from work to answer my concerns.
While my experience with Zoey has left me a bit squeamish about shelters (I hope someday that wears off, because I would truly love to adopt a shelter cat), I do know that without P/FFL, there would be an awful lot of cats without shelter, food, or love in St. T.
I'm sorry you had to go through that with Zoey(read your profile on her). Did you adopt her in-between November 2007 and September 2008? That time I was away from the shelter. Having had a major falling out with the owner and a few other volunteers.
I agree with you that there should be a better way to prevent diseases. But the disease that Zoey got was an airborne virus, and sadly, not even caging them would have prevented that illness. The only thing that can is vaccinating and boostering prior to them coming into the shelter.
But when they come in as a stray or they need to come in immediately, then it's hard to do that. We can vaccinate them when they come in, but half the time the stress alone causes them to get ill.
We lose more kittens than anything, because they are so fragile. They NEED to be somewhere with no other cats, and that's simply impossible.
Right now our kitten room, (were you in there?) is now transformed into a dog room and we have 7 cages set up in the office, full of kittens that need to be either vaccinated or boostered. Our vet recommends waiting 3 weeks after the BOOSTER before they join the main population, but it's hard when you are running out of room.
We actually had smaller rooms and they opened up all the rooms for some reason. I liked having those separate rooms.. it was easier for me. But they found it harder to clean. Hauling the vacuum through 3 sets of doors. I can understand that, but I think leaving the doors there and not bashing out the walls would have benefited.
But I think we are doing the best with what we currently have. We could do better, but we need money and people willing to do the work for us.
We hope to have new kitten rooms set up for the summer of 2010. We don't have enough time or money or volunteers to do it at this time.. (Like a 6x6 rooms for a mum and litter or a few kittens, ect etc. Bigger than a cage, but still leaving enough room for lots of rooms. One end glass so people can look in and see them.)
This upcoming kitten season we are looking to place all kittens straight into foster so they don't even need to come into the shelter.. just until we can get these rooms put together. So we are scrambling trying to gather enough foster homes for just that.
I again am so sorry you went through that with Zoey. It doesn't often happen. I know sometimes some cats come in with problems internally, and we've lost a whole litter in just a matter of days.. and the vet thinks that sometimes they are sick before they even came in, that the stress released the dormant disease. But I don't know.
Are you from St Thomas or the area?