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Dear Animal Shelter

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Dear Animal Shelter,

I know you do a great deal to help cats. You find forever homes for thousands of them. But I'm curious...is there a magic formula to determine who gets your help?

Remember when I asked for help placing an FIV+. He's sweet, health is good. I have so many other cats and it's so hard to work around. "Sorry, we can't do that..." Boy, was I surprised to see an FIV+ kitty featured for adoption on the cover of your newsletter. Ya'll just love him. Huh...

The last litter got dumped here in late Summer. I started calling the next day. "Sorry, call back in a week". About 20 calls and $500 in vet bills later, they're still living in my bathroom. They're mostly black, which according to the shelter rep is not easy to place. And they're not really kittens anymore, which now makes them harder to place. When I mentioned not wanting to take them to the kill shelter, my vet agreed ... said they wouldn't make it out of there. DH says he wants his bathroom back.

I think I've probably contacted you maybe 5 times over the past 3 years with a zero response. I've always been willing get them vet care, foster them if needed. You won't put me on a list, that's not how you do it. Did I mention I now have 13 cats and just can't care for anymore? And before you even think it, my pets are all altered and live inside. I'm not the problem here, at least not yet.

I've donated as much cash as I can and truckloads of donations to your thrift store. You don't know me by name, cause I don't ask for receipts, but you would know my face. When my friends have items to take to Goodwill, etc, I ask them to give them to me instead so I can bring them in to you. Afterall, it's for the animals.

I'm not good at placing animals. I've exhausted all my possibilities and truthfully think it's best I don't even know where they go. I never hesitate to help an injured cat or one that is in a potentially life threatening situation. I figure you just have to do what needs to be done and it will all work out. Except it's not working out anymore. My life and finances are being pretty much ruled by these little good deeds I've been piling up. I've even wondered lately if someday I may have to euthanize my way out of the problem.

I get so digusted when I see animal neglect stories on the news, but I'm also starting to wonder if those people also tried to get help and there was none to be had. During my last call to the shelter in December I was told that since they just took in a bunch of cats from a hoarder it wasn't likely they'd have any room in the near future. DH says that someday that's going to be me.

Anyway, sorry for the rant. I do thank you for all you do to help animals. I'm sure you're just as frustrated as I am. Maybe it's gotten to the point where only emergencies make it to the top of the list. I guess I should hope I never make it there.

Your buddy,
Cinder

Thought I'd feel better after writing that. I don't.
post #2 of 25
is all I can think of right now.
post #3 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by neetanddave View Post
is all I can think of right now.
Me too
post #4 of 25
I know it is hard but honestly, it is not easy being on the other side of it either

We never turn down animals based on colour or anything else. If they are strays they are brought in no questions asked. But now we are getting to a point where when we are full, people know that we stop taking surrenders to keep space for the stray ones that need help more and they drop off their animal that they dont want to deal with anymore and leave it sitting in a no kill shelter.

I work with our more unadoptable animals and sometimes wonder why I bother, it is great to see them go home but they are never truly happy. We end up spending an absolute fortune getting tests and vaccinations that are probably already done but we have no idea because some idiot didn't even leave a note. We have 4 cats right now with microchips. Great we think, they will be so happy to hear we found their cat - all four of them, the information was removed from the chip.

And to top it off, most no-kill shelters are not city owned and so get no government funding while all my tax paying dollars go to a shelter I refuse to even set foot in, who claim to be no-kill because they don't take in any strays or surrenders - they send you next door to animal control and then pick and choose the most adoptable of animals from there after the city pays for their vaccinations etc.

Life at an animal shelter sucks for people and animals
post #5 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the

I truthfully couldn't imagine working hands on with the animals daily at a shelter. I've done some fund raising, committee work, etc, but I don't even deal well with sick and injured animals being euthanized.

It seems like what should be the real purpose of shelters is being defeated. Any decent pet owner who finds an animal and tries to right thing might as well forget it. There's no room at the inn. People must think I like not having been anywhere overnight in 15 years, because they are always calling wanting to know if I want a stray they found. What's one more? Well, besides hundreds of dollars a year for the vet, food, litter, a few hours of my time morning & night.... not much. Why don't you just keep it? Oh.... you already have one!

I feel a bad case of cranky setting in.
post #6 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by icklemiss21 View Post
I work with our more unadoptable animals and sometimes wonder why I bother, it is great to see them go home but they are never truly happy. We end up spending an absolute fortune getting tests and vaccinations that are probably already done but we have no idea because some idiot didn't even leave a note. We have 4 cats right now with microchips. Great we think, they will be so happy to hear we found their cat - all four of them, the information was removed from the chip.
I can't fathom people abandoning their pets in this manner, but then you look at what others do to their children and it's no better. Having no money is one thing, no heart or conscience is another.
post #7 of 25
More for you.
post #8 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cinder View Post
I can't fathom people abandoning their pets in this manner, but then you look at what others do to their children and it's no better. Having no money is one thing, no heart or conscience is another.
I know, it was over a year ago but my heart still sinks when I think about a woman who brought in 4 young cats to surrender because she was getting her kids a kitten for Christmas. We had absolutely no room and she wasn't even from our city so we had to say no and she told us she would just throw them out then. People make me want to punch them most days. Oh and the guy with the 9 year old cat who wanted to trade her in for a nicer cat.. yeah i will be right on that
post #9 of 25
See, now we would say no as we cannot adopt out a FeLV or FIV+ cat. We are county impoud, so we always take in strays. However, even if they are just outside the county border, we never have space to take in stray cats from out of county. Makes it hard as we are the only humane society for a long ways around. The others are "no-kill" & as far as we know, they hardly ever have any space to take surrenders.
post #10 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by icklemiss21 View Post
I know, it was over a year ago but my heart still sinks when I think about a woman who brought in 4 young cats to surrender because she was getting her kids a kitten for Christmas. We had absolutely no room and she wasn't even from our city so we had to say no and she told us she would just throw them out then. People make me want to punch them most days. Oh and the guy with the 9 year old cat who wanted to trade her in for a nicer cat.. yeah i will be right on that
NO WAY! You're not serious! Jeez...they'd still be picking me out of that woman's face.

whitecatlover... surprisingly, of all the shelters I contacted with this last bunch, I only found one place that would take them... and that was if they were FELV+. The woman is an angel. Fortunately, they were all negative. I'll be having them spayed within the next month and then they'll go to the cat barn. No one ever leaves there, but I guess it's a better life than some have.
post #11 of 25
It was the one time I just had to walk away (not helped by the fact they were all orange tabbies - my favourites). I just had to let someone else deal with her. Personally, I would have taken the 4 cats over Christmas until we had space because they don't deserve to be with a like her but I had just brought home Autumn and didn't think having 4 extra cats would help with her socialisation.
post #12 of 25
I understand your frustration... I know with our group, we are a small, foster-based rescue and we can only take in the number of animals (cats and dogs) for which we have foster homes. And some of our fosters have many, many more animals than they should be looking after. It is a terrible dilemma.
post #13 of 25
You could easily be the lady a couple of towns down who has had to euthanize, as I last heard, over 12 kitties. She's invested thousands of $$$ of her own money; our local rescue group seems to be coming more & more doggy oriented so the kitties are less & less cared for. Many of my friends and neighbors donate soley to the organization .....At this point in time, I sometimes find myself wishing that I could get back the $$ I've donated over the years - it would sure help out with my own rescue efforts for kitties.
Time for some mega TCS prayers and vibes that we get some encouragement and the kitties in need get a WHOLE LOT of rescue
post #14 of 25
I don't understand what if other people calling on the shelter to take their cats weren't as nice as you? They would just dump them, then they would become strays and then the shelter would take them anyway. Our SPCA never refuses any animal.
post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by WellingtonCats View Post
I don't understand what if other people calling on the shelter to take their cats weren't as nice as you? They would just dump them, then they would become strays and then the shelter would take them anyway. Our SPCA never refuses any animal.
Because most no-kill shelters are now animal control and you don't know which group would pick up the animal. Everyone wants their stray or pet to go to a no-kill group.
post #16 of 25
I was ticked off by a local humane society this year because I was denied to adopt because I do not annual vaccinate. I do vaccinate just not annually. My vet could not believe I was denied! I was so sad because I knew that cat I was thinking of adopting probably got euthanized instead. Or how about how many other good homes are denied for such a stupid reason? How many cats are really killed that might have had a good home? I don't care if someone doesn't vaccinate their cats at all ever! As long as the cat gets a chance.

I did call and have a chat with them about their annual vaccination policy. All they could say was yes we understand but that is our policy. Well my kitten came from a free ad. I spent $200 on this kitten, testing for FeLV, FIV, worms, and vaccinations. This kitten will also get fixed, be well fed, well loved, and have lots of scratching posts and trees, and probably every other cat toy imaginable.

IMO it's one thing for a no-kill to have strict policies but a place that euthanzies 70% of cats all they need is vet approval and my vet gave that and I was still denied. That is a shelter I will no longer recommend, will no longer donate to.
post #17 of 25
We have a local kill shelter like that too, no animals go to homes with children under 8, to people over 60, they make you wait a week for your pet which they may turn you down for while they are euthanising other animals that could be in that cage. I never get it.

With our shelter, not vaccinating yearly would depend on who is interviewing. Most of us are fine with it as long as the animal is still seen by a vet and they get all of their kitten shots. I know one person is harder than the rest of us on people, but she used to volunteer at the shelter mentioned in the above paragraph.
post #18 of 25
Thread Starter 
That's curious. Are people over 60 supposed to be physically unable to care for a pet, or are they going to die before it does?

A few times when I called the shelter I never made it past the recording, which says they're full, period. Several times I left messages and they did call me back with phone numbers to other groups. I feel bad calling places that I know are overwhelmed and asking them to take a problem off of my hands.

I stopped the other day to check a big kitty on the road. I was pretty certain he was dead, but he didn't have a mark on him, and was wearing a collar. I actually drove a ways past him until my conscience started to gnaw at me and then went back. He was gone, so I layed him off to the side where he would be seen by anyone searching for him and went to the door of the only house closeby. (no one home, scary place ) Anyway... the whole time I'm thinking, what if he isn't dead? If he's badly hurt it won't bankrupt me to have him euthanized. But what if he's not hurt that badly? If I came home with another cat, DH would kill me. If I can't get help with 3 healthy, friendly kittens, who is going to help me with this?

I hate having to worry about stuff like that.
post #19 of 25
Not sure, I personally prefer that seniors don't take kittens but don't have a set age either, my great grandma at 60 was very healthy and still worked etc and lived into her 90s and a 25 y/o could get hit by a car tomorrow. So it depends on the person and then there is the train of thought that if the senior outlives their cat, is it better to get the cat back at 4 because they took a kitten or 12 because they took an 8-year-old cat.

I personally don't agree that children under 8 shouldn't have a pet - it teaches them responsibility (depending on the child of course, I did ask one parent to leave when her kid kicked a cat and the mom said nothing).

Our shelter is a little different I guess, if it isn't an owned cat, we never say no. We always answer our phone or call back within 24 hours if it goes to voicemail (the voicemail tends to not get checked during the day but the message will always be picked up by the next morning). We spend money on getting legs fixed etc. We would probably euthanise for FIV, FIP etc depending on whether the peeps we have who will take them can take another in at that time but never euthanise for something that is cureable.
post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by icklemiss21 View Post
Not sure, I personally prefer that seniors don't take kittens but don't have a set age either, my great grandma at 60 was very healthy and still worked etc and lived into her 90s and a 25 y/o could get hit by a car tomorrow.
& if both are responsible pet owners, they've made arrangements for their animals for their care after their death.
[that's an unwieldy sentence, isn't it? ]

my sister came to my house yesterday to help me clean [this was a Christmas present from her ] & we were talking about my furchildren, inherited furniture, etc. [she really likes my china cabinet, which was our grandmother's - she has the matching dining set].

anyway, i told her [i've told her before] that she was my executor so she would have '1st dibs' on everything except my wedding set [also was grandma's] which is the only thing i've specified an heir for [her daughter, btw].

sis is responsible for finding appropriate homes for any pets i have at the time of my death [there's a sum set aside for this] - most likely won't be any of my current cats, but i'm sure i'll have some, unless i'm in an assisted living facility for some reason.
post #21 of 25
I'm sorry Cinder, that sucks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cinder View Post
Dear Animal Shelter,

I know you do a great deal to help cats. You find forever homes for thousands of them. But I'm curious...is there a magic formula to determine who gets your help?

Remember when I asked for help placing an FIV+. He's sweet, health is good. I have so many other cats and it's so hard to work around. "Sorry, we can't do that..." Boy, was I surprised to see an FIV+ kitty featured for adoption on the cover of your newsletter. Ya'll just love him. Huh...

The last litter got dumped here in late Summer. I started calling the next day. "Sorry, call back in a week". About 20 calls and $500 in vet bills later, they're still living in my bathroom. They're mostly black, which according to the shelter rep is not easy to place. And they're not really kittens anymore, which now makes them harder to place. When I mentioned not wanting to take them to the kill shelter, my vet agreed ... said they wouldn't make it out of there. DH says he wants his bathroom back.

I think I've probably contacted you maybe 5 times over the past 3 years with a zero response. I've always been willing get them vet care, foster them if needed. You won't put me on a list, that's not how you do it. Did I mention I now have 13 cats and just can't care for anymore? And before you even think it, my pets are all altered and live inside. I'm not the problem here, at least not yet.

I've donated as much cash as I can and truckloads of donations to your thrift store. You don't know me by name, cause I don't ask for receipts, but you would know my face. When my friends have items to take to Goodwill, etc, I ask them to give them to me instead so I can bring them in to you. Afterall, it's for the animals.

I'm not good at placing animals. I've exhausted all my possibilities and truthfully think it's best I don't even know where they go. I never hesitate to help an injured cat or one that is in a potentially life threatening situation. I figure you just have to do what needs to be done and it will all work out. Except it's not working out anymore. My life and finances are being pretty much ruled by these little good deeds I've been piling up. I've even wondered lately if someday I may have to euthanize my way out of the problem.

I get so digusted when I see animal neglect stories on the news, but I'm also starting to wonder if those people also tried to get help and there was none to be had. During my last call to the shelter in December I was told that since they just took in a bunch of cats from a hoarder it wasn't likely they'd have any room in the near future. DH says that someday that's going to be me.

Anyway, sorry for the rant. I do thank you for all you do to help animals. I'm sure you're just as frustrated as I am. Maybe it's gotten to the point where only emergencies make it to the top of the list. I guess I should hope I never make it there.

Your buddy,
Cinder

Thought I'd feel better after writing that. I don't.
post #22 of 25
Cinder, that sounds really tough to deal with! More hugs and good vibes from me.

That said, neither you nor the shelter in question are capable of giving every cat you see a home. You have two choices: euthanize, or don't save every cat. That's just the way it is, and it's why education and sterilization are the best things we can do to save as many cats as we can.

As a private citizen who has obviously done wonderful things to save many cats, it sounds like you need to stop rescuing until you find homes for some of the cats you've rescued already.

Since this shelter never calls you back, I'd suggest looking at petfinder locally to find groups that put cats up for adoption, and contacting those local groups to see if they can put some of the cat's you've rescued up for adoption. Maybe you can even join a foster-only rescue group which might provide you with some safe places to put cats in need that you find.

When friends call you about rescuing cats, tell them how to do it, and don't take the cats off of their hands.
post #23 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Enuja View Post
Cinder, that sounds really tough to deal with! More hugs and good vibes from me.

That said, neither you nor the shelter in question are capable of giving every cat you see a home. You have two choices: euthanize, or don't save every cat. That's just the way it is, and it's why education and sterilization are the best things we can do to save as many cats as we can.

As a private citizen who has obviously done wonderful things to save many cats, it sounds like you need to stop rescuing until you find homes for some of the cats you've rescued already.

Since this shelter never calls you back, I'd suggest looking at petfinder locally to find groups that put cats up for adoption, and contacting those local groups to see if they can put some of the cat's you've rescued up for adoption. Maybe you can even join a foster-only rescue group which might provide you with some safe places to put cats in need that you find.

When friends call you about rescuing cats, tell them how to do it, and don't take the cats off of their hands.
That's all good advice, Enuja, even though I don't actively seek to rescue anything. If I see a kitten in the road I can't just keep driving. I don't know why I always find myself in the situations I do, but I think it's because I just can't look the other way.

I don't take cats from people who call me, but this is kind of the same problem. I give them names and phone numbers of organizations to contact, and none of them can help... I'm convinced that even if we gave away spay/neuter, the people who still wouldn't use it will be the same ones clogging up the system with unwanted animals.
post #24 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cinder View Post
NO WAY! You're not serious! Jeez...they'd still be picking me out of that woman's face.


I normally don't post in this forum, but this thread caught my attention. I don't think I could ever work in a shelter, b/c I'd be spending too much time behind bars if I had to deal with people like that. And I'm not a violent person...

Cinder, I feel your anguish. I got into it more than once with the peeps who live in back of us, for not taking proper care of their cats. I normally keep my mouth shut about a lot of things, but their improper care of animals just irks me to no end. There are quite a few peeps who know that I "stole" Salem & her babies from those , and who say I should just mind my own business, but how CAN you, when such unecessary animal abuse is going on right before your eyes? I have a hard time looking the other way, when it comes to that....

Kudos to you for taking care of all those babies, and for devoting all your time, energy, & finances on saving those precious lives. If there were more people like you (and the others here too who provide whatever care they can) the world would be a much better place.

to you, and many for those babies that they may find a good home.
post #25 of 25
Thread Starter 
I hear ya, KittKatt, when it comes to neighbors. I live in the country so they're few and far between, but I also have one of my neighbor's cats. Unfortunately, once their cat disappeared they got a dog, which sits out in the snow and barks, and barks...

I guess I shouldn't really say anything critical of shelters that have no room because it's idiots like my neighbor who are the real problem.
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