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Abandoned kitten rant....

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I work as a vet tech at a cats only clinic. Over the last three months there has been an explosion of kittens! We had a stray cat come in who very promptly gave birth to three kittens. Then somebody found two kittens on the side of the road that were about 4-5 days old. Well, the momma cat (Fifi) adopted them as well. And then two more came in and same story. So Fifi was nursing 7 kittens! So we started out with our seven (now 2 months old).

Almost every single day a client comes in with a kitten that they've found. And about half the time, they can't keep them for various reasons. So naturally, us being the suckers that we are, we've taken many of them in. Over the last month we've had 15 kittens! 15! We've adopted out probably around 6. But every day it seems like we get another. These are the sweetest, healthiest babies. Especially the ones that were born at the clinic. The most socialized kittens you will ever seen. Yet still, we're having the hardest time adopting them out.

Today took the cake though. Somebody walked in the door, set down a cardboard box, and walked out the door without a word. Inside? 3 black kittens. I can't believe the gumption of that person. To just expect somebody else to take care of their kittens! You didn't have your cat spayed, it's your responsibility. It makes me sick.

We can't take them all in. As is, we're going through a 5lb bag of kitten food in 2 days, not to mention deworming, vaccinations, flea treatment, etc. It's getting insanely expensive. Not to mention you can't walk without a cat or kitten almost knocking you down. All the shelters in our area are full. All the adoption organizations.... There is nowhere for these babies to go. I know we can't take them all...but it breaks my heart. We're going to have to take the little black kittens to the shelter tomorrow. It's almost certain they will immediately be put down.

It just makes me so angry. If only people would spay their pets. We have a low cost spay/neuter clinic in town. You can get vouchers from the shelters.... There's many options to help financially. For about $30-50 you can get your cat neutered or spayed. It's so simple.... I guess it's easy to ignore it if you don't have to deal with the heartbreak of ending the lives of these adorable innocent babies.

Sorry. Just had a hard day and knew ya'll would understand!
post #2 of 11
This is the one major reason why I couldn't work in a vets office or fully in rescue...the heartbreaking amount of homeless babies who have no say whatsoever in their fate. I just couldn't do it. I know if I did work in rescue, I'd be such a mess from crying all the time.

You can rant and vent anytime you need to. We all need a place to do that, and this is it...welll, for kitties at least LOL
post #3 of 11
Rant away, darlin'. I am with you 1000 percent. I do volunteer work in rescue and I have up until recently tried to stay away from the "front end" of this work - dealing with kill shelters, abandoned animals, unwanted kittens the product of lazy, stupid people who don't get their animals fixed and then want SOMEONE ELSE (you, me, whomever) to take care of the problem.

I know I am going to shed some tears before I walk away.

It seems to be getting worse and I know here in Michigan the economy is playing a role.

This one kill shelter I am railing against had 21 cats come in in one day - ONE DAY! including 14 kittens!!!!! And they have two weeks to find homes and that is it. They will be put down.


That is in addition to kittens and cats that were already there.

No one wants these babies -- it is soooooo sad. And then you look on CL and see how many people have kittens to give away or rehome for a small fee. It is mind-boggling!!!!

ETA: we also have low-cost programs around here -- people STILL don't bother.
post #4 of 11
I know what you mean.

I had a friend contact me this morning. She got rid of all the strays and ferals on her street last summer--by adopting out who she could and taking some to a shelter etc. Well just this week someone is roofing a house down the street and she spoke to another neighbor who said the man who is roofing brought 4 kittens and dropped them on the block because the shelter was full and there aren't any cats on the block.

I also deal with this whole rescue deal in my box turtle collection--however I deal with people who take wild turtles and realize 10 years down the line they really have no idea what they are doing and leave it to me to try and fix 10 years of neglect.

post #5 of 11
Man, that's terrible to hear. I know the area I reside in now has an abundant number of strays in the area.

As Addie mentioned, the dwindling economy does not help by any means. However, IMO a lot of these shelters and local vets should start being more active in their communities i.e. low-cost neutering programs. Not only that, but actually getting the community aware about such programs. One would think such pro-active programs would be more cost efficient in the long run for both owners, shelters and vets (getting their name out there). It also shouldn't be as difficult as it is to get a low-cost neutering. If memory serves me correctly, one has to meet several requirements and subsequently submit forms, etc.

I imagine it is much more difficult on the receiving end seeing a large influx of strays and a small turnover to recipients. It is truly heart-breaking and something I could never do. I take my hat off to those who volunteer their time and efforts to these shelters.
post #6 of 11
I'm running into the same problems here. There are 7 confirmed strays/ferals that come to my porch every night for the food and water I put out. (i've managed to trap, neuter and release 2 of them). On top of those, there are the 15 or so cats that I only see sometimes, and then the random ones I may only see once or twice before they dissappear. The other night, I watched a feral mother taking her 3 feral kittens out for a midnight prowl. I guess the kittens are probably about 7 weeks old or so, and not likely to be socialized unless they're caught right now. I had a neighbor that had a cat, and when she moved, she left her cat behind.

But there's no shelter in my city. Even the humane society won't take any. They'll only keep a found animal for 3 days before euthanizing it, unless it had a chip or a collar. There are only two or three people in the area listed as fosters. The vets don't want anything to do with strays. They'd rather put them down than offer reduced price care.

I've taken in and rehomed as many as I can, but right now I have a mother cat that needs to be spayed, and I'm not sure where I'll get the money. Not to mention if I end up having to keep the kittens another few months, where I'll get the finds for those as well.

There don't seem to be any programs here to help with altering animals -- pets or ferals -- and the few that do aren't advertised. Here you can get it at reduced costs if you recieve government aid --social security, food stamps, WIC, etc. But no one tells you it's out there. We know, because we live in it day in and day out, doing our best to fix up these poor little battered things that fall into our hands so often. But the people who really need to know about the spaying and neutering programs don't know about them.

I think we need to campaign for awareness. Not only to remind people to alter their pets, but to tell them where the help is available. I just don't know where to start.

And Here in Clarksville, we need a shelter. I don't know what to do to get us one either. Petition? Government grant? Act of congress? Hm, Act of God, maybe? I don't know, but this town is overrun with strays and ferals, and it breaks my heart. I'm doing what I can but it never seems like enough. Kudos to all who try to help .I just wish I knew more of what I could do.
post #7 of 11
I just wanted to say bless you to all those of you doing your best to help these unfortunate animals - we can't help them all unfortunately, all we can do is help as many as we are physically able to without causing overcrowding issues (and I know how hard it is to keep at a decent level, I have been constantly over my limit this year, but now two fosters are showing signs of stress) - and most importantly, remember that this isn't our fault, it is others that are creating this situation, and all we can do is help what we can - you all seem to have it harder than us though.
post #8 of 11
I wish there was something I could do to help with these problems. It seems like no matter where you go there are strays and ferals. Every so often (around here) there are people who care enough to try to help. If I could, I would take in as many stray cats as I could handle, but I am not allowed to have any more. I cant stand it when someone has a pet and just lets it go or whatever. Its wrong. Thats why things are like this.

The Humane Society near me is actually pretty good with prices on spay/neuter. Before I got Monster done, I had taken him in for his shots, and the vet asked me if I wanted to put a deposit down to get him neutered, and I did, but they want a $25 deposit and I only had $10 after the bill for the shots. But, he wanted me to put a deposit down, so they took my $10 deposit, and I only payed $70 all together to get Monster neutered. Mittens was already spayed. See, I want to work with animals, and I am in college right now, and originally wanted to do Veterinary practice, but I changed my mind. I dont know if I can handle all the things I would see being a vet. But after reading this, I might change my mind back, because then I MIGHT be able to help.
post #9 of 11
There's a post on craigslist in my area right now. The poster said that someone dumped off about 8 momma cats, and all their offspring (40+ kittens), on her sister's property. Sister's neighbor has a rottweiler that has started killing them (no animal control here to speak of).

Another person was "desperately" trying to find homes for 15 of his own kittens. I emailed about a lower cost spay option from the shelter and he got rude. Must have hit a nerve.
post #10 of 11
Man! I guess I never really even thought about the whole stray cat(and dog)issue.Since I always loved my pets and was a responsible owner(having them fixed,required vet care,etc.)...also much of my naivete has been due to my living in either rural or semi-rural areas.Now that I`m back in an actual city I see firsthand that this epidemic of unwanted and feral animals is not only cruel and inhumane but also a blight on the community.

There should be an actual cat/dog birth control law on the books.Not a socialist here but maybe just for mandatory spaying/neutering of 90% of household pets(exceptions for breeding stock,etc. with legitimized documentation papers?).Most DVMs offer reduced-rate spaying/neutering as I understand it but how can we make the system work better?

Sorry for the soapbox,people.I`m new here and also a new cat owner.I did my small part for the problem by adopting a genuine alley kitten that was abandoned behind my carport.My feeling is that she was dropped off by someone(probably with siblings and a mother cat?)since she is fully tame and used to human contact.We have enough sorry-looking,homeless cats in the area.Don`t you just love doing the right thing?...and getting a wonderful little companion out of it?

Thanks for reading!
post #11 of 11
I have a suggestion for you. Call your local paper with a plea for them to write a story about the fast growing abandoned kitten population and to feature the remaining kittens. Believe it or not, within 48 hours of your kittens appearing in the paper, I bet you they'll be adopted to families who want them.

They do this in Australia & in the UK, and they very quickly not only adopt out the featured animals, but they have an influx of interested people. People basically see the kittens, fall in love with that specific kitten, and want that kitten.

In Australia, they feature older animals, we're talking 3 - 8 year old dogs & cats & bunnies & the like, and within 48 hours, there's no chance you'll adopt that specific animal, because at least 20 people were qualified, capable and wanted him/her first - each & every animal. I really love and support the newspapers doing this, because it gives that specific animal exposure to people who fall in love with him/her from a photograph and genuinely want him/her.

Disturbingly enough this works in human adoption too - seriously, back in the 40's when the adoption rate was low, and kids were overfilling the children homes a social worker came up with the idea to feature adoptable children in newspapers, and soon, the demand outweighed how many kids were adoptable.
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