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sad weekend at the cat shelter

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I volunteer at a local cat-only no-kill shelter, and it was not such a good weekend. One of our cats, adopted in February, was returned because the woman who adopted him is moving. Great reason.

Even worse, someone abandoned 12 cats at the shelter overnight. They were all in carriers, and in "varying states of health." There was a note left that said at least one of the cats is FIV+. (They weren't kind enough to say which one that is, though.)

Someone's name was written on one of the carriers, so the Sunday crew called the police to report animal abandonment. I won't be at the shelter until Wednesday, but I'll give everyone a more thorough update then. I wonder who would do something like this.
post #2 of 18
Probably the same kind of person who dumped 26 cats at our shelter last November-
then dumped anothre 14 this past February. I'm waiting for the fall to see if it happens again; I'm pretty certain it will.

If your shelter is anything like mine, it's way out in the country and people think that it's okay to just abandon pets out there.

We recently had people return a cat who they KNEW was prone to UTI's when they adopted him and loved him so much they adopted him anyway. Fast forward 3 months and a visit to a vet who didn't know how to properly diagnose a UTI and he's back at our shelter.

It can be so frustrating at times, and really make you question your faith in people, but at the end of the day, knowing that you make a difference in those cats' lives is what has to keep you going. You mean more to them than you'll ever know.
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
The shelter I volunteer at isn't in the country, but it is one of only two no-kill shelters for cats within maybe 100 miles or so. Due to being no-kill, we're always filled up to the brim, and there is a long waiting list for owner surrendered cats. Every day I'm there, we get at least 1 phone call an hour from someone asking if we have room to take in their cat. I guess people think they're doing the best thing for their cat by basically "forcing" us to take them in, but it's really foul that they assuage their own guilt to make things worse for other cats.
post #4 of 18
I too volunteer at a no-kill shelter (actually the first of its kind in Oklahoma). We're on a HUGE acreage out in the middle of the country so that we can have lots of room for expansion when donations allow. Right now, we too are at capacity (actually, we're over-full; we just had to have some fencing put up for more dog kennels).

I remember not so long ago, a woman came into the office claiming that she HAD to get rid of "this" dog. She claimed she found it and it was hungry and she wanted to bring it to us. Then she claimed that the dog was too big for her family and knocked her son down. Eventually, it came to light that it was their family dog. Since our shelter can only deal with stray, abused and neglected animals, we told her we don't take owner surrenders and that even if we could, we simply don't have the room. This is when she started having a hissy fit: "DON'T YOU SEE??! If you don't take this dog, I'm gonna have to have it put to sleep!!!" Then when we started trying to give her other options, she amped up the drama and fled out the door.

I have no idea what happened to that dog, but for some reason, I don't feel like she had him put to sleep. There was so much guilt coming out of that woman that you could cut it with a knife, even if she was doing her best to hide it.

It took everything in my power (and a little extra) not to follow her out to her car and tell her what an awful person she is for even entertaining the idea that she can just pawn her dog, who has made a home with these people, off on a shelter just because it happened to knock her toddler over, or worse- murder it.

Guess what my parents would have done if our dog knocked me over???

They would have told me to stay the heck away from the dog.

It stuns me to see how logic evades people.
post #5 of 18
I can only take comfort in knowing that at least these people did not dump their pets out into the wilds --- I am forever haunted by the sight of two crazy-with-fear kittens about 6 wks. old stampeding alongside the road late at night, meowing loudly. They absolutely would not come to me - a beautiful blue short-hair & a seal-point Siamese mix. I meowed, baby-talked, put out canned food - but they were too terrified to trust to come close enough to be caught. They disappeared into the underbrush along a creek....to whatever fate awaited them
I set up a trap - nothing....I put up flyers, posted on the radio..."Susan desperately seeking 2 kittens"...nothing.
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
Well, I got to meet 10 of the dumped cats today. 1 is still at the vet with bloody stools, and the FIV+ one was in such terrible health, he was put down.

All of the cats are extremely friendly and well socialized, surprisingly. Most of them are not your typical shelter cats either -- 1 manx, 2 bobtails, several polydactyls (including one on all four feet), 2 ragdolls, 1 or 2 Siamese.. I'm not sure what to make of it. It rings of breeding operation gone wrong to me, but I really have no idea. Also, 2 of the females are pregnant (but have spays scheduled next week).

3 of them have settled in pretty well, and the rest not so well. They aren't eating very much, and are crying a lot. It's really a shame to see.

Also, last Thursday, one of our cats was adopted. My shelter has a policy that we deliver the cat to the adopter, to help them settle in better, I suppose (the policy's been around much longer than I've been there, heh). Well, one of the volunteers took this cat, Pixie, to the adopter's house on Thursday, and came back to the shelter, about an hour drive. She wasn't even back at the shelter for 10 minutes when the adopter called back saying, "We don't like this cat, please come take her back." It's so bizarre -- she came and picked her out, jumped through all the hoops of proof of residency and stuff, and then gave up in an hour. So, unfortunately, Pixie is back.
post #7 of 18
I don't know how you do it? I would have to keep up a wall at the shelter of the good adoption experiances (photos, letters etc.) to remind me of why I do what I do and that there are good people out there like you and I.
post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by srrh View Post
- One of our cats, adopted in February, was returned because the woman who adopted him is moving. Great reason.

-Even worse, someone abandoned 12 cats at the shelter overnight.
How can someone give those answer?..."Because I´m moving... so the poor kitty was an ornament......

-Oh no!... how someone without soul can abandoned 12 little ones......


My prayers with you my friend will be with you tonight for the best of this poors little ones....
post #9 of 18
Hopefully since a lot of them are purebred/full blood/whatever you want to call it, they'll get adopted fairly quickly. Something you might think about is looking into those breed-specific rescues in your area and asking them to cross-list the cats. Does your shelter do PetSmart?
post #10 of 18
The unfortunate reality of it all is that there just aren't enough homes out there for all the homeless pets. And there are many people out there who do not treat the pets they are blessed with very well.

We are not no-kill, are busting at the seams, and forced to make ugly decisions. It's not a very pleasant feeling knowing you killed 3 innocent beings that day, and it was through no fault of your own. As the county's impound facility, we must always have space for the strays, which you never know what will come in or when.
post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by white cat lover View Post
We are not no-kill, are busting at the seams, and forced to make ugly decisions. It's not a very pleasant feeling knowing you killed 3 innocent beings that day, and it was through no fault of your own. As the county's impound facility, we must always have space for the strays, which you never know what will come in or when.
A movie should be made about this (a year in the life of an animal shelter), either a documentary or a fiction movie that combines facts and education. In my opinion, it would be profound and emotional and make people question the meaning of life and love, etc., etc.
post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by c1atsite View Post
A movie should be made about this (a year in the life of an animal shelter), either a documentary or a fiction movie that combines facts and education. In my opinion, it would be profound and emotional and make people question the meaning of life and love, etc., etc.
The problem is that most people can't handle the reality of it all.

Have you ever sat & watched a cat fight death? Seen the needle be stuck into a kitten's heart, as they have no veins to be injected into?

That's the reality of it all.
post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by iheartstrays View Post
Hopefully since a lot of them are purebred/full blood/whatever you want to call it, they'll get adopted fairly quickly. Something you might think about is looking into those breed-specific rescues in your area and asking them to cross-list the cats. Does your shelter do PetSmart?
There isn't a PetSmart near the shelter, but we do fill out the adoption center at the local PetCo. This just started 2 months ago, and it has been a huge success so far, as far as adoptions go! The very strange thing, however, is several of the cats that have been going to PetCo have gotten UTIs, even with no prior history! None of the cats at the shelter proper have had this problem (unless they came in already prone to UTIs or crystal). We have no idea what could be causing this. They get the same foods as they do at the shelter (a mix of wet and dry) and of course have water bowls so.. what in the world?
post #14 of 18
Are people allowed to touch them at PetCo? If so, that's almost certainly the source.
post #15 of 18
Sadly the majority of idiopathic UTI's are caused by stress, and taken from the shelter and put in a cage in a pet store is likely very stressful. It might be better doing posters with the cats at the local petstore.

I am sorry you lost the FIV+ cat, fingers crossed for the others, especially the one at the vets. We too are overfull, and have turned down about 3 people today - homing is picking up slightly though, which is good. We do better at homing dogs than cats though (or it seems that way as we dont have as many dogs!!)
post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by white cat lover View Post
The problem is that most people can't handle the reality of it all.

Have you ever sat & watched a cat fight death? Seen the needle be stuck into a kitten's heart, as they have no veins to be injected into?

That's the reality of it all.
Rule 1 of being a decent human being: Don't create a situation for someone else that you can't handle even knowing about.
post #17 of 18
Thread Starter 
Good news and bad news this week.

The good news is that one of the new cats (from the 12 abandoned) already has an adoption pending! She hasn't fully passed a clean bill of health yet, but she should be ready to go by the end of this month, and her adoptive family is willing to wait for her.

The bad news is that we also had a pending adoption for one of our kittens. We needed a negative FIV and FeLV test for the family's current kitten before releasing her. Unfortunately, the current cat's FeLV test came back positive, so it is sad for us that our kitten doesn't get to go to her new home, and sad for that family to find out their kitten has FeLV.
post #18 of 18
I am glad you have an adoption pending. Sad about the kitten's new family, but you might want to make them aware that one FeLV+ test doesn't mean they are, they can shake it off.
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