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I have a dilema

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I may have written about this before, so excuse me if I repeat myself....

I am so torn. I want to go back to volunteering with the animals at the shelter. BUT, I am so afraid that I will bring a cold or virus, some sort of illness home to Dani, that I have held back. I don't know what the odds are of that, but I am afraid to do it. Sheesh, I brought Dani home with 3 viruses she got at the shelter!!

On the other hand, I have an emptyness in me, I miss helping hte kitties soooo much. I think of my babies there, and I want to cry. (In the FIV and FeLV rooms) But there are colds and viruses possible everywhere in the shelter. Would anyone have any idea of how much risk there is if I wash my hands, and change my clothes when I come home?

I would jump out a window if I made Dani sick....I just don't know if I am worried about nothing. Maybe the odds are very, very low.

Any suggestions?

Thanks everyone.
post #2 of 10

No, you're not worried about nothing. The best advice I can give you from personal experience is use precaution. Wash your hands every time you handle a kitty with anti-bacterial soap. When you come home from the shelter, change your clothes immediately and put them in a plastic bag until they're ready to be washed. If you have time, shower. This prevents any kind of bacteria from getting near Dani. As long as you are careful I don't see a problem. And because you love volunteering so much and the kitties probably thrive on your socialization, I'd say go for it.

Good luck!
post #3 of 10
That sounds like pretty good advice to me, I hope you let us know what you decide.
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
I will Debby, thank you. Also Donna thanks.

I am just afraid. My baby comes first. I will see....

My Vet suggested giving Dani a FeLV vaccine shot, but Sandie recommend I really think about that. She said that Vaccine related Sarcomas are something to worry about. And who knows if sometime in the past she already had the shots.... I would be taking a chance.

After Sandie told me this, I read an article saying this very thing.

So if I go back I have to have Dani have a vaccine. But I am afraid of what it might do to her.

You may say that I avoid the FeLV cats, but in a small, cramped cattery, I can't guarentee that the FeLV would not spread to the other cats, Considering that the workeres and volunteers go from room to room with no other protection than washing their hands...

Anyway, I ramble.... sorry.
post #5 of 10
I don't know where your strengths lie or what skills you have, but if you are stressing that you might bring something home to Dani, then I wouldn't chance it if I were you. What you might think of doing is volunteering your time to the shelter to start fund-raisers, or collect much needed supplies or something along those lines. That way you will have satisfaction in knowing that you are accomplishing something that is needed, which is raising money for a good cause. Shelters can harbor some nasty viruses, especially during kitten season, and Dani is finally holding her own and settling down to your routine, so why change that on her now?
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hissy, yes I have thought of that.

I just feel that I have a way with animals. I LOVE bringing them comfort if I can and I feel I do. The kitties in the FIV and FeLV had almost no human visitors to just play and cuddle them. I felt so wonderufl knowing that they enjoyed having me around and I was giving them a moment of Joy. The shelter already has people to do the fundraising, but no one to show the animals love.

Of course there are other shelters, but there are the same problems. Actually, this is the only shelter I have come across so far that didn't care if I had a resume!! Can you believe that??? I tried the Humane Society, and the ASPCA, (this was about 2 years ago), and they would not even talk to me without a resume!! Sheesh, you would think a volunteer is a valuable thing, and I told them I could learn, but they said no. OY....(My resume sucks, I hardly worked before I got married)

I feel I want a hands on approach to the animals. BUT, I have already expressed my fears.

Doing fundraising or something else where I am not in contact with the animals is definately an option, and I would have to think about it. I appreciate your advice, and if I go that route, I just have to reprogram my brain and accept what is. Sigh.....
post #7 of 10
I can hear how torn you are by this.

As far as handwashing, well, that's all my doctor does between patients and I don't believe he's ever infected me with anything from another patient. It must be good for most things. It's probably sufficient. But I sure understand your uncertainty about that.

If you want to go back, how about investing a set of scrubs or a lab coat that you leave there? Maybe a pair of rubbers to cover your shoes too. Just like nurses wear in a neonatal ward, or any contagious area. And save your shower until you get home (or take two on those days).

I like the idea of being involved in a different way. Maybe you could work the adoption days at PetCo or wherever. Maybe you could do community outreach about all those lovely animals looking for homes. Or maybe something completely different, like that program for taking cats to visit seniors and others who live in care facilities.
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 

Those are all very good ideas. Thank you.
post #9 of 10

Well, I really couldn't add anything here other than I think it's really a wonderful deed that you're reaching out! Not too many people can do that Val

Good luck to you.

post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thank you Catarina,

Actually, I had sent an e-mail to the volunteer coordinator at the shelter yesterday, about some things,and among them I expressed concern about the transmission of disease and illnesses to Dani.

HHHmmmmmmmm coincidence? He told me that since the ringworm epidemic is gone, there will be several orientation sessions for volunteers this and next month, to talk about the transmission of disease in the cattery.

I am still concerned, but it could not hurt me to go and see what they will say......my only concern is that they won't tell the whole truth because they want volunteers. Skeptical, aren't I? :LOL:

But...maybe this is what I am looking for...in order to find out how transmittable illnesses are if I take precautions.

Anyway...thanks everyone for your suggestions. If ya come up with anything else, lemmie know.
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