Uh, whut?

Discussion in 'The Fire Hydrant' started by Sweet72947, Jun 6, 2012.

  1. Sweet72947

    Sweet72947 Squishy face

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    So my mom forwards me the newsletter for the Fauquier SPCA (shelter near my parents' house) and today this little blurb was in it:

    Um, raising a bottle baby isn't difficult. Sure its annoying to get up every three hours at night so that you can feed it and make it poo, but many bottle babies are raised all the time just fine. Are they actually encouraging people to allow kittens to grow up in the wild, thus perpetuating the feral cat problem?

    What do you think?
     
  2. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    Except that 99% of the time, the people DON'T bother to raise the kitten, the drop it off at the shelter. The shelter which is already overloaded with kittens being bottle fed and taking up time and resources.

    ETA: in theory, yah, it would be great to take it in and not let it roam wild. In reality, the kitten has a better chance being raised outside by its mother than it does beig dropped off at a shelter that already has its resources stretched thin.
     
  3. houlahoops

    houlahoops New Member

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    Synthetic formula lacks colostrum, doesn't it? So theoretically a newborn kitten who is exclusively bottle fed (assuming that it was completely unable to nurse) would miss out on the passive immunity provided by the mother's milk within that first few days.

    Regardless, it seems to me like the article is just discouraging blindly removing an animal from what may be a safe situation--like taking a fawn from its hiding spot thinking it has been abandoned.

    Maybe the shelter is directing its spay/neuter efforts to adult feral animals rather than kittens (which by nature would use more resources during the catch/release period depending on their age).
     
  4. RD

    RD Are you dead yet?

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    That is pure bullshit.

    If there is a TINY KITTEN sitting out in plain sight, with no mother visible, it's likely the offspring of a feral cat and SHOULD be collected and given to a shelter or to someone who can raise it.

    Bottle raising a healthy newborn kitten means getting up every hour, on the hour, for feeding and stimulation. If you can go through that, barring any other immense medical issues, I can almost guarantee the cat would live. I was given a newborn with placenta still on his feet, who had been baking in the Mexico sun for hours, and he lived with hourly feedings for a week and a half. No colostrum, and I kept him in as sterile an environment as possible while he was still young. I fed him nutri-cal in addition to the homemade formula which consisted of evaporated milk, some egg yolk and some distilled water.

    I would rather see a kitten be collected and given to a shelter than to grow up to be a feral cat that people shoot at, poison and consider pests.
     
  5. houlahoops

    houlahoops New Member

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    I don't know about this. I know that here, even a bottlefed kitten brought to the shelter is liable to be put down almost immediately. Depending on how close to capacity your shelter is, I could see advocating a policy like this. At least a feral cat has a chance/will not necessarily be summarily euthanized.
     
  6. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    This. They have to euthanize kittens like this case err DAILY, cause there's not enough resources (time, hands, foster homes) for the kittens to be bottle raised. Again, in a perfect world, it would be wonderful. Alas, the perfect world is not reality.
     
  7. Sweet72947

    Sweet72947 Squishy face

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    Basically you're saying the shelter is saying "leave it in the wild where it will hopefully survive (and likely produce more kittens) because we don't feel like dealing with it!"

    A properly maintained feral colony should be TNRed and any kittens young enough to be socialized into homes (and any friendly older cats) ought to be caught and placed. I do not know of any shelters in my area that actually deal with feral cats/colonies besides killing the cats if they end up in the shelter. I remember when I worked at the grooming place as a receptionist several years ago an older man called-I think he was desperately calling any animal-related place that might be able to help him - and asked if we dealt with feral cats, because there were cats overrunning his property. Being a grooming place of course, I told him we did not, and suggested he call Animal Control. He told me he had tried that route already, and they told him to buy his own traps and catch the cats himself, and he explained that he was old and had physical issues that made it hard for him to do that sort of thing. I was sympathetic, because since when is it anyone else's responsibility but Animal Control to deal with dangerous, possibly disease carrying animals? Rescues and caring individuals look after feral colonies out of the goodness of their hearts, but it is not their responsibility to do so.

    Shelters don't have to kill things, they do so because it's the easiest way to deal with the problem. The days of the old "catch and kill" credo are coming to an end, and things are changing rapidly.
     
  8. Psyfalcon

    Psyfalcon Fishies!

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    Except many places are not placing cats. They are completely overwhelmed even with kittens.

    If a shelter has a million kittens 6-18 weeks, how are they going to make time for hand raising?
     
  9. Lyzelle

    Lyzelle New Member

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    Pups and kittens needing intensive care (such as bottlefeeding) are typically euthanized as soon as they step in the door. That's how we got Eve and Indy. It was "take them or they get euth'ed." Period. Shelters don't have time, resources, manning, or fosters to take up something like that. And the majority of people who pick up an "abandoned" kitten or puppy are going to drop it off at the shelter thinking that is what needs to be done. Couldn't be farther from the truth.

    If YOU (collective) can raise a newborn, then go for it. No reason why not, I guess. But the average person absolutely does not know how to bottle feed and care for newborn animals, trust me. Most people think it's like a baby. It'll cry when it needs you, and you feed it. That's it. They don't understand that canned formula isn't all that great, and the majority of the public isn't even aware that kittens and puppies have no bowel control when they are young, and that you have to stimulate them.

    So us dog/animal people? Yeah, sure, bottle feeding sounds easy. General public? Not so much.
     
  10. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    No, actually. The shelter is saying if you bring it in, it will be euthanized.

    No, they don't have to kill them... Should they let them suffer and die slowly from starvation instead?

    Maybe where you are, there is an infinite amount of foster homes and an infinite number of people who have won the lottery and given the winnings to the shelters. Alas, that is not the case here. When foster homes have 20+ week-old kittens, they are fully. They simply cannot take more, no matter how much money of space they have. They don't have the TIME to dedicate to all these kittens.
     
  11. crazedACD

    crazedACD Active Member

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    I worked in a place that trapped and killed. If it was violent in the trap, it was done. They adopted out some healthy and friendly cats. I don't know...I felt like they could live a semi-decent life if speutered and released. But then again, when I was delivering pizza, I came upon an abandoned trailer park with a feral (or not? some were friendly) colony and they all appeared malnourished...either starving or ill. Some would fight when I dumped food so I'm guessing starved. Actually I just remembered I have pics..I was trying to find help for them but was unsuccessful, and I moved.
    [​IMG]

    My first cat was from another park with a ton of cats and she was FeLV+. On two occasions I dropped really sick cats off at the shelter to be euthanized because they were suffering in my yard. My cat only lived about two years and I found her dead one day unexpectedly. That really sucks...I don't know what the lesser evil is.
     
  12. Catsi

    Catsi New Member

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    Of course I'd rather see a kitten taken and hand raised and found a super awesome home than euthanised...

    BUT

    I'd rather see a kitten taken to a shelter and euthanised than to be left out to continue breeding and harming wildlife.

    I can't blame shelters, there is simply not enough resources to save every animal.

    TNR is interesting to me. Does anyone have some good links about this? In what areas do they use it and how the approach has worked?
     
  13. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    There's a great large group of animal people that feed, trap/speuter/release the stray cats. The kittens need to get bigger for that, though. They won't be able to speuter a couple-week-old kitten.
     
  14. houlahoops

    houlahoops New Member

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    This seems a little idealistic to me. I know our shelter is just about tapped out, and certainly doesn't have the resources to even be TNRing at all, much less maintaining the hundreds of feral cats that are living in our county. And there isn't exactly an abundance of homes looking for even friendly semi-feral cats. Around here, you could park your car just about anywhere if you were looking for a new feline friend. The shelter just makes you pay for them.

    The perspective that the article is taking is meant to address the immediate concern that a passerby would presumably have about the individual kitten that he has found. Your average citizen is not going to look at the whole big picture, and is not going to be okay with the reassurance that, "You can bring it to us and we will euthanize it so that it won't contribute to the problem of overpopulation any more!" Instead, they are saying, "Look, this kitten is going to be better off if you just let it alone."
     
  15. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    Um... where exactly do you expect to find these homes? Around here, there are tons of kittens just sitting in the shelter, because there are just no homes. And yah, I know that's not only the case here. It's the case in plenty of places.

    Yah, it's easy to sit there and say what should happen. Trying to place cats that there is already plenty of with nobody wanting them is not so easy.
     
  16. olliethemutt

    olliethemutt New Member

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    We have feral/stray cats on my college campus (big wooded campus with lots of hidy spots), I guess students leaving pets behind when they leave? The local shelter comes out and does a TNR and feeds the cats when they can. I rarely see any "kittens" as they are mostly adults, none of them look too thin but they are very skittish, as soon as you look at them they hide in the drainage system.. They have "feeding stations" around the campus for cats where other predators and ants can't bother them. I haven't seen as many when I first started. When I first started the cats where EVERYWHERE, you would walk the paths and see 5 to 10 a day. Now, they are a little more scarce, maybe 1 or 2 a day.

    Here is a brief article when they first put it into effect (when the cats where at their peak)

    http://www.westga.edu/~cats/aboutus.shtml
    http://www.westga.edu/~cats/tails.shtml
     
  17. skittledoo

    skittledoo Crazy naked dog lady

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    The kitten I have is more than likely from a feral colony. I've seen feral cats out where I hike which is where I found him. He was alone as far as I know and the weather was calling for cold and thunderstorms that evening so there was no way I was going to leave him out there. Didn't just pass him off to a shelter either and while he wasn't super healthy I made sure he got the proper vet care he needed and I'm now fostering him though if Josh has any say he will likely become a permanent family member. I definitely don't feel like I did anything wrong by bringing him home.
     
  18. ihartgonzo

    ihartgonzo and Fozzie B!

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    I live in California. Highly populated, tons of feral cats everywhere, and TONS of kitten come into the SPCA during kitten season. I'm on their kitten raising list, and have raised a few litters, but I haven't been contacted for a long time to raise a litter... I have to contact them, and get put on a waiting list. Go to the shelter and the vast majority of kittens are already reserved before they can be altered! The only kittens that are usually available are black, older kittens.

    I know that lots of adult cats get euthanized, usually the sick and unfriendly cats. But kittens are snatched up! I don't see whyyyy anyone would just leave a kitten that's out in the open and alone. That single kitten and her offspring, left to be live feral, can produce 400,000 cats in 7 years!!! If that kitten is taken in, altered and adopted out, that can save THOUSANDS of lives and save countless dollars in TNR programs. To just shrug & give up because there's an overpopulation of cats is to continue the cycle of overpopulation.
     
  19. Lilavati

    Lilavati Arbitrary and Capricious

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    Frankly, I think that's good advice, but maybe its because I grew up in the country. There were feral/stray cats around, and they'd often have kitten in our barn/storage buildings. Their existence would be taken note of, they would be captured: AFTER they were old enough to be away from their mothers. The kittens would go to the local vet (who adopted out cats) or given away . . . it was a different era.

    But the point was that we didn't take the kittens away when they were little and needed a lot of care: we noted their existence and came back when they were older and could find homes. In a world of limited resources, that strikes me as a better approach than taking tiny kittens that neither their "rescuer" or the shelter have time to care for. Because that's what most people would do . . . they'd either take the kitten and it would die because they didn't know how to care for it, or they'd dump it at the shelter, which lacks the resources to care for it.
     
  20. ACooper

    ACooper Moderator

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    This.

    Speaking as a home owner who's MORE than sick of stray cats, cats that have homes who let them roam, and feral cats, I don't want them neutered and released! My property is not their toilette or hunting ground.

    I'd much rather see them taken in and put down PEACEFULLY than be poisoned, ran over, shot at, or tortured by mean adolescents. A swift end is much better than any of those things IMO.
     

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