Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Where's My Candlelight Vigil?

(Naughty word and poor grammar alert!!)

I was hoping to start this blog with a "Yee-Hah" and a fist pump, but instead I feel obligated to be completely pissed off over what's happened at the OntarioSPCA this morning. Please read about it HERE. To summarize, 350 animals (not just cats) but all the animals at the the SPCA will be euthanized over the next 2 days due to a ringworm outbreak at the shelter.

Seriously. Ringworm. It's like Athlete's Foot, and completely treatable.

Animal advocates and rescues are ready to burn torches and pound on the doors of the OSPCA in protest. I couldn't log onto Facebook, or open my email without folks asking me to do something..."Outraged"....etc etc.

I was driving in the car today with my little rescue of 3 kittens and an adult cat and I got really angry. I spent $20.00 in gas today to rescue these little guys and drive them more than an hour from my home to safety. There was NOTHING wrong with these guys, yet they were going to die anyway.

Let's face it: 350 animals is NOTHING compared to what happens at the shelter where I rescue. Nobody is holding candlelight vigils for these cats! Until rescues were permitted at this shelter, it wasn't unusual for 350 cats and kittens to be euthanized each and every week in the summer months.

Some idiot contacts the media because he sees a picture of HIS CAT at the OSPCA and he's worried that this cat will be euthanized. He's upset because he didn't surrender his cat to a "kill shelter", but he thought they'd find it a home. Well "BooHoo, Buttercup." You should've taken care of your responsibilities. The cat isn't yours anymore.

Don't get me wrong. I'm so very very sad about these animals dying needlessly. But 20+ cats died this morning at the shelter where I rescue and NOTHING was wrong with them. They didn't have a chance to be adopted. They were killed because "their time was up."

I was so damn happy until I read the paper this morning. Last night the veterinary clinic that I wrote about (yesterday) came into the shelter and rescued TWENTY-SEVEN nursing Mom cats with their kittens to take to their clinic and put up for adoption. That was EVERY nursing Mom cat and kitten in the shelter. They also took 2 cockatiels, and 2 guinea pigs.

This is a veterinarian who uses her education for good. She isn't at the OSPCA killing 350 animals with a simple fucking fungus infection. She saved lives!!! Why aren't we lining up at her door to give her business?? Why aren't we telling the world how awesome she is??

Soooooo.....yeah....I rescued 3 sweet black kittens. The shelter already killed 2 of the kittens out of the litter because they ended up with a shelter cold:

I also rescued my little buddy "Rufus":

Rufus was on the euthanasia list twice. He's safe and his foster Mom seemed very happy to have him tonight.

We can all continue to be angry at the public animal welfare agencies who carelessly care for the public's discarded animals. We're angry when they don't care for them the way we think they should. But let's not forget about the people who abandoned them there in the first place.

Maybe we should stand in the lobby of these places and burn a frickin' candle every time an animal is carelessly surrendered due to moving, a baby, allergies, a new boyfriend...etc..

So where's the candlelight vigil for the cats that die every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at the shelter where *I* rescue? These cats are there for no other reason than there's no adoption program, and nobody wanted them.


Khyra The Siberian Husky And Sometimes Her Mom said...

I was wondering if you'd mention THAT horrible thing -

Someone just shared it with my SiberNet ListServ - it made me sick -

Especially seeing the beautiful Brynne amongst the 350 -

It is just wrong -

I'm not finding the words -

Maybe I don't want to find them -

selkie said...

what is missing EVERYWHERE is the WILL to make this province a no kill province - it CAN be done - other states, other provinces have shown it can be done (a number of us states and Calgary for instance) - what is missing is the political will - the belief that it can be done!

I do think about those cats - all the time and it breaks my heart.

Shannon said...

I was devastated (and outraged) when I heard about the York OSPCA last night. I think it was compounded by the fact that I'm up north, not currently fostering and feeling guilty about those that I *should* be saving. And my outrage at that situation wasn't worse than what I feel when I read about cats being abandoned because of moves, boyfriends or babies (or one I read on Craigslist where the cat had gotten on a shelf and knocked off a cup and the person was giving him 24 hours to find a new home 'or else'). And than I remembered those that I have helped and it was the difference of life or death and I didn't feel (quite) so bad anymore. Remember, no one can do everything, but everyone can do something.

HomeToMany said...

I completely agree with everything you have to say Beth...I like Khyra "can't find the words or maybe just don't want to find them". Why does everything seem to be one step forward, 10 steps back? The nerve the OSPCA has to tell the THS what to do when they can't even control their own problems, their "lets just kill them all and start fresh" attitude to make it simplier on THEM...f**king politics, laziness, whatever you want to call it when it comes to all these shelters - just makes me ill. On another note, I wish that you could post the name of the vet that is doing so much good, rescuing that many cats and kittens - love her, I will be in line to give her business!! another angel among us...here is hoping for more.

oowowaee said...

I have had people in the past accuse me of being unpassionate; and I generally keep my views to myself...because I definitely have some feelings that most people will strongly disagree with. But there are those times when someone will say something, and I really cannot hold my tongue, and the words start pouring from my mouth.

Anyway, I hate being the person that does this, but this really reminds me of a movie! &spoiler alert!!

This really reminds me of the movie No Man's Land. If you haven't seen it, it's about in the middle of the Bosnian conflict, a guy triggers a landmine. This of course, gets picked up by the media. So the UN comes in, because of media scrutiny...and long story short, they cannot diffuse the landmine. However, they tell the media that they have been successful &hurray, everybody leaves satisfied, and I think the movie ends panning out on this man, lying on a bomb, all alone...knowing he's going to die.

People like to believe they're good. This kind of thing, I think, happens because people want to believe there's some imminent crisis they can play a role in diffusing, and then they can walk away, pat themselves on the back, and believe they've really changed something.

Evoking real change is one of the hardest things you can do. Look at the "changes" to credit cards in the US :P. It's tiring, it's unforgiving, and I think most people just want their quick fix...

So, I'm probably a jerk, but I'm with you Beth. They're going to do a mass euthanasia, so what? I'm sure this isn't the first time they've done it, and I'm sure it won't be last. &stopping that...is really not going to be addressing the root of the issue in any way. People will walk away afterwards, and think they've changed something, because they don't want to face the reality that this is the society we've created.

I think it's much more important, in a situation like this, to focus on and support the people that actually know how ugly this situation is, and are willing to deal with it everyday...not just when it's the flavor of the month or when "oh! with minimal effort I can fix something!".

So, I'm not sure what my point was :P. I'm just not that moved, and I'm very skeptical that anything done here will translate into any lasting change elsewhere - but I would love to be wrong! :)

Anonymous said...

I am so sad for all the cats and dogs that have been put down/killed by the human. I think they all deserve the chance to live. I am against killing these innocent animals.

Thanks Beth for all the lives you have helped saved!!!


From CA, USA

Anonymous said...

Please tell us the name of the 'angel' veterinarian so that we can bring our business to her.


House of the Discarded said...

Thank you all for your kindness shown towards the veterinarian (her husband is a vet in the office too!) and staff. I'm going to ask her permission before I publicize her name.

My heart is with those animals in York OSPCA tonight - and it hurts. :(

Laura HP said...

I'm very glad you mentioned this, Beth, because one thing this media frenzy has been lacking is a focus on why those animals were there in the first place.

It's a very sad situation....but there are also much worse situtions at many shelters in this province. No one ever mentions them, and that's even sadder. The whole thing's insane.

Anonymous said...

Holy crap - 27 momcats and their litters? Or 27 total? Either way, that's a vet putting her money where their mouth is. Wonderful

And I, too, have been trying to tell people that 350 deaths for a minor fungus *sucks*, but the cages will all be full again in a couple of weeks because of human stupidity and laziness. And lots of those cats will die without a media blitz. The OSPCA is cleaning up a mess - poorly, in this case - but the people who MADE that mess are the ones who should be shouted at and called killers. Really, it's their fault


Anonymous said...

Ringworm may be a "minor fungus" but show me people who would be willing to take those animals? It can take months - many months - to clear up, and if you have ever had it you know it's unsightly and uncomfortable. People with children wouldn't take those animals. Foster parents aren't likely to take them because they'll have them for the next 4-12 months. People with other pets won't want them. So what choice is there for them?

Ringworm is the gift that keeps on giving, to the people and to all the pets in the home, and just when you think it is cleared up it returns. It might be minor, but no one wants it.

It is sad that unwanted animals have to be killed, period, but this feels worse because it means cleaning out the entire facility. If it brings a little light to the plight of the animals then let it do so; maybe somehow it will help the big picture. The public need to be made aware and any venue for that is good.

For anyone who things it's a "simple fungus infection" I would ask - would YOU take one of those animals into your home? Trust me, it's not as easy as it sounds.

havetailwillwag said...

you're right. a ringworm outbreak is no reason to euthanize all the animals in a shelter. i guess they just can't be bothered at the OSPCA.. also i agree with you that its the idiots who abandon their pets at shelters who are at fault in the first place. they ditch their pets, and then they freak out when shelters have to euthanize animals. they don't bother taking the responsibility for their actions and trying to rehome their pets on their own and they are ready to point fingers when they don't get what they thought they would or should get.

Anonymous said...

Given the distemper outbreak in shelters last fall, and this roundworm outbreak, maybe the aniaml control/shelters/SPCAs should heed the protocols of Britain in how the foot/mouth disease outbreaks are managed. Roundworm is brutal to treat in large outbreaks, and there may be more than 1 strain of the fungus at play. Just not enough information been released yet.

Anonymous said...

Before I begin, let me first say I am totally against what is happening in New Market, I have been in rescue work for many years..however, having said that. I can't help but think it might bring action on peoples part for the rescue cause. From watching the news people were outraged etc as they should be, perhaps some will act. It is easy to sit in front of the TV and say how terrible it is, it is another thing to react to a situation. Let's hope this brings action. I called and asked if I could adopt one of the animals and I would cover the medical costs. I am still waiting for an answer. If I do get the okay I will go public with it. It is disgusting that there are 350 !!. Beth I know the shelter you rescue from and that is a disgrace, thank God for people like you and Kim (angels). We can only hope some good comes from this is some form.

Anonymous said...

yes, there are people with pets and kids who take the ringworm cases... my daughter had her first case when she was less than a year old - not intentional, but not a big deal. Support the immune system, lower the stress levels and provide good, organic, preferable vegetarian diet and your immune system will easily kick the fungus butt. (obviously immune compromised individuals are a whole different story)

I think it's horrible the animals have to die, but I also rescue out of Beth's shelter and I go in there and see the cages marked with the dreaded "X"

I do also feel for the staff and techs and vets who have to do the mass euthanasia at OSPCA. I can't even imagine how heart wrenching their job is right now. They know these animals, they've been caring for them long enough to know them as individuals. They are coming home to cry each night, I can guarantee it.

The vet I used to work for in university (15 yrs ago) had to do a euthanasia rotation at the high kill shelter. She would come back to the office literally in tears and tell us about what she had to do. About the animals she had to kill. She was a part of the group of vets who accepted animals from the shelter, so they were also obligated to do a rotation for euthanasia day... It sucked.


Anonymous said...

Anonymous said: For anyone who things it's a "simple fungus infection" I would ask - would YOU take one of those animals into your home? Trust me, it's not as easy as it sounds.

I would take them, yes. Not too long ago I took SIX kittens who were full of ringworm in to foster. And yes, it was a pain in the butt, but my god, it was so incredibly worth it to see those babies grow up. And even though my dog got it, my foster dog got it, 8 out of my nine cats got it, and even a few friends got ringworm, I'd do it again, no question.

Darlene said...

Anonymous, I'm guessing that most everyone who reads this blog would take one of "those animals" into our homes. And likely more than just one.

I grew up on a farm. I've had ringworm. I wasn't euthanized.

kb said...

Please add one more reason all those cats are there at HAC...there are NO low cost spay/neuter programs! I live in Hamilton. There are plenty of good folks here on OW or ODSP who don't have an extra $300 to fix each of their cats.

A Cat's Tale said...

>"Anonymous said...
Ringworm may be a "minor fungus" but show me people who would be willing to take those animals? "

I would! Ya just need to house them in a seperate room from the rest of your critters.

Anonymous said...

So! After reading all the media in the paper and hearing about it on the radio, I think it's SO funny that Jim Sykes (who used to be the CEO of the Hamilton SPCA and now is on the board for the OSPCA) agree's with this "mass euthanasia" to kill everything because it has ringworm but yet HE is the one who KEPT importing all these "Louisiana" dogs FULL of heartworm. So we will kill our own because of ringworm but save all the ones IMPORTED full of heartworm (just to pass it onto our own pets).
That makes sense!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, I have done and undoubtedly would again foster cats with ringworm and am more than aware of the risks involved. For the OSPCA to presume that nobody would be willing to do this is ignorant at best.

RHz said...

I just saw this and the Humane Society in Atlantic City, NJ did the same thing to over 100 cats a few years back. Ringworm. Easily treated. Easy to contain. I don't get it.

canuckpet said...

It costs money, it holds up cages because they are more likely to stay until healthy... a hundred reasons why I get it even if I don't agree with it. Plenty of shelters and breeders deal with ringworm outbreaks without euthanising any animals

I doubt that they will be in a hurry to fill those cages up from high kill shelters though and that gets me just as much