Friday, June 15, 2012

Moral Obligations

I didn't mean to open up a can of worms with yesterday's blog post!  I'm amazed at some of the emails and comments that thought I was wrong to be upset with this woman who surrendered her cat to the rescue.  Honestly, I didn't think ANYBODY would think that what she did was ok!

Am I glad that I rescued this cat?  Sort of.  I don't think his situation was as dire as she said it was.  But those suspicions happen when you're a liar like this girl appeared to be.  Now a cat that might have been rescued from the shelter remains in a cage today and destined to die due to overcrowding. 

I am truly dumbfounded that some of the comments received from yesterday didn't understand why I would want the money for this kitty's neuter.  Of course, rescue isn't ABOUT money.  But those of you who were critical of me obviously have never paid a $20,000.00 vet bill.

Ironically, I received a VERY interesting adoption call last night.  VERY nice couple.  They had adopted a cat from another rescue 2 months ago.  As part of the adoption screening, I ask about their cat.  They proceeded to tell me that "Sophie" was 6 months old and adopted from "Blah..Blah...Cat Rescue".  Sadly, the rescue was wrong about her age (it happens!) and Sophie went into heat before she could be spayed.  I asked them about their experience with "Blah-Blah Cat Rescue" and why they aren't adopting from them again. They sighed and said it was HORRIBLE!   They left messages for TWO WEEKS asking to get their cat spayed (as part of the adoption fee) and after 2 weeks they finally had to track these people down at the Petsmart Store where the cat was adopted!  The rescue's answer?   "We don't have enough money to get your cat spayed right now, she'll have to wait until MID-JULY!!!!!"

This is EXACTLY the kind of unprofessional horseshit I'm trying to avoid.  This poor couple are now facing getting their cat spayed themselves in order to avoid x-number of heat cycles in the next 4 weeks.  (Not the mention the possibility of emergency spay surgery due to pyometra)

So when I'm asking somebody who wants our rescue to bail them out so they don't have to dump their cat at a shelter to pay for the neuter surgery.....THAT'S WHY.  Our rescue doesn't have a lot of money, but we are responsible with what we do have.

As the administrator of this rescue, I have a duty to foster parents  to insure that there is enough money at all times to care for their beloved foster cat.  If a kitten breaks it's leg in foster care, I certainly can't say, "Sorry, there's no money to give the kitten surgery for his leg."  I'm MORALLY OBLIGATED to the cats currently in our care and to the volunteers who love them. 

As the administrator of the rescue, I have a duty to pay our veterinarians ON TIME for their already discounted vet costs.  I'm not going to tell our vets that we don't have money to pay them.  They have bills to pay too. 

If you don't understand, I don't know what else I can say to make you understand.  But I'm happy to show you the rescue's vet bills.  It'll scare the shit out of you, lemme tell ya. 

Sadly, I felt the need to change our rescue's voicemail outgoing message to:  "...due to the high volume of discarded and unwanted cats in the shelter, we are NOT accepting owner surrender cats at this time."

Funny...for this first time in a month there were NO calls from the public asking me to take their unwanted cats. 

But there were SEVEN hang up calls.      


Tina said...

Good for you Beth!! I have a feeling those who sent you negative feedback have no idea what it takes to run a rescue! The only way we will agree to take an owner surrender is if they agree to foster it until we can get it adopted. My first words after finding out the woman paid to take her mother on vacation was "What a ....." The public will tell whatever lie they have to so you'll feel sorry for the cat because they know you have a heart for animals. My next thought after reading your post yesterday was "That's why I like animals more than people"!! I get so tired of people wanting to dump their problems on others. Hang in there Beth. Anyone who spoke out against you hasn't lived in the trenches of rescue!

ABBY said...

I do hope you don't think my comment was meant to be critical, because it wasn't.
I really admire what you do and I do volunteer my time each weekend to help with one of our local rescue cat groups.
I can see that this woman lied and did everything wrong, and you were right to feel like you did. But I was just glad you did save this kitty.
I don't know and don't understand the attitudes so many have regarding animals and it saddens me a great deal. Rescue is hard hard work, and I know I am preaching to the choir when I say that.
But thank you for saving another.

Anonymous said...

Hey Beth,
I do not normally comment on the blog but feel I have to. I have to wonder if anyone commenting regarding your feelings about taking the cat in is actually really actively involved in the whole rescue foster adoption process.
So many times with foster kittens at adoption events, through phone calls with a perspective family do I think to myself should have seen this kitten when I got him or her. They certainly weren't the cute picture of health you see now. They required numerous vet visits which included an arsenal of meds. I have 2 fosters right now that have been to the vet as you know twice in 2 weeks and are currently on 3 different meds for a very nasty eye infection.
not to mention the oral antibiotics, my guess is we are close to the adoption fee and haven't thought about shots or altering. It is so easy to tell someone not to think about money and the so called moral obligation instead. It is much easier to do that than to actually have to pay a vet bill or drive a sick foster kitten to a vet and administer meds around the clock. To be honest I love fostering but would not continue to do it with a rescue that could not handle the financial responsibly that goes with rescue.
Oscar and Jasmine (who are feeling much better, thanks to a VET :)

JLi said...

I am appalled that anyone...ANYONE...would criticize you for your feelings on that rescue. Where "anonymous" is wrong is the statement "Ultimately, the bigger issue is that she had a cat that she could no longer take care of and with no help available, his status looked grim."...

Instead, it should read.."Ultimately, the issue is that she had a cat that she CHOSE NOT TO take care of and with no help available, his status looked grim, b/c of her poor choices so she lied about it and forgot to keep her trip to Cuba a secret.

Lory and Co. said...

Beth - I wrote something and then it disappeared. Anyways, to summarize, you are RIGHT, Ms.Liar and the individual who lead you to her are WRONG.

We, your loyal foster parents recognize the hard work you do and the financial dedication you have towards the cats in your care. I hope karma rewards Ms. Liar in kind, and that the individual who lead you to her accepts the situation she facilitated and has the moral obligation to offer a "few bucks", as it seems no big deal to her/him.

My heart weeps for the cat on death row in the shelter right now or that has already died this morning thanks to one less foster space due irresponsible and fraudulent people like Ms. Liar.

Anonymous said...

I am glad the orange boy is safe, which is what rescue is all about. Nobody gets rich rescuing and providing the vet care that a number of rescue cats need, unless you are rescuing from a shelter that effectively manages disease transmission. Maybe the one you are rescuing from now as opposed to the high kill shelter, does that and if so good for you. Your vet bills should be much lower and you will be able to rescue more cats if that is the case.

The bottom line is that cats that need help are being helped. Saving precious lives that have no other option is what is important. Someone who prioritizes going on vacation over providing for a family member, which is the orange boy is not a good home. Every cat deserves a forever loving home and now this boy has a chance for that.

There is no glory in rescue. There is a sense of satisfaction when you place a cat that has no chance in a good forever home. Rescue requires countless hours of volunteer time over and above what pays the bills to manage day to day life.

Some people feel a sense of importance when they make others look bad. In my opinion, this is one of the reasons there are so many individual rescue groups. Individuals have their own agendas and can't get along with the masses. I just wish we could all get along. There are economies of scale in numbers. It just is not efficient for there to be so many rescue groups.

Random Felines said...

Beth - good for you. I had to back up to read the other post. While I am glad the boy is safe (and now neutered) it would have been all I could do to avoid choking the chick.

And for all you "anonymous" commenters with negative attitudes - try it for a while. I am up to my eyeballs in rescue kittens - from a shelter, a rescue and a momma cat that showed up at my front door. I try to help the rescue by absorbing some of the vet bills - and even with a discount it cuts into things. But - it is worth it. But to criticize without stepping up to help - get over yourselves.

Josie said...

You are really a hero to me. What you do for animals, and your organization is amazing. I think people get glorified ideas of what animal rescue is about...What the large rescues throw out vs. what it is like for small rescues.
I'm rooting for you, always.

~*Connie*~ said...

Great follow up post Beth. It really is a shame that people think that rescues don't have bills to pay. It is like they think you are all run on magical faerie dust and the real world just doesn't apply.

Two huge thumbs up for your new outgoing message. What a great way to put it. Hopefully this will keep these types of things off your door step in the future.

Zippy, Sadie and Speedy said...

Okay, here comes some very bad language...Fuck that bitch, she chose to spend money on a trip instead of taking care of her cat. And I don't care if 'MOMMY' came from Cuba and is dying...she can remember what it was like being there, her cat will only remember that this snotty little liar didn't take care of him and then got him killed. *off my soapbox now*
I just spent close to $500 on a cat that one of my ignorant neighbors, and it's only one because there are five that I know of who were feeding stray kitty, just dumped out into the streets. That's $500 for just one cat, multiply that times however many the rescue has taken (and some of them cost much more because they are not healthy) and you start to get a little picture of what the costs are. Believe me, if I know who the dumper of M'Gee was I'd be over there in a flash asking for money to help offset the cost to me for cleaning up their mess. And no, I don't consider my new cat a mess, he's a loveable little fur bag that won't leave my side. I'm really blessed to have him and I think often "man, those people don't know what they're missing". Their loss...

Devon said...

Well put Beth. As a foster parent for you, I continue to foster for you because of the way you handle the rescues funds.

I couldn't continue to foster if there was a remote possibility of being turned down for a vet visit because there was no money for sick foster cats.

Anonymous said...

Beth you rock!