Thursday, November 01, 2012

Where Does the Money Go?

 It's been a wonderful rescue week with 8 more out of shelters. Two kittens were rescued from the high kill shelter.  The rest were from the public or the other low-kill shelter. 

I've politely taken some flak when I stopped rescuing so many from the high kill shelter.  Occasionally I get a bitter troll who attempts to put an anonymous comment on my blog about my lack of interest there.  It's always the same person - she obviously doesn't know that her last name and ISP show up. 

Believe me - it isn't a lack of interest in helping these poor souls.   ANY foster home that wishes to take a cat from any shelter can do so.  They all need homes.  High kill - low kill - no kill or the random cat living under the porch.  Who am I to say who is the most deserving?  They all are! 

I read an article from the supervisor of the high kill shelter who indicated that the number of euthanasias are down 40% or something like that.  Certainly it wasn't due to ADOPTIONS since the shelter doesn't permit adoptions.  It's due to a number of reasons, but one of the reasons are the hard working volunteer cat rescuers who are rescuing cats from this facility and paying $1000's in vet bills, force feeding kittens and holding them while they die. 

Maybe I just got fed up with making their numbers look better than they really are.  Maybe I got tired of begging for money every other day because I kept rescuing cats that I knew would quickly become desperately ill. 

Believe me, I'm not making any money.  In fact, we're like every other rescue -  we're broke!   But I have happier volunteers now.  Some will only rescue from the high kill facility and others are happy to have a break from the constant stream of sick cats.  I'm ok with that - there will always be money for those cats from the high kill facility.   It's hard to become ambitious about fostering when every cat you take gets horribly ill.  

So what am I doing with any extra money?

Monday, I rescued a sweet cat for a senior lady who is dying of lung cancer.  Her 16 year old  cat passed away a few weeks ago and she couldn't imagine NOT having a cat for whatever time she has left.  Our rescue is paying for all future vet costs for this adorable, affectionate cat. (if there are any)  He will never be for adoption unless she passes.  "Dexter" is giving her so much joy.  I called to check on them both yesterday and she kept me on the phone for almost an hour - her voice was animated and engaged.  Isn't that why we have cats, dogs, guinea pigs, horses etc?  They give us joy?  Isn't that what this is about?

We have two senior ladies that we're helping in this way.   We are giving them a chance to love a cat for whatever time they have.  They can't afford vet bills  and I'm certainly not going to allow adopters to come into their homes and take away their beloved "Foster cat" from their arms.  But these ladies are safe and secure knowing that "their cat" is going to be cared for when they pass on.

I'm not expecting a lot of people to agree with me.  But I really enjoy helping cats AND people.  It feels like a good fit for me.  Allowing the cats to bring the kind of joy to others as they have to me is what I love the most.   

17 comments:

Random Felines said...

GOOD for you!!! I teared up reading that you are helping those ladies. The world needs more people like you in it. Bless you for helping them both.

As to the rest - I agree - not everyone can foster those that get sick and you can't blame them for it. My local shelter cat caregiver laughs cause she knows I will take just about anything.

And the haters...screw 'em. Put up or shut up is my motto at this point. :) Purrs and kitty kisses to you!!!

Wednesday said...

Several years ago I lived with my aunt who was dying from cancer. I also brought my two cats, one of whom was named Daisy, to live with us. Daisy had always been a one-person cat and didn't care much for anyone other than me, but she quickly bonded with my aunt and became her constant companion. Daisy was in her bed, on her lap or at her heals all the time that last year of my aunt's life, so much so that we started calling her "Nurse Daisy". She brought my aunt comfort and happiness in a year where there wasn't much. Helping someone keep a beloved pet, or giving them a pet to love during the final days of their life is a wonderful thing. Giving them the peace of mind knowing that when they're gone that pet will still have a home and be loved is a wonderful thing.

Anonymous said...

This is just beautiful, Beth... though I’m sure you didn’t intend to make me cry! I have seen for myself the joys that cats can bring to those who are unable to enjoy their lives to the full any more. I lost my Dad to cancer in July. Kitty and I had moved back home a year ago to be with him and care for him. He’d never had a cat living in the house before but within a very short time, all I heard about was Kitty and what she’d gotten up to during the day... ‘talking’ to him, pestering him for treats, running around after Mr Mouse, snoozing on his lap, roaming round his room at night... every day with Kitty brought him something different to talk and laugh about, and I honestly think she knew it too. She was great company for him when I had to be elsewhere. And now he’s gone, it feels just like she’s doing her bit to look after me instead.

What a truly wonderful thing you’re doing.

Love,

Jackie & Kitty x

Anonymous said...

This is just beautiful, Beth... though I’m sure you didn’t intend to make me cry! I have seen for myself the joys that cats can bring to those who are unable to enjoy their lives to the full any more. I lost my Dad to cancer in July. Kitty and I had moved back home a year ago to be with him and care for him. He’d never had a cat living in the house before but within a very short time, all I heard about was Kitty and what she’d gotten up to during the day... ‘talking’ to him, pestering him for treats, running around after Mr Mouse, snoozing on his lap, roaming round his room at night... every new day with Kitty brought him something different to talk and laugh about, and I honestly think she knew it too. She was great company for him when I had to be elsewhere. And now he’s gone, she’s doing her bit to look after me instead.

What a wonderful thing you’re doing.

Love,

Jackie & Kitty x

House of Mystery said...

Thats why we are a house of six cats now. We took in a pregnant stray so her kittens would have a chance and they'd be somewhere they knew they were safe. We've loved every minute of them being here (In fact it might be hard to let them go when we find some good people to adopt them).

Sparkle said...

I think you are doing an AWESOME job for these cats and these seniors who need them so much. The naysayers can take a hike - keep doing what you're doing.

Darlene said...

That's a beautiful, loving thing to do. You made me cry at work!!!

~*Connie*~ said...

no only do i agree with you, i applaud you. what a wonderful choice to make and what joy you have brought to those women and your volunteers.

May the people who bash you for your choices be bashed themselves for not doing the work you are doing. If they think that something should be done that you aren't doing, than they should be doing it themselves.

Anonymous said...

Beth don't feel badly about not taking more cats out if the kill shelter.
You said they cost you on average $600.00 in vet bills. No rescue can survive with that kind of negative cash flow. If I were you I would only take new arrivals or pregnant females with hopes they have not picked up the shelter viruses.

Though I would not want to scare any one off from adopting a kitten from there, my experience has been less than wonderful. I am out of pocket more than just $600 as Harpurr developed Calicivirus within a week of Lily’s arrival and needed IV fluids antibiotics and analgesics. But that is nothing compared to the heartbreak of having a kitten die. The fosters who take on the joy of kittens, knowing they may become sick and die, are very special people.

I would really encourage anyone adopting from a shelter to take out the pet insurance. Even if you only keep it for a few months, to make sure you are protected from the big bills. Lily arrived sneezing but did not appear other wise sick until after her 2nd set of vaccines in September.

The insurance costs about the same as a half dozen trips to Starbucks. The difference between $2500 and $5000 coverage is just a latte. LOL

I love Tiger Lily to bits. In part I got her as a friend for my old Siamese Harpurr who is dying from cancer. She is pretty and sweet and washes his face and ears and snuggles with him just as I’d hoped. I will be wrecked it she does not survive, It reminds me how precious our health, and that of our pets health is.

I am a palliative care nurse and deal with dying people every day. Your promise to care for their cats after they die is a gift you cannot put a price on.

Harpurr and Tiger Lily’s Mom

Anonymous said...

And now for a Zen moment - - check this out!

http://animesanzo.blogspot.ca/

Harpurr and Lily's Mom

Anonymous said...

I was also touched hearing these stories... What a wonderful thing you are doing.

Caroline said...

I don't blame you for not rescuing solely from the high kill shelter, I admire you for going there at all. I volunteered at the Humane Society before it got new management and it was really hard to go there with the helpless mentality of the staff.
Although I would like to think we can rescue every one, the truth is we can't so we have to help those that we can.
The shelter manager at the high kill shelter really needs to boot out the SPCA and try to adopt out her own animals, I don't know how she can find any job satisfaction. She needs to ask the town for money for vet care and split the cats that are given up from the cats that come in from the wild so the viruses don't travel so much.
They also need tnr instead of te.

I'm glad you're giving terminal care patients animal companionship. This is a responsible way to do it because the cats aren't left homeless after their parents pass on and it gets one more cat into a good home.

Anonymous said...


Beth I hate to be a bore, but I am wondering if ANY of those kitties in the high kill shelter stand a chance of being rescued ? Do ANY of the rescues rescue from there. Just breaks my heart ..... sorry...I'm such an ol' softee

Anonymous said...

I donot think that any of the kitties in the high kill pound has a big chance of being rescued.
I know as I offered myself for fostering one and the interest in him (a young adult very nice looking tom, already spayed) was nil.
Only some of the tiny kittens get rescued as I see now. And of course as they are tiny and their immune systems are weak and undeveloped, many of them get sick and die. Adult cats would do better but they are not as high in demand as the tiny kittens. Bad luck.
The Hamilton shelter is a one way road for adult cats as far as I can see. With foster offers or without them.
Tunde

Caroline said...

To Anonymous 1 and 2, yes other rescues pull from the high kill shelter and kittens and declawed cats usually get preference as they are the easiest to integrate when you already have pets of your own. We don't all have separate spare bedrooms to keep them until they get over their viruses. I feel the kittens and cats from the high kill are best put on antibiotics at the first sign of sneezing as mine have always gotten better after.

It is alot of work and expense and I wish the irresponsible ppl that dump their animals there could see what the rest of us have to do to clean up their messes.

The more ppl willing to foster, the more cats that get out, end of story. If you can't foster for one group try another, it is helpful if you are in the same city as the rescue because as a foster parent you make numerous trips to the rescue's vet. I don't drive long distances but my associated rescue has always found a volunteer to deliver my foster cats and kittens from the animal control to a vet nearby. Everyone can help even if you can't foster, if you can drive, you can help.

Anonymous said...

Caroline I offered driving, spare bedroom, and immediate action regarding the pickup of the cat. One in 5 rescues showed any interest at all. The furthest one...
That young adult cat was rescued but it was NOT easy I tell you!

Today I asked about an older cat that is sitting in the Hamilton facility and the answer was: no interest, even when there would be a foster offer for him as he MIGHT be sick and therefore he MIGHT cost then extra money.
So no need to make things look nicer than they really are.

This pound is obviously a one way street for older animals and for most of the adult ones, too.
Yes, even with a foster offer.

But if you know of anyone who would get out an older cat from the Hamilton facility when a foster offer is made for him please email me directly with the name of the rescue ok?
tuende.patko@web.de
Thanks.

Tunde

Ellstar said...

I think people underestimate how much joy and stress-relief pets can be for the sick and elderly. My friend recently did something similar for their grandfather. He's in his late eighties and while still lucid is not the healthiest man, but he desperately wanted a kitten. My friend is making sure the cat's bills are paid for and that the cat will have a home inevitably when his grandfather passes away. He just loves his cat so much and wants to spend the rest of his time left with his furry buddy.