Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A Gut Check

I was driving through an urban area today.  It was a busy street and cars on both sides suddenly stopped.  I had places to go, people to see and felt irritated with the delay.  Cars were honking and I opened my car door to peek out and see what was going on.

A coyote pup was drinking water from a pot hole in the road.  I thought it was adorable at first until the pup started to run off.  He had a severely broken leg and blood over his back.  My heart broke into a million pieces as this poor baby risked so much for a drink of water.  I watched one other driver pull over and call the local Humane Society.  She said she would wait and watch the pup until they arrived.

No.  There isn't much I could do.  I wouldn't risk being bitten, so I left knowing that "help" was on the way.  I'm still thinking about this poor guy. 

When I came home I received a call from one of our volunteers.  She was at the veterinary clinic around the corner from the "high kill" shelter where we rescue.  Apparently, an animal control officer was there to have an injured cat put to sleep.  As I would do, she peeked into the carrier to discover it was a Mom cat with 4 kittens.  The kittens were to die along with the Mom - for no other reason than there would be nobody to feed them. 

The vet gingerly took the Mama cat out of the carrier.  She had an 8 - 10 inch gash in her abdomen.  The skin was necrotic and infected.  Air had gotten under her skin, so she was in a enormous amount of pain.  Despite it all, she was purring and nursing her kittens.  The sweet, gentle Mama Cat leaned forward and gently groomed one of her babies.  She didn't know that they would all die shortly.

Even the vet didn't understand why this family had to die.  She was angry and frustrated with the system.  She didn't want to kill 4 healthy kittens too.

Our volunteer asked:  "Can we take this family?" 

I couldn't imagine saying no.  She will require a lot of care - expensive care and surgery.  

With promises to the Mama Cat to love and care for them, our volunteer carefully took the 4 kittens home to bottle feed them.  The Mama Cat will be given nurturing medical care - not death.

Me?  I hung up the phone and went to the shelter website and found her:

She had arrived TWO DAYS ago with this 8 - 10 inch open, infected, necrotic gash in her abdomen.  She's been suffering for two fucking days and NOW they wanted to kill her?  I'm so angry. 

 Maybe I don't have the whole story.  Maybe there's something I don't know or understand.  But I do know that some things never change and my heart hurts.


16 comments:

House of Mystery said...

I wonder every day about the world when people see someone (be they human, cat, dog, any species) in obvious pain.. and do nothing.

Our hopes and prayers are with Mama and her family. They deserve a chance and more.

Robin Sarafinchan said...

I know, sometimes this work is heartbreaking, but I thank you for saying yes to this little family, I never want to be the person who turns away from an animal in need and I'm glad you are out there too.

Robin Sarafinchan said...

I know, sometimes this work is heartbreaking, but I thank you for saying yes to helping this little family, I never want to become the person who says no to an animal in need, and I'm so glad you are out there getting involved instead of turning a blind eye.

shannon said...

ugh. this is a heart wrenching post. I cant stand knowing animals are out there in pain and im sitting on the couch unable to do anything. Thanks for saving that mother and babies. They deserve a chance and shame on the shelter for letting her suffer for two days. I dont know how those people can work there

Connie said...

I was having a good day till I read this - it sickened me to the depths of my soul - how how how can anyone with the tinies heart have let her suffer that way?? To think I have given sooo many blankets toys treats to this shelter - to think they could be so inhumane!!! The manager, the staff whoever was on duty should all be ashamed of themselves and pray to God that he has mercy on them as I highly doubt anyone of us will.

Strayer said...

You are an angel. The world is hard for those who care. I read a book called "The Incredible Lightness of Being". You are not one of those who skim through life, not rooted to the earth, not weighted heavy with its problems, looking away without any thought of getting involved. I wish I had money. I don't. But I would like to donate $10.

Crystal said...

Something about the story just brought tears to my eyes. I cannot imagine death being the only option. I am so grateful to your kind compassionate volunteer and to you and your rescue for saving this beautiful family. They are all so precious:)

Sparkle said...

I am just glad your volunteer was there to rescue the mom and kittens - I know it is horrible and frustrating to know the mom suffered with her wounds for two days, but the important thing today is that they are now safe.

Anonymous said...

Saw this family too. Oh my, poor girl and still focused on her duty. She, as all, deserve to live and thank you for that. Would like to know if donations can be accepted.

House of the Discarded said...

Anonymous: Yes! We would LOVE donations for this girl! Thank you so much for thinking of her and this little family :)

Beth

Anonymous said...

If a person owned the cat and was letting her suffer without treatment instead of reaching out for help, they could be charged with animal cruelty. This is completely unacceptable. The media need to let people know this is going on, but that there are alternatives.

Caroline said...

OMG, this shelter is never going to improve, it seems. They need some benefactor who can work with the city to implement free spay and neuter and other options to their trap and euthanise agenda.

Beth and Volunteer, thanks so much for saving Momma and her kits! You made our day! Thanks also to the person on the road who stopped for the coyote pup.

I don't understand how ppl can ban plastic bags and water bottles and still let animals suffer.

Tina said...

THANK YOU Beth for saving this family! I am in tears for this little family (and for the little coyote pup.) But I'm happy to know they're safe now. It's no coincidence one of your volunteers was there when they were brought in. Donation on the way :-)

Tails from the Foster Kittens said...

Many purrs to the mom kitty.. may she respond quickly to the love she is about to be given and heal quickly..

Anonymous said...

Thank you for saving this momma and babies. It is above and beyond.

hmacross said...

I don't really know what to say, except thank you to the vet who knew it was wrong, thank you to the volunteer and thank you to you, Beth, for saying yes to this momma cat and her kittens.

That this would happen on June 11 - a day that is called "Just One Day" when shelters across North America are encouraged not to 'euthanize' any animals but to get them adopted or rescued instead.

The high kill shelter really needs to come out of the dark ages and see what other municipal shelters are doing to save the cats & dogs in their care rather than letting them suffer and then sending them to be killed.