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Old 06-06-2012, 09:20 PM
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Sweet72947 Sweet72947 is offline
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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:

Quote:
If you find a baby kitten, do you know what the best thing for the kitten is?

To NOT touch the baby kitten, unless you already know the mother is deceased or there is imminent life-threatening danger approaching.

Often it looks as if the baby kitten has been abandoned, when in reality, the mother may not be far away and may be searching for food of her own. She may be scared of people and may be purposely avoiding you seeing her.

Taking a nursing kitten away from her mother is depriving the kitten of essential antibodies she will need to ward off disease and infection, and she'll face a lower survival rate without her mother's milk.

So what's the best thing to do? Look but don't touch!
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?
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Old 06-06-2012, 09:32 PM
JessLough JessLough is offline
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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.
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Old 06-06-2012, 09:32 PM
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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).
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Old 06-06-2012, 09:43 PM
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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.
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Old 06-06-2012, 09:48 PM
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Quote:
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.
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.
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Old 06-06-2012, 10:03 PM
JessLough JessLough is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by houlahoops View Post
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.
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.
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Old 06-06-2012, 10:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JessLough View Post
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.
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.
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Old 06-06-2012, 10:15 PM
Psyfalcon Psyfalcon is offline
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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?
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Old 06-06-2012, 10:17 PM
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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.
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Old 06-06-2012, 10:19 PM
JessLough JessLough is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweet72947 View Post
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.
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.
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