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Monday, August 30, 2010

Pooch Park: One Giant Step for Dog-Kind Part 2

Saturday morning we awaited the arrival of our volunteers who generously offered to assist us with carving our rock garden into reality. We had no idea what time to expect our skidloading friends. We finally received a phone call from Missy around 11 am. "We are just outside of Ellsworth (only 4 miles away or so), but we might not make it there!"

Oh, brother. I just cannot let this project get away from me again. I am ready to grab the shovel and go finish it myself, one piece of gravel riddled earth at a time! Just as I am wondering, "why on earth would they get this close to the clinic, and then not make it here to get it done?!" Missy blurts out, "We got stopped for speeding, and my husband may be getting arrested. Gotta go!" She hangs up the phone.  We were left to sit and wonder, "What the?"
 
20 minutes later, in the door prances Missy.  Her husband, Allen, walks in behind her so we are now fully aware that he did not get arrested.  I was nervous that he might be cranky after a run-in with the law.  We were introduced, and he grumbled about the incident with a smirk of humor on his face. 
 
They were pulled over for speeding just four miles away from the clinic.  He had already driven this large vehicle that looks like it bounced out of a "Transformers" movie, forty miles from their home town of Steamboat Rock, Iowa, and suddenly found himself parked on the side of the road in front of a state trooper's vehicle, so close to his final destination.  To add a little salt to the injury, he neglected to bring his license with him, and his insurance card was outdated. 
 
What we learned that day is that Missy, our new employee, has a "flair for the dramatic".  While I am certain Allen took some heat from the officer, and probably from Missy, for failing to carry his license and current insurance card, I imagine he was never spread eagled across the front of the police car as we were envisioning after that informative phone call.  Her "flair" has made us laugh on more than one occasion throughout our workdays. 
 
Outside the clinic sat a long trailer attached to a big, shiny, bumble-bee-yellow truck.  On it's side is printed, "Mabe's Red Paw Landscaping".  The Red Paw is in reference to Missy's dedication to animal rescue, and to Allen's dedication to his landscape work that often leaves his hands sore and red.
 
 

 
Allen climbs into the portly trailer and starts the engine on the skidloader that is going to make my world so much easier!   Allen generously spends several hours, not only carving the initial shape into our gravel-ridden ground, he places the bricks around the edges patiently and painstakingly even, with a mallet and some help from some donated sand for levelling. 
 
 
 


 
Meanwhile, the Site Supervisors, Miranda, Connor, and Caleb, observe the production, inspecting each step we took in our project...



Once the digging was done, we went out to eat and enjoyed some nice conversation.  With full bellies, my volunteers and my workers went home for a quiet Saturday evening, and so did we. 

The next day, it was up to me to complete the project under the direction of my usual weekend Supervisors. 

Connor supervised the transportation of bricks that were thoughtfully donated by Amy from HEART Rescue... 


After Connor completed his supervisory obligations, he went on worm patrol and dirt bomb missions.  No worms were injured in the writing of this blog.  I cannot say the same for the dirt bombs...

Miranda artfully trimmed the landscaping tarp to fit into our rock garden so those pesky weeds would not rear their ugly green prolific heads.  I am not a big fan of weeding... is anyone?!


Guess what I got to carry...and carry...and carry...


Finally, the rock garden was completed.  I proceeded to reconstruct the edging at the base of the two trees that I planted a few years back, and added tarp to their bases to control the weeds where I had neglected to use tarp before.  Back, you pesky weeds, back!  (insert evil scientist laugh here) 
 
Now the hard work is done, and my paws were red.  Now you, my readers, have a job to do.  Keep your eye on Google Earth's satellite image of 548 Main Street in Jewell, IA.  If they update the satellite photos every three years or so, and my previous image was from April of 2008, sometime soon the satellite will produce this image...
 
 

Or this one...

Let me know if you notice it before I do!

Perhaps this image in Pooch Park, in this blog, and/or on Google Earth will inspire people to think of their favorite furry friends who have left their mark on this great earth of ours, and left their mark on our hearts.  If each person who views this image, chooses to adopt from a shelter rather than purchase a pet, the world will change for that rescued pet.  Don't we all want to change the world?
 

And remember, Pooch Park is not yet done...



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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Pooch Park: One Giant Step for Dog-Kind Part 1

I found a new website about a month ago.  I shouldn't refer to it as a "new" website, as it is not new in and of itself.  It is just new to me.  Google Earth is it's name. Perhaps you have heard of it or visited it.  On Google Earth you can search for any physical address such as your home or business, and zoom into a photograph of that address that was taken by a satellite.  If you are concerned about "Big Brother" watching you on such a grand scale, you can relax.  The image is not a live image.  In more remote areas, such as Jewell, Iowa, the photograph is updated only every three years or so.  In rural areas, I believe it is updated more frequently.  It is an amazing concept.   

On Google Earth, you can create a tour in which you zoom down to and "fly" over your house or business.  You can go back in time and look at previous satellite images.  This is called a historical tour, but all of the previous satellite images of my clinic were too out of focus to really zoom in.  My most current satellite image was taken in April of 2008.

I am so excited about Google Earth, because I spent some time landscaping this weekend, with a little help from my friend, Missy...and her spouse! 

I recently hired a woman that I know from animal rescue.  Her name is Missy.  I am slightly nervous about the new circumstance, because as a boss you hate to lose a friend or rescue contact because you are suddenly in a boss/employee position. It benefits me and the clinic to hire someone that is knowledgable about animals, so I took the chance.  We are still in the honeymoon phase of the arrangement, but I do have high hopes for the match.

I was telling Missy how I have wanted to put a rock garden in Pooch Park, but just have not taken the time to make it happen.  The next thing I know, she and I have shovels in our hands, and we are out in Pooch Park attempting to dig through what used to be a gravel parking lot. 

When I bought the property, the area that is now Pooch Park was a mixture of grass, weeds, and gravel.  There was a house somewhere in this yard at some point, but I am not sure where it actually was, or when it was removed.  It is obviously gone now. The fence was put in for the safety of the dogs.  I decided it would be nice to make a park-like area for people to sit while walking their dogs or ours.  It is a nice spot for potential adopters to sit in while meeting an adoptable dog for the first time, weather permitting.  It has slowly evolved... and it is still unfinished, but it is oh so close to completion after this weekend.

A few years back, I planted two trees in Pooch Park with the dedicated assistance of Miguel and his red truck.  I turned the entire run along the fence lines into a large garden.  Two volunteers that I need to thank are Melissa D. and Rachelle W.  for "rock hunting" to provide Pooch Park with the larger stones that border all the gardens and the base of the trees. They scoured ditches for miles picking up suitable stones for the park.  Miguel and I did a lot of digging, and his truck hauled a lot of mulch to that garden.  We dug three holes for two trees.  We called Digsafe, and had the property marked for power and water lines.  Somehow, we still ran into a wire of some sort at the base of our first hole.  it was so tempting to just throw the tree in at that point and bury it all.  But concern about the roots and their affect on the wire scared me.  I decided to move the tree over after hours of hard work, and Miguel and I made it happen.  Trees were planted.  Stones were placed.  Shrubs were planted.  Mulch was spread.  The task was over, for now.  It looked wonderful, but was not yet done.



This past Friday, Miguel, Missy, and I began digging, again, to place that rock garden that kept getting away from me.  Getting through the layer of gravel is a nightmare in pooch park and anywhere on this piece of property.  Arnold Schwarzenegger would submit to these tiny stones that in number can whoop anyone's behind!  It is ironic that these stones were preventing us from putting in a rock garden! 

We were sweaty and tired when Missy suddenly announces, "My husband does landscaping for a living.  He can use his skidloader to get through this gravel."  Miguel and I stared at her in disbelief as she dialed the phone, had a brief conversation with her husband, then barks, "He will be here tomorrow."  Miguel and I looked at each other.  We were unsure whether we should hug her for getting him to help, or strangle her for waiting until now to brainstorm this wonderful idea!

The next morning, we anxiously await the arrival of our "landscaper".  Saturday mornings pass very quickly because it is often busy with appointments and with adoptions.  It seemed to pass relatively slowly this week as my excitement about finally getting this chore done got the best of me.  We had no idea what time to expect our skidloading friends.  We finally receive a phone call from Missy in the late morning.  "We are just outside of Ellsworth (only 4 miles away or so), but we might not make it there!" 

Oh, brother.  I just cannot let this project get away from me.  I am ready to grab the shovel again and go finish it myself, one piece of gravel at a time!  Just as I am wondering, "why on earth would they get this close to the clinic, and then not come here to get it done?!"  Missy blurts out, "We got stopped for speeding, and my husband may be getting arrested.  Gotta go!"  She hangs up the phone, and we were left to sit and wonder, "What the?" 

To be continued...


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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Evolution of a Victimized Cat

A small town Iowa rescue was alerted to a group of cats in dire need of rescue.  The person requesting assistance had discovered that a relative had cats living in her shed and wanted help with rehoming them.  A lot of people have stray cats residing in their barns, garages, sheds, or outbuildings.  These cats are often feral and will usually take off if you try to catch them.  If you eliminate their feeding source, they will often relocate.  But this was not the usual "cats living in the shed" problem.

The person who owned the property was a cat breeder.  She had decided to retire from breeding, and the family thought she sold or gave away the cats that she had.  A family member discovered the cats living in cages in the shed, and was shocked.  She knew that something had to be done.  She made a phone call to a local small town animal rescuer who agreed to come evaluate the situation.

The rescuers arrived to find this...

and this...

and this...



The rescuer immediately sent out calls for assistance.  Cats are never an easy placement.  It is so easy for people to get a "free to good home kitten" that shelters often sit full of healthy, completely vetted cats for quite some time.  We all know that, and we are all often at capacity.  So a call for help is heartbreaking when no one responds.  It is difficult to say "no" to a request for help, and it is difficult to hear "no" when you make a request.

With these photos, people responded.  Who wouldn't?  To leave these cats in this condition would be as awful as being the one who put them there in the first place.  Five state licensed rescue groups stepped up to take in a total of 12 cats, most of them were American Bobtails, all of them are now part of the "Dirty Dozen".

With committments at hand, and volunteers at the ready, the rescue operation took place.  The cats were gently removed from their wire kennels and loaded into cat carriers to be taken to their individual rescue groups. 





These four peanuts are now at my clinic.  They were thin and covered in fleas.  They hiss and spit, but should adjust to their new conditions very quickly.  We will take it very slowly and show them to love and trust. http://www.jewellanimalhospital.petfinder.com/


The rescue groups met their cats, and called their own individual veterinarians.  They made appointments for their new kitties to have wellness checks, spays and neuters, and vaccines all around.  We call it the kitty cocktail!  If they are in need of additional veterinary care, it is being provided by and at the expense of each individual rescue group. 

Here is one rescue group's photographic montage of their new friend...


"Here is just a little 2 min time frame of allowing a cat a chance, and not assuming they are not adoptable and to the death chamber they go.  Good Morning, oh not feeling so social yet?"


"Let's see... how about a soft touch and little stroke, and this kit is bones : ( Yep lifting the butt a little : )"

"Oh this feels nice, guess I'll try to stand a little to get more of it : )"
"Up a little more but not much eye contact!"

"Ahhh, I guess I can trust you. ♥ beautiful feline, worth saving, now he just needs to eat eat eat.  He is thin thin thin!  Welcome my friend, may you find refuge here until just the right home comes forward : )"


If you would like to donate to the care of these twelve cats and kittens, make your donations to AGAPE Fosters.  Please earmark your donation for "The Dirty Dozen" and the total will be divided amongst the 5 groups as donations toward the veterinary care of these rescued cats.

Agape Fosters
20744 W Avenue
Reinbeck, IA 50669

Agape Fosters is a State Licensed, 501 C3 Non Profit Charitable Organization committed to assisting and placing homeless animals into loving, responsible, lifelong, indoor homes.

Paypal donations can be made to Immydog@msn.com and will also be divided amongst the rescue groups involved.

Huge thanks go out to all of the people who got involved in this rescue, to really make a difference in the lives of these 12 cats! None of them got paid for their time or effort,  and no lives were lost.



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Monday, August 23, 2010

Becca to the Rescue!

We have been blessed!  We have a new professional photographer in town that has donated her time, effort, and talent to help our adoptable pets find their forever homes.  She is taking beautiful photographs of our adoptable animals.  She was very patient with the animals on their "picture day" during our first session last week.  We all know that the toughest things to photograph are kids and animals!  The photographs are just gorgeous, and I hope they will help catch people's eyes and increase our adoptions.

I wanted to share the photographs of some of the hoarding cats with you.  We will update you shortly on many of them!

Annabell

Jessabell


Tinkerbell

Oscar and Toby

Annabell gave us a run around, refusing to sit still for more than .3 seconds.  Oscar and Toby were enchanted by the wheat we used as a cat toy!  What a great idea!  I have a new employee, and her first day was the day of the photo sessions.  She remarked, "Now this is a pretty easy first day, hope they are all like this."  They won't be!  The session was fun, even though there were many trips up and down Main Street with a new pet in arms or on leash.  Most of the animals behaved well.  Fortunately, no animals pottied on Becca's floor!


Please send "Photography by Becca" a thank you for her time and consideration.  This was not an easy endeavor!  Cats and dogs can move pretty quickly! 

There are several ways you can send Becca your thanks and appreciation...

Snail mail:
Photography by Becca
623 Main Street
Jewell, IA 50130

Facebook:
Visit her face book page linked here "Photography by Becca", become a fan of this page, and post a thank you on the page!  There is an entire album of our pets' photos on that page.  We have another appointment this week to get more animals photographed.  Watch our petfinder page for the new photos!

If you are local, consider using her services.  Her "people photos" are very unique and creative!  She has many examples of them as well on her facebook page.

Thank you, Becca!  Your work is wonderful and your heart is big!

Here are a few sneak peaks at more of our photogenic adoptables...



Herkie and Remy, both senior dogs needing retirement homes...
Priscilla the queen and Jojo the clown puppy
Binky and Muffin
Suchin the Emperor

Please visit our Adoptable Pets at http://www.jewellanimalhospital.petfinder.com/ to get more information on these pets and our other adoptables!

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Breaking My Own Rule is Not Good Publishing...

I wrote a blog about an experience I had with a hoarding rescue, and I am amazed and shocked at the response that there has been to this blog.  There are comments of support, and comments against my decision to write about it.  There are immature comments.  There are rude comments.  And there are comments that make a lot of sense on both sides of the topic. 

I would like to acknowledge that I did make a mistake in the publishing of that blog.  It is one thing to make a mistake. Everyone hates to do it, although we all do it.   It is yet another thing to make a mistake in a public setting.  And still another thing to make a mistake in a public setting that negatively affects another person.
The mistake I made and I do regret is mentioning the name of the doctor and her practice in my blog.  I wrote in anger, and I wrote in haste.  I usually abide by a self imposed rule that after writing an emotional blog, I wait to publish it for 24 hours.  Then I read it over again.  By then, the "passion" has been reigned in, and I can address it in a more civil manner.  I neglected to abide by my own rule of publishing.  It was immature and unprofessional of me to address the issue in a public setting rather than discuss it with the other doctor in a private setting, when we had both settled our emotions down and could confront the issue again.  For this indiscretion, I do apologize to that doctor and to her staff.

That being said, I do not regret telling the story.  I still stand behind the story as I wrote it.  I still have all the same unanswered questions in my head that I had when I wrote that blog.  I still believe many of those cats deserved a second chance at life, a chance to recover, a chance to heal.  Running medical tests on the cats prior to making a firm decision towards euthanasia, since there was an option of rescue and medical treatment would have been a nice course to consider. 

One comment on the blog calls me a "storyteller", and it was intended as an insult.  It is not taken as such.  Every animal has a story.  I am priveleged to be one of the storytellers.

This is my personal blog. It is full of my life experiences.  In it, I have and will make mistakes. I am only human. I hope next time, it does not negatively affect anyone other than myself.

My only other regret, is that it has taken me so long to make this apology happen...


"True remorse is never just a regret over consequence; it is a regret over motive." ~Mignon McLaughlin

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Lily's Story Part 3

Four months after Lily was returned to the puppy mill from which she came, it was discovered that she was up for auction by Southwest Auction Service and the auction would take place in Ashland, Nebraska. The breeder was driving over 5 hours with these dogs to get rid of them for good. It was time for Miss Lily to come home.

Fundraising began so the foster homes could reunite with the dogs they thought they may never see again.  The anticipation grew as they awaited the arrival of the auction date.  Saturday arrived, and the auction would begin.  Rinthea and the others were in Iowa, while other volunteers would attend the auction. 

Through texting and phone calls, the information was relayed from one rescuer to another in a "chain mail" fashion.  Finally, the auctioneer brought out Boston Terriers with familiar faces.  Texting continued, "Are you sure it's Lily?  Does she have the head tilt?"  The microchip number matched, and so did that face with the characteristic head tilt.  Lily's future stood before them.

The bidding for Lily, estimated to end at around $40, climbed. 

$70,

$80,

$100,

$150. 


The rescuers continued their efforts, knowing what their financial cap was and scared it might be broken.  The bidding finally ended at $175.  The person holding the winning bid was not a breeder.  It was a rescuer, Tina, who texted Rinthea the good news. 

The bidding continued on other dogs, and two more of the "returned puppy mill raid" dogs were "won" at auction. 

Some breeders will respect rescuers enough to set up connections with them. When they need to get rid of dogs, they contact the groups.  One naive member of a rescue group decided to introduce herself to Lily's breeder in the hopes of making future connections with him.  Once he realized that rescuers were bidding on his dogs, he set a minimum of $200 on each of his dogs.  But Lily and others where already out of his hands.

The news spread quickly through facebook and texting.  And then this post-purchase photo arrived.





She had again, lost the spark in her eyes.  She was filthy, and foul smelling. She looked alone.  But she was heading home.






video

The waiting was over.  Lily was closer than she had been in four months, but she was still four hours away.

She would arrive after midnight for a tired but tearful reunion. 

A few days later, Miss Lily came to my office.  I was fortunate enough to meet her despite the two hour drive to my clinic.  I was thrilled to meet the little dog that I fell in love with online.

She still suffered from severe hair loss.  She was covered in abrasions, cuts, and scabs on her head, body, and legs.  Her head tilt persisted, and she appeared to have had a litter of puppies since the return.  This litter would be her last.


Me with Sophie, Tina with Gia, and Rinthea with Lily


Lily is not for adoption.  She is home with Rinthea.  She is now a dog, and has retired from her role as breeding stock.  She is spayed.  She is sleeping on the couch, cuddling on laps, and making memories that will hopefully erase the memories from her past. 




Learn from Team Lily

Coming Soon: Gia's Story...


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Cutting through the Red Tape...

I have to interrupt Lily's blog to discuss today's happenings.  It is a wonderful yet sad day for many of our furry friends.

Last week I received a phone call from the ARL to assist in a hoarding case in Story City.  There was a person living with an estimated 50 cats.  The cats were being voluntarily surrendered by the owner.  I was honored by the request for my help, and traumatized by the idea of finding a place for 50 or more cats.

It was made quite clear that the animals involved were being relinquished to the ownership of the Story City Vet, and that it was legally up to her to decide what happens to the animals.  I was not expecting to act as a veterinarian on site.  The request was for me to find placement for these cats, if possible. 

I immediately sent out emails to my rescue groups and  friends.  I asked them to share the information with other rescues.  In most hoarding situations, the cats tend to be quite feral or wild.  So I prepared for this by requesting rescue spots for any tame cats or ones young enough to rehabilitate, and requesting farm homes for the newly spayed or neutered not-so-cuddly ones. 

My rescue friends came through like firepower!  We had placement for 12-18 adoptable cats, and about half a dozen farms willing to take in anywhere from 3-5 feral cats as barn cats.  I thank all of my rescue friends for offering their assistance.  Your kindness has not gone unnoticed...by me.

The day prior to the clean-out, I called the Story City vet to let her know that I had at least 25 cats covered.  She was not available, so I left the message with the staff. 

The next morning, I reported to the site.  From the outside, the house was completely inconspicuous.  There was no way you would suspect what was inside this house, by looking at the outside. 

I walked up to the vet in charge, and informed her that I had at least 25 cats placed, if she did not mind farm cats being a possibility.  She put her hands in prayer position, "Thank you," she replied appreciatively.   "I don't care where they go, really." implying that farm cats would be fine.  I also informed her that I had a Persian rescue and a Siamese cat rescue that would take any additional cats fitting into those categories.

Knowing I would not be acting as a veterinarian, I decided to help the teams get ready for the capture.  I helped carry dozens of carriers to the back door of the house.  Each team would consist of 2-3 people.  The teams were allowed only 15 minutes in the house as the air would be toxic.  The teams were required to wear latex gloves and respiratory masks while inside the house. 

The first team went in with cat carriers and a large fish net, and immediately began bringing out full cat carriers.  The first team got the most benign of the cats, the cats with less fight or flight in them.  The first carrier I carried back held a beautiful longhair Calico.  She mewed as we walked to the vet station for her physical exam and evaluation.  I offered my assistance to the vet team, and I was assured that they did not need me in that area.

Each cat and kitten went down a line for evaluation of health and temperament.  There were veterinary assistants, veterinary technicians, and veterinary students all assisting with the process.  They were all very professional and eager to learn and assist in such a difficult situation.

The first team came out of the house, and each time the door opened, a waft of foul odor emanated from the building.  I donned a mask and gloves, joined team two, and ventured inside.  The amount of "stuff" on the floor made it difficult to maneuver throughout the house.  Most of the cats were now in the basement. I was on the main level, so I got my camera out. There were cans, bottles, papers, feces covering almost all surfaces, counters, floors.  There were kittens frozen in the freezer.





6-8 inches of feces and urine were piled up in the corners of each room.  Many cat litter boxes were scattered throughout this level of the house, but they were filled and overflowing with foulness. 
It was decided after several teams entered and exited the house, that it was time to set cat traps to catch the remainder of the cats in the house over the next few days.  These cats were very wild, scared, and hiding in many places not reachable by rescuers.  The traps were baited with tuna fish and set inside the house.

As each cat progressed through the line, I started watching the proceedings.  I saw the cutest little Siamese mix kitten and orange tabby kitten being examined by the techs.  One had a ruptured eyeball, the other had a severely diseased eyeball.  I told them, "I can take them."  The techs responded, "They are labeled for euthanasia."  I pulled another vet aside, "I can take these two, I can remove the eyes if I have to.  It's not a problem for me."  She graciously said, "Thank you." told me how wonderful I am, and I planned on taking those little kittens on to a new life. 

I called my rescue friend, Amy, who was at my beck and call today to help me arrange and notify my other rescue groups of any information on numbers and temperament of the cats.  This was important in case I needed assistance with housing cats as they waited for their spay and/or neuter.

As I am talking on the phone, I notice the vet in charge pick up the carrier with the two kittens that I just agreed to take and start carrying them away.  I tell Amy to hold, and politely beckoned, "I can take those two."  I started to go back to the phone, when she turned to me and bluntly replied, "No."  There was no question about her reply.  I was not going to get those kittens.  I replied, "Why not?"  She repeated, "No." and the conversation was done.


I walked over to Tom Colvin of the ARL and another vet, and said, "You knew this was going to happen when you invited me here, didn't you?'

They asked me what was wrong, and I told them that I wanted to save the lives of those two kittens and the "vet" refused.  They consoled me by saying we would discuss it again at the end of the day.  And we didn't. 

I was told that "red tape" on the top of the carrier indicated that the animals inside the cage were going to be euthanized and here are the two groups.  You can see the red tape on their kennels.


These were in line for rescue. There are 6 cats here.

These were deemed critically ill. There are 10 cats in here.


The rest of the morning passed like molasses after that incident, and the line for each group grew longer.  By the end of the day, there were recurring discussions as to why I could not take animals that I had placement for, and was willing to do the vet work for them.  They comforted me by giving me one more orange tabby kitten, making my lot an even dozen.

By the end of the day, despite what I was told by other people, the euthanasia line, now this long


would not be shortened despite my offer of FREE assistance.  My help and the help from my rescues would cost them NOTHING, yet it was denied by a one person opposition, another veterinarian.

I do not believe there was a single cat in these carriers that had they come into her clinic as a paying client's spay or neuter, that this vet would have said immediately, "We need to euthanize this cat."  They all had upper respiratory tract infections.  Some were dehydrated.  One reportedly had an oral ulcer which would lead to his "elective demise".

The amount of disrespect I felt and still feel is overwhelming.  Refusing my help in this situation is like her proclaiming to the world that her DVM degree is better than mine.  I am a licensed veterinarian within the state of Iowa. I am a licensed pound/shelter within the state of Iowa.  I am able to treat these cats like any other rescue animal.  I am able to treat these cats like any other client's animal.  I am able to treat these cats with the respect and dignity these lives deserved.

Was this doctor the legal owner of these cats?  Absolutely.  Was her approval needed to send these cats to rescue? Absolutely.  Would the previous owner have opted to euthanize more than half of the cats in her house, including 5 or more kittens when she knew a licensed veterinarian would take them in and care for them in every way possible.  Absolutely NOT.  Why would a group ask for my help, and then let her reject it for the sake of a pissing contest?! 

Did she forget that I too, have the power to euthanize if the case required it?  Did she think that I was lying about the rescues standing by?  What was the motivation behind destroying the lives of cats that did not ask to be put into a hoarding situation and were staring freedom right in the eyes? 


This little kitten was labeled for euthanasia.

When a licensed vet is offering to take in animals that will be treated for health issues, spayed and neutered, vaccinated, and offered homes for life, why say "No"?   I have the license to euthanize if necessary, and I am capable of performing that function when an animal is suffering.  What is the reasoning behind saying "No".  The best interest of the cats is not being sent to the crematorium if they can live their lives out in a home with a family.  Those 5 kittens were certainly able to have been rehabilitated. 

I would like to say that I won't lose sleep tonight over the decisions that I made today... but I will lose sleep.  I will wonder why someone feels it is okay to euthanize rather than rescue.  I will wonder why she felt I was not worthy of being allowed to rescue more cats. I fully expected to have to leave some cats behind today due to sheer numbers.  I did not think that I would be able to take them all.  But not being respected enough to be allowed to take cats that I had committed space for is heart wrenching.

I was planning on taking 25.  I probably would have taken more.  I was only allowed to take 12.  Thirteen lives ended.  Thirteen lives that have seen only filth and despair.  Thirteen lives that should have been shown life, but instead life was taken from them.

The back room in my clinic is acting as our isolation ward.  I am thrilled looking at the new feline faces that reside there now. They have been vaccinated, dewormed, given fresh food, water, and medications for eye infections and upper respiratory infections.  They are breathing in clean air.  They have litter boxes that are not soiled.  They have clean blankets on which to sleep.  They will all be spayed and neutered.  Most importantly, they have been given names and a second chance.

Next to those thankful faces are empty cages.  Cages that were waiting for kittens and cats to recover from this ordeal.  Cages that would have served as an introduction to a new life. 

Cages that remind me of the ones that I was told I could not save...





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