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Question/advice from shelter pros

Kahne9Lover
April 2nd, 2009, 09:37 PM
My mother is a cat fanatic. She has about 10 in her home (all very well taken care of) she has rescued off the street over the years. Her area is very known for having strays, and they radiate to her. She's been working with a catch-neuter-release program for a few years, and uses her home as a "recovery center" for them until they are well enough. She is on a fixed income, but makes a donation towards each cat/kitten. Mom is completely upset and so is her personal vet now because, the most recent one had to be put to sleep (after his castration, no less). He didn't seem to be recovering well, and my mom called her contact and asked if she should bring him to them, or she would pay for her own vet. They told her he was probably depressed and not to worry. Well, my mom ignored that and made the appt with her reg vet. "Smokey" had full-blown F Leuk. She made the decision to euth when told he only had maybe days, and was in real pain. After all this, she called her contact, and asked why he hadn't been tested prior to the surgery, and was told, that the board voted not to pay for that anymore, it wasn't cost effective. Previously, any positive ones were sent to a hospice to live out their lives. Now my question is this: How is it cost effective? Isn't it worse to fix and release an infected cat? My mom told them she would pay for it out of her pocket, but was told they simply won't be testing for it anymore. She paid for "Smokey"s euth and cremation herself, but now she isn't sure if she wants to help with this program anymore. Even her vet was FURIOUS that the testing wasn't done and that my mom was expected to release an infected cat. I feel terrible for my mom who is 73 and uses her retirement $ to help these poor cats, and she is very discouraged and deeply hurt over this loss. What are the policies at other places? I don't really know what to say to her...:rip:Smokey

14+kitties
April 3rd, 2009, 07:23 AM
Unfortunately with the recession they probably have to cut back somewhere. That is most likely where they are cutting. Bloodwork does cost. :shrug: I also don't know what differences there are between here and the States.
The rescue I work through up here never does bloodwork on the cats before they are fixed. It is not the "norm". However, if you ask for it to be done and pay for testing they will do it. They deal with a large amount of stray/feral cats. I would think the sheer volume is enough to deter them from doing the tests on all the cats brought in. They cover the s/n, rabies, first shots, and Revolution.
Is it possible your mom's vet would be able to do the tests your mom wants done? That way she has peace of mind. If there are a large number of cats in her area it is probably there are more infected.
And thank the "fanatic" for all she does for these cats please. :cloud9::thumbs up

Kahne9Lover
April 3rd, 2009, 07:44 AM
Thank you for the reply 14+. Her vet had previously worked as a clinic vet for this group, but left when they wanted him to simply leave bulk antibiotics for them to administer without having to bring the animals in for diagnosis. They didn't like it when he told them no, he wasn't risking his license. He gave my mom a huge break on this visit, and I think they could probably reach an agreement to test the kitties. She was really hurt that they told her to just release him, he was just depressed. He was older, and they had deemed him unplaceable. Most of the kitties can be placed, but he was one of the few who would only trust my mom. At least she was with him at the end, instead of him going to his final sleep in an alley.

Love4himies
April 3rd, 2009, 07:59 AM
The shelter I volunteer with will not test unless the cat appears to be sick. Cats are kept in isolation for a few weeks before they are sp/n to ensure they are healthy enough to endure the operation.

14+kitties
April 3rd, 2009, 08:18 AM
It sounds like this rescue needs some work to reorganize. Your mom's vet sounds like an angel in his own right. At least he has scruples not leaving meds behind. How can they even administer drugs without knowing what they are treating for? :wall:
I can see why they would tell your mom to release. As bad as it sounds I know a lot of rescues would do that. :sad: Why bother spending money on a cat that is going to die anyway would be the mindset. They are risking infecting a lot more cats by releasing.
Unfortunately I think it comes down to one thing.... the allmighty dollar.
Did your mom keep this kitty :rip: separate from her others? I hope so. :fingerscr He could have passed on the virus to others in her home. Let's hope so.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feline_leukemia_virus

Kahne9Lover
April 3rd, 2009, 03:01 PM
Mom has a seperate area in her basement that her permanent resident kitties (all negative and vaccinated) do not have access. She keeps each recovering cat in their individual extra large dog crates. Each crate has its own litter box, food, etc. so her "patients" don't interact while inside. She is now concerned and is requesting paperwork for another cat that was recently done, because she thinks he and Smokey had a scuffle a little while ago, so she fears for him being infected. She wants to recatch him and get him tested and vaccinated (if he hadn't been already). If he is infected, she's going to try to get him into the hospice nearby. I am hoping that maybe she can find another program to work with, because this is her life. She was worried she would be bored when she retired, but these kitties keep her going strong.

Kahne9Lover
April 3rd, 2009, 03:09 PM
L4H, when my mom catches them and calls, they pick them right up and redeposit them to her within days. I guess its assembly-line work. They don't have a shelter per-se, they rely mostly on fosters. The other group she has worked with were soooo full especially with kittens, so that is how mom ended up with 10 of her own. She would find the abandoned kittens all over, keep them inside to bottle feed, and well, they simply never left.

onster
April 3rd, 2009, 05:04 PM
It is quite costly.

I had my kitty tested yesteday for FIV/ Leukemia and it cost $74 and some change.

So if they had to do that for every cat coming in..imagine!

onster
April 3rd, 2009, 05:06 PM
and btw please thank ure mom, she is indeed a kitty angel. :grouphug:

chico2
April 3rd, 2009, 05:15 PM
I really do not have much to add,just give your mom a hug from us for doing what she's doing,she must be a wonderful lady:grouphug:

14+kitties
April 3rd, 2009, 05:27 PM
It is quite costly.

I had my kitty tested yesteday for FIV/ Leukemia and it cost $74 and some change.

So if they had to do that for every cat coming in..imagine!

Weird. My vet tested a couple of mine and it was only $30.00. :shrug:

chico2
April 3rd, 2009, 05:34 PM
Yes,my vet charges $44:confused:

14+kitties
April 3rd, 2009, 05:42 PM
Mom has a seperate area in her basement that her permanent resident kitties (all negative and vaccinated) do not have access. She keeps each recovering cat in their individual extra large dog crates. Each crate has its own litter box, food, etc. so her "patients" don't interact while inside. She is now concerned and is requesting paperwork for another cat that was recently done, because she thinks he and Smokey had a scuffle a little while ago, so she fears for him being infected. She wants to recatch him and get him tested and vaccinated (if he hadn't been already). If he is infected, she's going to try to get him into the hospice nearby. I am hoping that maybe she can find another program to work with, because this is her life. She was worried she would be bored when she retired, but these kitties keep her going strong.

A separate area is great news!! At least she knows her resident ones are safe.
The cat your mom wants to recatch - is it tame? Because if she is trying to recatch it in a live trap she may not get it. They normally don't let themselves get caught twice.
I hope your mother can find another rescue to work with. It sounds like the one she is with now needs a major overhauling.
:laughing: to her getting bored. That will never happen with all those kitties!! Trust me.......... :rolleyes:

onster
April 3rd, 2009, 05:52 PM
30 -40 for both FIV and feline leukemia?

:sad: I got ripped off :sad: Oh well...I love my vet so its ok..but kinda annoying.

kiara
April 4th, 2009, 11:47 AM
In another thread about a dog that became sick, one week after adoption raised red flags with me. As a rescuer for many years I have seen the "ugly side" of rescue. I tried to explain to the public that there are a lot of shelters that pocket peoples' money for profit. Any shelter that would ask a vet to break the law is not a good shelter. Administering any medication without being a vet is illegal. Also not validating someone who is a dedicated volunteer, foster home and a money donator makes this rescue not a good one. There is a lot of power--struggles and backstabbing between the rescuers, within a group. I think that making changes and certain decisions should be discussed with all, especially a money donator. There also two separate issues here, friendly cats that are adoptable and don't have runny eyes or noses, are not terribly skinny, as a rule don't get tested for FIV Leukemia. There is not enough money for this. Trap-neuter-release programs for feral colonies are a different story as feral colonies usually carry FIV Leukemia and should be tested for these diseases prior to fixing. They should never be released outside with these disease, as they can be transfered to other cats through a bite. I am sorry your mother had a bad experience with this rescue group, but this goes on all the time. Maybe she should work with her own vet only and he perhaps could give her a discout. It would be easier on her as one on one. Sorry for the kitty's loss.Your mother surely sounds like an angel.

Kahne9Lover
April 5th, 2009, 11:27 PM
Thanks for all the kind words, my mom really appreciated them. The group is one of the largest in our area. I did find out that this neutering was done for them by a mobile vet service.

Kiara, I myself had two instances of sick dogs from shelters. My first Nikki, two days after adoption she fell ill, and turned out all the dogs there had Kennel Cough. She recovered, but it was costly and came out of my pocket because I refused to trade her back for another dog. This was 12 years ago. At about the same time a very close family friend lost her newly adopted dog when it came home with Parvo. The HS took him back to treat (he didn't make it), and gave them a credit for a new dog. My lab Colby, whom we adopted 1 year ago this month from our local HS, (not the same group as my mom's) tested positive for Lyme when I took him in for his first checkup 4 days after adoption. When the adoption took place, I had gone over his vaccine list and saw he hadn't been tested Lyme, even though it is VERY common here. I checked his records, and he had been at the shelter for almost 6 months, and was upset that he had been going undiagnosed and therefore untreated (he was brought in as a stray). Luckily his blood work after treatment was within very acceptable levels, and it is suppressed now, but if I hadn't been diligent about his health it may have gone unnoticed until it was too late. Some people aren't educated enough to know that there are other diseases besides rabies to worry about, maybe the groups should give a list of what other tests and vaccines are available, so that the new owners can see what has been and what HASN'T been done, and therefore can make educated decisions about the preventative care for their animals. My mom knew there were other infected ones that had been found in the area and the group knew this as well since they had been the ones to test them, in the past. That's also why it was a little upsetting, there is a history of it. How many # is it to constitute a "colony"? She is currently feeding about 12 outside ones right now, and she is down to the final 2 or 3 left for surgery.

kiara
April 6th, 2009, 05:50 PM
Kahne9Lover, just to be fair, I think that dog rescues have much more on their hands than cat rescues. Looking after dogs is much more work. Dogs need more tests done than cats. This is where the dilemma lies. A good dog rescue should be informing the adoptors that the dog had a general check-up and is healthy for adoption. Discuss all the tests that have been done. Include veterinary papers as proof. We, as a rule adopt out only healthy socialized cats, including vet papers!!! We do occasionally get returns, but it is very rare and it is usually because their original cat does not get along with the new adoptee. I AM HIGHLY OPPOSED TO THE IDEA, SAVE THE DOG AT ALL COSTS AND NEVER MIND THE PUBLIC, LET THEM PAY HUNDREDS OF $$$$$$$ FOR DOGS THAT ARE SICK, TOO SOON AFTER ADOPTION !!!!!! AND NEVER MIND THE EMOTIONAL ATTACHMENT TO THESE DOGS, in the meantime!!!! THIS IS ABUSING THE UNSUSPECTING PUBLIC. HONESTY IS ALWAYS THE BEST MEDICINE, NOT ONLY IN RESCUE BUT GENERAL IN LIFE !!!!! As far as how many cats constitue a colony, it is hard to say. If they have runny noses and eyes and look sickly and skinny, they often have FIV or Leukemia. Sometimes it is really hard to tell without testing. Unfortunately RIP to a cat that was trapped this morning, full of mats and without love. He tested positive for FIV and had to be euthanized. We had great plans for his future and the nice lady that trapped him already found a good home for him. RIP little angel.