This will be my final address on Furby’s House and our now disbanded rescue. There are several things I’d like to address. The first is that I take accountability into having too many animals. And also in not having the animals neutered. I’m also very ashamed I didn’t realize the puppies had worms and fleas. I admit to ALL of that. I’ve learned a few things along the way, which I will now put into practice.
The photographs below are thumbnails. Please click on them to see larger images. You can see the cat chart a bit sharper on this page.
I’ve learned not to plan on helping any more animals found on my property. I will take them to the animal shelter as we are maxed out on the number of animals we can properly care for. I should have done this to the stray MuMu dog who showed up. I just didn’t want them to kill him and felt sure they would have as he was matted up as well as emaciated. My thoughts of keeping a homeless pet have changed dramatically in the past few weeks. I will no longer try to nurse them back to health and will only do what needs to be done until the shelter opens. This goes against everything I believe in, but I’m not taking any more chances. We cannot afford more than we have now.
The two male cats and one male puppy are the only animals in our household not neutered. That will be done by the end of the month and receipts posted on my Facebook pages. Furby may even get a bit adventuresome and write a story about this as he did with his own neutering as well as Lola’s spaying. After reading about all the foreign objects puppies and dogs ingest, Cujo will also be getting basic pet insurance. The average surgical cost for removing something from a dogs stomach averages anywhere from $1200-$2000.
I’ve begun an online journal of sorts at http://cattitudeelisa.hubpages.com/hub/Life-With-Fewer-Cats. I plan to recount the adventures with the cats and post them several times a week. I may decide to move these to a blog page. I’m still undecided about this option. This way any of you who doubt my cats are in a safe environment can keep check on them. I chose this site as I wanted more control of the layout and also because I can draw readers back to PoC. I will not stand for degrading comments as this blog is about the cats, not me.
We will continue to improve on the house. The walls that have some soot on them are being painted this weekend. We have also added more lighted smoke detectors to the house and increased the number of litter boxes.
I’ve learned not to believe everything you read online about someone. There was a chipin to help rehome my cats (which I am extremely grateful) that listed us as living in a “filthy trailor.” We were said to have rotten floors and feces on the walls and floors. I admit we had too many pets. They were in a clean environment. Laura worked tirelessly to keep everything clean. It’s been much easier the past few weeks with the number reduced. The head of animal control is interested in where that comment about the condition of my home came from because it didn’t come from his office.
Life has been even better with the number of cats reduced. I still cry every day for the ones I let go. If we had been given more time to make arrangements none of this had to happen. I’ve put together a chart detailing all of the cats rescued that originated at Greenville County Animal Shelter. We’ve rescued or fostered 48 cats. Twenty of those cats have been adopted out during the past year. The majority through Greenville County Adoption Center. I don’t consider this a failure, as 31 of the cats we pulled were on their way to euthanasia or no one was speaking up for them. Meaning I was contacted only when no one at all wanted these cats. I think of this is a success as the cats stayed in my care until room became available on the adoption floor.
Now 8 of the 9 surrendered will have a chance for a better life thanks to the rescues who pulled them from my local shelter. Tom is dead. I never should have sent him. His face haunts me. I had asked to be contacted should a cat not be chosen for rescue. I wasn’t and he became sick and was euthanized. The shelter did a great job with the others.
Of the 48 cats, we lost 5 kittens to panleuk, one adult to a stroke and one adult who was in serious condition at the time of rescue. Everyone who pulled kittens from Greenville last July lost many to the panleuk because we were unaware it was spreading. This isn’t the shelters fault as there’s no good way to control it other than to change clothing between caring for each cat and that’s not going to happen. My major disagreement with the shelter is the staff knew I was taking kittens from 5 litters and putting them into 3 carriers and no one even said a word about an outbreak. They all rode home together in my car, thus exposing them all to each other before we even reached the house. A round of Tamiflu could have prevented their deaths. By the time panleuk takes hold it’s too late. It must be given before symptoms appear for it to work. Otherwise, panleuk it roughly 90% fatal in kittens. The litter we referred to as “The Whineybutts” were seen by a vet who said that with the shelter outbreak and the symptoms exhibited she believed it was panleuk. We’re lucky Midnight pulled through.
I’ve been called a lot of names this past week. Including a “sorry piece of shit” and “a poor excuse for an animal lover.” People can say what they like. At least we tried. We didn’t just sit back and watch more beautiful cats put to death for lack of someone to take them. I’ve even received a few emails telling me the shelter shouldn’t have allowed me to rescue that many cats. I take this to mean the cats should have been killed.
I don’t agree with that. We gave them food and shelter and yes, medical treatment. We raised over $400 for Cocoa, $1200 for Sealy and $300 for the panleuk kitties vet bills. Those recently surrendered had more weight on them when they left me than when they arrived.
My only concern is that on the weekends it’s almost impossible to get a vet to come out between noon on Saturday and 8 a.m. Monday mornings. It’s very scary if something goes wrong during this time period.
I’ve also received a few emails from other rescuers who have under 25 cats who informed me other rescues turned them in for one reason or another of unsubstantiated problems. So Michael, don’t ever think all rescuers stick together. I’m not the only one this has ever happened to and cat lovers do turn on each other. Those who contacted me stated personal problems rather than the cats being the issue.
It’s nice having fewer cats because we can give more time to each cat now. Brinkley, Renny and Lucky sleep in my bedroom and master bath. They basically live there because they have a cat tree where they can look out the window and the room is always cool. The others hang out in the living room and Laura’s bedroom.
I want to assure everyone these cats are well cared for and well loved. I’m dropping this matter, which some say is a sob story, and moving on with my writing. If anyone wants to continue to berate me, that’s your decision. Right now I’m thankful I have more friends who stand behind me than those who are against me. I’d hate to be as full of hate as some I’ve heard from the past week.
In conclusion, I’d like to say I’m NOT a hoarder. Michael (PoC) knows this as do my friends. A hoarder believes no one else would take better care of their cats than they do. We wouldn’t have placed 20 cats back up for adoption if this statement were true. The cats we fostered for GCAC we could have adopted. We chose to care for them until homes became available. We also turned away two FIV+ cats a month ago. This risked them being euthanized, but we simply didn’t have room and I told the rescue coordinator that. Hoarders would have taken them. I don’t know if a rescue was found for them or if they were killed.
I think it sad we can’t help with any more cats in any way except my articles. We had planned to continue fostering. Now that’s impossible due to the publicity from all of this. Please support the cats at Greenville County Pet Rescue. When you see comments like “where are all the rescues” and “why isn’t anyone stepping up for this cat” please know that we could have and would have helped as much as possible. Now that responsibility falls to others or the cats will be euthanized. It’s heartbreaking.
No, I never claimed to have the money on my own to care for that many. My friends all knew that and said they’d support me financially before I ever pulled the first cat. We went through $500 a month in food and supplies and that’s if there were no vet bills. There will be no more chipins. If anything, I’ve proven what good friends I have and how determination can win out over finances.
Please take a look at my “filthy trailor.” It’s not new, but it’s paid for and it’s mine. Animal control is welcome to come back anytime they like. We have nothing to hide from them. They can even hold a cat if they wish to. We no longer consider ourselves rescuers. We’re just a couple of women with a dozen cats. That’s not illegal where I live as long as they are properly cared for.
For those of you who want an apology from me, you’ve got it concerning the health of the puppies and the unaltering of animals. It was irresponsible. If you want an apology out of me for pulling so many on death row who would have died if I didn’t take them, you can forget it. I’ll never apologize for rescuing or fostering any of the cats I brought home. Those who didn’t live at least died in a comfortable setting, usually being held by my daughter or myself. In my opinion, that’s better than dying on a cold steel table in an overcrowded shelter.
This subject is closed. I’m going back to my writing and don’t have countless hours to spend defending myself to anyone. I’m wasting time that I should be spending writing about animal issues and adoption events in my area. People can make up their own mind about me. The chart showing our rescues and what became of them is a good start.