Cats At Fur ‘N Feather Farm Rescue Should Not Have Been Seized
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The cats at Fur ‘N Feather Farm rescue should not have been seized. I know that that is a provocative statement but there are some good arguments to support it.

Firstly, the conditions the cats are under now, having been seized and languishing at Hillsborough County Animal Shelter in Tampa, Florida, are arguably no better, possibly worse, than they were at the cat rescue at Bruton Road in Plant City. The facilities might look better but from reports it appears that the provision of care is worse. It is certainly substandard because, by all accounts according to Elisa’s report, the cats are dying in their cages with no treatment. They are understaffed. The operation appears to have degenerated into a failure. The cats are not doing well.

As stated in Elisa’s report,

“Local government should be held accountable to the cats in the care of any animal facility because, if this were happening to an individual” — for example Fur ‘N Feather Farm — “that person would be charged with animal cruelty and neglect.”

That sums it up. The cats are no better off. So what was the point of the mass confiscation of the cats? They shouldn’t have started without knowing how it was going to end.

Cats at Fur 'N Feather Farm shold not have been seized

Apparently some cats have lost weight and are even starving but they were not starving when they were seized. In fact, there were never any reports of a lack of food and/or water on the farm. I believe that they has had little veterinary attention at Animal Services.

Also the ‘deplorable’ state of the facilities at Fur ‘N Feather Farm might not have been quite so deplorable after all. Apparently no one wore special protective clothing to enter the rescue as described in the media.

Fur ‘N Feather Farm was at least ensuring that a veterinarian treated the cats because it was a vet who reported the cats to the authorities. And the facility was all right judging by the photographs I have seen. There appears to have been some exaggeration by the authorities in justifying the seizure of the cats together with a lack of preparation because they have created a crisis of humongous proportions and the cats are suffering. Perhaps the authorities and the media were too hasty in criticizing Fur ‘N Feather Farm. This appears not to be a cat hoarding case in the traditional sense.

Fur ‘N Feather Farm was simply a cat and bird rescue that got a bit out of hand from my reading of events. All the birds are okay apparently. As well, this is a registered 501(c)(3) rescue group. If you compare it to other rescue groups, for example, the one in California with 1100 cats on 12 acres, the number of cats per acre are comparable.

At Fur ‘N Feather Farm the cats were being taken to a vet. We know that. No cats were being abandoned or neglected. They were concerned about the welfare of the cats. They followed the instructions of the veterinarian. Why were they reported by the vet? It would seem to me the rescue did everything they could within their power by going to the vet and treating the sick kittens. The reported kittens were being treated per the vet’s instructions and had been with the rescue a short time – a few weeks.

It was initially reported that “all or the majority of” the seized cats were sick. This was modified in the news to “some” of the cats. Many were adoptable right away. In a cat rescue there are bound to be some sick cats because they are rescued cats and there will be adoptable cats. This is normal and not something that warrants criticism.

Fur ‘N Feather Farm had two separate areas to house cats with feline aids and leukemia which included separate outdoor areas as well. As far as I know Animal Services doesn’t have this. And what happened to those cats after they were seized?

Also, as far as I know Hillsborough County Animal Shelter have euthanized some cats because they were “too feral.” Fur ‘N Feather Farm had several acres that were a safe haven for feral cats.

As I understand it, no one has criticized Fur ‘N Feather Farm for the failure to provide food and water, and veterinary records confirm that all adults cats were sterilized except nursing mamas and kittens who were too young. Most of the cats were microchipped and all were tested for AIDS and leukemia.

The point I am making is that the situation for these cats appears to have deteriorated since they were seized. Perhaps what should have happened is that Fur ‘N Feather Farm should have been supported by the authorities to see them through a difficult time. This might have left the rescue functioning to continue to help unwanted cats.

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Comments

Cats At Fur ‘N Feather Farm Rescue Should Not Have Been Seized — 14 Comments

  1. Since some of you know the rescue owner, can you please explain how she could physically care for over 300 cats. I just don’t see how she managed it. Did she have a lot of help? I can’t even picture how 300 cats together would look.

    • I think she’d admit she needed more help or perhaps the help she had planned for failed to materialise. This is why I argue that the better course of action from Animal Services would have been assistance.

      • I don’t know what animal control was thinking. They should have had some kind of plan in place. I remember a raid in the mid 90’s and the cats were taken to the local 4-H facility in big cages and the news media covered it and people went to where the cats were being housed to adopt them. There was a team assigned specifically to care for these cats.

        That, too, was a case where the women got overwhelmed and had 125 cats living in one house. People in the town knew the ladies, spread the word the cats needed new homes (their health was pretty good considering the numbers) and the community stepped up.

        • It seems Animal Services became overwhelmed too. Not great planning. Not a good look to use modern parlance.

  2. These rescued kittens and cats have all been tested for feline diseases and microchipped. They were healthy when they were taken from her farm now they have become sickly in the shelters. They must be rescued from the hell they have been placed in.

  3. These cats and kittens need to be rescued immediately (today) from these shelters before any of her cats and kittens starve to death. They are not eating. They have been in the shelters since May 3rd and 4th. They look horrible.

  4. I have known this wonderful lady for 3 years. She has saved two of my cats lives taking precious time from her rescue to give my cats the care they needed to survive. I would never have taken my cats to anyone else to get the care this God given angel has given them. She has given all her rescued cats the same attention to bring her rescued sick cats and kittens back to health. Now these rescues are deteriorating and starving and stressed out in these animal shelters with very little attention and bad food given to them that they are not eating. This lady has paid extreme mothering and love to each kitten and cat, always fed well with plenty of water. She has always kept up with all their medications. Every near death rescue she took into her care has survived because of this golden angel’s care and love. She always took many of her rescues to vets everyday when they needed to go get treated. She never faultered for her babies. She was always there for them. These kittens and cats knew who their real momma was. What kind of vet would ever complain about this wonderful angel and her loving rescue??

    • I sent three young cats to foster when a spot came open and even in a loving environment with good food until a forever home is found, the cats refused to eat for several days. They’re fine now but this tends to happen when cats are moved. They don’t like change of any kind.

  5. This is horrifying. I live in Florida but am unable to travel to help right now. I am extremely distressed and concerned for the welfare of these cats.

    • It is a mess really. They need rescuing from the rescuer who rescued them from a rescuer…They should have stayed put and assistance given. It was all hyped.

  6. I’ve personally known the owner of the rescue for 22 years. I have seen her on numerous, numerous occasions with many of her rescued cats, dogs and birds. I never, ever felt the animals were abused or neglected in any way whatsoever. If I thought or felt that at all, I personally would have done something about it. I’ve never met someone who cared so much for her animals, and I know it from personal experience and witnessing it. I believe the authorities that came in and did this should be held accountable for the safety and welfare of the cats that they’ve now put in this situation. I understand them believing they’re doing the right thing, but sometimes a little investigation should be done before such a severe action as they took. I think the vet should also be held accountable and have to personally help the cats that she has now caused to be put in harms way. I hope something can be done to right the wrong done to the cat rescue.

    • Very well said Janice. I hardly know the owner but I feel sure that her heart is in the right place and that she is a good cat rescuer. She needed some help that’s all.

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