Thursday, January 19, 2012

Point person for cats? That's me.

some numbers. I've been keeping track of calls...any call pertaining to cats.

2 adoption calls for one cat (which was successful)
2 calls wanting kittens (not successful-Christmas kittens without desire to do applications, etc.)
1 call about a stray that didn't pan out.
1 call about a mother cat and kittens (currently in foster care...CiCi and Katie's kittens)
2 cats needing to be rehomed-person never called me back
1 adoption inquiry that was successful (they had called, but then went ahead and contacted Paula-Jesse and James)
1 call about a stray-they had to 'think' about the courtesy listing
1 adoption call that was a no-go. Found a cat on their own.

1st week in Jan. was about 2 strays...the Stonehearth cat that had to be put down and a person who said they would consider a courtesy listing but never got back to me.

2nd week in Jan. had virtually no calls at all about cats

1/15-call about our "spay/neuter" program. Called her back on 1/16 as she didn't have an answering machine. She was going to do some investigating with clinics closer to her-but knows of Postville's barncat program now.
1/16-call about 2 cats that a lady wanted assistance with spay/neuter...she seemed to had been fed our "program" also. I set up that once we receive the check for $95.00 I'll contact Postville and give the ok for her to make an appointment. I will send a voucher also. Still waiting to hear word of the check being received.
Call about 4 kittens; 3 litter mates and one slightly older kitten. They have been courtesy listed.

1/17-Call about a stray-gave Petfinder option-was going to think about it.

1/18-Call about a stray-gave Petfinder option-seems willing and we are working on a time to get pictures.

1/19-John Doe with a stray that he'd prefer not to shoot. I left a message with him. (and I was very well-behaved. I did grow up on a farm...I know stuff like that happens; doing my best to not be judgmental.)
Call from a fellow Josie; left a message. It was something to do with cats/kittens but not in what context....I'd love for an adoption call!
Call from a vet clinic trying to help a client re-home 5 cats. I called person; I guess they found a couple homes-but gave the Petfinder option for the ones still needing homes. I'm supposed to get a call back.

As the point person for cats for HSNEI (Humane Society of Northeast Iowa) I am the one that returns the calls about cats. More often than not I’m telling a person that we simply do not have room in our foster program. With so few people willing and able to foster a cat for us, it’s very common for me to tell a person “I’m sorry.”
Those two words are not only for the person, but the cat or kittens involved as well. Inadvertently I help decide the fate of that cat. I can offer options, but I can’t make the person accept any of them.  If I’m lucky, the person on the other end of the line will accept the offer of putting the kittens/cat up on Petfinder as a courtesy listing. If I do not already have a list of cats/kittens in need of fostering, they are informed that once we have room, I’ll contact them.
“I’m sorry.”
I wish I was told that by the people who, knowing the consequences of their actions, refuse to get their animals altered. I’m the one that they end up calling when their homes for the kittens and puppies they were so eager for, fell through. I have gotten several calls about late-season kittens, and it’s not even “Kitten Season”. We are also in a slow period of cat adoptions. We are getting more calls about homeless cats than we are for adopting cats. That means I’m saying “I’m sorry” a lot these days.
I understand that your stray is very charming and friendly. That it is very handsome or beautiful, and that you feel bad for it; you want it to have a good home. However, we do not have room nor resources to help at this point. “I’m sorry.”
One of the best ways that you can help is by doing your part as a responsible pet owner. Spay or neuter your cats and dogs. Unaltered animals can develop serious health complications-especially female animals. Mammary cancer and cancer of the ovaries and uterus can occur if your cat or dog isn’t spayed. There is also chance of your cat or dog developing a serious infection called Pyometra-a uterine infection that can be fatal. For male animals, not neutering them mainly leads to behavioral issues-spraying, becoming aggressive, and developing a tendency to roam.
The benefits of altering your animal greatly outweigh any risks of getting them altered.  Take into consideration that you are doing your part by the community as well as being a responsible pet owner, as well as doing right by your animal. You are also helping to prevent unwanted pets from being born into this world. All you need to do is search newspapers, look online at animal shelters, or ask a HSNEI volunteer to know…there are too many unwanted animals needing homes.
We are still a ways away from our shelter, until we get there; we are relying on people willing to volunteer. Without people willing to foster a single cat here and there, we are at an immense loss. This year will likely be a booming “Kitten Season” and I anticipate I’ll be saying “I’m sorry” more than ever.
If you take anything away from this, if you decide to get your cat or dog altered, that is something. Educate yourselves. Whenever you bring an animal into your home you should educate yourself on what is best for that animal and its health. Doing so can be the best preventive medicine one needs.

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