By Denise Dick
Angels for Animals’s co-founder Diane Less believes there are more cats wherever the 20 dumped at the shelter earlier this week came from.
The cats were infested with fleas, lice and parasites and range in age from 8 months to 6 years. None of the 14 black and six gray cats was spayed or neutered, and two were pregnant. They were left in Angels’ drop-off area late Wednesday night.
Less said one person called in, believing they knew where the cats came from. She’s concerned there may be more cats in need of medical care.
Kim Woodburn, humane officer at Animal Charity, said she visited the house where the caller believes the cats came from and found no connection. The man who lives there feeds stray cats, but doesn’t keep them in his home, she said.
If the person who abandoned the cats at Angels can be identified, Woodburn wants to conduct a welfare check at their home.
Less believes that wherever the cats came from, there are more. It’s odd, she said, to have that many unaltered cats and have no kittens — particularly because this is the time of year when cats are having litters.
She believes it’s for one of three reasons.
The cats are diseased, and the kittens either are stillborn or die very young. Or, the cats are eating the kittens, although Less doubts that’s the case as the cats weren’t starving when they were brought in.
“It’s more likely they’ve still got them,” Less said of the kittens and the people who abandoned the cats.
Anyone with information should call Less at Angels, 330-549-1111.
Even though people periodically abuse the drop-off area, Less believes the service it provides outweighs any negative.
“There’s 30 to 50 cats and kittens for every home available,” she said.
Though most of the cats left there end up being put down, that’s a better fate than freezing or starving to death, Less said.
And for each cat or kitten that the shelter takes in and spays or neuters, that’s 30 to 50 cats the shelter won’t have to deal with next year.
About 2,700 cats were left at the shelter’s drop-off last year, and though that’s still too many, it shows that Angels’ efforts are working. In 2008, 6,500 cats were left there.
Of the 2,700 left last year, 600 to 700 were saved.
Typically, about a third of the cats left should be euthanatized because of poor health or because they’re too young to survive. Another third are feral, making them unsuitable pets. Only the remaining third can be saved and get homes.
That’s why Angels, as well as other animal welfare agencies, emphasize the importance of spaying and neutering pets. The shelter offers low-cost options and provides specials that allow pet owners to get their animals fixed.
The two pregnant cats are at Angels waiting to be spayed. The other 18 are at Less’s barn while their health is evaluated to ensure no other animals are affected.
They’ve been treated for fleas and are improving, and shelter staff will treat for the lice and parasites as well. Despite their condition which caused them to bite and scratch at themselves, the animals are friendly and should make good pets, Less said.