Don’t toss animals to the road…
Who abandons teensy tiny kittens and throws them out to the road? DO YOU? Someone does. And I just don’t understand… It’s so fricken sad and it happens ALL THE TIME… Many of these kittens are too young to care for themselves. They are still in need of their mother’s milk and they become malnourished and highly susceptible to illness.
If you have cats or dogs, be sure to spay and neuter them!! There are far too many homeless pets that are suffering at the price of laziness or irresponsible pet owners.
Always rescue new family pets. Never buy from a breeder.
Rescuing Sick Kittens
I was out delivering mail (part time job) and I came across a couple litters of kittens scavenging around the local meat market dumpster for food. The owners had set out cat food and water for them but they did not look good. They had crusty eyes that they could barely open. What was worse was they were wandering in between customer cars in the parking lot. It was not a good situation. This business is always super busy and sits at a well travelled intersection. I wasn’t able to do anything at the time because I was on the clock, so I made a mental note to come back later and check on them.
You know those Sarah McLachlan commercials that feature sick animals in need of donations? Those poor kittens could have been filmed for that. I ended up going back with a friend after business hours. I was able to talk to one of the business owners, the lady who fed and watered the cats, and she said they are always finding drop off cats every summer. She said that people think they will survive and get fed just because there are meat scraps tossed in the garbage and a neighboring farm but that was NOT the case. Idiots, she said. She was furious because she could not keep up on the caring for all 18 current drop offs that were wandering about.
I asked her if I could take home the sick kittens and she said YES. She was happy to know that I’d get them fed and proper care. There were 8 kittens total but she warned me they would be difficult to catch.
Sadly, she was right and we could not catch them all for the life of us. These kittens did not trust us humans one bit. We almost had five of them, but one of them bit down repeatedly on my pinkie finger, causing it to swell and stop the full range of motion for a day and a half. I had to let it go… (Note to self: Wear protective work gloves when trying to rescue stray cats. Luckily, these cats didn’t have rabies or anything else harmful.)
We brought the four kittens to my barn and set them up in a large cage away from my other animals. The poor things were scared out of their minds. They could hardly meow and they made the most awful coughing sounds. I was so nervous that they wouldn’t survive the night. The last thing I could have handled was waking up to dead kittens. THANK GOODNESS they survived the next two days. I wanted to call an animal rescue or veterinarian immediately, but it was a holiday weekend with Monday being closed for business as well. Any numbers I tried brought me to voicemails and dead ends.
I assumed they all had an upper respiratory illness. Here’s what we did for the two days we cared for them.
- Isolated kittens and placed them in a large cage away from my other animals to prevent spread of illness.
- Provided water and food: adult cat food, wet canned kitten food, tuna fish and breastmilk. (Yes, human breastmilk. I figured it’d be gentler on their stomachs than cow’s milk. Plus, we don’t buy cow’s milk and I have a ridiculous amount of breastmilk stored in my deep freezer. FYI: No research backs up that decision.)
- Provided a small cat litter box and a milk crate with a towel to sleep on.
- Cleaned their eyes and noses with warm rags.
- Once with warm water.
- Once with a warm saline solution.
- Monitored them and made sure they were eating something. They didn’t like the wet kitten food, but they ate and drank at least a little bit of everything else.
On Tuesday morning, we called several different animal shelters. No luck.
One rescue told me that the kittens were too young to come to the shelter. (I thought that was weird.) Our county’s animal shelter told us they were already dealing with SIX LITTERS of sick kittens. CRAZY. We were told that they needed antibiotics and that we could buy some at a farm store. They were not able to tell us the exact dosage so that option was temporarily eliminated because we did not want to risk overdosing them.
Finally, we got help from our local veterinarian’s office! My husband called and talked to the vet tech, who coincidentally happened to be looking for two black and white kittens to adopt. She told us to bring all four kittens in and she would help us figure out how to help them. Right when we got there, she joked and asked if she could just take them all. I said yes… And then, she asked again seriously. She said she would treat them and get them back to excellent health. Then, she’d pick two kittens to keep and adopt the other kittens out when they were ready.
It was a miracle.
Who could have cared for them better than an actual vet tech who went to school and worked with animals in dire need of medical attention?!
Of course I let her take all four. I left my cat carrier with her so I will get an update when I return to pick it up. She seemed to think they would heal up quick with antibiotics. She told us that respiratory illness is very common in kittens born outside and among animals at shelters.
[Note: I have not forgotten about the other kittens left behind at the meat market. I will be checking on them soon.]
Returning the Lost Dog
Literally, at the same time we handed over those kittens, a couple of high school boys walked into the office begging to see if they could leave them this lost dog they had just found. I overheard them saying it was a brown dog and I immediately joined the conversation.
Was it a brown dog?
They said yes and I knew who it belonged to.
A couple days earlier, a lady stopped me while I was riding my bike. She handed me a flier and asked if I had seen this little dog. She was dog sitting for her sister and the dog sprinted off through an orchard and disappeared. She was extremely distraught and had been out searching all day.
The boys brought the dog inside the veterinarian’s office and it was definitely the same dog I had seen in the picture. That poor dog was shaking badly and sopping wet from the rain. The vet tech placed a towel around her and handed me the dog. We would return her to the owner’s relatives.
It was such a crazy situation! And funny because we dropped off the kittens and left with the missing dog.
We went back home to grab the phone number on the flier. My husband called and we left again to drop off the dog. They were SO relieved. The dog had been missing for a couple days. The guy reached into his pocket and mentioned something about money.
There was nothing on the flier about a reward. He wanted to give us a good chunk of change for finding the dog. We refused the money because obviously that was not why we wanted the dog to find its home. And besides, the high school boys were the ones who found her anyways.
As soon as we got home, my husband came up with a brilliant idea. He texted the people we just met up with and said if they wanted to reward someone, they should bring the money to the vet tech who just took in the four kittens we brought in.
Sure enough, we received a text confirmation saying they brought her the money and God Bless!