Tag: animal shelter

Going To Asia? Leave Your Pets At Home, Plus: Aussie Former Soldier Pleads In Shelter Assault

The coronavirus pandemic hasn’t been kind to pets, but the virus itself has done little damage to animals compared to the actions of scared and misinformed people.

After finally admitting it had a human-to-human transmissible virus on its hands — months after it knew privately about the virus outbreak — the Chinese government waged a war on pets in the first few weeks of 2020 as the world watched in horror.

People abandoned pets en masse in empty homes and apartments, while government authorities shot dogs and cats on sight to prevent the spread of the virus even though there was no evidence they could be infected, much less pass the virus to people. As paranoia and misinformation spread, people even resorted to clubbing pets to death on the streets.

Now we know cats can get the virus, but there’s still no evidence they can transmit it to humans, which makes the practice of killing COVID-infected pets even more infuriating in addition to pointless.

The latest incident is from Vietnam, where authorities killed 15 dogs and a cat belonging to a local bricklayer who returned to his home province after work dried up. Authorities seized his pets and “destroyed them” last week in what a government official is now calling a mistake prompted by “COVID prevention pressure and local coercion.”

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Pham Minh Hung, 49, with his dogs as he returned home to Ca Mau, Vietnam. Credit: Pham Minh Hung

That story follows an incident in the Chinese city of Harbin, where three cats were euthanized in late September — over the owner’s objections — by authorities who said they were worried the pets would “re-infect” their owners.

Pet ownership and respect for animals among the public has increased in countries like China and Vietnam in recent years, prompted by an increase in disposable income and the influence of the internet. Both cases caused widespread backlash in their respective countries, with users defying laws prohibiting criticism of government to complain about the pet killings.

“It doesn’t seem very realistic that the cats would contaminate the environment so badly that they would be a risk for their owner to re-contract COVID,” Rachael Tarlinton, a virology professor at the UK’s University of Nottingham, told Reuters.

He REALLY Wanted His Cat Back

Meanwhile in Australia, a former soldier has pleaded guilty to reduced charges after he “stormed” a pet shelter in Melbourne’s suburbs to recover his cat in January.

Prosecutors say 45-year-old Tony Wittman was outfitted with a fake but real-looking rifle and full military gear when he went to the Lost Dog’s Home in Cranbourne West late on a January night, holding a female employee at gunpoint while demanding to know where the cats were kept.

Wittman had called the shelter 10 minutes before it closed earlier that night, Australian media reported at the time, and was told the shelter had recovered his cat, but that he’d have to wait until morning to claim her.

Wittman, who threatened to shoot the employee if she didn’t comply with his demands, told the court he suffers from PTSD and felt he needed to retrieve the lost feline immediately because he “loves his cat and relies on his cat for support.”

Wittman got spooked and left the shelter before taking his cat. He dumped his tactical vest and other gear in bushes not far from the shelter.

The incident was captured on the shelter’s security cameras, and Wittman was caught when he dropped by the following morning to pick up his cat as if nothing had happened.

“The victim and her work colleagues are absolutely traumatised by what’s happened,” a detective told the court in an earlier hearing. “He’s aware of their workplace. He lives close by. He has shown a complete disregard for the safety and wellbeing of the general public.”

Wittman’s lawyers were able to negotiate a deal with prosecutors in exchange for a guilty plea to lesser charges

Free Clinic Honors Veterinary Nurse Who Died Trying To Help A Cat

Kaitlyn O’Hara was just doing what she always did on the night of Feb. 3, trying to help a cat who was injured and all alone after a snowstorm had pummeled the northeast with heavy snows.

O’Hara had stopped her car on the shoulder of a state route in Cherry Hill, NJ, and was trying to coax the cat to come out of hiding when she was hit by another car and killed. The driver, a 24-year-old man, hasn’t been charged in the collision and there’s no indication he was impaired.

O’Hara, who was known as a “cat whisperer” for her calming influence on cats — as well as her years of work fostering shelter cats and raising orphaned bottle babies — was just 27 years old. Her family and friends, who describe her as a woman with a bubbly, outgoing personality and a relentless dedication to animals, spent her life helping cats — and that’s how they want her to be remembered.

“She took on so many animals over the years that no one else would — bottle babies, old grumpy kitties like Eloise whom she adored (and the feeling was mutual), kittens with broken legs, the defeated and sickly — but her favorite and possibly best work was with the shy, timid and feral,” a staffer with New Jersey’s Randall’s Rescue wrote. “She adored the feral babies from our orchard project and was truly our kitty whisperer.”

Randall's Rescue: Kaitlyn O'Hara
O’Hara with one of the many cats she’s helped over the years.

Now two local animal welfare organizations want to honor her memory:

On May 23, Randall’s Rescue of Mount Laurel, an animal rescue organization where O’Hara was a longtime volunteer, and HousePaws, a veterinary service in New Jersey and Bucks County where O’Hara had worked, are cohosting a free clinic for area rescues to bring in feral felines for spay/neuter services. They’ll also be administering feline AIDS and leukemia tests and looking for foster homes where some animals can be socialized for adoption. The organizers would like the event — which they have christened Kaitlyn’s Mitten Mission, a play on O’Hara’s nickname for cats and kittens — to become an annual occurrence.

If you want to know more or donate to the cause, visit Randall’s Rescue on Facebook or make a donation directly to the rescue here.

Bomb Squad Opens ‘Suspicious Package,’ Finds Kittens Inside

Authorities dispatched a bomb squad after they received a call about a suspicious package left outside an Ohio church on Wednesday, but instead of a ticking counter the explosives experts heard another rhythmic sound — a female cat purring to keep her babies calm.

After confirming via x-ray that the bag contained cats and not a catastrophe, deputies from the Butler County Sheriff’s Office contacted Animal Friends Humane Society and put the mom and her kittens in the care of the shelter staff.

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Six day-old kittens were found inside the bag along with their mother, whose constant purring kept her babies calm. Credit: Animal Friends Humane Society

A note provided some information, but didn’t say why the writer abandoned the cat and kittens.

“The note inside the bag said the mom’s name was Sprinkles, and she began giving birth at 2:00 pm on Wednesday,” Animal Friends Humane Society staff wrote on Facebook. “Sprinkles and her newborns were immediately brought to Animal Friends for care late Thursday afternoon. They were all soaked in mom’s urine and needed gentle baths when they arrived. Sprinkles, purring throughout it all, received her vaccines and blood test and appears to be in good health. She’s doing a fantastic job nursing and caring for her babies.”

Sprinkles and her little ones were transferred to a foster home, where they’ll remain while the kittens grow.

“Last year, we provided care to over 1,300 at-risk kittens,” shelter staff wrote in their post. “This was only possible thanks to support from our community.

“Volunteer foster families take on the burden of caring for orphaned kittens in their home until they’re ready to be adopted. Many of them getting up every 2 hours in the middle of the night for feedings. All needed supplies and medical costs are offered for free to these foster families, and this is thanks to our generous donors who give monetary donations or donate supplies from our wish lists.”

Animal Friends: Mom and Kittens Found Inside Bag
Volunteers remove Sprinkles the cat and her kittens from the bag in which they were found on Feb. 17. Credit: Animal Friends Humane Society

If you’d like to help the busy shelter and cats like Sprinkles, you can donate directly to Animal Friends here or purchase supplies for the non-profit via its Chewy wish list. The shelter needs cat food, litter, wipes, collars and treats, among other essentials for the animals they care for.

This Cat Looks Like An Angry Drill Sergeant

A scowling street cat dubbed Giggles has found a new home thanks to his mean mug.

The tabby cat with an unforgettable glower was found roaming in Streetsboro, Ohio — a small city about 20 miles northeast of Akron — and had ticks as well as a wound from a cat bite, according to staff at Riggi Rescue.

After a good Samaritan brought the little guy in, the rescue fixed him up, then snapped a few shots which quickly went viral.

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“Private, you’d better unf– this situation right now before I…you know what? Get down and give me 50 pushups. NOW!”

Despite Giggles’ fixed expression, the golden tiger-striped tabby is friendly and affectionate, shelter staff say.

“He’s not mad, he’s actually quite happy, sweet and charming,” Giggles’ rescuers wrote on Instagram. “If he’s angry about anything, it’s because you aren’t petting him.”

As expected, adoption offers poured in, and Giggles already has a home lined up, presumably to someone who’s going to make a fortune on Instagram from his mug.

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“Unhand me, human, or face my eternal wrath!”

Then Keep Your Cat Inside!

Iris the cat tips the scales at 7.5kg, which equals 16.5 pounds in the Proper American Way of Recording Weights and Measures™.

The fluffster has become so rotund that she can no longer fit through her cat flap. But her humans, who live a few miles south of Exeter in the UK, think the problem is their neighbors, so they’re “pleading” with people in their neighborhood “not to feed the overweight feline,” the Daily Mail reported.

“She’s getting bigger and bigger,” Sheena Wilson, Iris’ human, told the newspaper. “We cannot keep her indoors. Her diet, as you can see, is not going very well.”

Photographic evidence confirms the Russian blue does indeed love the snacks:

Screenshot_2020-11-13 Pet owner pleads for people to stop feeding one-stone cat

Iris can only manage to get her head through the cat flap now, “so she can only use it to play peek a boo and can’t fit the rest of her in it,” Wilson said.

But Wilson also told the newspaper Iris is a “diva” who demands attention, so we’re left to draw the obvious conclusion: Wilson and/or other humans responsible for Iris are letting her out every day, since she can’t get out on her own.

Iris “pretends to be neglected” and fools neighbors into thinking she has “an empty tummy,” Wilson said.

As much as Wilson may want to outsource supervision of her cat’s diet, it’s hard to believe anyone thinks Iris is underfed.

We sympathize, and we also know there’s a simple solution: Keep the cat inside. You can’t control your snack-dispensing neighbors, but you can cut off your cat’s access to them — and keep her safe from traffic and all the other dangers of the outdoors.

We wish good luck to Iris and her owners.

Broken-Hearted After Losing His Cat, Man Goes To Shelter And Finds His Lost Feline

Theron wasn’t exuberant like most people who walk through the door of the Bangor Humane Society looking to adopt a new pet.

The Maine man told shelter staff he’d resigned himself to adopting a new cat after his Cutie Pie, a gray-and-white medium hair kitty, went missing. He told the staff he hoped bringing home a new feline friend would help “heal his heart.”

Staffers showed him to the section where they housed the adoptable cats so he could browse at his leisure.

“As he perused the kennels, he stopped to examine one of our friends a little more closely and when the cat turned to face him, Theron erupted with joy. THIS WAS HIS CUTIE PIE!!” the shelter’s staff wrote in a Facebook post on Friday.

The staff had no reason to doubt him, but even if they did, Theron had ample proof: Like any human who loves his or her cat, Theron’s smartphone was a virtual gallery of photos of the little guy.

“Theron’s camera roll was full of pictures of Cutie Pie,” shelter staff wrote, “leaving no question that this reunion was the real deal!”

For his part, Cutie Pie must have had quite the ordeal and couldn’t wait to go back to his real home with his human.

“Let me just say I’ve honestly never seen a cat so eager to be in a cat carrier!” shelter staff wrote on Facebook. “He was SO ready to go home!”

I really don’t like to think of the possibility of Bud going missing, but if he did and we found ourselves in a situation similar to the one Theron and Cutie Pie found themselves in, the reunion wouldn’t be nearly as happy or tear-inducing.

“Oh my God! It’s Buddy! Buddy, it’s really you! I’m so glad I found you!”

“Get me out of this cage this very instant! These people are crazy! Do you realize they have not fed me turkey once since I’ve been here?!? Not once! And these accommodations! A bathroom and a food bowl within five feet of each other. Unthinkable! They’ve put me in with the riff-raff, as if I’m a common cat and not a king! I demand to speak with the manager! Actually, nevermind…I demand you take me home this very instant, feed me turkey, give me a massage, and then summon the manager so I can give her a piece of my mind! You’re going to have to make this up to me, you know. I expect the treat cabinet to be restocked with all manner of yums, including Temptations. I had to sleep on a pad. A pad! I tried to tell them, I said ‘I only sleep on top of my Big Buddy!’ And they wouldn’t listen. These people are torturous! I swear, when I get home…”

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