45 thoughts on “Open Thread

    1. Charlotte and her babies are doing well. Charlotte is still scared but tolerates me rubbing her head. She is not a hardy eater and that worries me a little. I have Laura on standby in case these babies need to be bottle fed. So far she is nursing them and they are quiet and content.

      Meows & BowWows has had a busy week. When we picked up Charlotte and babies, we also picked up another cat we named Duncan. Today Villy went to pick up a little maine coonie boy and ended up getting him and a little gray and white girl. The little girl only has three legs but it looks to be an old injury. Then Villy was told if she didn’t take 3 kittens they would be euthanized in 30 minutes. So she took them too. That make eleven cats this week. Hope we have some adoptions tomorrow!

      1. Thank you for all the important work you are doing. I hope that Charlotte gets over her trauma and realizes she is now safe. Poor little girl must have had a time of it before you rescued her. I hope you have lots of adoptions!

      2. Oh how lovely.

        No pressure, you don’t HAVE to take these kittens but if you don’t, they’ll be in the freezer before you get home.

      3. Goodness you guys, gals, have been BUSY! Were they all from the MAS? Or various other places? Regardless, you ended up saving lots of lives! All the more reason for that chippin for Charlotte & the babies!

  1. Any news on Charlotte and the babes?

    It’s great that there are two little families safe tonight – but so many more to go.

    Thanks to all of you who care enough to make these good things happen.

  2. What would you do if you found a dog on the side of the road in the country, and after searching for the owner, you discovered they’re a BYB and using this dog to breed and breed and breed?

    1. I would return the dog to the owner unless I saw evidence of abuse in which case I guess I’d contact the authorities. When returning the dog, I would try to engage the owner in conversation and mention that I worked with a rescue. It could be that you’ve got incorrect information about the owner and a conversation will set your mind at ease. Or maybe your info is right and you could get an opportunity to educate that you wouldn’t have otherwise had.

      But always (like I said, unless there is evidence of abuse) I believe in returning the dog to the owner. I’ve done this a couple of times where I’ve returned dogs to people who were like meh. It made me sad but OTOH, they did have ID tags on the dogs so they must have cared about the dogs, even if they didn’t come across that way to me.

      1. You are a better person than I am. I rescued 2 pit puppies who looked okay (sort of) but who I knew were living outside in Michigan cold weather without shelter/food/water. If someone had just seen the dogs, at that point, they might not have realized the living conditions. (These were neighbors who moved out and left the dogs to fend for themselves at 3 and 6 months. Unfortunately, they did not look “bad enough” for ACC to seize them. So when they escaped from their yard I snatched them and got them to safety. The owners never bothered to look for either one.)

      2. Ha – you sound just like me! And Shirley is a much better person than MANY of us. I know I probably would keep the dog and wait the hold period then have it be mine to place. And I, too, admit to doing it a couple few times, but I also had knowledge that the ‘owners’ actually BYB to supply a fight ring – and while ‘under investigation’ (I talked to the neighborhood Social Relations Offcier for our neighborhood.) while ‘collecting evidence’ those dogs could have been killed and I just couldn’t bring myself to take them back and ‘hope’ to change anyone’s mind.

    2. I take the dog home. I call all relevant AC’s to report that I have found the dog, and am willing to hold for the “hold period”. Then I wait. I have done this on numerous occasions. Shirley, you are a better woman than I. In other cases, where the dog is on property, we have notified law enforcement and they get 1 cahnce and only 1. If the problem persisted, well, somehow those dogs always disappeared like magic.

      1. I don’t know about the states yall live in, but in Texas, there is no “hold period.” People like to believe that there is, and shelters practice it, but as a matter of law it does not exist. Ownership can only be legally transferred by the original owner.
        There could look like there was abuse if the dog had been lost for some time. That doesn’t mean abuse necessarily occurred. How would yall feel if your dog got out through no fault of your own (this has even been known to happen while a dog was being boarded at the vet – not often, but it could happen no matter how careful you are) and someone found the dog after a month and decided you weren’t caring for it properly and refused to return it?
        Legally dogs and cats are property and if you refuse to return the property you could technically be charged with theft. We have a case like this in my state. The dogs got loose, they were taken to a rescue by someone, and the rescue placed them on a web site for adoption. The owner saw them on the web site, offered to pay the adoption fee and any medical costs. The rescue refused, thinking they knew what was “best for the dog” and the owner took them to court. By then the dogs had been placed in California (halfway across the country).
        The judge ordered them returned to the owner and for the rescue to pay $1275 in damages. The rescuers refused to reveal where the dogs were until the judge told them to return the dogs to the owner within two weeks or she was going to throw them in jail. The whole thing is a big sordid mess which could easily be avoided by just returning the dogs to their owner.
        I am a cat trapper and this particularly applies to cats – they can get loose and hide and eventually find a food source (usually a trapper) and look pretty bad, but be owned and have someone frantically looking for them.

      2. Kelley – if someone is “frantically looking for them” and you DO contact Animal Control and let them know that you picked up “x” dog/cat and will hold it for the hold period until someone comes forward looking for it – that it’s totally different than the people that let their dogs/cats wander around and do NOT search for them.

        Sadly – in my city there are many people that think of animals as disposable, in fact just last night I had some jerk that tried to trade me his cats for a PSP we had listed for barter on Craigslist.

        If you report the ‘found’ animal and no one comes forward for them that’s something ENTIRELY different than someone NOT searching for them. IF they are searching – then at least to me – that shows they care and want the animals, and in that case I would give them back. I am talking about the animals that people don’t look for – or you can definitely tell they are abused – and even in that case IF the owner is looking for them then I would have no choice BUT to give it back, but I would make damn sure AC&C KNEW about the dog and I had photos to back up how the animal looked when found vs. how it looked when it left – leaving them to decide to investigate or not.

        What the rescue did, that you are speaking of was wrong (in my opinion) and did NOT have the right to do what they did, no matter how they felt. The owners were actively searching for their pets and it was unfair of the rescue to deny them the pets. The fact that they were searching for them, is enough for me to think that they have to care somewhat about them. While Texas may not have a ‘hold period’ written into their laws – they do have to have some sort of policy that each locality practices in regards to how long they have to keep a pet to give the owner time to search for it – otherwise they would be able to just kill each animal as it entered the shelter.

        If it were ME and one of my animals DID get out then I would be actively searching for them. I wouldn’t just forget about it, or wait for them to hopefully come home. I would be calling every place I can think of, posting flyers all over the neighborhood, and at every vet’s office within a 50 miles radius. And, that’s the difference between someone who cares and someone who doesn’t.

        As far as tranferring ownership – does Texas have paperwork for the previous owner to fill out to transfer ownership to another party? Because if the animal isn’t microchipped, or registered and have tags then proving ownership can be a difficult thing to do. So I don’t understand how Texas and hold to the transferring of animals to a ‘new’ owner when it comes to strays and such.

      3. 3.5 years ago my cat Roy slipped out the door and I haven’t seen him since. I put up posters within a one mile radius, sent out postcards to everyone within a 5 mile radius, sent postcards to every vet/shelter/rescue within a 100 mile radius and followed up on all sightings – but never actually found him. At this point I am no longer frantically looking – but I do hope that his microchip will lead him home. Just because someone isn’t looking NOW doesn’t mean that they aren’t still hoping to get their pet back – they might just have given up. Unless you know when the pet went missing it’s hard to know whether noone is looking for him, or noone believes he could still be alive after all this time. After my experience with Roy I am more inclined to give the owner the benefit of the doubt. If Roy should show up I wouldn’t be surprised if he was in rough shape after all that time on his own, but I would still be willing to get him back into shape and welcome him home. It’s not so easy to tell their story just on appearances.


      4. This is a very slippery slope everyone. Are you playing judge and jury with the lives of animals.

        Compassion towards people and animals is key!

        I have to teach my staff that some of the most ornery (not sure how to spell that) at the counter love their pets more than anything. Animal people don’t always relate to people well….

      5. Yes, Dodgedog it is a slippery slope. 10 years of being a vet tech taught me that people love their animals in many ways, not always the way I would love them. I did not mean to imply that we would fight a legal battle over custody, unless there WAS ample evidence of abuse or neglect. BUT, when such is the case…then we do what we need to do.

      6. Hi Morgana

        I gotcha, but just thought it should be said, as returning dogs to their owners is at most times very rewarding, and even some of our more pitiful finds have been from people who needed a little help with their pets, which we find a way to provide.

        Don’t get me wrong I am the enforcer in my area as Animal Care and Control with successful convictions of cruelty and neglect, dog fighting and more. I do not have tolerance for crimes against pets, but I do have undertanding for people and their pets on hard times.

  3. Okay, what I’d do is not return the dog to the owner. Maybe that’s wrong, but that’s what I’d do.

      1. That’s a tough call. But I think I would still do what’s right for the dog. Do the owners know she was found?

      2. I’d still do the same. I do not have to be acting on behalf of a board, what one does as an individual is different before the law.

      3. Yeah, we found the owner on Kijiji. We contacted them, and later found out they were BYBs. We also contacted our local humane society cruelty officer to see if they could tell us whether there were any complaints at that address, and they never got back to us. Shocking.

        If we brought the dog to the HS, they have a 72 hour hold. If they don’t hear from the owner, they adopt the dog out. The owner didn’t make a call to the HS, so the dog would have been adopted. However our HS recently “euthenized” a 14 week old puppy due to aggression, so obviously we chose not to bring the dog there.

        We dropped the dog off at the owners home – she wouldn’t let us in the house, but met a volunteer at the end of the driveway, in front of the locked gate and “do not trespass” sign. Sketchy, but the dog seemed happy enought to see her people.

        Next time I’m not checking Kijiji. I’m going to call the HS and see if there’s a report. If not we have to wait for two weeks and then tje dog is ours if the owner doesn’t contact them.

  4. In the past I have found very skinny hunting dogs with tags and called the owners thinking the hunting dogs had been lost for a long time and that was why they were all bones only to find out they just went missing. I asked one man why then was his dog so skinny and he told me that hunting dogs hunt better when kept hungry. I live in a parish with no animal control so there is no one to call and report hunters that don’t fed their dogs much. Most dogs running the roads around here do not have collars or tags.

  5. Has anyone any suggestions on our dilemma with animals whose owners can’t afford the cost of veterinary treatment?

    We run a low-cost clinic and most of the time owners do pay their share of the cost. Our difficulty is that, even with a 50% subsidy from us, some items (e.g. fracture repair) are genuinely more than someone on a very low income can manage.

    In the past we’ve tried:
    1) Adding extra subsidy for expensive things (e.g. going up to 75%).
    2) Letting people pay in instalments
    3) Offering owners the choice of signing the animal over to us for rehoming and bearing the full cost ourselves.

    The third option may sound pretty mean, but it does save the animal’s life while ensuring that the owner is under some pressure to stump up.

    The difficulty with the other options is that ALL of our clients are genuinely short of money and we can’t afford a 75% subsidy all the time.

    Payment by instalments doesn’t really work either because too many people either stop paying after a while or choose to make such small payments that we’re liable to go broke before we get the money back (because we have to pay our veterinary supplier within a reasonable length of time ourselves).

    Does anyone have other suggestions? I’ve been toying with the idea of an option to pay us back in kind (by doing an agreed amount of fundraising, for example), but that would be difficult to monitor.

    1. There is a thread on the itchmoforums.com that gives information by state on assistance with vet bills/spay/neuter/etc and food banks for people who have needs. Perhaps you might want to take a look at what’s available (if anything) in your area.

    2. As a low income owner myself, I know I would jump at the chance to pay in installments or to work off the debt over time by doing whatever is needed at your clinic. It would be heartbreaking for me to be faced with only two options: have the pet euthanized or sign over the pet. I realize the latter is offered as a means to save the pet’s life but to ask that of any owner who has bonded with his pet makes for emotional turmoil. OTOH, offering it to someone who hasn’t bonded with the pet (for example, they just found the pet recently or the pet actually was owned by a family member who stopped caring for him), that might be a great option.

      1. I don’t like them,. but Maddie’s Fund might be a place to look for a grant for lo-cost s/n.

    3. I like the idea of paying back in kind. I have actually done that with my family vet before when we’ve had to have emergency procedures done. I am low income and have to get ‘creative’ at times to provide for the fam let alone the animals. So I REALLY know that there are some people that love their animals enough and would REALLY appreciate that kind of an option because their beloved pet would get the treatment it needed and they could not only keep it, but return the favor by helping the very place that helped them.

      While I do agree it could get hard to monitor, I’m sure that you can probably set up a quick Excel sheet to keep track of things if you have someone who knows how to work Excel it’s fairly easy to set up and all you would have to do is fill in each space and it can be set up with formulas where you can easily update it with literally a click of the enter key. So that could be an easy option to help track.

      Good luck – because it really sounds like a neat place to work! And a GREAT place for your community to have available for them!

    4. I really appreciate this topic. I volunteer at my vet’s clinic, and I see where she helps animals knowing full well that payment will be minimal, if there is any at all! Granted, she cannot do this for everybody. I have often suggested to those clients who are financially capable, that they add a bit extra when they pay their bills in order to help cover the costs of those who cannot.
      Money is a hard task-master. We must all have it and use it. Nobody can afford to live for free.
      I believe getting grant money is a very good and important option. There are foundations, and even individuals, that believe in helping others.
      There must be some accountability, in our community there are those who apply for aide that are better off than the volunteers who work for free to help them!
      I believe in Karma…that being if we put out good and love and trust and peace, these things will grow and spread and we’ll get good and love and trust and peace back to us. However, it works the other way too. If we are judgmental and miserly, these things will also come back to bite us in the butt!
      For every kindness you do for an animal, someone, someday, will reciprocate by doing a kindness to another animal. (Please remember, humans are animals too…)

    5. There are emergency grants through AAHA (American Animal Hosptital Association. The catch there is you have to become accredited through AAHA, then the grants are available on a case by case basis and must be requested by your Veterinarians.

  6. Ok, I want to put this out there: Somehow, some transporters (not known to me) have the idea that our org. is “closing”. This is not the case. When we first ran our FR on our homepage, yes, we stated that if we couldn’t raise some money, we would “be forced to close” (this was back a few months). However, we have stumbled along so far with the minimal donations we have gotten. Even if we were to “close”, the animals here would be staying. It simple would mean that we were going to “retire” from active rescue/sanctuary. Wanted to get this out there, because I am tired of the rumour-mill. Thanks.

  7. Anyone know if the new investigation on the Chesterfield Atrocities is an actual investigation? I heard they still have not interviewed key witnesses.


      1. How VERY interesting that Sheriff Parker was a member of SLED for 20 years…and NOW we know WHY there hasn’t been a thorough investigation. It truly is a network of the ‘good ole boys’ and they are protecting their own. Guess it’s back to letter writing for Chesterfield now too!

        While I understand that SLED is the group to handle this – what would it take to get an SPCA on this as an either/or type thing? Maybe if we had 2 different groups investigating the same situation maybe there would be some forward movement with the investigation? I don’t think SLED would want to be shown up by the SPCA, but IF SLED isn’t going to actually investigate then we need a group that will!

      2. Egads! We could spend all our time writing letters to Timbuktu and not doing the actual rescuing! What’s a woman to do????? :-)

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