SC Pound Policy: Take Newborn Kittens Away from Nursing Mothers and Kill Them

Mama cat and newborn kittens, saved by a member of the public.  Because kittens.  (photo by Casey post)

Mama cat and newborn kittens, saved by a member of the public in Ohio. Because kittens. (photo by Casey Post)

The Greenville Co pound in SC has implemented two new policies concerning cats:

1. Kittens born at the pound who weigh less than 100 grams will be taken from their mothers and killed immediately.  The reason, as stated in an e-mail written by Susan Bufano, the community relations coordinator for the Greenville Co pound, in response to a concerned citizen:

It is not a normal, healthy birth weight and our vet has determined that they will probably not survive.

“Probably not” indicates to me an inherent admission that there is some hope for survival. And I think that hope is very reasonable, considering the following:

  • The ASPCA says 100 grams is “an average birth weight for kittens… depending on breed and litter size.”  Average means some kittens will weigh a little more than 100 grams, some a little less.  Size of the mother cat and number of kittens in the litter must be taken into account when evaluating birth weight of each individual.
  • This government study which looked at newborn kitten weights in five different cat breeds found that only two breeds, Maine Coon and the Norwegian Forest Cat (both large cats), had kittens which averaged more than 100 grams at birth.  The other three breeds studied – Birman, Persian, and Siamese/Oriental Shorthair – all had kittens whose average weight at birth was between 82 and 97 grams.
  • A random veterinarian I found via Google wrote: “Kittens have a normal birth weight of 100 ± 10 g (3.5 ± 0.35 oz). Kittens with a birth weight of less than 90 g (3.2 oz) have poor survival rates.”

Given this information, it’s not at all clear to me that the Greenville Co pound policy is based in science.  That is, the notion that kittens weighing less than 100 grams at birth “will probably not survive” appears dubious, at best.  And to be clear, taking newborn kittens of any weight away from their nursing mothers in order to kill them is something only monsters would do.  Kittens have a right to live and their mothers have the right to care for them.  No animal “shelter” policy trumps those rights.  Any “shelter” staff members who do not recognize that fact should resign immediately, before any additional animals are harmed due to their failures.

The other new policy at the pound:

2. Orphaned kittens under one pound are deemed “rescue only” and must leave the shelter within three hours. The reason, per Ms. Bufano’s e-mail:

We want our fosters to focus on the animals who have the highest likelihood for survival[.]

It was so hard on wonderful, loving fosters to take these neonate kittens home only for them not to thrive (and, the small weight also ended up indicating illness in the mothers) and pass away, regardless of how hard they cared for them. I witnessed the agony of many fosters who blamed themselves, when we all know that some kittens just don’t make it. They will be fine one day and die the next.

So, the decision was made to save the animals that had the most chance at survival. In doing so, we are anticipating more life saving, not less.

Wow, apparently it takes a whole mountain of bullshit to allow monsters to sleep at night.

By branding pets “rescue only”, shelters shut out an enormous pool of potential help:  the general public.  It’s not a good strategy to increase lifesaving.  Also bad:  using phony we-care-about-rescuers’-feelings as an excuse for killing kittens.  How did someone even think this twisted thing up?  Also also bad:  requiring rescue groups, typically operated out of people’s homes on shoestring budgets, to somehow get orphaned kittens out of the Greenville Co pound within three hours of arrival.

Rescuers often have day jobs, families, and other pets in need of care and will rarely be in a position to drop everything in order to quickly snatch kittens from the kill room at the pound.  That is, assuming the pound has promptly notified rescue contacts by mental telepathy since e-mail or voicemail obviously won’t suffice in these situations.  How would you like to be the rescuer who checks her e-mail at lunch or after work and finds out a litter of orphaned kittens you would have been willing to save was killed by Greenville Co because you didn’t check your messages sooner?  How is threatening to kill newborn orphaned kittens consistent with the county’s purported concern for rescuers’ emotional well-being?

While those who kill shelter pets instead of doing their jobs often blame the so-called irresponsible public for the killing, it is the shelter staff, following antiquated and inhumane policies designed to kill pets instead of helping them, who are to blame for the killing.  In fact, no rescuers, fosters, adopters and no one outside of the Greenville Co pound should blame themselves for the needless killing being done there.

Greenville Co pretends to be interested in lifesaving and pretends to care about the emotional toll taken on the compassionate public willing to help shelter pets, all the while implementing policies so cruel and archaic, no one with a conscience need perform more than a cursory examination to determine how heartless and inconsistent with animal sheltering those policies are.  Shame on Greenville Co for pretending to care.  There are few worse things in this world.  And they do those there, too.

Added, April 19, 2014:

Bringing up from the comments, from spaycritter, for those wanting to know who to contact about the needless killing of kittens at the Greenville Co pound:

Just an FYI– emails/calls to GCACS will be spun into gold.. Seriously , they will be said to “create drama , and take away from the staff’s ability to care for the animals in our facility”… at least , that’s what has been said on past attempts to shine a light. A better tactic is to contact the bosses of the boss..Here is contact info for those interested
Go to the county admin and county council..And since Greenville County contracts with Spartanburg County, contacting the same offices of S’burg county would be good..
https://www.greenvillecounty.org/Departments.asp#sectC
http://www.co.spartanburg.sc.us/govt/depts/cc/index.htm
http://www.co.spartanburg.sc.us/govt/depts/admin/index.htm

 

 

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97 Comments

  1. ruthrawls

     /  April 18, 2014

    Right now I have three kittens, perhaps 4 weeks old, that I’ve had for over a week. I got them from our local shelter here in coastal SC. That shelter has made strides in leaps and bounds over the last 10 years. The shelter called me, like they do every season for the last several years. Last year I took in a total of twenty newborns. Five lived.
    People say to me, “Oh, if I was taking care of a kitten, and it died, I would feel terrible. I would be so upset. I just couldn’t do it.”

    Reply
    • ddh

       /  April 20, 2014

      ruthrawls,

      I apologize for this, but what is happening that you are only having a 25% survival rate? Or rather, are there things you could do differently to to increase that survival rate? I’ve lost less than 15% of my bottle babies over the several years that I did bottle babies. (My schedule doesn’t allow me to do bottle babies, since I’m often gone from home for 13-14 hours a day during the week.) Please check out the Orphan Kitten Handbook (http://www.kittenrescue.org/index.php/cat-care/kitten-care-handbook/) and the OrphanKittens Yahoo! Group (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/orphankittens). I can’t imagine losing 75% of the kittens I cared for without asking myself, “What am I doing wrong.”

      Reply
      • ruthrawls

         /  April 20, 2014

        Last year there was an influx of neonates. Last winter was very mild in this area, and female cats were coming into heat earlier and more frequently. I’ve been handling motherless kittens for ten years, and I am acquainted with the resources you mentioned, plus I trained with several rescue vets and rescue organizations in the area. All the kittens with the exception of one appeared to be affected by Fading Kitten Syndrome. The single died most likely from a liver shunt, according to the vet. I’d like to think that I’m not doing anything wrong, but I don’t assign blame to myself for what happens.

      • Ruth,

        I apologize. I didn’t realize that you had been doing kittens for a time. Unfortunately, we only have what people put out there to work from.

  2. Lisa Kelly

     /  April 18, 2014

    A mountain of bullshit is right.

    Reply
  3. Casey Post

     /  April 18, 2014

    Disgusting. And if they’re losing so many kittens in foster care, I have to ask how much help/teaching are they giving those fosters? Or is it just, “Here’s some newborns and a bottle – good luck!” ?

    That photo is of Prudence. She was skin and bones when found in the woods with her three little kittens, all covered in fleas. I have no doubt that they were all born underweight given the mom’s state of health. Yet they all survived. And thrived. Because their finder made efforts to get them to safety. Because the public rallied to help. Because they never ended up in a shelter that likes to kill nursing kittens.

    That little cat gave EVERYTHING she had for her kittens. She knew she was in trouble and RAN UP TO PEOPLE at a soccer game, begging for help, leading them back to her kittens. How could anyone say that they should be killed for being small or fragile?

    The casual ripping away of newborn kittens and killing them is horrific. And just another excuse for someone who likes to kill.

    Reply
    • I, totally, agree with you! They have no conscience whatsoever. They need to be shutdown! This is, just, making me sick! The Carolina’s have some of the worst shelters in the country, not to mention Georgia & Texas…….let’s not forget Florida! OMG! What if doctors felt that way about humans & decided which ones to save & which ones to MURDER?????

      Reply
  4. This is monstrous. How do we email this reprehensible killing machine?

    Reply
  5. What utter crap. I’ve rescued kittens that are hours old, umbilical cord still attached. I didn’t have time to weigh them initially, I was too busy getting them warmed up and fed, but I know one was certainly under 100 grams. The only kittens I’ve ever lost I’ve lost within hours of getting them. If they live through the night with me they’re golden. That whole “you’ve got a 75% chance that your kitten is going to die” thing is just not acceptable (I know, I know, it may be backed up with statistics but I haven’t had that experience so maybe I’ve been lucky or not done enough neonates but whatever…) in my house so we save them.
    One feral mom, who gave birth on our property, came and found us when the kittens still had their eyes closed. She was SO upset that she couldn’t take care of them, she literally circled me, crying and yelling, until I followed her to her three babies. They were covered in fleas so we bathed them, capstar’d them, got flea meds on her and started feeding HER four times a day. She let the kitties stay in the house and we kept a window open for her to come and go. She raised them just fine until they were about 3 months old and then she wandered up to the neighbors house for a few years ago. We still see her everyday and love the babies she gave so much for. I just don’t understand people like the ones at this facility. LEAVE THE BABIES WITH THEIR MOM!! If they die then they die, but taking them away from mom??? There’s something missing in that persons soul if they think this is acceptable.

    Reply
    • What soul???? They have no soul!!! Thank you for caring about these little furbabies! I love ALL animals, but kitties are my passion! It’s wonderful to know that there are, so, many animal lovers out there……those who, truly, care!

      Reply
  6. Tina Clark

     /  April 18, 2014

    The public is irresponsible, unless they are so good that we have to protect them from the possibility that a kitten will die by killing the kittens they want to save.

    Reply
  7. What the hell is wrong with that shelter. They’re making excuses for killing innocent kittens! I don’t know how they can live with themselves as they’re a bunch of illiterate killers! They need to allow others to help; killing is not the answer!

    Reply
  8. Susan Bufano is full of crap and playing with the lives of these poor kittens! We should demand this ignorant bitch be fires!

    Reply
    • You bet we should & I plan on writing to this despicable shelter & the governor of S. Carolina! I hope everyone emails them & lets the heathens know how we feel! I wonder if this “B” has children……if so…..probably raising them to hate animals, also!

      Reply
  9. Shirley , and all, the concerned citizen, here…When I first heard of this, I was incredulous. Greenville County Animal Care aka Greenville County Pet Rescue (FB pages) couldn’t be doing this. Susan , and her directer Shelly , attended the No Kill conference a couple of years ago. How could more killing equal more life saving?
    There are some staffers that send out texts or emails when they see what’s gonna’ happen. Rescues can’t take them all, no matter HOW hard they try. And the rescues ARE trying.
    GCACS has NOT posted this policy, on FB or anywhere the gen pop will see it. I am assured, by Susan B , that intake staff informs those dropping of kittens ( I’m hearing puppies,too- but have yet to confirm) of their slim chance of making it out alive. I fear , the gen pop is leaving the babies after hearing ,” we will do our best to get them into rescue”.. NOT–” If rescue doesn’t drop everything they will be killed via IP injection”
    After my initial FB post on this subject , I had over 150 comments from folks that are willing to help. And Susan posting that we , volunteers, need to do more…smh.
    My FB page is open. I’m sharing this blog post. Thank you ALL for the support, I ahve also forwarded the exchange to my County Council members, encouraging they support TNR, and offering my help, in any way.

    Reply
  10. Wes Gibbs

     /  April 18, 2014

    I help with a rescue, and we try to help as many lives as possible. I do believe it is the local peoples fault that any of these animals need to be put down. Greenville offers cheap clinics for spaying and neutering of animals. Be responsible and stop the cycle. If the shelter wasn’t full all of the time, I am sure the safe stay period could be longer.

    Reply
    • sarahjaneb

       /  April 19, 2014

      So it’s also the local people’s fault that the shelter won’t allow them to foster these kittens?

      Reply
    • spaycritter

       /  April 20, 2014

      Wes, it is unfair to rescues and the public who is willing to foster for GCAC to KILL( not some other pretty word), using my tax dollars to do so. It’s way past time for GCAC to come out of the dark ages.

      Reply
  11. Lorie Faircloth

     /  April 18, 2014

    I raised two kittens from their birth as their mother died during childbirth I weighed them when they were three days old and Daisy weighed one and three quarter ounce and lived to be 14 and a half and Susie weighed one and a half ounce and is still alive and will be 17 years old July 31st. Each case is different obviously! I am glad I gave them a chance at life.

    Reply
  12. vida

     /  April 18, 2014

    This is a special grade of evil, every time I think one of these slaughterhouses has reached the summit of cruelty I find there was at least one more peak to scale.

    Reply
    • They must not believe in God! I know & we all know, God is watching & they will get theirs! In the meantime, we need to get this “B” out of there!

      Reply
      • Gina

         /  April 22, 2014

        Believing in god or not is not the issue. Plenty of people believe in god but do not have any respect for other animals.

        Being a good person is not automatically a matter of believing in god.

  13. Kat

     /  April 18, 2014

    And exactly how will they be killing these babies? In my experience, they would be too small to inject a vein so heartstick would have to be the method used… And if that’s the case, how do they intend to sedate them?? Isn’t it illegal to kill an unsedated animal via heartstick?? I’d really like to know how this new policy is “compassionate” in any sort of way. It reeks of BS and excuses to NOT do the work these people have (or should be required to) sworn to do… PROTECT the animals. :( This is just beyond tragic.

    Reply
  14. Norma

     /  April 18, 2014

    What can we do, the average citizen, to stop this from being implemented?

    Reply
  15. Tina Ladd

     /  April 18, 2014

    STOP PLAYING GOD.

    Reply
  16. MadlyMad

     /  April 18, 2014

    It seems in a country where abortion is on a hit list because it takes the lives of the unborn, how do these human monsters find it perfectly acceptable to take the lives of kittens who have been born and stand a chance to survive and be adopted into a loving home. The despicable hypocrisy and cruelty is beyond comprehension.

    Reply
  17. You are Sick & so is your Vet Going to get the word out on this as you are nothing but KILLERS Vets are suppose to save lives NOT TAKE THEM May Each one of you ROT IN HELL FOR what you are doing to these poor Defencless Kittens FOR SHAME FOR SHAME on you all

    Reply
  18. They are MURDERS pure and simple.

    Reply
  19. Suzi S

     /  April 18, 2014

    I doubt any of the kittens in my colony would have made it. They’re all petite cats, even full grown. :( Yet they are very healthy. How sad.

    Reply
  20. James Simpson

     /  April 18, 2014

    Nothing like playing God Greenville “humane” society! Guess you get off on killing defenseless kittens. I don’t know how you people sleep at night. They deserve a chance at life just like all Gods creatures. You can try to justify this with all the statistics and studies you want but you know it’s wrong. You all should be ashamed and should be shut down!!!!

    Reply
  21. who are you to play GOD and decide who has a the right to live and die.this is why animal abuse is so bad because shelter kill daily and if the people paid to protect them kill them the abusers figure why can’t they.

    Reply
  22. Kimberly Ryder Mayfield

     /  April 18, 2014

    I agree that’s just plain murder.

    Reply
  23. Terry

     /  April 18, 2014

    This is absolutely monstrous. Do these people get off on murdering innocents and traumatizing new moms. These moms have already been through hell or they wouldn’t be here in the first place. I see no compassion or caring at all. This woman should be fired along with everyone who agrees with her evil practices! My heart breaks for the moms and babies :'(

    Reply
  24. Gail

     /  April 18, 2014

    The south!

    Reply
    • Amanda

       /  April 19, 2014

      I don’t think you can denounce the entire south because of what this organization is doing. I work for a shelter in “The South!” and I currently have 2 nursing mothers in my office (8 kittens between them) and 3 at home and one of our volunteers has one that has 5 babies. NONE of the babies weighed more than 100 grams. This is a monstrous, idiotic policy but its not because its “The South!”. It is because those people are ignorant.

      Reply
  25. Thank you Shirley for writing this and exposing this horrific situation. Now to spread the word and work for change!

    Reply
  26. This is a terrible and horrific procedure. It is a selfish and uncaring way of rationalizing the killing of the innocents. If they get sick and you put them down that is one thing. But to take a healthy one pound kitten and murder it in the hours is unforgivable. Good have mercy on your souls.

    Reply
  27. Vicki

     /  April 18, 2014

    Are you FUCKIN kidding me ???????
    MURDERS!!!!

    Reply
  28. Reblogged this on Shiloh and Company and commented:
    If this makes you sick..write to these people and let them know.

    Reply
  29. Barbara Ross

     /  April 18, 2014

    MONSTERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    This is TOTALLY uncalled for and a horrid, LAME excuse.
    Whoever this shelter manager is needs to find another job, as she clearly cannot handle this one. KILLING INNOCENT KITTENS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE!!!! This sickens me and the reasons stated are just not acceptable….NEVER EVER!!!!!!

    Reply
  30. Let’s not forget that it can be easier to get through to the IRS on April 14th than it can be to get a human on the phone at GCACS too. So forget calling someone, forget emailing…sounds like the only way newborn kittens will be saved is if someone literally sits at the door as people bring them in.

    Reply
    • There is actually a group doing that, but they need volunteers! They are called Let Em’ Live Upstate and have a help desk at intake to talk to people coming in and give them other options. I was there last Monday for 2 hours and we kept 4 kittens out.

      Reply
  31. They are not running a true shelter there-it did say pound, right? Nonetheless, they have a responsibility to provide the best care possible for the animals there, and, to pick and choose who gets to live and who gets to die is narcissistic, and there is something seriously wrong with them!!!!!

    Reply
  32. If you use Facebook, you can post comments to the Greenville County Animal Care Facebook page at:

    https://www.facebook.com/gcanimalcare

    You can also find Susan Bufano, Community Relations Rep, on Facebook:

    https://www.facebook.com/susan.t.bufano

    Reply
  33. Is there a petition? Even if there isn’t, let’s all get moving! We need to email and send letters to the shelter, and any mayors, city officials, and the governor of SC.

    When the public outcry is loud enough, things tend to change.

    Reply
  34. Does the media in Greenville know of this?

    Reply
  35. Lois

     /  April 19, 2014

    whoever kills kittens unjustly is just plain cruel. Just an excuse to get rid of them.

    Reply
  36. Sharon

     /  April 19, 2014

    Killing newborn kittens is animal cruelty and abuse in no uncertain terms. These “shelter” staff members should be arrested and put on trial.

    Reply
  37. Mitchum Barn Rescue/Ferret Sanctuary

     /  April 19, 2014

    Nothing is surprising anymore-it is not like they are going to have to feed the mom more food to feed a kitten that was runty. This is just a easy, we don’t care kind of problem there-and it saddens me that they would believe in their hearts this is ok. We need to build more cat sanctuaries in Sc.

    Reply
  38. I am one of those people who drop everything to go grab kittens from GCACS before they are killed, and it’s not that I have the time to do it- I neglect my work (I own a small business) and all the other things I should be doing. When I get a message that a kitten needs a way out- and everyone else is busy or at work- what exactly can I do? Ignore it? Sit at my computer working, knowing it is going to die? I think not. As long as a rescue can line up a foster (which thanks to some fabulous fosters, so far we have always been able to), I jump in the car and make the hour+ drive down there to get the baby and get it to it’s foster.
    There are some amazing employees at GCACS that work so hard and do everything in their power and more to help the cats and kittens and the rescues that are pulling them- not everyone there is uncaring. Sadly, there are quiet a few who don’t seem to be bothered at all by the killing, and many of those are in positions of authority, which is why things never seem to change no matter how much we keeping trying. I am not sure how those who spend their day killing kittens (and cats, dogs, and puppies too) live with themselves. It makes me sick to even think about.

    Reply
  39. jackie

     /  April 19, 2014

    come on really so why not take every baby that was born weighing under 3lbs and kill it, it’s the same fucking thing. Mama cats mourn the lost of their babies just like a human does. Animals have the same feelings as we do. They feel pain, they feel loss, and they can go though depression just like us. So think about some big monster coming and taking your child away from you and put him/her asleep..

    Reply
  40. This is NOT acceptable! They need to be bombarded with emails & so should the governor of S.C.! This, just, sickens me! How cruel can people be…….excuse me…..how cruel can monsters be? This woman surely has NO conscience!!!

    Reply
  41. spaycritter

     /  April 19, 2014

    Just an FYI– emails/calls to GCACS will be spun into gold.. Seriously , they will be said to ” create drama , and take away from the staff’s ability to care for the animals in our facility”… at least , that’s what has been said on past attempts to shine a light. A better tactic is to contact the bosses of the boss..Here is contact info for those interested
    Go to the county admin and county council..And since Greenville County contracts with Spartanburg County, contacting the same offices of S’burg county would be good..
    https://www.greenvillecounty.org/Departments.asp#sectC
    http://www.co.spartanburg.sc.us/govt/depts/cc/index.htm
    http://www.co.spartanburg.sc.us/govt/depts/admin/index.htm

    Reply
  42. What The Hell Is Wrong With Humans ?? …. And We Call Them Animals !!
    Animals Grieve, And Have Feelings.{ Apparently More Than Some People } Those Kittens Have A Right To Live And Hopefully Find Loving Homes !!

    Reply
  43. Donna Leshne

     /  April 19, 2014

    You know, the kill policy over all is painful enough, but to see someone, in a directorship (…and maybe it’s ~me~ but can I just assume such a person would be educated, trained and maybe even credentialed?) who has to resort to such a low level of “spin” just disgusts me. What level of ignorance is she playing to, or do I come too close to making a blanket comment about NC in general?

    Reply
  44. this so called shelter should be shut down until real caring animal people can be put in there

    Reply
  45. Concerned rescuer

     /  April 19, 2014

    Shelter director is Shelly Simmons and her email is misimmons@greenvillecounty.org
    Shelter veterinarian is Dr Teri Worl and her email is tworl@greenvillecounty.org

    Email.

    Reply
  46. Why not abort the kittens. The result is the same and it would save killing a living thing. If this shelter did the same to humans they would be tried for murder. Why are they not considered animal abusers and be treated accordingly?

    Reply
  47. “So, the decision was made to save the animals that had the most chance at survival. In doing so, we are anticipating more life saving, not less.” Is this not the definition of battlefield triage? Is this how things are run at shelters nowadays – like a battlefield, where medics have to make split-second decisions about who is most likely to survive, and concentration on them first?? I don’t know why myself, or others for that matter, continue to make public outcries about this sort of thing, among other things that go on at shelters, and humane societies – the more things change ,the more things stay the same, no matter how we feel, or what comments we make, or how many petitions we sign; they will continue to do what they feel is best, and get away with it.

    Reply
  48. journey

     /  April 19, 2014

    In other words all of these people looking at weight for a reason to kill are inadequate and only use this reason for their pleasure to kill innocent beings.

    Reply
  49. I tied your article into the first paragraph of mine. Great article. I couldn’t have said it better myself http://www.examiner.com/article/animal-advocates-demand-policy-changes-at-high-kill-upstate-shelter

    Reply
  50. sandy

     /  April 19, 2014

    Rescues will take them you idiots stop this!

    Reply
  51. “Anticipating more lifesaving” by killing more. Okay got it.

    Reply
  52. Roslyn Stoddard

     /  April 19, 2014

    Let’s add insult to injury here. Although it is not a part of THIS story, in the past couple of weeks, the same shelter has spayed at least 4 female cats with FULL TERM pregnancies. Rescues had spoken for the cats and were not informed that they were pregnant and the shelter went ahead and spayed them and then the rescues saw the vet paperwork indicating full term pregnancies (ie. one had 4 babies, one had 5, etc.) and now all of these moms are in rescue and they are all severely depressed. This place is full of evil.

    Reply
  53. For anyone who is interested in taking care of bottle babies, please read at least the Orphan Kitten Handbook (http://www.kittenrescue.org/index.php/cat-care/kitten-care-handbook/) and/or join the OrphanKittens Yahoo! Group (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/orphankittens). With proper protocols, there is no reason to be loosing anywhere near the numbers that some have listed.

    Reply
  54. Kathy

     /  April 20, 2014

    Like a few others have mentioned, I’ve rescued/fostered/bottle fed litter after litter of newborns (before their eyes open) and they survived. Last year I actually rescued a few that still had the cords attached, and needed warmed up. The fact that they were that young and ‘cool’ to the touch – I knew the 1st 24hrs were critical. But they also survived.
    If this ‘shelter’ is doubtful of these newborns’ survival – then perhaps their fosters need training??? I’ve been shocked at the lack of knowledge of some fosters who just want to
    handle kittens, don’t know that you have to bottle feed ‘prone’ and not on their backs like a human baby (they will aspirate) and that they don’t know that you also have to stimulate them to pee. I’ve been in pet stores when a novice, but well-meaning person comes in
    for guidance on feeding/taking care of a new born kitten that they’ve found and get little to no advise except shown where the KMR is on the shelf. If I see this – I immediately jump in and offer assistance. For all the others, I can only hope that with the invaluable info on the internet, that they learn & find out that way. To have this ‘shelter’ take away kittens from an actual AVAILABLE mother cat is incomprehensible. The fact that these newborns have a mother is invaluable in their survival. If I can care for kittens this young and they survive –
    they have even a better chance at survival WITH mother’s milk! It doesn’t mention this in the article, but could it be that the purpose of taking the infants away from the mother is more so that they can ease their conscience about putting the MOTHER down???

    Reply
  55. Venice

     /  April 20, 2014

    Aww cute mama cat and kitten they are so beautiful I pray save mama cat and kittens soon hope adoot them I dont like shelter they are so mean kill animals not rright call murder animals I pray for them anyway hope zoom adopt cat and kittens soon amen

    Reply
  56. taylortara420@yhoo.com

     /  April 20, 2014

    omg realy who gives them the right to do gods work an chose who stays an goes wtf thy shuld be closed dawn an never reopended

    Reply
  57. Christina Stockton

     /  April 20, 2014

    And where did Ms. Bufano get her degree in veterinary sciences? Her arguments are not based on any scientific foundation and she needs to do her homework before making such inane statements.

    Reply
  58. Kim

     /  April 21, 2014

    I LOVE cats! Always have. Had several as furry family members since I was a teen. This is disgusting. What kind of an animal “shelter” would do this?! This should be an animal’s safe place!!!

    Anyway, I wish there was more public outrage & such a desire to “save the baby humans” that are mercilessly killed daily by the hundreds nationwide.

    Reply
  59. Jean Dixon

     /  April 21, 2014

    There is something wrong when an animal shelter needs the services of a community relations coordinator. I also suspect that I am not the first person to see the eerie similarities between the operations of this pound and the operations of a concentration camp. The illogical intellectual mess offered up by the pr person to support this new policy (we have to kill them to save them) is shameful. Everybody who was a party to such a crock should hang their head. On the bright side, critics of the county’s animal services and of the pound can rejoice: they have been handed the perfect item to shame and correct the county with. Short of being caught eating kittens himself, this is as stupid as the County Administrator can look and he richly deserves it. So have a demo or just work it through the media or both. Oh yes, the vet who approved this cruelty: send the policy to the state governing body and ask them whether his or her approval of this was reasonable and competent practice. Good luck!!

    Reply
  60. y mccall

     /  April 22, 2014

    I took care of kittens that were 3 days old, eyes closed and they survived just fine and I was an inexperienced caretaker. There are things that irritate me no end–animal abuse, dishonesty and flat out lies

    Reply
  61. There are often stories like this where someone is upset that the animal shelter has to kill animals. I don’t care for the emotional drama these posts attempt to create. Mine is a different perspective.

    I sleep well at night knowing that there are people who love animals that run these agencies who have to make difficult decisions about the lives of animals with very little money or space in which to do them. The people aren’t “monsters”, as the author accuses them to be, just because they don’t have the funding or space necessary to keep and house an infinite number of animals.

    Discussing the small size of the kittens as the author does in this post is great for an emotional draw, but the author never gives us an indication as to what size is acceptable for killing. So is it the killing of a 100 gram kitten that is the problem, or just the killing in general? Is it okay once it’s 200 grams and not adopted? 300? What about 90 grams?

    Instead of voicing complaining emails, posts, or phone calls to supervisors, as the author suggests, one might call and kindly ask, “Hi, I understand you need some help caring for unwanted animals, what can I do? Or where can I donate?”

    I love animals and have two rescues of my own, but I can’t take them all in and I can’t afford to pay for them all to have lifetime care. The reality is that there are a lot of unwanted animals in the world, and if the money isn’t there to care for them, and no one steps up to care for them or adopt them, they have to get put down. I don’t have a problem with that because there are no other options other than donating your time or money to these agencies, or adopting another animal. It sucks, yeah, but if anyone has another option that doesn’t involve spending other people’s money or time, or just complaining about it, I’m curious to hear it.

    KINDLY give your time, spread awareness, give your money, or adopt. Everything else is emotional drama.

    Reply
    • sarahjaneb

       /  April 23, 2014

      “…but the author never gives us an indication as to what size is acceptable for killing.”

      That’s probably because it’s never ok to kill a cat/kitten because of its size.

      “So is it the killing of a 100 gram kitten that is the problem, or just the killing in general? Is it okay once it’s 200 grams and not adopted? 300? What about 90 grams?”

      You kinda missed the whole point, huh? Killing animals because of their size is the problem, and it’s a problem at any size. Killing animals who have volunteers ready to take care of them is the problem. And yes, killing for space is the problem.

      “Instead of voicing complaining emails, posts, or phone calls to supervisors, as the author suggests, one might call and kindly ask, ‘Hi, I understand you need some help caring for unwanted animals, what can I do? Or where can I donate?’ ”

      I guess you were just so busy being logical and above it all that you couldn’t be bothered to actually read the post. They do not want help caring for these animals. That is one of major problems, as stated in the post. They have volunteers willing to take the kittens, and the pound is no longer allowing them to do so.

      Reply
      • I anticipated when writing this post that someone might make the argument that we need to state a weight to justify taking kittens from their mothers for killing. As such, I carefully worded my response, using italics and bold type to leave no doubt:

        And to be clear, taking newborn kittens of any weight away from their nursing mothers in order to kill them is something only monsters would do.

        But being clear only works if trolls read the post. Which they do not. Because trolls.

      • sarahjaneb

         /  April 23, 2014

        Yeah, I thought you were pretty clear! I always find it so frustrating when I go to the trouble to choose my words very carefully, and then some people respond as though I’d written something completely different than what I actually wrote.

      • Trolls have an agenda which has nothing to do with the content of the material and everything to do with I Can’t Hear What You Say Because La La La. That’s the reason they can use templates for their responses. Which is handy, no doubt.

    • spaycritter

       /  April 23, 2014

      Bootie , The post also states that folks who have fostered, in the past , will not be allowed to foster kittens under 1 lb , for GCAC.. It’s not as if the “not so irresponsible public” has NOT attempted to step up.

      Reply
    • spaycritter

       /  April 24, 2014

      I’ve learned from Shirley , and others here, to do my research. I checked the FY2014 budget for this facility , last night. It is over $3M with FTE staff of 37.7…Paid staff does not include the inmate work crew. Usually from 20-35 people every day. I’ve spoken with the county administrator who looked at me and said ,”Money is not a problem, I’ll get money”…Over , and over, No Kill advocates have found , the size of the budget,staff, or building does not equal lifesaving. What has been offered? Volunteer? I volunteer, and help them open their low cost spay/neuter clinic. Others ,with marketing and outreach experience,have volunteered and written foster care manuals.The director stated she “stayed up late to write ” a manual. I have written confirmation that the volunteers wrote the manual. Those manuals, have yet to be implemented ,AFAIK. Volunteers have offered to set up a time for fosters to bring animals in for vaccines ,fecal checks , and deworming.Thereby eliminating the need for animals to re-enter the “holding” area and ease the burden of staff. Turned down flat. One rescue offered to mentor them in off site adoption events. The response was, we’ll do them if you are willing to take on the animals at the event.. Basically , expecting the rescue to take on any animals that went to the event. Most recently , the same rescue hosted a bottle feeding class , invites were sent to GCACS. Not ONE staffer showed up. The Let ‘Em Live Upstate group was formed a few months ago . Of the monthly meetings to strategize on how to save lives, GCACS management showed at the first one , the one with the media present. None since. The director has said , to me , ” we have to market differently to those we want to reach” they have the “shiney- happy ” page aka unicorns and glitter- Greenville County Animal Care , and the rescue page- Greenville County Pet Rescue. Over 1 yr ago , a rescue offered to set up a help desk, volunteer run, volunteer staffed, to help prevent owner surrenders. “I need to look over the details and get back to you”.. Never happened. Let’Em Live has just been allowed to do this. It could have happened over a year ago. The Safe at Home PetHelpline ? Set up and run totally by vols ( I am one) Had to beg to get it allowed, two years ago.Now , the director touts it in the budget as one of the ways to achieve No Kill …by 2017 and H$U$ wants to know how successful it is, so they can do a write up and applaud GCAC for their creative thinking…I could go on,and on…

      Reply
  62. Rebecca White

     /  April 23, 2014

    After reading this I was outraged! I decided I was going to start a petition on Causes. I plan to start one on Change.org as well. Pls join us in signing this petition. We have a voice and we r not staying quiet!! The link is

    https://www.causes.com/campaigns/76760-tell-greenville-county-sc-that-killing-kittens-is-wrong

    Thank u all so much!

    Reply
  63. Anne Thomas

     /  April 23, 2014

    Boogie, they shouldn’t be killed at any weight. These kittens are either with their mothers or they have volunteers willing to take care of them, as is stated in the article. Most of the people who comment here do a lot of work with animals and many donate to good shelters. They are part of the solution; the shelters where these bad practices are going on are the ones causing the problem. If you would read more of the older blog posts and comments, you’d have a better idea if what’s going on. It’s always wrong to kill healthy kittens, no matter what size they are.

    Reply
  64. Anne Thomas

     /  April 23, 2014

    I meant Bootie. Silly little keyboard.

    Reply
  65. Tami Moon

     /  April 23, 2014

    i cannot believe you people ~~ are you crazy ~~~~just wrong !!!!!!

    Reply
  66. Kittypurr

     /  April 24, 2014

    Ah the killing apologist hiding in killing logic- eh Bootie?

    Psycopaths being paid to run a “shelter” what can one expect? Anything to make a buck.

    Reply
    • Thank you, spaycritter, for your kind response. To yesbicsuit, just trying to share an opinion which happens to oppose some here doesn’t make me a troll looking to stir trouble. I understand the cause for concern if the shelter is not looking for adoptive homes, but that might also be something that they need your help in doing because they are understaffed and don’t have much funding. I’d like to hear what the responses were from the shelter when y’all called to offer your help. Did they just say “no” or what?

      Reply
  67. Suzanne

     /  May 25, 2014

    THESE PEOPLE ARE MONSTERS-HOW DO I CONTACT THEM AND LET THEM KNOW THAT “THE BLOOD IS ON THEIR HANDS.” My Husband and I have bottle fed many baby kittens some as young as one day.We never lost even one..

    Reply
  68. juli

     /  June 6, 2014

    Killers monsters who are a shame of the veterinary profession. They don’t even know the difference between SHELTER & SLAUGHTERHOUSE!!!.

    Reply
  69. Mederose Mente

     /  July 1, 2014

    This is cruelty! Probably is probably. But there’s a chance that they can survive! The pound’s customer service should be receiving quite a lot of complaints by now.

    Reply
  70. c. dianne clements

     /  October 21, 2014

    Here in Farmington NM they said they could put my newborn kittens that I have been caring for 2 weeks and killed them because they were under weight. They did not consult me or give me a chance to take them back. The evil director just said this is the real world.

    Reply
    • db

       /  October 22, 2014

      I’m sorry. Unfortunately, this is the real world for way too many animals.

      Reply
  71. Reblogged this on Wolf Howls.

    Reply
  1. Animal advocates demand policy changes at high-kill upstate shelter | Elisa's Examiner

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