Treats on the Internets

An anonymous whistleblower is accusing Jacksonville Animal Care and Protective Services of killing treatable animals, falsifying their records and turning away strays in need in order to make their numbers look good. (Thank you Clarice for the link.)

The Washington Co Animal Shelter in TN killed 276 cats last month because they had colds.  But the director falsely told the local paper the shelter is “no kill” because they don’t kill “healthy, sociable” animals.  (Thanks Jan.)

A family dog who was lost on a road trip was picked up by Caddo Animal Services in LA.  The owner, who is 8 months pregnant, lives in Houston so a local rescuer offered to drive the dog halfway to reunite the family.  But the pound director refused.  The owner says she asked multiple times to allow the dog to be released to the rescuer as she was experiencing pre-labor contractions and has another young child to care for but the director yelled and cursed at her in response.  She says her mother also called to request release of the dog to the rescuer out of concern for her daughter’s well-being but the director still refused.  For his part, the director says he never spoke with the owner and when he spoke with her mother, she “asked and begged and pleaded with us that we give the dog to the actual owner and not release it to a third party”.  The owner was forced to drive all the way to the pound in Shreveport to reclaim her pet.  (Thanks Clarice and Lisa.)

This article about a feline kidney transplant seems to adopt the posture that the donor cat was found in a shelter and probably would have been killed anyway so it’s fine to harvest him for parts.  Plus the family of the recipient is forced to adopt the donor cat, regardless of how anyone gets along so… it’s all good?  (Thanks Karen.)

A cinematic history of dogs

This kiddie pool in NJ was just right.

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15 Comments

  1. Article you list at bottom (a cinematic history of dogs) is simply brilliant.

    Reply
    • puppylover

       /  August 21, 2015

      For anyone interested-the book “Rin Tin Tin” by Susan Orlean is fascinating. It’s longer than it has to be and drags a little but she details some history that I was unaware of. For instance, after Pearl Harbor, private citizens started Dogs for Defense in which Americans were asked to loan their dogs to the armed forces. Reportedly, over 40,000 dogs were sent in over a 2 year period. Ten thousand of these were selected for full training.

      Reply
    • I’m glad to hear you enjoyed the link Marianna!

      Reply
  2. d2perry

     /  August 21, 2015

    Washington County is in my neck of the woods and I share postings of their available animals on Facebook. I’ve offered to help pay some the adoption or S/N fees for cats. I was told that they would love to take me up on it and requested my email address but I haven’t heard any more from them.

    Reply
    • I hope if they ever get around to taking your money, they don’t use it to buy cat sized trash bags.

      Reply
      • d2perry

         /  August 21, 2015

        That was several months ago and I haven’t heard from them. At that time there was several very beautiful, social cats on their Facebook page. It pains me how easily these “shelters” can justify killing those poor animals. Apparently there isn’t any accountability required.

  3. d2perry

     /  August 21, 2015

    I helped fund a transplant years ago for Walter the cat through IMOM (In Memory of Magic) PIN (pet in need) program. Unfortunately Walter didn’t live very long after his operation, but the last I heard, the donor cat was doing okay.

    Reply
    • I debated long and hard as to whether or not to donate toward’s Walter’s surgery. In the end, I couldn’t do it. I have known of a few of these kidney transplant cats and they just don’t seem to live very long or have a great quality of life, afterwards.

      The idea of “saving” a cat from the shelter for his kidney is…fraught with questions. Starting with, “Is it right?” and ending with “Is the presence of a strange cat in the midst of your cat’s illness/surgery/long recovery really a good idea? And if it is, why not just adopt a friendly cat to keep your failing one company in his last days? If it isn’t, why are you doing this to your cat?”

      I have a cat in renal failure right now. I cannot imagine putting him through that. And that’s not even acknowledging the risks you subject the donor cat to.

      Reply
      • I had a cat who was diagnosed with CRF at 7. He was otherwise in excellent shape and basically a perfect candidate for a transplant. I did consider it; we even went as far as speaking to the team at the University of Penn about it.

        If I could have donated my own kidney to save this cat, I would have done it in a heartbeat. But taking a kidney from another cat? I debated for months before deciding I just couldn’t justify it. CRF is so common…what if the donor cat developed it later on? Would his/her lifespan be shortened because they’re starting with one kidney? If they did develop CRF and were a candidate, how could I do less then for then my first cat? Would that mean that I would basically have an endless chain of cats giving and getting kidneys? If having one kidney meant they weren’t a candidate for a transplant…how could I justify taking away an option to help them by using their kidney for another cat? And of course how could I justify the risk of surgical complications, including the recovery and pain from the procedure?

        In the end, I just couldn’t do it. My cat ended up surviving 7 years after diagnosis and died at the age of 14. Maybe a transplant could have helped him live to be 18, and as far as cost alone goes, those extra 4 years would have been worth it in my book. But hurting another cat, possibly shortening their lifespan, and in essence saying they were deserving of less care and devotion then my first cat…that I couldn’t live with. If every pet has the right to life, then they should retain that right WITHOUT giving up an organ.

        As a side note, not all organ transplants come from shelter cats. You have three options…using a cat already in the household, using a shelter cat, or using a cat purpose bred for organ donation. So the how ‘you’re saving a life’ thing doesn’t apply in every case. Some of those kidneys are in fact coming from cats that are being brought into the world for the sole purpose of being used as organ banks.

  4. TY for the personal, insightful comments on the kidney transplant story. When Karen sent me the link, I remember the words “ethical quagmire” in the subject line and it certainly is that. Breeding cats for the purpose of organ donation reminds me of a sad and disturbing film called Never Let Me Go.

    Reply
  5. I honestly just think the concept of organ transplants in animals is weird. They don’t understand why they are going through this, and I find so often that when an animal’s body starts failing their mind naturally starts getting ready to let go… it may be kinder for the animal to allow a naturally timed death.

    Reply
  6. landsharkinnc

     /  August 24, 2015

    re Washington Co. TN – it is horrific to have to de-populate due to illness, but cats don’t get just ‘colds’ they get Panleukopenia and/or Calicci virus – and frequently in combination with each other. They are both highly contagious, frequently fatal, and if treated – survivors may remain carriers of the virus for the rest of their lives. When high population/density facilities do not have sufficient quarantine ( not just ‘isolation’ ) areas it is virtually impossible to keep the diseases from spreading. Anytime shelters increase their holding capacity they must also increase their budget to vaccinate, staff to manage the additional numbers, and more strict protocols for quarantine of incoming animals. It is better to turn away animals than to expose them to potential disease!.

    Reply
    • The linked article does not state even one Washington Co cat had panleuk or calici. If you have a source for that information, you need to post it. Otherwise, you are at best posting misleading information.

      Reply
    • They also get herpes, which shares many symptoms with calici in the beginning stages, is exceedingly common and easy to transmit, and rarely causes death in otherwise healthy cats. Without further information, we can just as well assume that was the source of the infected cats’ symptoms.

      Reply

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