Thursday, June 9, 2011

Rescued cats showing their friendliness

Submitted by UAN volunteer Beth Gammie of Tallahassee, Florida

Wendy Leonard of Elko, Georgia gets to
know one of the rescued cats
As the 700 cats and kittens settled in to their new home at UAN's emergency shelter, staff and volunteers were surprised at their friendliness and sociability. Wendy, a volunteer from Georgia, said the first thing she noticed about the cats was that "they all came to the front of the cage, talking, which was a good sign.  I think they're starving for attention." 

Is it dinner time yet?
The cats' warm demeanor shone through their sick and neglected condition. Janell Matthies, UAN's Emergency Services Manager, said "It's always heartbreaking to see sick animals. This case is extraordinary in the sheer number of animals, the extent of their illnesses, but most of all their friendliness and affectionate natures even when so ill."

A cat with hair loss
The rescued cats suffered from the types of illnesses one would expect in crowded and filthy hoarding conditions: upper respiratory infections, feline leukemia, skin disease such as lesions and ringworm, and intestinal problems. Some cats had anemia from the sheer number of fleas on them living off their blood.  Unusual in this case is a number of cats carrying themselves with their heads tilted to the side. Dr. Laura Andersen, one of vets assisting in medical care, said this could be caused by the chronic sinus congestion impinging on the cat's facial nerves.

A rescued cat asks for attention
Alachua County Animal Services asked The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) to help with animal handling, transportation, temporary sheltering and, if necessary, permanent placement of the cats. The HSUS in turned asked UAN to help set up and operate the temporary shelter. Animal Services personnel expressed their thanks for UAN's help in dealing with this massive rescue, which would swamp any county's capacity to handle.

Laina, one of the animal services workers said, "We couldn't have done it without you.  You guys do a great job." Her colleague, Darla, heard this and added, "You kept the ship afloat."  Chris, one of the Animal Services investigators was impressed with UAN's emergency shelter and said, "It's a million times better than what [the cats] had" to live in before.

1 comment:

  1. Love reading your account of the entire operation Beth - great job!!! Your photos in all the posts really help to bring the story to life.


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