Animal welfare

This is a topic that really bothers me at times.  Most of you have already seen my post about Bruno, the American Stanford that we adopted.  Now, I have a huge soft spot for animals; I like them more than most people.  Animals, dogs and cats, have this way of giving you unconditional love.  They don’t care if you are rich or poor, if you are fat or skinny, if you have a big or little house, what kind of clothes you wear, whether or not you have the latest technology.  They will love you no matter what.  All they ask is to be loved and cared for and they do the same in return.

The first dog we had here was a street dog that came up to our house one day.  He was a beautiful German Shepherd and we named him Duke.  He was very emaciated and sick.  He was also under a year old.  We fed him, took him to the vet, and he stayed around for a long time.  He protected our house, and our neighbors house.  He was a beautiful dog.  But one day he up and left.  We seen him several months later walking with a little boy.  The boy loved the dog and you could tell Duke felt the same way about him.  Long story short, we let the kid keep him because we could tell they were happy with each other.

Then there was Grace, a black German Shepherd that showed up one day in our neighborhood.  She was very skinny and sick also.  She kept hanging around the neighborhood so I tried to get her to come to me.  I would throw out little bits of food for her to get.  It took me three days, but I finally earned her trust and she let me pet her.  That was all that it took.  She had so many problems it wasn’t funny.  She was anemic, a very low blood platelet count (so we couldn’t get her fixed any time soon) and she also had ehrlichia, which is a tick disease, and something else I can’t remember.  We had all sorts of blood work done, including an ultrasound.  She was a mess, but she turned into the sweetest dog.  We were waiting for her to fully recover before getting her fixed, then she went into heat just as she got better.  She got out on us and ended up pregnant.  Poor thing had to have a cesarean section to have the puppies and my vet spayed her at the same time.  Just over 4 months later she died of a heart attack.  She was still very young, maybe three years old, but we believe it was because she had the ehrlichia before.  It can have side effects that last a lifetime.  I cried my eyes out over her.

Before all of this was Spot the cat.  He was a stripped kitten with a little spot on his nose.  He was about 4 weeks old when he came to us.  He was thrown out of a plastic garbage bag at our front gate!  He was so tiny, his eyes were still blue.  We took him in and our older cat took him under his wing and helped him every step of the way.  I had never seen an adult male cat care for a kitten the way Boo-Boo did.  They even napped together.  Boo-Boo was from the US, we brought him down with us.  He was a rescue too.  He had been hit by a car when he was found and brought to us when we were living in Ohio.  Boo-Boo passed away just over three years ago.  He was a very good boy and is still missed.  Spot passed away about a year and a half ago.  They both passed away from the same thing, a urinary track blockage.  My vets tried their best to get them unblocked but couldn’t.  There was nothing they could do.  With my medical background they even showed me what was going on, let me in and explained to me what they had tried to do.  I cried like a baby.

Now there is Arainia.  I found her as a kitten at a bus terminal.  She was severally emaciated, I held up her leg and could light coming through because there was no muscle tissue.  She was about 7 weeks old and weighed 500 grams, 1.1 pound.  I got her onto the bus with me and took her home.  We made some soft food for her to eat that night.  She was so weak that she couldn’t even hold up her head.  I was afraid that she would be dead by morning.  I got up the next morning and went into the bathroom and got the carrier I had her in.  She was meowing at me.  I got her food and she dove into the bowl, not even giving me time to put it on a plate!  We knew we had a fighter here!  We rushed her to the vet and got her checked out.  My vet about cried with how small she was.  One month later she had tripled her weight!  She has grown into a beautiful cat now.  Very sweet and loving, she just still doesn’t like Bruno.  But my other cat, Coal, likes Burno and even puts up with getting dog kisses!  (Coal is from the US, and is 7 years old now.  We adopted him when he was only four months.)

Well, that is the background on our babies and some of what we have been through with them.  That is not even close to being all of it.  I am writing this today because of what I saw yesterday at one of the vets I go to for cat food and cat litter.  The kind I use I cannot get here in my town.  It is a small town and cats are not that common to have as an indoor pet.  Yesterday I saw three of the tiniest kittens, their eyes were just starting to change colors.  They should have still been with their mother, but they don’t know where she was.  They were very dirty, their ears were a nightmare and their little bums needed to be cleaned off, something their mom would have done for them.  This is not even the worst part.  Outside the door they found a bag, similar to a big burlap bag, with three cats inside it.  Someone put these cats inside this bag, tied up the bag, and then just dumped it off!  They were so beautiful.  I think the one was the mother of the other two.  They were very hot, as they were panting, and you could see the confusing on their face.  I wanted to bring them home, but there is no way I could have.  We already have two cats and two dogs and are on a fixed income.  But things like this happen more than people realize.  There are plenty of dog rescues around and people that work with dogs, but I have not found any that work specifically with cats.  I want to do something about this.  But it would take a lot of money and time.  It would also take convincing the husband.  (He is a good husband.)  I would like to build a catio and take in up to five cats at a time and adopt them out.  This way, I could continue the work of saving these precious creatures of God.  But it all comes down to money.  I would have to build a wall around my yard first, put in drainage ditches, put gutters on the roof, and then build the catio.  There is only one place that I could build the catio and that is on the front porch and when it rains it gets a lot of water on it.  So there is a lot I have to do to keep the water off of it.  No easy task.  Then there is the problem of coming up with the money of feeding them and getting litter for them while they are here.  We would have to have donations.  I feel like this is something that is worth while doing and I feel that it is a good cause.  If anyone has suggestions, please let me know.  You can always comment and I will get it in my e-mail first.  If you don’t want me to publish your comment let me know first.

Looks like he was laughing.  This was when we first found him.  He was still thin.

Duke-Looks like he was laughing. This was when we first found him. He was still thin.

She was so sweet.  This was when she was still sick and we had to keep her close.  Hated having her on a chain, but we spent a lot of time outside with her.

Grace-She was so sweet. This was when she was still sick and we had to keep her close. Hated having her on a chain, but we spent a lot of time outside with her.

The Princess Arainia.  Precious kitty.

The Princess Arainia. Precious kitty.

My favorite picture of Spot and Boo-Boo.  They were a pair!  Always playing together.  Now they are together across the rainbow bridge.  I miss them both so much.

My favorite picture of Spot and Boo-Boo. They were a pair! Always playing together. Now they are together across the rainbow bridge. I miss them both so much.

My Coal kitty.  Been with me for 7 years now.  Loves to give me kitty kisses on my nose!

My Coal kitty. Been with me for 7 years now. Loves to give me kitty kisses on my nose!

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5 responses

  1. Cats have it even worse here than dogs. You don’t see many cats,,,and there is a reson for it. They are less respected than even dogs.

    • There are a few in my neighborhood that are actually pets. I have seen people petting them. But there is extremely little help for cats. I do have a specialist in Santa Ana who loves cats and wants to only work on them, but she can’t support her practice that way.

  2. I have found that if you wait until a male cat is about 10 months old before you neuter them then their urethra will be more developed and less likely to plug up. Also, feed them better quality cat food with a lower ash content. Even the cheap chicken menudo (about c 1,000 for a good size package is so healthy for the. Liver, gizzards, and heart. Throw away the necks because of the bones. Best brand of dry cat food in Costa Rica and available almost everywhere is Nutri Source.

    • Forgot to mention that I boil the chicken giblets for about 20 minutes. No seasoning. The cooled broth water is good poured all of your pets kibble.

    • I do appreciate the feedback. But I do actually feed my cats Nutri Source. I have tried them on a homemade diet and they wouldn’t touch it. My one cat that passed away didn’t get neutered until he was over a year old, he was an alley cat that was brought to us when we lived in Ohio after he had been hit by a car. The other one didn’t get fixed until he was around 6 months old. He was only four weeks when we found him.

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