Shocking Shelters

The most amazing thing happened last night.  My husband suggested that we take a walk after dinner.  So, we harnessed up Cole and headed out.  As we were walking along the sidewalk, I saw something in the middle of the street.  I said, “Is that a dead kitten?

Just then, the kitten looked at me and Matt and blinked!  “It’s alive!” I shrieked.  “We have to save it!”  Cars continued to race over the cat, who luckily, managed to stay in the middle and avoided getting squished.  Matt then began to step out into the road and tried to get the traffic to stop.  One particularly rude driver nearly hit Matt with his/her 4 x 4 and sped on.  But, the woman driving the car behind the 4 x 4 stopped.

Matt carefully scooped the kitten up as we did not know if any of its limbs were broken.  We waved ‘thank you’ to the person that was kind enough to stop to allow us to save the kitten’s life.  We then made several phone calls and much to our dismay, the veterinarian’s offices that we spoke with stated that they could only keep the kitten overnight and would then have to turn it over to their local animal shelter.  This is not what we wanted to hear.  We have 6 dogs and have never really been cat people, but we know that sending it to a shelter is a death sentence.

So, we took the kitten home with us, making sure to keep our fur babies locked in their crates since we do not know if the kitten has any diseases.  Matt and I decided that we should give the kitten a bath.  The water turned brown from all of the dirt covering the poor baby.  That is when we discovered the fleas….and ticks.  They were crawling all everywhere!  Matt attempted to pick them off with a pair of tweezers.  We soon realized that we needed to give it a flea bath.

I sent Matt to Wal*Mart while I watched the quarantined kitten in the bathroom.  When he returned, I was amazed at how fast the fleas began literally dropping off.  We are lucky enough to have a large room attached to our house that used to be a barber shop, but is now our storage room.  We placed the clean kitten in a spare dog crate with a towel and some Fancy Feast.  We were not going to take a chance of our dogs catching something, no matter how kind we are trying to be.

I called my vet the next morning and explained our situation.  I was sorely disappointed to hear that I was not going to be offered a discounted rate since this was a rescued kitten.  I take all 6 of my dogs there.  I find it very hard to believe that they cannot give me some sort of a break for trying to be a good Samaritan.  So, this will probably cost me around $100 to have the kitten tested and vaccinated.

Then the debate begins:  Do we keep the kitten or give her away?  Matt and I figured that there must be no kill shelters in the area.  However, if I am going to be spending This kind of money on an animal, I am more inclined to keep it.  Matt thought of calling the Missouri Humane Society.  We have always been impressed with their gorgeous facility.

That is when we learned something shocking:  HSMO is NOT a no-kill shelter!  Plus, they refused to take the kitten because it is from Illinois!  Honestly, I am disgusted by this.  This is one of the nicest shelter facilities that we have ever seen.   Classical music plays in each room to sooth the animals.  Small, plastic dishes with treats are attached to each dog pen so that treats can be given by visitors to the dogs via a large plastic tube.  This shelter receives thousands of money each year in donations through special events as well as private donors.  They even made enough money to build a second facility.  How can they not be a no-kill shelter?  What are they using all of that money for?  The last time I was there, there were hardly any animals present.  This disturbs me greatly.

And shouldn’t they want to help animals out no matter where they are from?  I have adopted two dogs from the St. Louis Senior Pet Project.  They did not discriminate against me because I live in Illinois.  We are only 45 minutes away from St. Louis.  Hundreds of people commute to St. Louis from Illinois daily for their jobs.  But, the Humane Society of Missouri is snubbing us because we are from Illinois?  My opinion of this group has drastically changed.

I am a huge animal advocate.  If I can save an animal’s life, I will.  Obviously, I am not going to become a crazy hoarder, but I will do my best to aid an animal in need.  I thought that was the point of a shelter, to provide shelter.  Protection.  Not a one way ticket to death’s door.

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