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Old 12-16-2010, 12:18 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Working at a shelter can be so difficult...

I used to volunteer at the Animal Rescue Network (a no-kill shelter in Montreal) for 3 years, before having to stop due to the amount of schoolwork and having a part time job...

After a year of missing the cats and the volunteers, I decided to have a look at the website... and at the Rainbow Bridge...

Four of the cats I had initially started working with have already passed away over the past year... and my favorite cat, Moka, who has been at the shelter for years due to his aggressiveness is developing teeth problems...

I hate how we all get so attached to the animals It just makes me sad that none of these cats could find a forever home before they passed away...

I really wish I could take Moka in, but I have two cats already, and seeing as he is extremely territorial and aggressive, he'd only do well in a one-cat household...

I'm just... really sad right now... I felt that I needed to share
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Old 12-16-2010, 12:39 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Working at a shelter can be so difficult...

That is really sad that they didn't find forever homes before they passed.
But at least you have the comfort of knowing that they were at a no-kill shelter, and that wonderful, and loving people were taking care of them. I think that's what counts most, right? At least they weren't put down before their time, and at least they weren't in any abusive/uncaring environments. I hope knowing that comforts you somewhat.

It'd definitely hard losing an animal you are close with. But, at least they were well cared for.
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Old 12-16-2010, 12:48 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Working at a shelter can be so difficult...

I can't even go near our local shelter, it breaks my heart to see all the sad faces. Petstores arr horrible too, especially because our local petstore has had hedgehogs, sugar gliders, you name it. I wish I could buy them all.....
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Old 12-16-2010, 01:41 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Working at a shelter can be so difficult...

I would say working at a shelter is probably one of the hardest things to do in the world of general employment, my mother worked at our local shelter for 5 years (not a no-kill) and its one of the reason she left, just the stress of it all, much of it from the fact its a no-kill shelter, but they just don't have the money or resources to be a no-kill. The point she quit was over a kitten that was going to have to be put down. They have no isolation cages or rooms, so if kittens came down with URIs, the litter would have to be put down, otherwise it would risk all the other litters. There was one kitten named Monkey, found literally an hour after she was born, abandoned. The shelter manager had hand fed this kitten and raised her, and she had grown into an healthy kitten, but then contracted a URI, and was going to be put down. It pissed my Mom off, because the shelter manager had done all this work, only to give up on her. She threw Monkey in a carrier and left, and never went back.

Sadly Monkey only lived for a year and half, she passed this summer. She became kind of ill and we took her in, first being diagnosed with an inflamed uterus, but when they went to spay her, found she literally had cancer on all her organs, and was put down. Obviously her mother had abandoned her, we know animals can sense when something is majorly wrong with a baby, but still. Shelters are heart breaking, and I never went there because much like Hercsmom, it was too hard to just leave them there. There's too many sad cases, I mean....

#9: Monkey [RIP]: URI, died of cancer sadly.

#8 & #7: Ugly Girl & Pretty Girl, one had their mother die and was fostered with the others mother, both came down with URIs.

#6 & #5: Seven & Velvet, Seven is a carrier of feline URIs and of course as a kitten was going to be put down. Velvet is the case of a non-no-kill shelter, she had been there for 8 months since she was a kitten living in a cage, it was the busy season and a group of four came in, so she would have been put down. I brought her home, poor girl didn't even known how to jump she had been in that cage so long. Now she's an expert who can jump from the floor onto my shoulders without digging any claws in (and I'm 6'4").

#4: Lucy, my queen. She was 13 when dropped off by her one and only owner who had her since she was a kitten. She was having a baby and didn't want Lucy to get in the way, horrid, and because of her age, adoption would have been hard. I was at the shelter at the time and my Mom showed her, I didn't even really check her out and said 'bring her home'. She is my queen, who follows me around, always in my bed with me, and the only one who gets wet food. She's now 18 years old.

#3 & #2: Gozer and Zuul (ala Ghostbusters). Gozer is a brown tiger who was suffering from severe dehydration, a URI and what we call 'Fading Kitten Syndrome'. FKS is basically where a young kitten ends up alone, and they basically lose the will to live. So we brought him home, he was the first one from the shelter. He's a big brother amoung all the others and he'll be rubbing against me looking for love when they're putting me into the ground. Zuul is my mom's cat who was suffering from FKS, she's very shy and only my Mom's cat, most of the time she'll run from anyone else.

#1: Kenny, who isn't a shelter cat, but a kitten my brothers ex-girlfriend snatch away from two kids attempting to drown him in a puddle. He's the Alpha Male.

But its hard, but think of this. When you're done with school and find a place you can settle and call your own, you can be crazy like me and end up with a giant herd. We've declared that once you get into the double digits numbers with cats, than you're probably insane like the Cat Lady on the Simpsons. Since Monkey has passed we of course now have an open slot. But I can say that I live in a house that's a touch under 1000 square feet, and you really don't notice all these guys. I did build them a 10x10 chainlink fenced in yard off the bathroom so they can get outside and enjoy the good weather, but its the best you can do in this world. Truthfully our plan had been to nurse these kittens back to health and return them for adoption, but yeah....

Its a hard knock life at the shelters, thankfully we do have them. We and the 8 Apostles will send good juju towards Moka.
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Old 12-16-2010, 08:30 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Working at a shelter can be so difficult...

I do volunteer work at a shelter, but I think the shelters here are a lot different from the shelters in America. Here we don't put animals to sleep unless we really have to! The dogs and cats are 98% the rejects of ppl and all have something wrong with them.
I can understand why ppl wouldn't want to work in a shelter.. But without the ppl who do work there those animals would be lost,alone and probably dead..
We had this awesome little 9 month old english staffordshire terrier at the shelter, I fell head over heels for him! He had some issues with his leash and just had to much energy, normal because he was still a baby, so his owners didn't have enough time for him and dropped him off at our shelter. He could nip at you every now and then but it was more his intent to play then anything else. A month went by and somebody came to adopt him! I was sad he was leaving but happy that he found a home Last week I heard that he had been put to sleep I didn't come in for a few weeks cause my grandpa died. The dog had been brought back due to biting/nipping at ppl. One of the interns was taking him inside and he attacked her! He bit her in the arm and legs, she had to go to the hospital and had her arms stitched up They then decided he had to be put to sleep.. I was very sad when I heard this I think with the proper training and proper owner he could have been a great dog!

On another note: They are trying to pass a law here which I find very good! They want ppl who want to buy/keep/own a horse to get a diploma! Without the diploma you can not have a horse
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Old 12-16-2010, 11:01 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Working at a shelter can be so difficult...

I'm so pathetic, I could only read the first sentence of each thread...and I'm near tears. I applaud people who do work/volunteer in shelters cuz, as Evelyne said, we need people who care to do the work. Snarf arrived with a wheel, bottle, litter, food more appropriate for rodents. I have been working up the courage to deliver them to our local shelter...maybe I'll meet the staff across the street.

I love animals but the pathetic, blubbering mess I would be upon arrival would make me a pretty useless employee.
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Old 12-16-2010, 02:33 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Working at a shelter can be so difficult...

Quote:
Originally Posted by MissC
I'm so pathetic, I could only read the first sentence of each thread...and I'm near tears. I applaud people who do work/volunteer in shelters cuz, as Evelyne said, we need people who care to do the work. Snarf arrived with a wheel, bottle, litter, food more appropriate for rodents. I have been working up the courage to deliver them to our local shelter...maybe I'll meet the staff across the street.

I love animals but the pathetic, blubbering mess I would be upon arrival would make me a pretty useless employee.
You and me both....i'll be really emabarrssed if someone walks past me right now, i keep having to blow my nose and my eyes are watery

i got up to 15 cats (and 3 big dogs) at one point - mostly "acreage" or "farm" cats. We inherited most of them with our acreage and the 2 old female cats (16 years old both of them) were both pregnant when we got there. When the kittens were born we had every single cat / kitten spayed or neutered and 2 old gals lived out their final years in peace it cost me a fortune in cat food / vet bills that's for sure - i don't subscribe to the theory of just leaving farm cats to their own devices. They had warm / dry shelter (they could come in the house if they wanted - and as very young kittens they stayed in the basement in the winter) They were all as friendly and affectionate as any house cat. They had lots of attention and I fed them as many kibbles as their tummies could cope with - the dish on the doorstep also attracted transient cats looking for a meal and a passing skunk who hung out for the winter with us.
Sometimes I would walk across our fields looking like the Pied Piper of Hamelin (cat version)
Cat wise i just have Cleo now that i'm in the City...he came with me from England.

I have great admiration and respect for people who work and volunteer their time in shelters. I couldn't do it I don't think... i wouldn't be able to leave a shelter without taking all the furries with me.....
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Old 12-16-2010, 02:44 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Working at a shelter can be so difficult...

I had difficulty in my Vet Tech job for the same reason. Owners not caring for their pets, abandoned strays, the person is willing to bring it in but not willing to drop a load of cash on a stray. (what can I say, I didn't have the money for the strays either) People who say they will love the pet forever when they get it only to realize forever, or 10-12 year average life span, is a LONG LONG TIME once the newness has worn off.

Heartbreaking, all of it. And yet worth it. One day I took home a 3 day old kitten. Momma was a stray, the rest of the kittens were stuck inside, so they put down momma and the unborn kittens (ugh!) and I took the born baby home and fed him every 2 hours. He lived 16 years, I miss him to this day.
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