1 + 1 = 14: The Alarming Math if You Don’t Spay and Neuter
A FieldHaven volunteer took a phone call one afternoon from a distressed and caring woman. Her parents had both passed on and she was selling their farm to developers. If that wasn’t bad enough, there were fourteen “barn cats” of varying ages that needed to be removed before the developers came. Her parents had let “Tommy,” their pet, start a family, which had grown and grown. The volunteer gave the usual spay and neuter lecture, but felt upbeat and energetic and responded with, “Yes, we can help you.” Thus began six months of very hard work that still continues.
Of the fourteen cats, six were 4-month-old kittens, just past the age of being able to socialize. That would mean the risky business of relocating them, and hoping they would stay put. Often, if not done right, they get hit by cars or killed by dogs or wildlife. Three of the 4-month-old kittens were relocated to a wonderful man’s ranch in Lincoln. The momma disappeared, which still breaks our hearts, but the three kittens remain. Sadly, one of the 4-month-old kittens had to be euthanized. Animal Spay and Neuter found her to be very ill from a liver problem. Another of the 4-month-old batch was hit by a car before it could be trapped and removed with its siblings. Another heartbreak!
The last 4-month-old is in a foster home and needs more socializing. Her name is Sweetie. She loves to be petted and scratched as long as she is in her safe zone, her cage. You can even give her medicine, but she will not allow you to pick her up. Three of the original fourteen “barn cats” were tiny, 5-week-old kittens, and could be socialized if we could find another foster home that could take on the very time consuming task of socializing the kittens. The volunteer that received the original call took the three, 5-week kittens to her house for socializing. Once you look in their eyes you are doomed to socialize. One has been adopted, two remain.
The last four were breeding adults. Three had to be left there. We absolutely had no place to put them. A neighboring farm said they would care for them. Unfortunately, two of these were not altered because they continually elude the trap.
This story could have been prevented by spaying one male and one female cat. Please help us stop unwanted and homeless pets!