by Lorraine Payette, written April 26, 2013
(GANANOQUE, ON) – Sometime in the early morning of April 24, someone decided to drop off two unexpected packages at the Gananoque and District Humane Society (GDHS). Inside the rather small and sealed boxes were 22 kittens, all still young enough to benefit highly from their mothers’ care.
“I arrived at the Shelter this morning and there were two boxes sitting on our front porch,” said Les Wonch of the GDHS. “I was immediately suspicious and went over, and sure enough, they were filled with kittens. Twenty-two tiny little kittens, barely weaned, desperate for food and shelter, left out in the cold for heaven knows how many hours. They were left out available to predators – we’re in an area that has foxes, fishers, coyotes and wolves. Any of these little creatures could have been torn apart.”
Although the shelter is happy that the animals were brought to them instead of creating a situation as was experienced by the dumpster kittens in August of last year, this is still not what they want to see.
“Someone chose to gather them all up without even leaving us a phone call, without a message, and certainly without any sort of donation towards their care,” said Wonch. “Obviously, we brought them inside immediately, checked them over as best we could. Our first priority was to get them warm and get them fed. So far, a few hours later, they seem to be doing reasonably well.”
The kittens appear to range in age from about 3 – 5 weeks, with the smallest ones still having the extremely dark blue eyes of animals whose eyes have just opened in the past day or two. While a few have been checked, the sexes of most of them are not known, although it is believed that they may be from about 4 – 6 litters. They have no fear or distrust of humans and are eager for love and attention, not understanding why they must be left in five cages in the isolation room at the shelter.
“Only time will tell how many of them we’ll be able to save,” said Wonch. “The stress of this type of situation and the trauma that they’ve been through is very hard on their systems. It would not surprise me if we were to lose some of them as a result of that stress despite our best efforts. We’re certainly going to make sure that we give them everything that we possibly can to avoid that possibility.”
Although a bargain to adopt from the shelter, each kitten will cost about $400 to bring to adoptable condition. They need shots, spaying/neutering, treatment for parasites. They need food and shelter and clean kitty litter. Everything adds up, and 22 kittens can work out to an expense for the Shelter of $8,800 or more.
Yet when you look into those bright blue eyes, hear those plaintive mews and cries, and get batted on the nose by any one of them, you know it’s worth it.
“We had to bring in six animals on the 23rd on an emergency basis and that completely filled our quarantine room,” said Wonch. “We had no choice but to bring these little creatures into our second stage area. We have two stages that animals go through when they come in. First to the quarantine room to make sure that they’re not carrying anything threatening that could destroy every animal in the Shelter, then they would move to the isolation area where they complete their initial rehabilitation, have any necessary surgeries and treatments, then be prepared to move into one of the adoption rooms. We had to bypass quarantine because it was completely full. We aren’t even at the end of April and already all of these areas are full. We will just have to hope that there is nothing that we haven’t caught here that could cause a problem elsewhere in the Shelter.”
Due to the good health, general cleanliness and social level of the kittens, it is believed that they were removed from someone’s home. The motive behind the removal is unknown, but the GDHS would love to know more. Where did they come from? Why? And why weren’t the mothers brought in with them? If only the kittens are removed from the original environment, then there is a definite possibility that the mothers will become pregnant once again and this will become an unending cycle. Better to bring the entire families in so they can all be spayed and neutered, preventing this particular household from suffering from this problem again in the future.
The Shelter appreciates that these kittens were not thrown out to die. However, they would like to have seen a different approach.
There is no charge to leave an animal at the Humane Society. Although donations toward the care of these creatures would be more than gratefully accepted, it is not required. It is preferred that animals be brought down during normal hours of operation (Monday – Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – noon), or that people call in advance to make an appointment to bring animals in. That way a history and an idea of special needs can be taken, and the animals can get off on the right foot. There is no shame in bringing an animal in, and it is far better to do it this way than to drop a box and hope for the best.
If a donation of any kind can be made at the time of drop off, this is also gratefully appreciated. The Shelter receives no government funding, no money from a central organization. They must raise every cent that they require through public donations, fund raising drives and hopes for corporate sponsors. Every donation is greatly appreciated and goes entirely to the welfare of the animals.
If you have any information concerning these kittens or for more information on how you can help, please go to http://www.ganhumanesociety.ca/ , call 613-382-1512 or contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org .