January 27, 2021

Hoarding tragedy reminds is that there are resources to help with pets when a crisis hits – Daily News

By haziqbinarif


Have you ever had the kind of week that made you just want to crawl under the covers and hide from the world while binging on ice cream sandwiches and mango margaritas? No? Anyone? Just me? Well, last week was one of those weeks for me.

I’m not ashamed to say (ok, maybe a little bit ashamed) that I am the world’s worst patient. When I’m sick or injured, I become a mopy, irritable, whiny man-child – and it’s usually best to just avoid me completely unless you want to be dragged into a melodramatic emotional meltdown that leaves you wishing for an antidepressant prescription with a double Bourbon chaser.

I wish I could say that’s an exaggeration.

I had just had knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus. The procedure itself was straightforward and simple – taking no more than about 20 minutes once the surgeon got started. I was home resting on the couch before I knew it, and really didn’t experience much pain at all. That didn’t stop me from being a total baby, though…because that’s just how I roll.

My pity party of one was cut short, however, when I was notified that we were going to be receiving 12 cats from a tragic hoarding situation. Suddenly my mildly sore knee didn’t seem like the end of the world anymore.

A property management company made the shocking discovery after one of their tenants passed away from COVID-19. These poor cats were alone and hungry, and were in desperate need of immediate help.

As soon as we took the cats into our care, our veterinary staff began the long process of carefully examining each of the 12 cats to determine their condition and provide any needed medical care.

Upon examination, we discovered that several of the cats have pretty significant infection in their eyes. The worst among them is a cat who holds his eyes closed most of the time because they’re so irritated and painful. It’s heartbreaking to see.

They also had pretty severe ear infections as well. One cat’s infection is so bad that it goes into his middle and inner ear, resulting in a lack of balance and perpetual head tilt. We’re not sure yet if he’ll be able to recover completely from it, but at the very least we’ll get him to a point where it doesn’t hurt or itch anymore.

A few of the cats have skin infections secondary to heavy flea infestations. For some, it makes them look pretty rough because they’re missing whole sections of fur from the irritation.

And at least a couple of them are expecting kittens.

The good news is they seem friendly towards people — which is often not the case in these kinds of hoarding situations. This will make it easier for us to find loving homes for them once they’re healthy enough to be adopted.

At this point, we’ve been able to get several of them into loving foster homes where they are getting personalized health treatment from some of our most experienced fosters. The ones who are not yet in foster are here at the shelter because they require a higher level of veterinary care at this point. But hopefully soon they’ll be able to enjoy the warmth and safety of someone’s home until they are well enough to be placed for adoption.

Perhaps my already delicate emotional state (ie, big whiny man-child) is to blame, but this situation triggers a lot of contrasting feelings for me.

On one level, my heart is full knowing that we’re able to help these poor cats; that they’re going to get the veterinary care they have been so desperately needing; that we’ll eventually find wonderful homes for them so they don’t have to experience this type of trauma again. It’s a perfect example of why this work is so important to me.

But on another level, my heart breaks with the knowledge that they had to experience these tragic, neglectful circumstances to begin with.

I don’t know the pet owner’s story. I don’t know what their life was like before they got sick. I don’t know how long the cats had to suffer alone once they went to the hospital. I don’t know how long it took for the property managers to discover they were even there.

What I do know is that the pet owner didn’t have a plan for their cats’ welfare in the event they got sick and weren’t able to care for them. Based on the severity of their health issues, they probably also didn’t have the financial resources or wherewithal to appropriately manage their veterinary health.

I’m not saying that to be judgmental, honestly.  It’s more an acknowledgement that they probably didn’t know there were resources available to them to help in the first place. They loved these cats in their own way, and things got out of hand. My heart breaks thinking of someone feeling that alone and helpless.

The truth is, most people don’t know that there are resources to help them with their pets when a crisis hits. They assume animal shelters like Pasadena Humane are just that: shelters. But we are so much more than that now.



Source link