Two weeks ago, the Humane Society of Greater Dayton had to temporarily close all intake and adoptions of cats at our main facility following 20 cats that were abandoned at our shelter over a 24-hour time period.
“The cats at our shelter were all up-to-date on their vaccinations and the temporary closing was more of a precaution,” said Brian Weltge, President & CEO of the Humane Society of Greater Dayton. “After one of the abandoned litters tested positive to an extremely contagious virus, we wanted to ensure we did everything to protect all cats at our shelter and keep them safe and healthy.”
Sadly, within 24 hours of discovering the litter of sick and abandoned kittens at our shelter two of the seven passed away because their bodies were not strong enough to fight off the virus. We rushed the other five to an emergency veterinary clinic to receive round-the-clock care. Once stabilized, they were returned to the shelter where they were isolated and continue to receive the constant care and medical attention by our staff.
“These remaining five kittens are growing stronger with every day that passes, but they are not in the clear yet,” said Weltge. “We continue to give them the best care possible and hope that in a few weeks they will be strong enough and healthy enough to find the loving, forever homes they deserve.”
We ask the community to please keep these little babies in your thoughts as they improve. If you want to help, please scroll down and donate below. To care for the 20 cats that were abandoned as well as the emergency care needed for this specific litter, it is costing the Humane Society of Greater Dayton nearly $8,000. Your support and donations will directly help these cats and others like them receive the care they need to get a second chance.
“The community has been wonderful through all of this and we thank them not only for their support, but for their patience and understanding,” said Weltge. “The health and safety of our animals is always our main priority and we are grateful that we have the full support of our community as we save their lives.”
Please scroll down to use the donation form below to help save these cats!
Here is the Original Story
Our staff members hear it all the time – oh, I would love to work at a shelter and play with animals all day. Most days, yes, we all feel so fortunate to get to interact with and help the thousands of animals that come through our doors every year. However, like with any job, some days are more difficult than others. The past 24 hours have been one of the more challenging ones for our team.
In just 24 hours, we have had 20 cats dumped at the Humane Society of Greater Dayton.
With sweltering heat that can take your breath away even during the “cooler” hours, these helpless animals were discarded without a care.
A Morning Greeting
At 8:00 a.m. yesterday, one of our staff members was the first to arrive to the shelter. Before she could even get to the front door to unlock it, she was greeted by not one, but two litters of kittens abandoned at our front entrance. One crate had a mother cat and three kittens inside. The other carrier contained six sickly kittens that were covered in fleas and were very sick. We don’t know how long either carrier sat outside in the heat waiting to be discovered with no food to feed their bellies and no water to quench their thirst.
We quickly brought the cats in and as our veterinary team arrived, they began examining and treating these abandoned cats. Each kitten in the sickly litter were infested with fleas. They needed additional medical attention including eye medication and oral antibiotics to heal.
Round Two Begins
About an hour passes as our staff continues to intake these carriers when another surprise comes our way. Our lawn care company was mowing the grass inside our dog park when they discovered a mother cat and her six 4-week-old kittens loose in the dog park. The mother cat, which we believed was spooked by the roars of the lawnmower, scaled the nearest tree. She was visibly scared and stressed not just for herself, but for her six young kittens that were still on the ground. She had no idea where she was or what was going on. Our staff rushed outside and proceeded to spend nearly an hour trying to coax the scared mother cat from her perch high in the tree. Luckily, with patience, we were able to save her and all six of her kittens. All were also covered in fleas and needed additional care. We are just grateful our lawn care team was paying attention while they mowed the dog park, or the scene could have been far more gruesome.
Yes, these 18 cats were a lot, but thanks to our foster program, we were able to place the majority of them into homes where they are now able to feel safe and secure. Last night, these foster families provided them with the love and comfort they needed after such a traumatic day.
They Left a Note
Fast forward to 8:00 a.m. this morning. One of our veterinarians drove past the front door with a sigh of relief as she saw no carriers sitting outside our entrance waiting to be discovered. She pulled her car around to unlock our back gate and found a note by the lock that was rolled up in the fence. She opened it to find a letter from an eyewitness who was using the dog park to exercise their dog. The person witnessed someone throwing two loose cats in our dog park. They tried to catch the cats, but were unsuccessful. Concerned coyotes may find them as prey, they wanted to leave the note to hopefully give these cats a fighting chance.
Our staff spent this morning looking for these two scared and lost cats. One of our veterinarians found a juvenile cat and was able to catch him fairly quickly. However, the second cat has not been found yet. We’ve set out humane traps and our staff continues to search as we all hope to find the second one soon.
The Cost of Abandoning an Animal
To say these past 24 hours have been exhausting both mentally and physically would be an understatement. We are happy that we were here and able to help care for these animals. However, animals who are dumped like this can place a huge strain on all aspects of our organization. From the time and effort of our staff to the space within our foster or adoption programs to the medical care needed by our veterinary team, it hits us in all avenues of our organization. When you factor in the food, supplies, medicine, veterinary care, shelters, spay or neuter surgeries, microchipping and other resources as well, our shelter is expecting to spend $3,087.62 on just the care of these 20 cats to prepare them to enter our adoption program.
How You Can Help
With temperatures climbing to dangerous levels this week, it scares us that more animals may be abandoned and depending on outside circumstances they may require even more care and resources to survive. Yes, this has been a hectic 24 hours for our organization, but sadly we don’t know what our next day or week or month will bring. Please help us care not just for these 20 cats that were abandoned in the past 24 hours, but help us prepare for the future. Give today using the below form. Together, we can give these cats the fighting chance they need to thrive.