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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-28-2012, 03:05 PM Thread Starter
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I recently started volunteering at my local animal control. I always knew that they were a high-kill shelter but I had no idea just how bad the conditions are. They only have a vet there a few days a week. They don't take any precautions to prevent the transmisison of URIs, nor do they treat them. I met this cat on saturday when I was there, and she had just come in a few days prior and I noticed that she was stressed out and wasnt eating. She was already spayed and I thought that just maybe if I got her out of the shelter in time, I could get her to eat and then find her a home. I thought about it all day on sunday and I could not get her out of my head. I didn't want to come in next saturday and see her still not eating.

So, I went in on monday and adopted her.

Once I got her home, it was obvious that she had a pretty bad URI already. I put her in my foster room with a humidifier and a buffet of different stinky foods, but I could not get her to eat. I made an appointment at my vet for the next day. He did bloodwork to make sure that there was no liver damage, since we didnt really know how long its been since she last ate. He sent me home with some antibiotics and told me to continue trying different foods to get her to eat. Her bloodwork looked good, but he said we were not out of the woods yet.

Another day went by, and I could not get her to even show interest in anything food-wise. I was also having trouble giving her medicine, because she was just constantly drooling and had so much mucous being produced that it was choking her. I called the vet back, and we decided to try a feeding tube. The thought scared me at first, but after reading this article by Lisa Pierson, D.V.M., who I highly respect, it sounded like a good idea.

Feeding Tubes For Cats by Lisa A. Pierson, DVM :: assisted feeding of cats, feeding sick cats

She had the feeding tube put in yesterday. I picked her up last night after the techs showed me how to use the feeding tube, and gave me instructions on how to mix her food. Late last night she scared me, she was just so stuffed up and it seemed like she was struggling to breathe. She also peed in her litter box and then laid in it
I took her out of her litterbox and sat with her, but it seemed like I was stressing her out even more. She just wanted to hide in her box so I let her have her privacy.

This morning was much better. I fed her breakfast and sat with her, and she actually seemed to enjoy being petted. She had a little elevator butt going on, and she even purred a little It made my day.

Her name is Peach, and she is a sweetheart



I don't think I am going to continue volunteering at animal control. I will continue the fight to get them to change their ways, but I just cannot see these animals in the condition they are in first hand every week. Its gut wrenching, and I obviously cannot afford to save them all. This place needs to change BIG time, and its more than I can do by myself. I would rather volunteer for a shelter or a rescue that isnt completely in the dark as far as how they operate.


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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-28-2012, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by shan841 View Post
I recently started volunteering at my local animal control. I always knew that they were a high-kill shelter but I had no idea just how bad the conditions are. They only have a vet there a few days a week. They don't take any precautions to prevent the transmisison of URIs, nor do they treat them. I met this cat on saturday when I was there, and she had just come in a few days prior and I noticed that she was stressed out and wasnt eating. She was already spayed and I thought that just maybe if I got her out of the shelter in time, I could get her to eat and then find her a home. I thought about it all day on sunday and I could not get her out of my head. I didn't want to come in next saturday and see her still not eating.

So, I went in on monday and adopted her.

Once I got her home, it was obvious that she had a pretty bad URI already. I put her in my foster room with a humidifier and a buffet of different stinky foods, but I could not get her to eat. I made an appointment at my vet for the next day. He did bloodwork to make sure that there was no liver damage, since we didnt really know how long its been since she last ate. He sent me home with some antibiotics and told me to continue trying different foods to get her to eat. Her bloodwork looked good, but he said we were not out of the woods yet.

Another day went by, and I could not get her to even show interest in anything food-wise. I was also having trouble giving her medicine, because she was just constantly drooling and had so much mucous being produced that it was choking her. I called the vet back, and we decided to try a feeding tube. The thought scared me at first, but after reading this article by Lisa Pierson, D.V.M., who I highly respect, it sounded like a good idea.

Feeding Tubes For Cats by Lisa A. Pierson, DVM :: assisted feeding of cats, feeding sick cats

She had the feeding tube put in yesterday. I picked her up last night after the techs showed me how to use the feeding tube, and gave me instructions on how to mix her food. Late last night she scared me, she was just so stuffed up and it seemed like she was struggling to breathe. She also peed in her litter box and then laid in it
I took her out of her litterbox and sat with her, but it seemed like I was stressing her out even more. She just wanted to hide in her box so I let her have her privacy.

This morning was much better. I fed her breakfast and sat with her, and she actually seemed to enjoy being petted. She had a little elevator butt going on, and she even purred a little It made my day.

Her name is Peach, and she is a sweetheart



I don't think I am going to continue volunteering at animal control. I will continue the fight to get them to change their ways, but I just cannot see these animals in the condition they are in first hand every week. Its gut wrenching, and I obviously cannot afford to save them all. This place needs to change BIG time, and its more than I can do by myself. I would rather volunteer for a shelter or a rescue that isnt completely in the dark as far as how they operate.
Its definitely difficult to volunteer in those conditions. It's not healthy for the people either. I stopped volunteering for a certain veterinary-based 'rescue' after I took my Malamute, Carlos, from it. He's 12 years old and I took him out of there in late March this year. He had been at the facility for 9 days. Our stray hold is 10 days and he was going to be euthanized instead of impounded at County like he should have at day 1. In those 9 days he sat (blind mind you) on cold concrete, severe arthritis in his hips and knees, with abscesses all over his scrotum and inner thighs. He also had kennel cough and his fur was so matted that they thought he was neutered when in fact he's completely intact. They did manage to incorrectly diagnose him as heartworm negative, and they also managed to give him a annual booster-but no rabies vaccine (the one required by law). I had him groomed and we found the abscesses, I took him to an opthalmologist (40 bucks) and they said for 2 dollars a month in eye drops he'll be comfortable. Now he's happy as ever..

Feeding tubes can be very scarey. Does your vet have a nebulizer chamber that can help break everything up? I hope she feels better soon <33
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-28-2012, 03:32 PM
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Aww I hope Peach is all better soon... I can't volunteer at the shelter because I'd want to take them all home 0_o I already have four... When I went to get Yoshi, there were these poor older cats, one really depressed old senior orange boy, and tons of kittens going stir crazy because of being caged up They also had URIs going around but thankfully nothing as bad as poor Peach, and they are at least low kill...
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-28-2012, 03:48 PM
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Peach is beautiful! You should consider fostering for a reputable rescue group. The one I work with is great, very organized, the animals all get proper vet care paid for by the rescue (donations), and it's not tempting to bring them home because by the time I see them they are in good foster homes already. Plus I have met alot of really nice and supportive animal lovers.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-28-2012, 03:49 PM Thread Starter
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Feeding tubes can be very scarey. Does your vet have a nebulizer chamber that can help break everything up? I hope she feels better soon <33
No, he actually suggested the humidifier. I converted my walk-in closet into my "foster room" so its a small space and the humidifier seems to help. Do you think a nebulizer would do a better job?


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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-28-2012, 03:54 PM Thread Starter
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Peach is beautiful! You should consider fostering for a reputable rescue group. The one I work with is great, very organized, the animals all get proper vet care paid for by the rescue (donations), and it's not tempting to bring them home because by the time I see them they are in good foster homes already. Plus I have met alot of really nice and supportive animal lovers.
I already do foster for a good group, and they do a really great job. This was kind of a solo mission, I grew up near this animal control and it's always been a thorn in my side. Not to mention, if one of my cats escaped this is the place they would end up! (and my taxes are paying for it) I really want to see this place change, and I just wanted to get a first-hand view of what is really going on there, so I can have a better idea of what exactly needs to change, and what I can do to make that change a reality. And, I have seen enough, thats for sure!


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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-28-2012, 08:45 PM
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The humidifier moistens the air and used all the time. A nebulizer is used to deliver medications directly into the respiratory tract.

When I give Molly a nebulizer treatment I use a hand held set where most vets, shelters use a chamber to give the meds. My vet actually uses a fish tank to put the cat in and surround them with the med mist.

Peaches is a pretty little girl. I hope that she is feeling better soon.


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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-28-2012, 10:20 PM
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The humidifier moistens the air and used all the time. A nebulizer is used to deliver medications directly into the respiratory tract.

When I give Molly a nebulizer treatment I use a hand held set where most vets, shelters use a chamber to give the meds. My vet actually uses a fish tank to put the cat in and surround them with the med mist.
Like Leazie said, Nebulizers deliver medications directly into the respiratory system. Depending on the severity of congestion, this can help in addition with oral (or tube fed) antibioitics. If the cat can't breathe enough of the medication in through nebulization, then it's pretty useless. We have a chamber that we use at the shelter's vet clinic that hooks up to our nebulizer. We also have several hand held ones for foster parents to take home for chronic cases. I've never seen one used with a cat with a feed tube though.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-29-2012, 06:46 PM
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Awe, it's so awesome that you were able to take and help her. I hope she gets better very soon!

It is VERY hard volunteering in those situations.. I couldn't imagine going in there to witness the awful conditions.. Just thinking about it breaks my heart a little. But, Peach is VERY lucky to have you
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