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.