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I am totally distressed, angry and honestly stunned. I took the four-year-old Tom that I had been trying to trap for three years to a shelter. The shelter took him to a vet in Whitehouse Station NJ after we decided he would not be TNR. I had found a home for him - a woman who was going to socialize him (he's semi-feral and responds to his name Henry) and get him adopted. The shelter sent Henry and his eight-month-old some who I had also trapped to the vet in Whitehouse Station on Friday for neutering, shots, etc.
Went to pick up both cats today. Son went into the car. The shelter worked screamed as she put Henry into the car, "His eat is missing, what happened to his ear"?
He was rushed back inside where the vet tech examined him. No one had any explanation why 3/4 of his ear had been cut off. The vet had not told them. They vet was specifically told NOT TO do ear tipping. The cat is healthy and had no signs of frost-bite etc. The shelter was so astounded that they took PICTURES of Henry.
I am in shock. This is cruelty. Why and how did they cut most of his ear off. The kind woman took him as the poor creature stared out of the carrier at the two of us.
What should I do? The shelter advised me to call the VET - they will too.
 

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That is crazy excessive for a cropped ear as well regardless. :(

Whats done is done, so I'd just wait and hear their side of the story, but I definitely wouldn't drop the issue either.
 

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Poor little guy.

Hopefully this won't make a bit of difference to the wonderful woman who wants to adopt him.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The woman is the intermediary. She took him nonetheless. I am so so grateful. She will socialize him further and then try to place him. Poor Henry.

I wonder what explanation the vet will give me in the AM
 

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I think it will add to his character and make him even more endearing.

Unless there was something wrong with Henry's ear that wasn't visible to most people, this vet needs 3/4 of something cut off.......
 

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About half the ferals (8 or so) that came to live in my managed colony were tipped. Some vets do a terrible, excessive job. They basically mutilate the cat's ear. If I'm the one trapping and transporting the cat to the clinic, I specify No Notching. I make sure they write it down on the form.
I sympathize, I have felt the same outrage.
Why disfigure a beautiful animal?
 

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The local shelter can probably help you file a report with the Veterinary Board for your State. If you don't like what they say, get the local news involved.
 

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Was this vet doing a volunteer shift of TNRs? Not that it would excuse it, but I know here when they do that, they just have them lined up and the staff and volunteers work for 12-14 hours to get them all done.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I am going to do everything I can to get justice for this car. I will involve the shelter. I believe they are going to go after the vet as well. The head of animal control was apparentlly totally outraged. The shelter is extremely reputable so I have confidence they will assist.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I called the shelter. They said they specifically told the vet NOT to ear tip and that they were outraged to see the vet had cut off the ear. The vet did not tip/cut off the ear of the second feral they were doing for me. Apparently the vet DID NOT tip the ear of the feral the shelter had instructed them to tip.

The shelter told me to call the VET. I left a vague message saying there was a problem and I wanted the VET to call me back.

I wish I had the picture but the shelter did not email it to me as promised. I'll have to ask the woman who took the cat to do so.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Doctor called. There was nothing medically wrong with the cat's ear. She could not explain why she cut off so much of the ear other than "so it could be seen from afar."
I told her this was far in excess of a tipping. Furthermore, the shelter had told NOT to tip the ear because the male was not going to be RELEASED.
She apologized. I told her the shelter was so shocked that they took pictures and told ME to call her. One of the shelter's workers who has been in animal control for 25 years came to get a female today (she will also go into care), told me he had never seen anything like this.
I stressed to the VET how much this poor cat already had going against it. I was very calm. I did not accuse her, merely stressed that this went FAR beyond what's acceptable.
I told her I hoped this would never happen again to any cat.
I am still dumbfound. How a medical professional could maim an animal this way?
 

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I stressed to the VET how much this poor cat already had going against it. I was very calm. I did not accuse her, merely stressed that this went FAR beyond what's acceptable.
I told her I hoped this would never happen again to any cat.
You did all you could do. In making your point, the best thing that could come from this is the vet never does anything like it again.

Thanks to you, another cat won't have to go through this.

This summer I went to a local vet to pick up a little black feral that had been trapped and transported there by a member of a rescue group. The notch on her ear was beyond anything I'd ever seen, and I complained. You're exactly right - these cats have enough going against them without being disfigured.

There's always the chance that the feral will tame down and even be adoptable. But maybe a little less adoptable with half an ear. Should it make a difference? No. But does it? Sometimes.
 

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I think whenever shelters have cats...

with cropped ears, they should tell potential adopters upfront what that is before they actually see the cats. That way, they know what to expect and it won't count against the adoption. Many times, adopters just don't know and sometimes won't ask for whatever reason. They seem to think there is something wrong with the cat and will pass that one up in search for a 'normal' one. In those cases, yes, the cat loses out, but as with anything else, if you educate people first, they most likely will not react adversely.

I have seen a lot of cats ears cropped about 3/4 of the way. I think this is a lot more common than you may think.
 

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So sorry this happened to your kitty, minoulovesPrincess. After all ferals go thru and then stuff like this happens is so frustrating. The way you described the vet, she sounds clueless.

Sounds like that vet is not a cat person. I would do a wide berth around he in the future! I wouldn't care what kind of discount she would give to a shelter or TNR group.


Its really hard to find vets which understand ferals, shelter medicine, feral cat behavior, and the diseases outdoor cats pick up. Most vets practices only see indoor cats who are pets.


Weve cropped many an ear only to find out this cat is not a feral and needs to go in our foster program. I'm always blown away when potential adopters come in and complain about the ear. And wont choose that cat because of its ear!


One of the vet offices when we first started TNRing was too aggressive in tipping the ear. They were taking half the ear. They kept doing it till we got nasty about it, "tipping means tip-ping."
 
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