So as most of you know I do dog/cat rescue and have been my whole life. Mostly I just used to pick up strays and even if I knew they were strays I would post FOUND signs around after I caught them. I get them fixed/micro chipped/UTD on vaccines and all go to their homes with a 1 year health plan and if the owners can no longer have them they can return them to me. They also go with a Bag of food and free food for 6 months provided be me, Cage/carrier, toys, treats and bedding, collar and name tag. Yes this gets costy but I love helping animals, it is the most rewarding job ever.
To my point......
So, this lady came to my mothers church asking for a ride home (she was in a wheelchair) and food, so my mother gave her a bunch of food and a ride home. So when my mother gets to her house there are kittens and adult cats running loose EVERYWHERE! The lady asks my mother if I can take the kittens and find them ALL homes (my mother had told her I do rescue) So my mother told me about it and of course I said yes.
When you pulled up to her drive way you could smell cat pee/poo before you were even by the house. Once I was inside I couldn't even breathe (no lie), their house had several layers of cat fecies and junk coded EVERYWHERE!. All of the kittens looked horrible and skinny and all looked sick. The adults were the same way but more ferral, and some were so bad off that their eyes were glued almost totally shut. Kittens and cats were running everywhere and the kittens were extreamly hard to catch, but everytime I caught one I'd give it to the husband who would just grab it and throw it hard into the carrier.
We went that weekend (OCT. 27) and picked up all the kittens (12) and took them to my house, bathed them, cleaned their ears, trimmed their claws, fed them and everything else.
The following morning (OCT. 28) I called the vet to take them in. When we got their the vet diagnosed the three we took in with Upper Respritory(sp), Ear mites and Conjuctivitis. She gave all three kittens injections for the ear mites and priscribed the eye ointment and Amoxicillin for the Conjuctivitis and Upper Respritory, enough for 12 kittens and said they had to be on both meds. for 10 days.
Now on top of that, we had to buy a refill on the eye ointment.
I placed an Ad in the paper last thursday, the 9th, for the kittens to get new homes. They had already been off of the medicine for a day but we couldn't find them homes untill they were off. Three of them went by that Saturday. The rest went pretty fast too. Now I only have four left but all are spoken for.
So today, My mother calls me and tells me that she has spoken with the lady who gave us the kittens, Sandy is her name. She was asking my mother when she was going to get her kitten back, the one she told us she wanted back (Bear) after we took them.
This couple already has EIGHT adult cats that AREN'T fixed nor do they have any shots and haven't been near a vets office their whole life.
Anyway, so after we took the kittens Sandy tells us that they want to keep the Gray male and Bear (which would make a total of TEN cats), we said we weren't going to promise anything.
I found Bear a home almost a week ago, when my mother told Sady this she started saying stuff like "well your daughter had no right to find my kittens homes" and everything else. This lady is already breaking the law and if I call the pound on her, or if someone else does, they will take one look at this situation and take all of her cats and make it so she can never have any animals again. Sandy didn't understand this and through a fit.
I told her that I would be willing to work with her and fix all of her cats, get them micro chipped and UTD on all vaccines on one condition....She finds SIX of her current cats homes.
There is no way I am going to upset the people who have already adopted Bear just because this lady wants to have a 'cute' Kitten, but what happens when the kitten gets older like the rest of her cats, then she will just keep getting kittens after kittens and will just like them untill they grow up.
Well, now she is telling me that she is going to take me to court if i don't give her Bear back, but if she took me would she win? I highly doubt it.....
Oh yeah, and these people are mentaly challenged and complain to everyone how they dont have food or money, but they have Satalight disk T.V. and they have more food then we have at my fathers AND mothers house combined....
I don't know, I really need opinons on this one... I know it is against the law to have over three dogs in one house hold UNLESS you get licensed and have to pay fees. I think it is the same way with cats too, unless I am mistaken.
Tell her to go for it, if she wants to take you to court.
If she's crying all the time about having no money, and judging by the condition of the cats when you picked them up, she isn't going to invest the money OR the time to give you grief.
In addition, you have medical bills you will need to be reimbursed for. Think they'll spend the money to pay you back?
I'm thinking NO.
Then, you know what kind of condition her house is in. All you'd need to do is make it a condition of the court that her house be visited and deemed appropriate for a cat to live in before ANY cat is returned to her.
*Tell her* that if she takes you to court, you'll request the home visit and ALL of your costs reimbursed, and see what she says.
I'm guessing you won't hear anything more from her after that...and if some wacky thing happens and she does take you to court, then please let us know so we can bring popcorn and come watch.
I would not worry about it at all! I would call animal control lik the last post suggested! She probably doesn't even have the money to take you to court if she couldn't even buy food for herself and i would be worried that if she can't buy food for herself how are the cats eating??? I would defintly call animal control!!!! Those living situations ALONE they will take the animals let alone if there is a limit on how many you can have!!!
I feel bad for the animals, but this lady also needs assistance. If it was me and her house looked the way you described it I would be calling the department of human services and having them do a welfare check on these people. I would also let them know that you do rescue fo animals and would be willing to help find homes for what she has left.
Just to be on the safe side talk to the people who took in the cats you've found homes for and see if they'd be willing to testify about the condition of the animals they got. Take pics of as many of the cats as you can as soon as possible before they start putting on weight. Talk to the vet and see if you can get an official statement as to the lack of medical care the cats had. If the cats were not being fed, were sickly, kept in filthy conditions (cats are clean animals), and the people keep telling people they have no money then I don't think they'd win in court against an agency such as the Humane Society or Animal Control. On the other hand, you as a private citizen do not have the legal authority to remove someone's animals without their permission, you have the right to call the authorities to remove them. Since she gave you permission you should try to find some way of proving it. Maybe you can bring an impartial neighbor with you to talk to her about the cats and that person can be a witness for you that the woman discussed letting you take her cats and find them homes. Contrary to the above posters, if she claims you took her cats without permission all she has to do is file a police report and it will not cost her a thing to do it. The police would take it from there as a criminal case. She wouldn't need a lawyer. I'd sic the Humane Society or Animal Control on her before she has a chance to do that and sit back and see what happens.
***Edited By: arachyd on 11/15/2006 8:17:09 PM*** Reason: add
Did you take any pictures of the kittens PRIOR to bathing and taking them to a vet? This would be very helpful for anyone who does get involved to know the situation they came to you in.
Of course they could see her house looking terrible but then it would be her word (the kittens were fine) and your word that they were not fine. Pictures would help as would maybe a letter from the vet saying that the kittens were in OBVIOUS NEED of medical attention. I emphasize the word OBVIOUS NEED (just by looking) as to not cause another loophole that the owner was not aware the kittens were ill. If they are mentally challenged they may be able to say they didn't know the kittens were in distress.
I don't think it would go to court though. She willingly let you take the kittens and again it is her word against yours regarding returning Bear to her.
Animal control would maybe help persaude her to get the remaining cats fixed before they all have more litters and the problem starts over.
I applaud you for your efforts and care for the kitties!!
I too would like to say, thank you for caring to get involved and take on such a big job. You even went so far as to put out your own money for veterinary expenses. Good going and big pats on the back!
i think she is just threatening. i really doubt she will actually do anything. if her house is as bad as you say, then she has to know it too. after all she lives in it. she sounds like a hoarder. they mean well at first, but after awhile, the more animals they take in, litters being born, food to buy, etc, they just get overwhelmed. you were doing her a huge favor, and deep down, she knows it. if animal control were involved, they would take most, if not all, of her pets. so she is very lucky that it was you and not animal control that interviened.
Thanks you guys, and yes the house is as bad, if not worse now, as I explained. I am calling animal control tomorow first thing once I wake up and I will tell them that I am offering to take some, if not all of the adult cats into custudy and fix/micro chip/and give vaccines to them then find them new homes. Hopefully the AC will work with me and let me do that.
Here's my opinion... Hoarding is a disease. You could have fixed and cared and returned all of those kittens and fixed all of her cats, but the truth is, she'd probably get more and the problem would get worse.
In my opinion, you can only call AC. Besides jeapordizing the cats health, she is only hurting herself. She needs to devote any funds she has to taking care of herself. The issues with the filth would only make her worse.
I think you did the right thing. She may be ticked off about it, but she has a disease and it can't be stopped by just stepping in and fixing her mess one time. I'm sure she's a good person, but it is a disease.