We had a brief break at the Animal Protection League through the month of December. The number of animals we had coming in and caring for were almost manageable. During the last two weeks that has all changed. We are crammed full once again with wonderful animals.
We had a woman bring in her mother cat and seven two-week- old kittens. The only problem was that someone had tied strings around two of the kittens legs; they had blown up like balloons. She told us she did not know how that happened. Mom and babies are now in a foster home. The runt of the litter may have a deformed leg because of this.
The next day another woman brought in a young cat. She allowed her young daughter to carry it into the shelter lobby where there were barking dogs. This frightened the cat who then tried to get away so the child screamed and threw the cat. I managed to get the poor little thing calmed down and in my arms. This is when I noticed her legs and paws were huge, just like those little kittens. There were tight rubber bands on all four legs. The woman who brought her said it was not her cat; just been hanging around her house. We removed the bands and slowly the swelling went down. She was starved so she was fed well. Her legs and feet seem to be recovering.
The next day a woman brought in her brother's (who is in jail and she wasn't going to take care of them any more) two, one-year-old pit bulls and the seven puppies they had produced. After much work we have been lucky enough to find a responsible rescue who will take them.
Then we had a man bring in his parents' 15 cats that they were caring for in their home. Another woman brought in her dog's two adorable chi-pom mix puppies and her cat. She said she could not take care of them anymore. I asked if she was going to get the mom spayed and she said they would want puppies later.
Someone else could not care for three stray cats and while she was talking to us could we take two Maltese as well? Her friend had dumped them on her and she simply cannot care for them anymore.
Clearly all of this presents a solid case of why we need people to spay and neuter their animals in our community. They have been irresponsible and when it gets too much they simply drop them off at the shelter only to start all over again because they refuse to spay and neuter even when we offer to pay for it.
It is also clear that the issues of animal abuse must be addressed as well. I hate to think of how many other animals have strings and rubber bands tied around their legs so the abuser can watch their legs and feet swell up like clown paws. I'm not really sure how to stop this, but doing nothing is not the answer.
Maleah Stringer is executive director of the Animal Protection League, 613 Dewey St., Anderson. She can be reached at 356-0900.