March 4, 2013
"This cat was picked up as a stray in Botetourt County; it was brought to the RCACP on 02/25/13 and must be held as a stray until 03/03/13"
So reads the description on the pound's website of a found cat. This guy is one of many listed with a number and the location where they were found. He looks kind of pissed off in the photo. He looks like any number of the seemingly gillions of cats that are found in our community. After seeing so many of those photos, it can get easy to pass over them. He does not have the pleading eyes of a puppy or kitten that reach out and grab you. It could have been easy to keep him at an arm's length and categorize him into a category of "there are so many, but we are working on a solution." But this future solution will not be ready in time for him. Nearly half of the cats that end up at the Roanoke pound are killed.
By chance, this guy got sick at the pound. And part of this solution we are working on involves a long standing agreement developed by Jill Deegan, Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney in Botetourt County, with Botetourt Animal Control where Angels of Assisi treats their sick animals.
Officer Crowder brought him over to our clinic to be seen. The cat got some IV fluids and antibiotics. We got a chance to meet this nondescript guy, and discovered that he is pretty awesome. He sat very still for the needles. He stuck his butt up in the air for a good scratch. That goofy spot on his nose that looks like dirt in his stray hold photo is actually a very cute and unique patch of tabby markings.
The thing that stood about him most, however, was that he trusted us not to hurt him. If left at the pound, the needles coming at him would have contained the deadly drugs that ended his life, instead of providing the fluids needed to heal. I wonder how many animals look up at the humans forced to kill them the way this guy looked up at us.
He is a shining example of why we can never, ever give up, until all of the healthy and treatable homeless pets in our community are guaranteed a chance of adoption. We've made a start, and to those who have broken ground in Roanoke, we thank you.
Ryan Clinton of FixAustin.org says that one of the fastest way to an adoption guarantee community is to find out which animals are being killed at your animal shelter (kittens? small dogs? puppies?); then (2) develop a program to save those animals, one category at a time.
One of the highest number of animals killed at the Roanoke pound typically has been orphaned kittens. Last year Angels of Assisi staff and volunteers developed a program for un-weaned kittens called the Itty Bitty Kitty Committee, and many kittens were bottle fed and cared for in foster homes instead of being killed. Orientation for the Committee is March 23 at 11 am, please email us for additional information.
Now is the time to act, and for us to be be trustworthy for the ones counting on us!