Berwick shelter overwhelmed as donations stall after 38-cat seizure

Posted Oct. 15, 2013, at 8:45 a.m.

BERWICK, Maine — Red Barn Professional Pet Services is still in need of donations as they continue to care for some of the remaining cats that came in over Labor Day weekend’s 38-cat seizure, which led to an increase in feral cat awareness that has delivered a steady stream to their door.

Owner Peg Wheeler still has 25 cats housed at Red Barn, but donations have come to a halt.

As Wheeler only has a contract with the town to take in and care for stray dogs. She cares for any cats brought to her out of her own pocket.

She has been able to care for and seek medical attention, including spaying and neutering, for the cats thanks to a large influx of donated food, supplies and money that came earlier in September.

“We were able to cover the veterinary costs for the 38 seized cats with the donations,” said Wheeler. “That’s insane to think we were able to do that.”

Wheeler partnered with Lucky Pet Animal Hospital LLC. to set up an account to fund the spaying and neutering. Donations can still be made directly to this fund. Through this and the recent reduced cost clinics offered in town, many of the cats were able to receive the surgery, but kittens are still being born and others are just reaching an age where they can be spayed or neutered.

Two litters of kittens that were born after the seizure are currently at Red Barn and one of the mother cats may be pregnant again. Those kittens have yet to be spayed or neutered, but are scheduled to be brought to Lucky Pet on Tuesday.

Wheeler said seven of the cats will be headed to foster homes on Tuesday as well and she also has two litters of kittens that came in separate from the seizure.

“Cats have continued to come in,” said Wheeler, who explained how the incident has raised awareness about feral cats and led to more being brought to Red Barn. She said more than 25 cats have come in after the seizure.

Although Red Barn receives a lot of calls for people wanting kittens, some have become very rude and accused the business of not adopting the cats out or even euthanizing them in the backyard.

Wheeler said this all stemmed from the problem that so many people are calling in to give a kitten a home, but want them for free. Although the kittens do all need homes, and Wheeler appreciates all the support, she would like to remind people to please make an adoption donation to at least cover the cost of their veterinary care and spaying or neutering operations.

If no one makes these donations, Wheeler is covering hundreds or thousands of dollars on her own as she hasn’t received any additional monetary donations or to the fund at Lucky Pet.

She said on Monday, “After vaccinating and neutering this group, we’re going to be in a tight spot paying the bills.”

More kittens will become available as they reach a mature enough age to leave their mothers and have gotten their necessary veterinary care. Wheeler said the youngest kittens wouldn’t be ready for adoptive homes until around Thanksgiving.

“It’s great that so many people are interested and want a kitten because they’re adorable,” said Wheeler, who added the foster homes have been great at socializing the most recent litters.

The kittens and their mothers are all healthy, playful, curious and very cute.

For information on adopting, fostering, or to make a donation, call Red Barn Professional Pet Services at 698-4580, or to make a donation, visit Lucky Pet Veterinary Hospital at 21 Commercial Drive or call them at 698-5225.

Distributed by MCT Information Services

 

SEE COMMENTS →

ADVERTISEMENT | Grow your business
ADVERTISEMENT | Grow your business

Similar Articles

More in Portland