Kittens abandoned by women
It certainly isn’t a cat’s life in the Carson Valley these days, and no one seems to know why.
Thursday night at the Pleasantview housing development in the Gardnerville Ranchos, two women were seen “dropping off” a total of 10 kittens from two litters in a field by the creek.
Neighbors saw puzzle pieces of behavior from the women before they assembled the whole picture and figured out what was going on.
“I live on Kingston and was putting my garbage out and a mother and daughter came by with their dog – a golden retriever or yellow lab – and I said ‘Hello.’ There were cats following them, and one of them ran into my garage, so I yelled, ‘Hey you’ve got a cat here,’ and the youngest of the two women came back to help get the cat out,” said Pleasantview resident Ken Sigmund. “Then, I saw another kitten come up and the women were walking fast – it looked like they were trying to get away. I got in my car and tried to follow them and lost where they went, but I have an idea where they live.”
Neighbors Karen Chalhoub and Sue Brockett got involved, and went to rescue the rest of the kittens who were huddled and scattered by the creek.
“We got seven the first night and three the next night,” Brockett said. “They were so hungry that they took the can of food I had put out, and ran off with it. We have them in my garage and they were all cuddled together the first night, purring. I can’t believe someone could just abandon them like that.”
Another abandonment. That same night, another litter of kittens was “dropped off,” this time outside the Animal Medical Services, Inc., veterinary office of Drs. Palmer and Len at 1355 Centerville in Gardnerville. This group of five young kittens wasn’t so lucky, as temperatures dropped below freezing that night.
“They were frozen solid,” said Joanna Shope, who works at the clinic. “As I touched them, one in the middle mewed and I picked it up and tried to revive it, rubbing it and putting it on a heating pad, but it died. I’m so mad.”
Third litter. Over at the animal shelter and headquarters for Douglas County Animal Control on Dump Road, supervisor Rhonda Moore said a litter of sick kittens had been recently dropped outside their office.
“They were all so sick that we had to put them to sleep,” she said. “I don’t know what is going on, but I do know that we need to get more people to spay and neuter their outdoor cats.”
Moore said the staff maintains a very visible bulletin board at the shelter, with plenty of “Free to good home” offerings.
“We only have the capacity to house so many cats and kittens,” she said. “In fact, right now we have 10 kittens and we really only have room for 5, so we’re overfull. But we do ask people to hold on to their kittens and we can put them on the bulletin board and we always get calls for animals. It’s not necessary to just throw them out.”
A little prevention. Moore said low cost spaying and neutering is available through the shelter for around $15 per spay. Dropping off animals runs $10 per animal, to cover medical, food and adoption costs, and in the long run if people would just do the neutering, unwanted kittens would dwindle in the Carson Valley.
“We can help find homes for these animals if people just give us some time – we adopt out so many cats and kittens, you wouldn’t believe it,” Moore said. And the younger we get them, the better.”
Donations to either or both of the two main accounts at the shelter – for sick and injured animals or for the spay/neuter account – are always welcome.
Call, don’t dump them. For more information, call animal control at 782-9061. If you’re interested in a Pleasantview kitten, call Brockett at 265-4633 or Chalhoub at 782-3754.