Animal rescues

Local animal rescues work together to rehome dozens of cats crammed into unsafe living conditions – St George News

ST. GEORGE- Several animal rescue agencies have stepped up to find foster homes and permanent families for more than 30 cats born into a home they never left.

Kittens donated to RSQ Dogs and St. George Animal Shelter, St. George, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Kelli Stokes, St. George News

A St. George resident contacted the St. George Animal Shelter after receiving an eviction notice, telling the shelter that dozens of young and adult cats were still at home. The cats were all born inside the house and never left.

Due to their isolated upbringing, the rehoming process is expected to be quite traumatic for all cats involved, and foster homes are currently being sought to help socialize the cats prior to adoption. Although the owner has no problem handling the cats, they are wary of strangers and hide when others enter the house.

In a statement, Kelli Stokes, founder of animal shelter RSQ Dogs, said 12 cats were removed from the home on Sunday and brought to St. George Animal Shelter, which will oversee each of the cats’ placements in foster homes. The shelter, however, has reached capacity, despite around 20 cats remaining with a number of rescues and inside the house.

Best Friends Animal Sanctuary is home to six fixed cats and RSQ Dogs has an 8 week old kitten litter and a 3 week old kitten litter with their mother. Stokes and other RSQ volunteers will enter the house again on Tuesday to trap more cats that are still there, even though the tenant has moved out. The organization also works to help provide foster homes.

Kittens donated to RSQ Dogs and St. George Animal Shelter, St. George, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Kelli Stokes, St. George News

One of the cats accepted into the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary was medically evaluated and euthanized due to injuries he sustained from prolonged neglect.

One More Chance Cats, a local feral cat trap and rescue organization, volunteered their services, spaying and neutering each of the cats. Kris Neal, director of the organization, told St. George News that raising cats in isolation can pose a problem in trying to adopt them.

“They haven’t been exposed to other people, so they like it, but visitors come, other people come and they run away,” Neal said. “They may or may not be adoptable.”

Neal said the organization works to prepare the cats for any situation, including having them vaccinated against rabies and cutting off an ear to indicate that the cats have been spayed or neutered, in case they become cats. outdoors.

Since working as a trap and release organization, Neal said she has been involved in dozens of situations like this. She said cases like this can be prevented by ensuring pet owners spay and neuter their animals.

“These situations go from two cats to 30 cats in less than two years,” she said. “The living conditions in a house with so many cats become horribly dangerous.”

One of the rescue animal facilities at RSQ Dogs, St. George, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Kelli Stokes, St. George News

Linda Thomas, feline medical director for RSQ Dog, agrees, adding that many of these cases can be helped with proper education and increased availability of resources.

“I think it’s just about getting resources,” she said. “Would that have helped this woman?” Yes absolutely.”

Rescues like RSQ Dogs, Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, and PAWS are non-profit organizations that provide resources to pet owners at little or no cost.

Best Friends Animal Sanctuary and the Humane Society have low-cost neutering and neutering programs for pet owners who may not have the funds to pay full price. One More Chance Cats has a low-to-no-cost spaying and neutering program for feral cats — also known as community cats — in Washington County.

Kittens donated to RSQ Dogs and St. George Animal Shelter, St. George, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Kelli Stokes, St. George News

For owners who can no longer care for their pets, there are also a number of shelter options in southern Utah, including several no-kill shelters.

“It’s not the only one, it’s just one that we became aware of,” Thomas told St. George News. “How can we help these people? How can we let people know that there is help available for people who don’t have the resources? Community resources are available to them.

Thomas hopes the community will understand that the woman did the right thing by approaching the shelter.

The City of St. George allows two dogs or cats per residence, but residents can own up to five pets with a “sports” license.

If residents want to get involved but aren’t able to help, Thomas said animal rescues always need donations, including money, blankets, food and bedding.

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