Cats, Kittens and S.H.A.I.D.
2014 has been another busy year at S.H.A.I.D. and since January to present, the shelter has taken in 212 strays, abandoned, homeless or unwanted felines. S.H.A.I.D. endeavours to help as many of these cats/kittens by attempting to place as many as possible into responsible and caring homes.
S.H.A.I.D. also strives to educate the public in responsible pet ownership and promotes the spaying and neutering of pets, and therefore would like to take the opportunity to provide SHAID’s policy on the intake of felines.
Lately, staff has noticed an increase in felines being brought to S.H.A.I.D. with the expectation that they can be dropped off and the shelter will take them in. Staff only wishes it could be this easy, unfortunately, like all other rescues/shelters in Nova Scotia and beyond, there are long waiting lists.
S.H.A.I.D’s waiting list ranges from 50-150 felines on average hoping to find shelter. We would absolutely love to take every cat/kitten that comes through the doors, and we eventually can…. but it takes time, patients, and understanding. If you haven’t called and had your name added to our wait list, then you will be turned away if there is no space available, whether you have a stray or unwanted cat/kitten.
At S.H.A.I.D., we have an intake process to follow which includes the following:
- we only take new cats/kittens if space is available in the quarantine room; and
- once space becomes available, we call those who are registered on our waiting list.
These kind folks have been caring for the cat/kitten, while they wait and sometimes it can be a long wait. S.H.A.I.D. is so thankful to people who has cared for a feline that are not theirs with love and kindness.
So, what is the quarantine room you might be asking? It is a room for new arrivals to the shelter and only staff is permitted to enter. Calls are made from our wait list, for up to 15 felines and they all arrive within a few days. The room is then closed the same day the last cat/kitten arrives, which means NO new additions for a 2-week period. For the safety of these new cats/kittens and our existing residents they are confined to this room for the quarantine period. During this period they are examined by our vet, and tested for feline leukemia, spayed/neutered, vaccinated, de-wormed and treated for fleas. This also provides an opportunity for staff to get to know their personalities, which, helps potential adopters find the best match for their home and family. After the 2 weeks has passed, providing all cat/kittens are healthy and we have enough empty cages, the cats/kittens are then moved to the general rooms for adoption.
You might have visited S.H.A.I.D., noticed several empty cages…, and wondered why staff told you the shelter was full? This would be an indication that there have recently been adoptions! HOORAY! These cages are now waiting for the cats/kittens that have been in the quarantine room for two weeks. The shelter NEVER adds un-quarantined cat/kittens to the general adoption rooms. This is not done for the simple fact that we don’t risk placing sick or unhealthy felines in with healthy felines, as this could cause every cat to become sick. We hope you understand, as S.H.A.I.D.’s policy does not permit this to happen.
Once the quarantine room is empty, staff begins a 4-6 day cleaning process to ensure that it is disinfected from top to bottom and it is ready for the next group of cats/kittens that have been waiting. This cycle never stops. So please understand when staff explains they are unable to accept any cats at that time of your visit. In fact, it breaks their hearts on a daily basis, to say there is no room. S.H.A.I.D. asks that you be patient, and understanding as this is a difficult position staff are placed in and they are unable to change the process. We are a small Shelter that does all it can to help as many as it can.
A few more points we felt may be of interest:
- S.H.A.I.D charges a fee for relinquishing any owned cat, kitten, dog, or puppy;
- S.H.A.I.D. does NOT take feral cats/kittens as they cannot be cared for and they are un-adoptable,
- S.H.A.I.D does offer Trap and Neuter (TNR) to anyone local wanting to care for feral cats/kittens, please contact S.H.A.I.D. for details.
- S.H.A.I.D. is non-profit and cannot reimburse peoples vet bills, we do offer the Myrtle Quigley program to help with spay/neutering, but ONLY for owned pets of local people that cannot afford to pay the full cost. Forms are available at S.H.A.I.D.
- S.H.A.I.D. calls in cats/kittens on entry waiting lists in the order of urgency, which means strays, are first, and owned cats are typically last. S.H.A.I.D understands there are emergencies, but we ask that good planning in situations such as moving you should call well in advance, as this may not be considered an emergency. We certainly understand that not all apartments/rental properties accept pets, but they are part of your family.
Staff invites you to drop into S.H.A.I.D or call if you have any questions regarding this article. As always we thank everyone for their kindness, their support, and understanding and S.H.A.I.D will endeavour to continue helping as many animals in distress as possible.
S.H.A.I.D Board of Directors and Staff.
Visit us at www.shaid.ca or, visit our Facebook by searching, Shaid Tree Animal Shelter.