View Full Version : Breaking my Heart

11-06-2002, 11:45 AM
Reading all of these stories of people trying desperately finding homes for cats and dogs is beginning to really, really break my heart.

I really, really want to help. I am going to check in to volunteering at our only non-kill shelter right now, but what else can I do? My hubby and I are both full-time students and work during the day, so a monetary donation isn't very likely, at least not consistantly. I would love to help, but CAN'T take any cats in. It would make our three horribly upset. :( And I can't do that to them.

Any ideas on what else we can do??

11-06-2002, 11:58 AM
Hello NoahsMummy,

I am in the same position you are (a full time graduate student living on a student stipend). I know that I can't do much for all of the poor animals out there that need homes :( :( But I have taken to putting fresh food and water out for the stray cats in the apartment complex (the complex managed is okay with this). I have also made a kitty bed in a protected area if they want to stay. I know that I can not bring them all in (much as I would like to), so this is my small contribution to making their life a little easier.

Once I am finished and have a job I will be able to do more but that will come in time.

11-06-2002, 12:09 PM
this has been a hard year for little ones, and the people who love the little ones. money and homes are difficult to come by. your observations are well-taken by us animal people~~

the best i can do is take care of what i can take care of, and EDUCATE youngsters on the importance of the human role of stewardship. i take three of my very contented cats and my malamute on tours of the local schools~~up to and including college~~and let students interact with my fur children, with very close supervision. i explain about the critical-ness of speutering, and the link of violence to animals and to humans. i have found youngsters to be very receptive to what i say, and the expressions on their faces become so calm as they stroke the animals~~the critters love it too.

it is ok to open our hearts~~children still know this. it's important to reach them before their hearts have hardened.

i look at it as an investment in everyone's future. i can only believe that things will get better as humans take on the human role in earnest.

never miss an opportunity to educate~~


11-06-2002, 12:12 PM
That's really a great idea!! I think we'll start doing that too! Thank you for the suggestion! :)

I just got off the phone with the Humane Society. My husband and I have an orientation next Saturday! Yay!! I'm soooo excited!!! :)

11-06-2002, 12:47 PM
One thing we can do that is practically painless is look for NEW ways to help -

For instance - a lady that works as a bookkeeper at a motel has permission to take the bath towels that are old and donate them to a shelter.

a friend that works at a short-term nursing home collects up discarded plastic wash basins ( like a small dish washing pan) that every patient gets when they move in - but most people leave them behind. They can't be reused by humans, but they make good litter pans for a shelter.

These are just two ideas - keep using that PetTalk determination to find new ways to help!

11-06-2002, 12:49 PM
That's cool Kelly!! Do let us know what the orientation is like and what you will be doing! :) Volunteers are such wonderful and valuable resources! :D
I too am saddened by the lack of people's responsibility. If it weren't for irresponsible people, there wouldn't be such an animal surplus and so much neglect. I wish I had more time and money to help out with needy organizations. I pick two organizations to donate a little bit of money to once a year. I know it's not much, but it's all I can afford.
When I first moved out here, I was really involved with Town Cats, a local no-kill cat rescue shelter that also manages local feral colonies as well. I helped out at the shelter with socialization, medication and cleaning. I was also in charge of 2 local feral colonies. The Taco Bell colony and the McDonald's colony.
About once a month I would help out with the WCSV (Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley) where I helped with the rehabilitation of wildlife: particularly squirrels. The babies were so cute! Unfortunately there was a lot of euthanization going on there, because some of the wild animals would be so far beyond our help that putting them to sleep was the only humane thing to do. So heartbreaking!
Of course, I have "Crookshanks" right in my own backyard! Funny, but I remember the first thing I noticed about the neighborhood was not the people or the houses or what-not, but a stray cat. There was no doubt that she would end up at our "outdoor" baby. I would love to bring her in and make her an inside cat, but Aaron just won't hear of it. Our little house is just too small with our 2, especially with Scooter and his behavioral problem. I think she would be a great indoor kitty. She had to have been at one time. I keep food, water and shelter out in my enclosed backyard for her, but it just breaks my heart to see her out there. At least I was able to bring her in to my vet (who is also the Town Cats vet and participates in TNR programs) under the stray/feral cat program and for only $10 she was vaccinated, tested for FIV and spayed. I feel so bad for her. She is so thin. I don't understand it. I keep her bowl full in hopes that she'll eat more and gain some more weight. Especially with winter coming. If anyone would like to take her, or knows someone who would, do let me know. She definitely deserves to live a better life than I can offer right now. I think she may be a little on the older side. I have included a picture of her.

The hearts of animal lovers are so big, but so often overworked. I think anything that one can manage to muster...no matter how small...still makes a big difference in animals lives. I really think we animal people are something special.

Good suggestions AntiPam!! I think I'll go through some of my boxes of things because I'm sure I could find stuff to donate:) I know I have old towels (I had bought some new ones last year) and I wouldn't have thought to donate those!


11-06-2002, 12:54 PM
Those who shred their papers, may consider donating the shredded paper to shelters or even local vets. Lots of small animals love to snuggle in sheredded papers and some use it in litter boxes. It wouldn't hurt to call and see if they could use it. It would be a win win situation for everyone plus anyone wanting your private info would be less likely to get it from shredded soiled papers.

Edwina's Secretary
11-06-2002, 01:08 PM
Many of the shelters around here need newspapers -- to line cages etc. You could even collect them at your work and donate them.....

Tubby & Peanut's Mom
11-06-2002, 01:59 PM
Those who shred their papers, may consider donating the shredded paper to shelters or even local vets.

Many of the shelters around here need newspapers -- to line cages etc. You could even collect them at your work and donate them.....

These are both great ideas that I hadn't thought of! I shred papers at work, and even though I put them in a blue bag (Chicago's way of recycling) I always think that they are just being dumped anyway (do I have a lot of confidence in Chicago's recycling program or what?:rolleyes: ). So this is a great idea.

And with the newspapers, I guess I knew that because my mom used to do that up in WI, but it never ocurred to me that I could do it too. Sometimes I just wonder where my brain is....and no, I'm not blond. ;) :D

11-06-2002, 04:34 PM
I know how you feel, it breaks my heart too. all you can do is volunteer whenever you have time, donate whatever you can when you can, but another thing is to do what you can to "advertise" (is that the right word, my mind is going blank right now) the subject of spay/neuter, it is really an important matter, it would cut down on the number of strays.
you didn't cause the problem so don't feel too bad, I have to remember that for me too, I get so down sometimes when I see those poor caged cats. its because of people that are too careless to get them fixed.

czicat-- thats so wonderful of you to do that!!

11-07-2002, 07:14 AM
You all have some wonderful ideas and I am proud of you guys!! When I worked for the newspaper in CT, I would collect soda cans from my co-workers. I put up a sign asking them to bring them to me. Well, the response was overwhelming. I collected at least 3-4 Xerox boxes filled with cans per week. Roughly it was about $10-15/month. I'd turn the cans in and buy cat and dog food or supplies and donate them to the local shelters. They could be used for either the pets in the shelter, or the feral colonies they maintained. And believe me, there were ALOT of colonies out there.

Another idea is to take any old blankets or comforters I had. I borrowed my friend's sewing machine and cut them up in squares big enough for kitty beds. I also brought them to the shelters.

If I worked any overtime, I would go to Sam's Club and buy a couple of boxes of candy (at $11/box). I brought in a basket and put the candy in there, selling it for $1/bar. You'd be amazed at how fast the candy would sell. The people on the news desk would rather buy it from me knowing it was going to a worthy cause, than walk all the way downstairs to the vending machines. I also took the money ($1/bar x 36 bars=$36/box!!) and either bought supplies, or donated the money to the shelter.

I was in animal rescue for 5 years in Connecticut and got totally burned out. Noahsmom, I know exactly how you feel as well. I found that no matter how much rescuing I did, placing cats in good homes, asking only for reimbursement of the vet bill (which they would've had to do anyway), they were always out there. I compared rescuing to trying to "piss up a rope" (pardon the pun) The laws need to be changed (and I don't mean like the ordinance in Ohio :mad: :mad: ). The homeless cats that are out there didn't ask to be abandoned. And I think every little bit helps.

Oh, one more thing before I shut up and go to work...you can buy Rubbermaid covered tubs (green preferably as it won't draw attention to curiosity seekers) on sale and make little shelters out of them. Flip them over on their covers, cut a hole on the side and line it with newspaper and straw. This will give them a place to go when the weather gets too bad. Remember, when it's cold out, put a tiny bit of salt in the water so it won't freeze.

Curses to all the scumbag garbage pet owners who abandoned their pets, forcing their responsibilities on people like us!!:mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: There's a place for people like them and it's not upstairs either. :eek: :eek:

smokey the elder
11-07-2002, 08:30 AM
You can also write your State Senator or Assemblyman to pass a law like we have in NY. For each un-altered kitten we adopt out, we have to collect a $35 fee which will be reimbursed upon proof of alter. This is such a new law that the jury is out whether it's effective.

Volunteer groups are always looking for fundraising help. This includes hitting up merchants for donations for raffles/penny socials, etc. Also setting up/tearing down, putting up posters, vet and delivery runs for cats, publicity...Use your imagination! Only time required, no money.

11-07-2002, 11:27 AM
you go, Donna!

in addition to Rubbermaid tubs, i also use laundry baskets~~incidently, i am right near the factory~~maybe i should pay a visit to hit 'em up for free or discounted shelter stuff~~

i also use heavy-duty laundry baskets for shelters for my ferals. i buy some 1/2" doweling, and use stout, outdoor tape like duct tape to secure the doweling to the basket to frame it up for extra security. i cut two doors in it~~that way, the cats have a way out in case something like a raccoon would try to avail himself of the kitty food while kitty's inside eating. it helps the kitties feel more secure knowing they're not trapped.

i set the basket upside down, and cover it with heavy gauge, cut-to-size garbage bags, taped securely so they don't come loose in the weather, leaving a "window" on the leeward end so the kitties can keep an eye out. the basket is good in summer, too, because it has vents already.

i set the basket on a heavy, moisture-resistant ground cover~~an un-pressure-treated piece of lumber is good, because it sets the basket up and allows air to circulate underneath, plus provides a warmable floor, and line it with straw (non-toxic mulch works well, too)~~anything that won't hold moisture and freeze into boulders~~like towels and blankets.

then i stake the entire conglomeration down with tethers pounded into the ground~~kind of like staking a tent, but with the tethers (usually aircraft cable), snug to the basket so no one can get caught up in them.

remember~~two doors, an in and an out, are a good idea, so no kitty gets cornered.


11-07-2002, 11:35 AM
Here in and around Munich, many supermarkets and drugstores have allowed that shelters install boxes where people can drop cans of cat food. So whenever I go to these supermarkets, I buy a can of cat food or 2 and after the cashier there is the box where you can leave it. They are well accepted and I am sure the shelters get some food out of them.

11-07-2002, 03:09 PM
Thanks Czicat!

Another suggestion is to go to the pet stores and ask if there are any damaged bags of food. Most of them are more than willing to donate them rather than having to return them.

If everyone did a little something it would definitely make a world of difference!

I'm proud to be part of this site. There are some truly remarkable people here. :D

11-07-2002, 05:30 PM
Wow, what a tremendous resource this thred is!!!! I consider myself pretty educated when it comes to rescue..but I saw some things on here I NEVER even thought of.

There is soooo much that can be done without direct financial contribution. This year, instead of getting all the support people a smallish gift, I intend to contribute the amount of money to a shelter in the area.

And you know, when there is truly NOTHING else that can be done, one can always pray........

11-07-2002, 07:19 PM

Amen to that!! :D :D :rolleyes:

11-08-2002, 03:37 PM
Just look at all these really great ideas! I am so happy I posted this, there are so many ways I can help.

RE: prayer....it helps immensely!! Sometimes, that is all we can offer.

11-13-2002, 04:16 AM
a big thank you for all who responded with so many wonderful ways to help our kittys......

11-13-2002, 08:53 AM
I am impressed with all of these ideas. If there was a shelter nearby, I would volunteer my time to help. But alas, the nearest shelter of any size is 50 miles away, in Pittsburg Ks. There are larger shelters in Wichita, and Lawerence, but both of those are over 100 miles from here.:(