Do you take care of pets that aren't yours? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 02-19-2007, 03:01 PM
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I was just wondering what you folks do about strays, lost pets, wild animals, etc.



I always feed stray cats. They frequently break my heart, but I have 3 cats now, and can't really take anymore in. I don't want to call animal control ( for obvious reasons ), and I've tried calling the spca on a few occasions, but they don't come. Plus, I don't think that I could really get the cat to hold until the spca COULD get there. So I just give them tasty food, and some love if they'll let me.



So what do you folks do in these situations?
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#2 Old 02-19-2007, 03:07 PM
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I rescue and re-home cats and kittens. Last winter I rescued and re-homed 4 Siamese cats, 3 of them severely underweight. This past summer I rescued and re-homed 4 kittens and their mother plus another cat who was abandoned by its family. And just about a month ago I rescued a kitten which my fiancé and I kept.



In the case of a wild animal I'd take it in to a wildlife rehabilitation center if it were in danger or call in and ask them to come get it.
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#3 Old 02-19-2007, 03:14 PM
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I ...rescue and re-home cats and kittens...



How?
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#4 Old 02-19-2007, 03:18 PM
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There doesn't seem to be any strays where I live. When I first moved here I inherited a beautiful black cat who came to my back door every morning and night for about six years. I always fed him but couldn't get near enough to ever touch him. I got a few good scratches by trying. Other than that I feed the birds, squirrels and deer.

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#5 Old 02-19-2007, 03:20 PM
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I get calls a lot. People know I help out animals. I bring them into my home, feed them and give them fresh water, and then I'll start scoping out new homes for them using the internet and newspaper.



Besides Captain, who was a frail little monster when my friend handed him off to me. I intended to re-home him, but he slept on my stomach that night. I love my kitty.



[I keep an extra litter box and food and water dishes here for rescues].
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#6 Old 02-19-2007, 03:21 PM
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Do you have to keep them in a separate room than your own pets? And does it cost you a whole lot of extra $$?
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#7 Old 02-19-2007, 03:23 PM
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We have about 4 kittens living in our garage right now. They come and they go. I tried feeding them when I first noticed they were around but the raccoons and possums eat the food up. I think the kittens might be getting food elsewhere now because they look OK to me. They are getting older - I am sure maybe 7 or 8 months. Now, that the weather is getting warmer I am hoping I can find a shelter and catch them up. The neighbors complain that the kittens got into their garbage -weird because they didn't go in ours and all the garbage cans around here have special contraptions to keep out raccoons and possums. Don't see how the kittens would get in their garbage...
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#8 Old 02-19-2007, 03:26 PM
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When I got the kittens with the mother they stayed in my bedroom, but that was mainly because they were still very small and nursing, and I have 2 large cats that would have been incredibly unhappy and a possible hazard.



The Siamese cats were also confined because of how sick they were.



My cats are fat as can be, and they could have taken these other cats out no problem. After the kittens were weaned they were permitted run of the house and there were no problems.



Chicken Soup For The Cat/Kitten Lover's Soul is inexpensive, so food is cheap. And since we have 2 cats I just use some of their litter in the spare litterbox.



It was only expensive when I rescued the kittens, because they had fleas. We spent a couple hundred bucks de-fleaing all of our personal pets and getting flea killer for the carpets and upholstery.



So if you do it, I would suggest you keep the animal in the kitchen at first and check thoroughly for fleas before you let them into other areas of the house.
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#9 Old 02-19-2007, 03:49 PM
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We once had a kitten crying loudly in our shrubs for hours, so we set up a bed and food in the patio for it. It turned out that it wasn't an orphan, although we rarely saw the mother, and it had three siblings. We fed and played with all four for a while, but then we went on vacation and when we came back they wouldn't come near us.



We've fed other stray cats in the past. There was one male who was sooo skinny. We usually can't catch them, so we just leave out food and hope for the best. We don't have a lot of cats hanging around anymore, probably because we got a dog, but I wouldn't feed them now anyway because I've caught them stalking our chickens. Two of our neighbors leave out food for the strays, so I know they're being taken care of somewhat.



We also once had an entire nest of baby birds fall onto the porch. We called the local vet to see what to do, but he said the parents would still feed them on the ground, and we should be careful not to disturb them. He was right. We roped off the porch, and the chicks survived quite well living on the ground for the next few weeks.
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#10 Old 02-19-2007, 03:54 PM
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We also once had an entire nest of baby birds fall onto the porch. We called the local vet to see what to do, but he said the parents would still feed them on the ground, and we should be careful not to disturb them. He was right. We roped off the porch, and the chicks survived quite well living on the ground for the next few weeks.



That is really cute.
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#11 Old 02-19-2007, 05:03 PM
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I don't go out of my way to get stray cats but I volunteer with a no kill rescue for cats so I am helping them out. If cats come up to my door I'll help them out. Recently my roommates found two stray kittens, one with a missing/infected tail. One of my cat-crazy friends and I split the cost of getting them fixed, the tail amputated and antibiotics, shots, flea treatments, etc. and the vet we used adopted them out for us. We also had an iguana come through our yard so I caught him and then built a cage for him and took him to fayetville to a vet-tech who had arranged for her vet to donate services to get him rehabed and found him a home.
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#12 Old 02-19-2007, 05:57 PM
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When I worked at the hospital a few years ago, there were a few wild/stray cats who hung around in the parking lot. A few of us employees took turns feeding them everyday. It was really cute because they seemed to recognize our cars. As soon as I would pull in the lot they would come running! But you could never get close enough to them to touch them.

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#13 Old 02-19-2007, 06:13 PM
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We also once had an entire nest of baby birds fall onto the porch. We called the local vet to see what to do, but he said the parents would still feed them on the ground, and we should be careful not to disturb them. He was right. We roped off the porch, and the chicks survived quite well living on the ground for the next few weeks.



In my old house when I was very little we had a hole in the roof where birds would nest all the time. Unfortunately our roof was slanted so the nests would fall out constantly.



I remember my mother, my sister and myself were all out and my father was home by himself. My father hates any animal except fish. Well the nest fell out ... again ... and he got a box and like 3 blankets and he brought the chicks in for the night and put them back inside the roof the next morning.
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#14 Old 02-19-2007, 06:20 PM
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We also once had an entire nest of baby birds fall onto the porch. We called the local vet to see what to do, but he said the parents would still feed them on the ground, and we should be careful not to disturb them. He was right. We roped off the porch, and the chicks survived quite well living on the ground for the next few weeks.



If the birds are fledgings you can usually leave them where they fell and the parents will come and feed them. You can tell by looking at the wings - are the chicks growing real feathers yet (not just fuzzy fluff)? If they are, then they are probably at the fledging stage which means they are starting to move around by themselves and don't need to be in the nest all the time.



If there are no feathers and the chick looks all pink and can't stand than it needs to go back up in the nest. You can touch a baby bird and the parents will still feed them - there is that myth about that you shouldn't touch them.



Sorry I love to give bird advice.
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#15 Old 02-19-2007, 06:35 PM
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Sorry I love to give bird advice.



No problem! It was a long time ago, but I'm assuming they were fledglings. It was weird, though, because they were on the porch a long time. But maybe I'm exagerating the length of time too.



I was so worried about cats getting them, even after I knew they were being fed. I wonder what kept all the predators from picking up a free meal? Dive-bombing parents? (We used have a pine tree in our back yard, right by the swimming pool, that blue jays nested in. We had to take huge detours to avoid speeding blue bullets of death).
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#16 Old 02-19-2007, 06:37 PM
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In my old house when I was very little we had a hole in the roof where birds would nest all the time. Unfortunately our roof was slanted so the nests would fall out constantly.



I remember my mother, my sister and myself were all out and my father was home by himself. My father hates any animal except fish. Well the nest fell out ... again ... and he got a box and like 3 blankets and he brought the chicks in for the night and put them back inside the roof the next morning.



Putting them in the box is another good thing to do - you could probably just have left them out on the porch in the box.





FYI: I love your kitty avatar! Looks very much like my kitty Woog!
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#17 Old 02-19-2007, 06:38 PM
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So it wasn't really the idea behind this thread, I was just curious, but I am finding the thread to be rather heartwarming. One of those things that restores a little faith in humanity. Thank you folks!
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#18 Old 02-19-2007, 06:40 PM
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I wonder what kept all the predators from picking up a free meal? Dive-bombing parents? (We used have a pine tree in our back yard, right by the swimming pool, that blue jays nested in. We had to take huge detours to avoid speeding blue bullets of death).



Yep! Some parent birds with pull out your eyes if you get near their chicks!



I used to get attack quite often when I work at the zoo (with birds). I am sure the vistors had a good laugh watching me get attacked during breeding season in the exhibits! It was fun working with baby birds though - worth getting attack for!
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#19 Old 02-19-2007, 06:40 PM
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Captain and Woog do look a lot alike!



Yeah, I actually think the chicks fell out of the nest which is why my father made a makeshift one. He normally would have left them outside, more for lack of compassion than anything, but I recall there was a really nasty thunderstorm taking place at the time. My dad heard them chirping and rescued them before they got stuck in the nasty rains with all of the thunder and lightning going on. They needed shelter and our porch wasn't covered.



In the morning the weather had cleared and he put them back in their nest inside the roof.
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#20 Old 02-20-2007, 01:50 PM
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In the past year I found a bunny, a duck and cat that needed my help as well as numerous dogs that I returned to their owners. The bunny had been a pet but I think it was dumped because I found food in the bushes near it. A nearby pet store took him and sold him, since they had the facilities to take a bunny. The mallard duck was limping along the street near my house and was not able to fly. He stayed with us for 5 days until my vet was able to take him. He thought the duck had been hit and just needed a few days to recover as he couldn't find any broken bones. The cat was outside my kitchen window. He couldn't walk and was clearly sick. I had no idea where he had come from so I took him to the vet and they said he was dying. He was such a sweet cat he purred and rubbed my hand all the way to the vet's. At least he was warm and loved in his last moments of life.



I have found and returned hundreds of dogs. I live near a popular walking trail and dogs are always getting lost. They are supposed to be leashed but not too many are. Sometimes they have identification sometimes not. One dog was always loose all the time but he didn't have any identification. I put a little note in his collar and after that I noticed he had his name and number on his collar. Now, I walk him once and week and he plays with my dog. His owner just isn't able to give him the exercise he needs (still no excuse for letting the dog roam!) so I try to help out when I can.
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#21 Old 02-20-2007, 01:54 PM
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His owner just isn't able to give him the exercise he needs (still no excuse for letting the dog roam!) so I try to help out when I can.



Maybe the owner should consider surrendering the dog to a shelter and getting a cat.
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#22 Old 02-20-2007, 01:54 PM
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In the past year I found a bunny, a duck and cat that needed my help as well as numerous dogs that I returned to their owners. The bunny had been a pet but I think it was dumped because I found food in the bushes near it. A nearby pet store took him and sold him, since they had the facilities to take a bunny. The mallard duck was limping along the street near my house and was not able to fly. He stayed with us for 5 days until my vet was able to take him. He thought the duck had been hit and just needed a few days to recover as he couldn't find any broken bones. The cat was outside my kitchen window. He couldn't walk and was clearly sick. I had no idea where he had come from so I took him to the vet and they said he was dying. He was such a sweet cat, he purred and rubbed my hand all the way to the vet's. At least he was warm and loved in his last moments of life.



I have found and returned hundreds of dogs. I live near a popular walking trail and dogs are always getting lost. They are supposed to be leashed but not too many are. Sometimes they have identification sometimes not. One dog was loose all the time but he didn't have any identification. I put a little note in his collar and after that I noticed he had his name and number on his collar. Now, I walk him once and week and he plays with my dog. His owner just isn't able to give him the exercise he needs (still no excuse for letting the dog roam!) so I try to help out when I can.
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#23 Old 02-20-2007, 02:06 PM
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Maybe the owner should consider surrendering the dog to a shelter and getting a cat.



No. If someone ever dumps a pet off at a shelter because they can't be bothered exercising it or even paying someone else to do it and they can't be bothered finding a new home themselves they should never be allowed to have another animal. If for whatever reason a person genuinely needs to rehome an animal they should at least do it themselves.



Pets are not exchangable. You can't just go to the shelter and swap them over like you are upgrading to a newer model of car.

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#24 Old 02-20-2007, 07:20 PM
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I have a lot of respect for people who are able to help stray animals.



I will sometimes catch a stray dog and attempt to find it's owner: check for tags, walk the neighborhood with it and ask neighbors if they recognize it, take it to be scanned for a microchip, check the paper for lost ads, and check the shelters for lost dog reports... but when all that fails, I hardly ever keep them overnight--I don't have the space to keep it separate from my pets--so I just take them to animal control where I can only hope their owner comes looking for them. Animal control is only able to give stray dogs four days, so they need all the luck they can get.



What I am able to do though is foster dogs for one of our local shelters. I take them home and keep them until they find a home. I work on any issues they might have, or do some basic training with them, and think of anything I can to make them more adoptable. I feel like I'm failing at that right now because I've been fostering Skip for 22 months now, and Perry for 7 months. I don't take the easiest dogs though, so I realize going in that I might have them for a long time, but I didn't think Skip would last 2 years without getting adopted. He starts Agility classes Thursday.



After Skip finally gets adopted I've decided that I'm going to switch to short term fostering. One of the things the shelter really needs is for people to take the dogs home for a while to get a better idea of how they act in a home, so my plan is to foster dogs for 1 or 2 weeks at a time. I'll learn about them, write up a description, teach them a little, and then take them back to the shelter and take someone else instead. I have kind of started this already just taking certain dogs home for a couple days at a time when I know I'll have extra time. My other goal is to start working on videos of the dogs to put online, but I'm completely new to video editing so we'll see how it goes.
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#25 Old 02-20-2007, 07:31 PM
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I have no fosters currently. I know the lady who I was passing of ferals to me currenly has a heap but I've just moved in and this place is just too small and I'll need to get the permission of the person who lives in the front half of the house first fostering needs to wait. They have not moved in as yet. I miss fostering. Instead I'm devoting my time to old people. It's not nearly as much fun. God that sound horrible and selfish but it's true!



But to answer the the OP's question I do look after other people's animals, and animals with no people, whether they are fosters or just random blow ins. Oddly enough this place I've just moved to seems to have no strays. I've not seen one since I've been here. Guess it's only been a couple of weeks though.

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#26 Old 02-20-2007, 09:30 PM
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I suggest you carry on feeding them and just watch. They maybe feral cats in which case you may never catch them.

If they gain your trust after a while of feeding them. They may come willingly to you.



Leave somewhere warm and dry for them to go to but back off, leave them to find it, start putting their food at the entrance of somewhere safe and gradually move the dish indoors.



Its a waiting game, Im afraid.
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#27 Old 02-21-2007, 01:20 PM
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Maybe the owner should consider surrendering the dog to a shelter and getting a cat.



I am comparing my dog (who get walks and runs everyday, plus swimming in the summer) to her dog that has a nice yard, and lots of love. She walks him and plays with him but she can't take him for long walks like I can. If she becomes unable to keep him anymore and can't find a home for him, then he will come to live with me. He is my dog's best friend and I can't imagine letting him go to a shelter.
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#28 Old 02-22-2007, 01:55 AM
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We don't typically take in strays... once a kitten appeared in one of the flower boxes, and my mom ended up taking it home... then after she passed we took the cat in.. well she ended up running away not too long ago ... other than that we will feed strays (on a farm and strays end up around here a lot) away from the house, if the weather is bad we'll put blankets in the garage/dog house for them, and try to get them to take to the vet, but they usually show up at night. We've got 9 cats here... 10 when my friend's cat is here-which is almost always, so we take care of all her expenses... grrr plus we've got a dog and 2 horses, so anymore animals would be quite the handfull... try to keep strays away because if we got a flea problem it would take a lot to get rid of.
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#29 Old 02-22-2007, 05:33 AM
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Yes. I work at a shelter once a week, and I tend to take care of all the animals I can. I have notes up in summer and on shelter websites about walking dogs and having the dogs live with me for a week or two in vacations. Actually we were going to this week, but turned out the dog was afraid of cats..
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#30 Old 02-22-2007, 08:05 PM
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at my last job, one of the co-workers brought a dog in that had been roaming around the gas station by the busy street. he was really friendly, no collar and she was worried that he might get hit. people at the store were considering who would take him home while they looked for the owner. the dog looked really familiar to me and it turned out to be the same one that lived a street over from where i was (not far at all from the store i worked in). my fiance, at the time, and i took the dog to that street and started knocking on doors. someone pointed us in the general direction. the owner came out and said that the dog liked to climb fences and he was having a hard time keeping him in the back yard. we put him back and he covered up the spots where he had dug out. as we were walking back to the car, down the street, the dog came running back to us. the ex picked him up and carried him back.



there was a momma cat with her 3 kittens that lived around our house. so i took the old dog house and some blankets out there. i set it up near the end of the staircase with some food and water. they were there everyday but never let anyone near them. so i rented some traps, set them up and caught all of them. took them in to have shots, exams and fixed. they were really, really feral and probably would have been put to sleep. so, i took them back to my house and released them. between my house, and two others there was some woods so they always stayed there. they weren't a nuisance and all the neighbors didn't mind them so they got to stay.



there have been other stray cats and outdoor cats that i've fed/watered/put up some sort of housing for. there've been a few dogs around here that have gotten out/been lost that i've helped. and of course all the wildlife that i've helped the past few years - rabbits, pigeons, squirrels, birds. we had three bird nests on our front porch at one time, so i was always keeping an eye out for snakes/cats.
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