On April 21, 2011 another pregnant feline was brought to Henry County Care & Control, dumped by her owner, no longer their problem or responsibility. This cat's fate, along with that of her unborn kittens, was unknown. Many mamas never make it out of the shelters alive. The shelters are simply too overcrowded and the kittens too fragile to make it. If they pick up a URI, they are all euthanized. If they don't get sick, but they don't find a rescue in time, they will get euthanized. The odds are just not very good for a happy outcome.
This mama gave birth inside a steel cage, on newspaper, next to a litter pan. Not a very dignified way to bring life in to the world, but certainly better than she would have been if left abandoned on her own. The mama had four kittens. She cleaned them and began the task of providing nourishment-nothing unusual or special about this, just as so many other mamas have done before and since. Her babies were all chubby and healthy. One had a charming spot on this chin that looked like a goatee. They all squirmed and writhed, still blind and uncoordinated-reaching for their mama's warmth. The mama did what she could to keep them safe, placing her front leg protectively over them.
©2011 Henry County Care & Control. This very young mama hopes for a miracle.
Last month, I posted a plea about this “cow mama” and her “cow babies.” They were among the MANY mamas and kittens that came to Henry County that needed help. Many of the families got a rescue, but many MORE families arrived over the past few weeks needing help. The cow mama and family did not get rescued. The clock was running out, as they ran out of space at Henry County.
This morning, this family was slated to die. They were at the shelter the longest, so they would be first to go. The folks at the shelter did NOT want to put them down, but their hands were tied. There are SEVVEN other families that also need rescue, too and there wasn't any more room left to keep all the cats. It was time.
©2011 Henry County Care & Control.
Keep in mind that over the past month I, along with Dorian Wagner of Your Daily Cute, have been trying to find a way to rescue this family. Dorian and I both have a fondness for cow kitties, but neither of us were finding a solution. Last night, just before I went to bed, I got an email from Jennifer at the Humane Society of Forsyth County. I'd contacted her a month ago and at the time she couldn't help. She had not forgotten about this family. She said they had an opening and did we still need help?
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!! YES!!!! I could NOT believe the timing. Here I was about to give up. Jennifer saved the day! I got to work right away-banging out emails since it was too late to call anyone. I contacted Betsy, at Henry County. I pleaded with her NOT to put that family down. I wrote to Gerri, the Director and asked the same thing. I contacted our dear, Bobby and asked if he could transport the cats. My heart was beating so hard I could barely breathe. I contacted Jennifer and said I get the transport set up and get things sorted out and gave her information on who to call at Henry Co. to confirm they were going to take the cats.
©2011 Henry County Care & Control. Look at the spot on the chin on that baby!
This morning I got up early. I felt like I was going to jump out of my skin. I heard back from Henry Co. They would NOT put the family down. I called Jennifer and she was very sweet. She was completely calm. I'm sure she does this every day. She had just left a voice mail for Gerri and things were getting settled. In another hour of phone calls and emails it was worked out.
As of 12:30 PM EST, Bobby has picked up the Cow Mama and her babies and will be driving them to the Humane Society of Forsyth County. They're a NO-KILL shelter, so this family won't have to worry again about being put down. Now all they have to do is thrive, play and wait to be adopted when they're big enough.
©2011 Henry County Care & Control. It IS a miracle these babies got out ALIVE!
This could not have happened if it wasn't for Warren Royal, who offered me Jennifer's contact information when I was first trying to find a rescue to take this family. Forsyth is the same shelter that took in Warren's foster cat, Buddy who had FIV+ and who found him a great home.
This could not have happened if Bobby wasn't willing to drive 2 1/2 hours to deliver this family to their new home.
This could not have happened if I didn't stick my nose into this situation. While I didn't rescue this family, I did network my butt off by making phone calls and writing e-mails and blog posts.
Guess what? YOU can do this, too. You can get involved with animals at kill shelters and make a difference in their life. You don't have to foster them or even run a rescue group-you just have to be willing to stick your neck out and find those puzzle pieces until you get the right fit. I'm not saying it's easy and it certainly is stressful, but those times when it works out, it's completely worth it.
There is a lot more work to do. Those other mamas aren't going to rescue themselves. Let's get to it!
If you're as thrilled as I am about the Humane Society of Forsyth County stepping up to help this family, then please be sure to visit their web site and “Like” their Facebook page, then check out all the animals they have for adoption. If you're not looking for a new companion, then please consider making a small donation in honor of the Cow Mama's Family to help offset the costs related to their care. Saying Thank You to them is great, but during these tough times, saying it with a donation makes a big difference.