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Norwich Bulletin - 7/6/2008

When Lightening Hits Close to Home, Again and Again

To all my devoted readers, this is a very heart wrenching column to write. Once again, a cat hoarder has been “discovered” with 67 starving, ill, cats and kittens. It happens too frequently in Connecticut, this time in Meriden. Someone finally complained to the correct authorities, and the police and local animal control officer, went to the apartment and found deplorable conditions.

All of the cats were unaltered, males were spraying and fighting with each other, and breeding all the unsprayed females. Thankfully, all of the cats were seized.

Every rescue group, large and small, and even kind people doing cat rescue on their own, eventually come across these situations. The privately run Meriden Humane Society was just recovering from the seizure of more than 40 cats from a home in New Britain the previous month, and now they are once again being overwhelmed both physically and financially.

They are desperate for volunteers, quality cat and kitten food, litter and monetary donations. Even $5 will help! Yes, we are all coping with a higher cost of living, but most of us can afford $5. If 100 people donate $5 each, then that is $500. If 500 people each donate $5, then Meriden would have $2,500, which could help with the veterinary costs.

Don’t think for one minute that any of the towns are even considering reimbursing the Meriden Humane Society for anything, including vet bills incurred when cats are seized. The towns absolutely do not help (please note that I am NOT including my own town of Colchester in this as they help whenever they ask Helping Paws to take in a nice, placeable kitty).

But the bigger cities that Meriden helps, do not offer any financial help, and this would cause great financial hardship on any shelter. Private run shelters have the kind of staff that works so hard day after day after day and they become disappointed time after time again when the towns simply turn their back. These cats had nowhere else to go had not Meriden Humane Society taken them in.

In fact, I wonder what the town would have done if they had said no? Would they simply euthanize all of the cats – or perhaps just put them back outside to fend for themselves, so they could die of starvation and continue to produce more kittens that would eventually spread disease to other cats? Somehow the towns do not have a direct answer for that question.

Before these two rescues, the Meriden Humane Society announced they were $87,000 in debt and in danger of closing. Helping Paws has taken several nice young cats from them and they are ready for new homes. Can you help? Can you afford to take on another cat?

Or perhaps just make a one time donation to the organization. Whatever you can do, Please send your aid to the Meriden Humane Society, 311 Murdock Avenue, Meriden, CT 06450. And no, it is not in Norwich, or Colchester – but it is right across the way, and things happen here as well. We all need to be helping each other.

On a different note, Connecticut residents must work to stop these seizures by supporting tougher laws regarding animal neglect and cruelty. People need to know that they must offer “adequate food, water and shelter” to their animals, and that if they do not and cause suffering to the animals in their care, they have broken the law.

Meanwhile, lets try to get some homes for these wonderful cats who have been through so much.

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