Animal rescues and shelters never see a break when it comes to intakes. Their facilities and foster homes stay packed as animals always remain in need. In the already crowded and underfunded rescue world, things can get even more complicated when a large load of animals gets anonymously dumped, making the scramble to feed, treat, and house the furry ones even tougher.
And one animal rescue group in Evansville, Indiana, wants people to understand why it’s essential to follow proper protocols when surrendering animals to shelters after someone abandoned twenty-three cats and kittens at their doorstep.
Cats and Kittens Dumped in Summer Heat
Arriving to work on a hot Monday morning deep into summer, Vanderburgh Humane Society employees discovered crates and plastic bins packed with twenty-three felines ranging from fully grown to newly born.
One VHS employee took to TikTok to share the discovery, explaining, “I came into work this morning with 23 cats waiting on our back porch. It’s 90 degrees here in Evansville. No food, no water, no supplies, no shelter from the heat or predators, no money to help pay for their care.”
“They were dumped & left for our already exhausted staff to tend to when we are SO full with animals as it is. This is so unacceptable & AVOIDABLE.”
The video revealed two crates filled with older kittens and adult cats. A plastic bin with no lid held newborn kittens with no mother. Another plastic tote topped with a punctured lid and weighted with a piece of wood contained a bewildered mother cat and her freshly born kittens.
To close the video, the VHS employee said, “Do better, people.”
@vhslifesaver I came into work this morning with 23 cats waiting on our back porch. Its is 90 degrees here in Evansville. No food, no water, no supplies, no shelter from the heat or predators, no money to help pay for their care. They were dumped & left for our already exhausted staff to tend to when we are SO full with animals as it is. This is so unacceptable & AVOIDABLE. If you’ve never fostered, please consider. If you can’t foster, please donate what you can! And above all… SPAY & NEUTER your animals. It makes a difference😿 #spayandneuter #wearetired ♬ original sound – Vanderburgh Humane
Why Proper Surrender Is a Must
In a follow-up post to address why surrendering animals through the proper channels is so important, VHS staff explained that as an open admission shelter, they would never turn an animal away.
“We will always say yes, we can take them, but we don’t always say we can take them right then and there because sometimes we don’t necessarily have space that day which is why we schedule appointments.”
And in the case of the dumped cats, VHS was already expecting to take in 45 cats later in the week, and in one unexpected dump-off, the staff suddenly had to figure out housing and care for sixty-eight felines, some of them in need of more care than others. And with around 500 animals under their supervision, the untimely arrival of nearly two dozen felines made things even more challenging.
In a Facebook post, the Vanderburgh Humane Society said, “We will be honest: population levels have not been this unsustainable in over 5 years. Many other shelters nationwide are facing similar crises, and we are no exception. We have been keeping our heads above water lately, thanks to our awesome community. But this put us over the edge today, and it’s time to sound the alarm.
When it comes to surrenders, VHS also makes appointments as it allows them to see what help they can offer, staff explaining, “We want to make sure that this family has resources. Do they have other pets at home that still need to be fixed that they didn’t bring in? Do they have enough food?”
Proper surrender can provide shelter staff with background information on the animals so they know how best to help the furry ones in their care. VHS also wants people to understand dumping felines at shelters after hours puts cats in harm’s way. With stray dogs, raccoons, and other wildlife prowling outdoor areas, “it’s not safe to leave them abandoned.”
“Any number of things could have happened.”
Updates Bring News of Loss & Appreciation
Of the twenty-three felines dumped, three of the newborn kittens didn’t survive. The surviving kittens in the two newborn litters and their mothers are currently in foster care. The only adult male of the bunch, a gray guy named Nick Cannon, and the older litter of kittens will soon be up for adoption.
VHS reported an amazing response to this case, with donations from thirty-three U.S. states and Australia. Amanda, a VHS employee, took time to thank everyone for their contributions and their care, sharing on TikTok, “We’ve been amazed at the response, so that’ll really be helpful in paying for the medical care and the cost of all these guys as they move up to adoption and find their forever homes.”
@vhslifesaver Update on the abandoned cats! #sheltercats #shelterlife #shelterhappens #catsoftiktok ♬ The first song in the Bach equal tempered Clavier songbook(814004) – East Valley Music
Feature Image: Vanderburgh Humane Society/TikTok