SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

April 6, 2013

Column: Why we need more animal shelters

(Continued)

Some cats and kittens that can’t be placed often live in a household of a kind person who has difficulty caring for them all and then may be labeled a “hoarder” when all the person did was try and help out people who heard that he or she takes in animals.

This person agonizes over turning a needy animal away. Without the backing of a local animal welfare group who can pay for veterinary care and help with placement, this person soon can become overwhelmed with the task.

Our foster homes get calls from desperate people from Beverly and many surrounding towns who can’t take care of their animals and have not been able to get them into shelters, because there are not enough places. We have to turn these people away, because if we didn’t, we would end up with too many animals ourselves.

Many people want to make one phone call and have their problem solved. They are surprised to hear that Beverly doesn’t have a shelter, and many people only think of a shelter when they need one.

Just recently, two 8-week-old female kittens were found in Beverly. They would have frozen to death if some people had not stepped forward and taken them in. One’s tail fell off due to frostbite. Both kittens are being fostered by a veterinary technician from Beverly Animal Hospital. The other foster homes (all three) in Beverly were full, because they are fostering cats and kittens that need to be socialized before they are friendly enough for placement.

What you can do to help:

Lobby your local government to set up a shelter or sanctuary for homeless animals.

Work with and support your local animal group, such as the Friends of Beverly Animals, to foster or adopt a hard to place cat or kitten.

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