Ark Animal Sanctuary (week of October 11, 2017)

7 years ago

Many of you know Keith, who is one of our F.I.V. kitties. Keith is one of the sweetest cats ever and has been with us for years.

Keith holds a very special place in our hearts. He is the only cat that survived the fire in 2014 that claimed the lives of 16 cats. Keith survived that fateful night because he was at the vet.

Over the course of years Keith has had some health scares. He has had two surgeries on his mouth leaving him with just a few teeth. Keith’s mouth was so painful he was on pain meds for two years so he could eat. Keith”s mouth finally healed completely and  he was taken off all meds just a little over a year ago and has been doing great.

In this past month or so we have noticed that Keith has been losing weight and is not the energetic outgoing cat we have all come to know and love. Keith was taken to the vet where he had blood work done, which was far from being normal. Next they took x rays which showed nothing abnormal, but Keith had lost just about a pound in the course of a few weeks.

It was decided to put Keith on a regimen of antibiotics  and if there is no improvement in 7-10 days, Keith will have exploratory surgery to see if there are any tumors internally causing the problem.

For now Keith is back at the sanctuary resting comfortably, he has started his antibiotics and we are monitoring his eating and hydration levels. We are hoping that Keith makes a full recovery without having to have exploratory surgery so our fingers are crossed.  We would ask that you keep Keith in your thoughts and prayers and we will keep you all updated on his prognosis.

These past few weeks we have received so many phone calls asking us to take cats,  many of these are owner surrenders, kittens from unwanted litters or people who just don’t want their cats anymore. First and foremost, the Ark is full. We have over 60 cats.  We cannot take in anymore.

Everyone needs to work with their local shelters. We actually have people calling say they have to get rid of their cat right away because they are moving.  This leaves us speechless. If you know you are moving do not wait until zero hour to find a place for your pet. You as a pet owner have a responsibility to re-home your pet not just take it to the local shelter. We actually have people that will not take no for an answer and argue with us because we have no room to take their cat and in some cases they show up with the cat even after they have been told “no” on the phone.

In a perfect world every animal would have a home.  But unfortunately we do not live in a perfect world and there are too many homeless animals out there.  We do not say “no we cannot take your cat” because we want to be mean. We say no because the reality is there is only so much space at the sanctuary and also because we cannot take on more than we can afford financially.  

Our building holds 60 cats that is it and each one of those cats is a financial commitment. Turning away cats is difficult, but the owner has to take some responsibility here. Your cats life is in your hands, please make the right decision.  Plan ahead if you are moving, get your cats altered to prevent unwanted litters.  A cat is a long term commitment and should be taken seriously.

Thank you for your continued support and as always thank you for reading our column.