LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Getting the runaround from Delaware animal agencies

I’ve addressed this topic in one letter already, and hesitate to add another. But hopefully someone, somewhere can help me.

Several months ago, I was “gifted” with strays cats. By “gifted,” I mean dropped off, and at the time, I called several places to find them homes, as I wasn’t interested in a family of cats.

Little did I know that one of these cats was expecting. Long story short, she gave birth, and no matter whom I called, not one of the shelters would take her or the kittens.

I kept them, fed them, only because I could not afford to feed them AND fix them. Needless to say, I ended up with several cats.

At one point, the Camden SPCA did take a litter of 8-week-olds, but charged me $50 to hire a person to foster them. All these cats were not really used to humans, and trying to round them up, let alone touch them, was near to impossible.

In the meantime, I had a stroke that pretty much put me out of commission from February to October of 2015, and in returning home from the hospital, you guessed it, more cats.

At one time the count was about 20; they came to my back deck twice a day to eat, then disappear. As I said, I tried every shelter, animal welfare, and any numbers people would give me, and only one would have taken some, except, they were under quarantine because of a disease there.

Now, my husband has been hospitalized and diagnosed with a bad disease and due for more surgery; I started calling yet again. I assumed that since the change of hands in Camden, maybe things were different … Shame on me!

I got the same runaround again. So, I wrote my [state] representative and he put Animal Welfare in touch with me. I got a call and explained my story, telling her that the count was down to about 14 or 15 due to being struck by cars or finding other homes. However, there were about six females due to have kittens, and three have given birth somewhere, although I have yet to find them, and four more are swollen and ready at any time. I told her I was sure my neighbors (though none have approached me yet) were not very happy with all these cats.

For those of you who aren’t aware, the cost to spay a female is approximately $50-plus and for [neutering for] males, $20-plus, and with all the medical bills coming in after insurance, there is no way … I can either feed them or fix them, not both. Many of them have now become people-friendly, although a little skittish sometimes.

The Animal Welfare represenative told me to start a “Go Fund Me” page on Facebook, because pet people were very giving, and I should be able to raise enough to fix these females, at least. Since I’m not on Facebook, my granddaughter put it on, and as of two days ago, had no response.

There are a couple that try to be friendly, but I can only be so close to them, as my husband is also highly allergic. And what do I do with the litters I know are out there and I can’t find, and the ones waiting to be born?

Nothing has been solved, other than [to] let even more unwanted cats be born. And believe me, I have contacted about six or seven places that deal with cats, from New Castle County to Sussex County, and at this point, I am not only extremely frustrated, but very upset with the Animal Welfare and ASPCA in the state of Delaware.

Thank you for your time.

Christine Ely-Spence

EDITOR’S NOTE: The ASPCA – American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals – is based in New York and is entirely separate from both the Delaware SPCA and the First State Animal Center and SPCA, which also are separate from each other.

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