There have been a lot of warnings from several cat lovers and animal welfare advocates in social media about snake owners feeding kittens to the snake ALIVE.
Many have also warned about cats being used for laboratory experiments.
I am disturbed by two things after five years in the animal welfare world, and after seeing videos of kittens being eaten by snakes, and warnings about cats being sold for lab tests and used in experiments. These are:
1. A number of persons post kittens for adoption. This is not wrong per se. But they do not state that a screening will be done to ensure the safety of the kittens. I am also worried about the statement that there is “no adoption fee” as if to entice people to get the kittens immediately. The adoption fee is required by animal welfare groups to find out if the applicant is willing to shell out even just a small amount for the kitten, and to determine if the adopter will and can spend for a kitten’s needs.
2. A number of person post kittens found abandoned and ask that the kittens be rescued. Again, there is nothing wrong about this per se. But do not put the location of the kittens unless you have screened the “rescuer” or possible “adopter.”
I cringed when I saw a number of persons replying to a post of a person who wanted to adopt a kitten. They posted in the comment box the photos of the kittens and even the location. Everyone seemed to be scrambling to have kittens in their care to be adopted without checking first if the person who said she wanted to adopt is indeed a loving cat person, and not just a:
1. Hoarder of cats; or
2. Snake owner who does not want to buy or can not afford to buy the “right” food for his/her snake; or
2. Someone who sells kittens to schools for lab experiments.
A check by concerned animal welfare advocates showed the person who was looking for a kitten to adopt already has 12 kittens. But we really do not know how many kittens she has because, in one group, she said she has 12. Then in another group, she said she has 10. So what happened to the other two kittens?
Most disturbing was a post wherein a person was looking for a “day old” kitten.
A check by animal welfare advocates showed this person owns snakes. After being questioned by animal welfare advocates online, the person deactivated his account.
The work done by animal welfare advocates—monitoring posts and questioning questionable “kitten lovers”—is admirable. But they can not monitor all posts and all these fake cat lovers.
Please be a responsible owner, a responsible rescuer, and a responsible reporter. PLEASE SCREEN WOULD-BE ADOPTERS OF YOUR KITTENS.
Here are some suggestions to ensure the safety of the kittens:
1. Do not post the location of the kittens found abandoned on the streets or in a grassy area. Instead, ask those interested to get the kittens to message you. Ask for details of the “rescuer” or “adopter” such as his/her address and a photocopy of a valid identification card showing his/her address to verify details he/she gave you. Please make time to meet him/her at the location, take a photo of him/her with the kittens, and ask that he/she provide an update in your chatbox. If he/she refuses, think again. This person may not be a real kitten lover. If you can not meet the person immediately, please bring the kittens home and ask an animal welfare group for tips on how to take care of the kittens.
2. Do not just give away a kitten to anyone during a meet-up. You will never know the real address of the adopter.
3. Again, ask for details such as the address, and visit the would-be adopter’s home to check if the address given is real.
4. Have an adoption contract signed which states that the adopter will:
a. Provide an update on the kitten;
b. Have the kitten dewormed at the appropriate age;
c. Have the kitten vaccinated at the appropriate age;
d. Have the kitten given the anti-rabies shot at the appropriate age;
e. Have the kitten given yearly shots as advised by the vet to keep the cat safe from communicable diseases;
f. Have the cat spayed or neutered at the appropriate age so that the cat will not be used for breeding for whatever selfish reasons;
g. Inform you if they have to give up the kitten for various reasons like moving to another location where pets are not allowed (The contract must state that you have to give your approval or you can pull out the kitten or cat);
h. Inform you of the death of the kitten or cat with proof of death such as a photo (this is the hard part but this is needed to ensure the adopter is telling you the truth).
Take a photo of the adopter signing the contract and with the kitten. If you need a sample contract, please contact admins Maricel Mondejar or Joanne Zamora of Save ALL Inc. - Save Animals of Love and Light, an animal welfare group registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
5. Adopters need not be rich. But please make sure the adopter has a certain source of income which will allow him/her to provide the right food (not table scraps) for the kitten, have the kitten vaccinated, and treated if the kitten gets sick.
While we want to help more kittens, specially those abandoned on the streets or vacant lots, please go an extra mile in helping them by making sure they will go to a better place and will not be harmed or killed instead.
Bless all the genuine cat lovers and rescuers out there! You are one of a kind, indeed. Namaste!
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