A Plea to Birmingham Animal Lovers For Help

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I don’t normally publish two posts in a day, but this is a unique occasion.

A few months ago I discovered a sweet little family of stray cats living on the grounds of our apartment complex—an all-black mama, two all-gray babies, a couple of black kittens, and a black-and-white male who I guess is about a year old. Immediately, my brain kicked into worry gear, as we live near a busy road. It wasn’t long after that one of the black kittens was hit and killed. I was devastated. Ever since, I’ve been feeding this little family, hoping that they’ll recognize me as a source of food instead of having to dodge traffic in search of it. So far, it seems to be working. But nights can get frigid here, and I worry about this little family when we’re out of town and there’s nobody to look after them. We already have two cats; otherwise, I would’ve brought them all in without hesitation.

Instead, I’ve reached out to Birmingham’s Humane Society and to a handful of area veterinary clinics in search of help with spaying, neutering, and boarding this little family until they’re well enough to find a permanent home. Not a single one of the receptionists, vets, or volunteers who I’ve talked to on the phone has followed up with me, as all promised they would. This afternoon I spotted them outside looking for food. When I took a dish down, I discovered that the mama cat—so skittish and scared at first, but now cautiously curious and patient—has a gaping, open wound on her backside near her tail. It looks suspiciously like a bebe wound.

I’m contemplating scooping her up and taking her to the nearest veterinarian for treatment, but I fear what comes next if they can’t board her or help me find a home for her. The thought of fixing her up and then turning her loose outside again breaks my heart, but I can’t bear to think about not getting her help.

Have you ever encountered a similar situation? Do you live in Birmingham and have (legit, working) knowledge of animal rescue resources that I haven’t stumbled onto yet—or better yet, have room in your home and your heart for this precious little family? If so, I would love to hear from you.

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This little man stole my heart. He was the first (and so far only) of the family to let me near him. Now, he’s a sweet, melty mess of snuggles and affection.

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16 thoughts on “A Plea to Birmingham Animal Lovers For Help

  1. The feral cat over-population crisis is huge in Bham and most cities. If you can’t rehome them and foster them yourself, the best you can do for the cats and for your city is to trap, neuter, and return to the wild. If they live close to your home, you could set up a feeding station. I know people who feed ferals that way. The Alabama Spay Neuter clinic in Irondale has programs for cats, but they must be come to the clinic in traps. They do not board there. They are low cost. Friends of Cats and Dogs and Alabama Adoption Society have low cost spay/neuter certificates to reduce the cost of vetting. Bottom line. It’s nearly impossible to find help for ferals. They are not adoptable, even if they are warming up. You can control how many ferals are out there next year by getting them fixed, male and females, and rest well at night knowing you’ve done your best. I’m sorry. I know how your heart must hurt.

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    1. Hi Cornelia, I moved here from New England last summer and am learning that this is a real problem in B’ham. I’m a lifelong cat lover anyway, so it pains me to see this little family living the way they are. Thanks for your good advice, and for sympathizing. It helps.

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  2. hi! Joey Kennedy had posted your blog on Facebook. I live on Idlewild Circle in the Glen Iris neighborhood of Birningham. I moved into my house 4 years ago and have fixed, vetted and rehomed 35 cats during that time. I have a few that have been fixed that I still care for. I’d be happy to help you with these cats. You can email me or call/text me 205-213-8695.

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    1. Hi Linda (I saw your post on Joey Kennedy’s page). Thank you so, so much. I need to find someone who could foster the cats long enough for them to heal. I’m afraid I can’t, with our 2 cats in a pretty small apartment. May I contact you once I find someone to foster them? Otherwise, could I pay to board them at your animal clinic for a few days while they recover? Thanks a million for your support.

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  3. Lindsay, most of us that do this type of rescue are just ad hoc groups who get together in the desire to help animals. Yes, feral mom kitty’s and semi feral kittens can find homes and do. I have two feral kittens that I have had for almost thirteen years now and we had their mom as an outside cat until we lost her. It is hard but it can be done!
    The first step is to figure out if someone can foster them for a bit, then get them trapped (municipalities and rescuers have traps to use), get the mother spayed, see if the babies are old enough to be spayed and neutered. Get them handled and then work to see if you can find homes for them.
    If you cannot find homes for them it is still critical to at least stop the litters that come so very often with these strays. If we stop the reproduction, we can work toward a solution.
    There is funding available from a lot of sources for spaying and neutering. I see a couple have been mentioned here. Don’t give up! I know how disappointing it is that you did not get call backs but understand how overwhelmed every animal rescue organization is with this very issue. I am glad Joey Kennedy picked up on your blog. There are hundreds of animal rescue volunteers around but we are not organized and use Facebook as a wonderful resource to work together.
    This gives you a good start- use the resources that have offered you help. Contact me if you need more information. I have been working this issue for thirty plus years!
    And above all, please be a staunch supporter of teaching spay/neuter needs in our animal community!
    Patti Meg – you can find me on Facebook under my name. Good luck!

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  4. Also, I just saw on FB that Linda Henckel, veterinarian extraordinaire, and owner of the veterinary clinic, Cat Haven, has offered her support for vetting. She is an amazing vet and wonderful person! She has been a wonderful supporter of my feral cat rescues for years now!

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  5. also, I have trapped and released two ferals that I feed. One appeared bitten on her back, and my vet ken Harris gave me antibiotics to mix with her food. I put it in wet food which she ate immediately. After a couple of weeks of this she was good as new. He knew I couldn’t trap her again

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