The Free Press, Mankato, MN

October 25, 2013

Brown County Humane Society faces perennial kitten problem

Brown County Humane Society faces perennial problem

By Josh Moniz jmoniz@mankatofreepress.com
The Mankato Free Press

---- — The Brown County Humane Society is facing workload and cost challenges from the abandonment of an average of 15 kittens outside their door each year, seemingly from the same source.

For the last three years, the Humane Society has dealt with orange and white kittens with similar colors and spot patterns left outside the facility. In each case, the cats were all left in one small carrier with one small bag of cat food. Most recently, five kittens were left outside the facility during the rainy morning on Sunday. Three kittens were left at the facility in mid-September and five were left in March. In 2012, 10 similar kittens were left over the year. In 2011, it was a total of 15 similar cats.

Gerald Woodley, co-chair for the Humane Society, said they strongly suspect the kittens are from the same home where the primary cats are not spayed or neutered. He said the kittens appear to have been treated well before they were left at the facility.

“They’re clearly watching when we’re here. We vary our schedule ... but they drop (the kittens) off only during gaps when people are not in the office,” Woodley said.

He said the Humane Society has not considered installing security cameras due to the cost.

Woodley said the Humane Society was already facing a high number of animals at the facility through the proper process this year. The addition of the kittens left this year have pushed the facility up to 65 cats total, well above the state guidelines of only house 45 cats and 10 dogs in the facility. Woodley said they are working hard to get the animals placed, but the process can take anywhere from three to nine months.

The Humane Society is able to handle the influx of abandon cats, but it comes with costs to the facility. He said the Humane Society is facing its highest animal health care costs in decades this year, even with the local veterinary clinic doing everything it can to assist the facility.

The majority of these kittens also have come in with ringworm infections. The treatment is a time-consuming process that requires isolating the animal for a long period. The cost of pills and injections can total up to over $75 per animal. Additionally, each infected animal brought in raises the risk of infecting the other animals at the facility.

He said the Humane Society strongly urges people to spay and neuter their animals. He said its an important measure to control the animal population and has beneficial health impacts for the animal.

The Humane Society is offering a special deal of $75 for neutered cat and $50 for an regular cat, though that comes with an additional $50 charge that will be reimbursed when the animal is neutered. People interested may contact the Brown County Humane Society at 507-359-2312.