Unfortunately, this is the time of year when shelters all over the country are inundated with kittens born to cats that have not been spayed. This year has been a particularly difficult year for HAVA because several litters of kittens have been dumped on their doorstep and throughout the county with good Samaritans bringing them in to the shelter.
A few of these litters of kittens have had upper respiratory infections. These kittens require special care and medicating. Since all HAVA foster homes are full at this time, they have no choice but to temporarily close the shelter until the kittens affected are well. The only kittens affected are those too young to have received all of their vaccinations.
The shelter will be closed only for the month of August allowing the kittens with medical problems to recover, giving HAVA time to complete an annual shelter cleaning and to find homes for the many healthy cats and kittens in their care. The problems at Harry's House are very common in every shelter across the country; overcrowding and stress affects kittens that have not had their vaccinations yet and can cause cold like symptoms. When kittens are dumped outside without any food or cover, it is no wonder it affects them adversely. While the medical problems some of the kittens at the shelter have are easily treated, it will cost HAVA thousands of dollars in veterinary bills, money that the group needs to continue to provide shelter services to this community.
The problems caused by people who don't or can't spay/neuter their animals affects everyone; not just HAVA. Neighborhoods can quickly become overwhelmed with stray cats. Many of these cats have diseases that house pets can get when they come into contact with infected cats.
In addition to dealing with more than 40 cats/kittens at the shelter and in foster homes, HAVA is working with people in neighborhoods around South Bend and Raymond, trapping and spaying/neutering stray cats. Typically, HAVA spays/neuters about 100 feral cats a year. This year, HAVA exceeded that number with several special cases involving hoarders and more than 50 cats. HAVA pays for any medical problems and the cost to spay/neuter them, which is substantial.
If you have a cat or dog and have not spayed/neutered them, contact HAVA at 942-4716 and ask about their Spay/Neuter Assistance Program. They will pay more than 65 percent of the cost for surgery with the owner providing the rest. If you can help HAVA take care of the kittens at the shelter with a donation or are able to provide foster care in your home, call or send your donation to: HAVA, Shelter Medical Fund, P.O. Box 243, Raymond, WA 98577.
If you have a cat you would like to surrender, while HAVA will not be taking any more animals into the shelter until there is room, they will work with owners who serve as temporary fosters for their own cats, providing you with food, litter and by putting your animal up on HAVA's Petfinder page. If you are looking to adopt, several of HAVA's healthy cats and kittens are being shown at Petsense in Aberdeen, 1143 East Wishkah, in the Walmart shopping center.