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Advice desparately needed regarding orphaned litter of kittens my neighbor "owns"

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Chaplin

883301
 
 
Purred: Thu May 31, '12 12:05pm PST 
Hey...I need some ideas regarding a litter of kittens my neighbor "owns."

The mother ran off and got hit by a car when the kittens were about three weeks old. You can tell he's a great owner, since he let that happen!

He put the kittens in a laundry basket under his porch and tried bottle feeding them...ONCE A DAY.

I heard them screaming one day into this experiment and ran out and bought some KMR.

Since then, I have been feeding them every four to five hours.

They are now roughly 4.5 weeks old and beginning to experiment with wet food. Every morning and every evening, I put fresh bedding in their basket because the basket is so small, they're making a terrible poopy mess EVERYWHERE (including on themselves). One of them got a stomach bug and nearly died, so I brought her inside and nursed her back to health with lots of pedialyte and attention. Then, the runt of the litter came down with pneumonia. I took her to the vet and fifty dollars later, was told she would probably die. I got antibiotics for her. She has been in the house with me for three days and is doing GREAT--screaming her head off, constantly on the go, and eating like a horse.

What I'm trying to say is that I am putting lots of time, money, and effort into caring for these kittens. The neighbors aren't mean...just totally ignorant. The guy told me today that he thought it was time to "start them on some hot dogs." WHAT??? I told him feeding kittens HOT DOGS as their first solid food was a very, very bad idea, and he genuinely looked surprised. I also told him the runt had pneumonia and that I'd taken her to the vet, and that she probably got it from being exposed to the damp, moldy air under the porch. He scoffed at that and suggested that maybe she was just allergic to the tree pollen and that the vet just wanted my money.

I have already offered once to take and raise the entire litter, but he says has friends who want kittens when they're old enough. I DON'T THINK THEY'LL SURVIVE to be adopted out at this rate, and if they do, they'll all end up like mom--short, tragic lives, or possibly pregnant soon with litters of their own. If he's so interested in adopting them out to his awesome friends, why doesn't he take them into the house and raise them properly??

This morning, one of them had diarrhea and one of them had a goopy eye. More meds. More money. And they all are going to need baths.

I'm looking at the weather and seeing the temps are going to dip into the low fifties for the next few nights. I suppose I'll just tell him that I'm going to bring them into my basement at night so they won't die. I'm sure he won't believe that 5 week old kittens can't tolerate 50 degree temps very well.

At any rate...I need advice. I want him to give up the kittens to me. Several people have offered to go steal them in the middle of the night, and that would be great, except I'm SURE he would suspect that I'm behind it. Any ideas?? I even thought about offering him money, but taking care of the litter has already worn my spare finances thin. Kitten formula and vet visits aren't cheap. frown I'm also very worried because while this has been my week off from work and I've given them my undivided attention, next week, I have to go back to work, and that involves me being gone ALL DAY on Monday, all night Monday, and all day Tuesday. There's no way the kittens will live through my absence if this guy doesn't clean up his act, bring them inside, and start feeding them/cleaning them up regularly.

I'm extremely stressed out over all of this right now and I have no clue what to do. ANY advice would be great.

Thanks so much for any ideas you can offer.

-Chaplin's mom
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Spook

Call me Mr.- Spookitty
 
 
Purred: Thu May 31, '12 5:06pm PST 
Is there an animal control or SPCA in your area you could call? If there is they may be able to legally take the kittens away and care for them. Good luck!!
Spooks mom
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Lady

the queen
 
 
Purred: Thu May 31, '12 7:57pm PST 
we agree with spook, i would try animal control or SPCA, or your local shelter. if not, i would let one of your friends " steel them " or just take them your self. since you seem to be taking care of them, vet, food, ect, ect, and he is really doing nothing, i doubt anything would happen, just save your receipts from the vet visits, and all the food and other stuff you have bought for them. also, if he is not providing them shelter in the cold, or in the heat, that is simply ANIMAL ABUSE. also, start taking pics of everything, were there located, in the basket, pics of each one, pics to back up your claim that he is not taking care of them. After you got the pics, let them magically disappear, if he does not like it, and the cops come, now you have the proof, and remember, they are strays, no nobody really owns them, but, you can claim them, because you have proof that you have been taking care of them. good luck, and go get them. if needed, try to keep them at a friends house. also, if he trys to claim them, tell him that you want to be repaid for taking care of HIS cats.
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Chaplin

883301
 
 
Purred: Fri Jun 1, '12 10:04am PST 
Hi all--

Thanks so much for your advice. Unfortunately, animal control in this town a). has no rules/laws regarding the care of cats (and very few that advocate humane treatment of dogs and b). our animal shelter was just shut down due to inhumane euthanasia practices. On the other hand, there are MANY "underground" animal welfare advocates in this town, and we often band together to help animals in need.

Yesterday evening, there was a giant thunderstorm and the kittens were getting wet under the porch. I rushed out in the rain and brought them all into my basement. It has gotten very chilly out--windy and in the upper fifties. I am NOT putting them back outside. I left the owner a note telling him what I'd done, and so far, I've not heard anything from him. It's not so much the guy I'm worried about as it is his girlfriend. She isn't a very amenable person, and has viewed the kittens as her personal playthings to pet and look at whenever she wants before shoving them back under the porch.

I think I'll just keep them in my basement and see if he says anything. They're very, very happy to not be outside shoved under a porch right now.
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ZACK

BLACK is- HANDSOME
 
 
Purred: Fri Jun 1, '12 1:34pm PST 
OMC! Thanks to you these kittens are still alive. I would keep them. If he comes over to your house threaten to call animal agencies on him, he is not intelligent enough to know what is what with animal abuse or laws. Or better yet, I wouldn't even answer the door and just ignore him like he did the kittens. Maybe after awhile he will just forget about them, since he or the girlfriend really aren't taking care of them now. Such sad human beings out there. Otherwise I would also think of hiding them at a friend's/relatives house if things get heated and he starts coming over to your house. You could even tell him some of them start dying. I wouldn't feel bad lying to him to save the cats.

Best of luck to you with these little kitties.

I also like the idea that Lady had above on keeping all your receipts together to show him what he owes if he would want the kittens back or proof to the cops that you are the one taking care of them and he was letting them get sick and they would have died. It would be interesting to see if your note is still there and if he had even checked on the kittens.

Reminds Mom of the guy who found me and 2 of my siblings and had us in a dog carrier together, we were full of poop and fleas and malnourished. Finally he called a rescue when he didn't want to take care of 2 of us anymore. Then later he even called the rescue to take the last one. The guy was just clueless.

Edited by author Fri Jun 1, '12 1:40pm PST

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QGM- Harlequin- (Striped- Seven)

I am a show- champion!
 
 
Purred: Fri Jun 1, '12 6:35pm PST 
I am glad to hear you brought them in. I can't believe this guy would treat living creatures this way! His girlfriend should get a stuffed animal.

I agree, give him a copy of your vet bill and hopefully that will shut him up.
If he still says his friends wanted kittens, give him the contact info for your local shelter and tell him there are plenty of kittens they can adopt from there; or tell him his friends can come to you when the kittens are older (of course, you will screen them to make sure they will good homes, and there will be an adoption fee to cover the vetting, spay/neuter and kitten vaccinations.)
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Lady

the queen
 
 
Purred: Fri Jun 1, '12 6:38pm PST 
we are very happy to hear that those kittens are now in a safe place. i hope we are not wrong, but, we do not think you will be hearing much from them. keep us updated.
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Spook

Call me Mr.- Spookitty
 
 
Purred: Mon Jun 4, '12 6:01pm PST 
Sooo happy they are safe and warm! You are those kittens guardian angel. little angel The others are probably right he hopefully won't come looking for them. I would ask him to repay me for the vet bills too if he does. Good luck with their care.
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Chaplin

883301
 
 
Purred: Thu Jun 7, '12 9:12am PST 
Hi all--

Just an update!

All the kittens are doing VERY well--fat, happy, and using their little litter pan with regularity. One of my friends in rescue has taken four of the five into her home and is helping me to raise them. I have the tiniest kitten--the one that had pneumonia--with me, as she still needs special care (though she is doing FANTASTIC). They should be ready for new homes in about two weeks, and several GOOD people have already spoken for some of them. smile smile

I haven't heard a peep from the neighbors, and I really don't think I ever well, except perhaps a passing question at some point. While I'm not sure how I'll answer if/when he asks where they are...I know that part of my answer will include a description of how happy and healthy they are now and how their lives are hopefully going to be long, good ones with new owners who will love and appurrciate them!

Thanks all for your advice and support. Sometimes, doing the truly right thing means doing something the law might consider technically wrong. I wish we had a "Good Samaritan" law here! This will be the third instance where I've had to "kidnap" a neighbor's pet (the other two were dogs living on three foot chains without food or water). So far, so good.
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Monster

It's all about- me.
 
 
Purred: Thu Jun 7, '12 9:51am PST 
You are truly a good person
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