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Thursday, Apr. 28, 2016

Kitten saved by Subway staff, S.P.O.T.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

A few short weeks ago, Jared the kitten was close to death.

The tiny yellow cat was living near the trash bin of the Subway restaurant in Greencastle.

Subway staff Melissa Nauman, Travis Huff and Delia McCalister noticed the little fellow and tried to catch him for over a week. They tempted him with tuna and other goodies, but the feral cat kept his distance.

When McCalister noticed the kitten seemed to have an injured tail, she and her staff got serious about catching him. McCalister called her husband Keith , who brought a live trap to the store. With a little more tuna they were able to catch the cat.

They discovered he was horribly injured, with most of his tail eaten off by maggots. The group set about trying to find help for the cat. They called local veterinarians and the Humane Shelter, but could not find anyone to provide aid to the kitten.

"I was worried to death about that kitten. When I couldn't get any help from the area vets I wasn't sure what to do," said McCalister.

Finally, McCalister talked with a friend from church, Judy Weatherman, who had a contact living at Heritage Lake and told them about S.P.O.T. (Stop Pet Overpopulation Today) in Cloverdale.

Veterinarian Nancy Ferguson and registered veterinary technician Shannon Crigger opened their doors and their hearts to the kitten.

"If they brought him in a day or two later, I don't think he would have make it," Crigger said.

The Subway crew donated from their own pockets to help save the kitten, dubbed "Jared" by Ferguson and Crigger after Subway spokesman Jared Fogle.

Ferguson and Crigger operated on the kitten, removing what was left of his tail and cleaning him up. He was vaccinated and neutered and given a notch in his ear to identify him as a feral cat that has been sterilized.

"Fortunately, no maggots had gotten inside the cat. We were able to remove his tail and clean him up. He's doing fine now," said Ferguson.

Becky Robinson, a volunteer at S.P.O.T., saw 3 month-old kitten and decided to adopt him.

According to the Humane Society of the United States, a feral cat is any cat that is too poorly socialized to be handled and who cannot be placed into a typical pet home.

Often, feral cats are not socialized and don't want to be touched. Jared is so young that Ferguson says he will be fine.

Robinson has already taken Jared home to meet with her 15-year-old cat Allie. The home also has guinea pigs and bunnies.

Jared made himself right at home in the center of the pen with the guinea pigs.

Jared was lucky to find a home. Feral cats are present in almost every community in the United States. Managing the animals is a real challenge for municipalities and animal welfare organizations.

Feral cats originate primarily from lost or abandoned pet cats that have not been sterilized. Left on their own, the cats and their offspring tend to live in groups known as colonies.

According to Ferguson, attempting to remove these cats from the environment seems simple at first glance.

"Feral cats are at a spot because the environment provides food and shelter for them. Removing one group just opens the area up for another group to move in," she said.

The better action is to use live traps to catch the animals, have them sterilized and then re-release them back where they came from.

"It takes a little longer, but it is a better way to stop the problem. Re-releasing them keeps other feral cats from moving into the area and keeping it an ongoing problem. The sterilized animals eventually die, but they don't produce any more cats. Over time the problem is reduced," she said.

Ferals that are captured, sterilized and re-released get a tiny notch in their ear to mark them as altered.

Whenever possible, tame adults and kittens that can be readily socialized are removed from the colonies and evaluated for adoption. Those whose suffering cannot be alleviated are euthanized.

This program, called Trap, Neuter and Return (TNR) can greatly benefit a community. A coalition of local animal organizations implemented TNR on Rikers Island in Queens, N.Y. in 2002. Nearly 300 cats in approximately 20 colonies were trapped over several months.

They were sterilized, given rabies shots and released back to the area with a long-term monitoring and feed system in place. Adoption of some cats led to a drop of 20 percent in the feral population.

Since 2002, only a handful of litters have been found each year and attrition has lowered the overall numbers to approximately half of the original population.

"With this type of program in place, we can put a huge dent in controlling the feral cat population," said Ferguson.

S.P.O.T. is a non-profit spay neuter clinic offering high quality, low cost sterilization. The cost to sterilize a dog (male or female) is $55. Female cats cost $40 and male cats are $35. Feral cat sterilization costs $40 and includes rabies and ear tip. Vaccinations are $10 each.

The organization holds a vaccination clinic every Monday from 1-7 p.m. Surgeries are by appointment only.

S.P.O.T. is located in Cloverdale at the intersection of S.R. 231 and S.R. 42. They can be reached at (765) 795-4336.

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It's sad that they couldn't get any help from the Humane Shelter. Because you know there's someone there. And to the vets in this town, shame on them. Kudo's to the vet in Cloverdale!

-- Posted by whodouthinkur on Mon, Sep 8, 2008, at 7:01 AM

This is why no-kill shelters don't work. $100 to save a feral cat with a maggot-infested tail. Not every life is precious, folks.

-- Posted by tackleberry65 on Mon, Sep 8, 2008, at 7:19 AM

Now that West Central Veterinary docs are in town, I guarantee there will be vet service 24/7. We've used them for years while they were in Rockville and will continue to use them now that they are in the community.

-- Posted by foxtrotter on Mon, Sep 8, 2008, at 8:11 AM

We need more people like the Subway employees and the kind people at S.P.O.T. We all need to do out part. Way to go! It's encouraging to see something positive in the paper and in our community.

-- Posted by Hawkeye on Mon, Sep 8, 2008, at 9:29 AM

In fairness to the veterinarians in Greencastle...

Greencastle Vet Clinic has taken in several stray cats that they have fixed & vaccinated, hoping to find them homes. They can't possibly help every animal. Whoever dumped that kitten is the one at fault, as is every owner with an unaltered animal allowed to run at large. THE ONLY ANSWER to pet overpopulation & stray animals is to FIX THEM !!!

While I'm on my soapbox...don't buy generic dog food for your dogs- you get what you pay for and your animal might as well be eating cardboard. There is very little nutritional value in those foods, and, because of that, there is more waste.

But, the kind of people that feed cheap dog food probably don't care about dog waste in their yard because the dog is running around loose dumping in someone else's yard...

On the other hand, if the Subway staff was willing to pay for some of the care, one of the Vets in town might have stepped up..

-- Posted by Essie on Mon, Sep 8, 2008, at 12:58 PM

Sorry Tackleberry....no kill works.

It is a proven fact.


"Nathan J. Winograd is the Director of the national No Kill Advocacy Center. He is a graduate of Stanford Law School, a former criminal prosecutor and attorney, was director of operations for the San Francisco SPCA and executive director of the Tompkins County SPCA, two of the most successful shelters in the nation. He has spoken nationally and internationally on animal sheltering issues, has written animal protection legislation at the state and national level, has created successful No Kill programs in both urban and rural communities, and has consulted with a wide range of animal protection groups including some of the largest and best known in the nation."

P.S. I would rather spend $100.oo on a defenseless animal than I would on Illegal Immigrant Federal spending, allowing criminals more perks than most middle income families, or a lot of other things I could think of. Of those things I have no choice where my money goes, on this I do and gladly.

Kudos Nancy, Shannon and the Subway crew!!

-- Posted by Petrescuer on Mon, Sep 8, 2008, at 1:09 PM

No kill is the way to go as long as the animal isn't suffering. Wish more of these kind of people would step up. Depauw is bad with stray cats,so is Van Bibber and Cloverdale.

-- Posted by mad-mom on Mon, Sep 8, 2008, at 5:27 PM

I too tried to catch this kitten about 3 weeks ago. This kitten had had his tail set on fire. It was charred. Thats more than likely why it was so hard to catch. As far as the vets in this town goes...they are not willing to help. Yes the Greencastle Vet clinic has in the past helped , I too have taken in many homeless animals in the past from there. But the small amount they spent on the animal they recieved back for vet care many times over. People wonder why we go out of town for vet care. Care and concern is a very large part and who you are dealing with. Your unwillingness to help puts a black cloud over Greencastle.

-- Posted by dragonflyrodeo on Thu, Sep 11, 2008, at 12:17 PM

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