Update on Demanding
Just before I left to meet Pamela, Jolanda called. She spoke with the vet at the clinic where the cat died after the sterilisation. The cat was not heavily pregnant,and looked fine (but scared) going in. She woke up after the surgery, but crashed during recovery. The vet said they checked everything and believe that they have not been remiss in what they did.
The vet did feel very bad though because the woman was so upset. The woman is now demanding that the cat be cremated and sent to her and the vet will do so at their own cost.
The adoption volunteer then wrote in to say that there was someone else who wrote in this morning to say that someone had written in to check on her cats posted on the board. She mentioned putting them back on the street if they are not adopted. I wrote to check with her if these were community cats as she was a bit vague on this and there was no reply. She mentioned the cats are in the yard of her house to the adoption volunteer and mentioned something about keeping the males in the front yard and the females in the back.
She said to the volunteer she needed cheap slots - but she wanted the cats to be intact and so she wanted to screen the vets first. She also said she did not want the ovaries removed and wanted the Fallopian tubes tied! She said that she wanted to make sure the vets did it humanely and properly.
Firstly, vets always remove the ovaries - for one thing, it helps to prevent ovarian cancer. Secondly, the volunteer told her that all the vets are governed by the AVA and SVA, and they certainly will not allow a licensed vet to be carrying out operations that are inhumane.
CWS is also monitoring the situation - if anyone ever calls to tell us that a cat dies during surgery, we do call and find out why. If we ever feel that the number of cats dying is unacceptable, we will not work with that vet any longer.
However, as Vegancat mentioned, these are subsidised slots. This does NOT mean your cats get sub-standard treatment - what it DOES mean is that a lot of extras cannot be done. For example, you can get full blood work done before the operation, ensure the cat is sterilised, use different anaesthesia, etc but this will cost substantially more. Not everyone chooses to do it anyway even if they are full paying clients.
Furthermore, if these are community cats, they generally do not have the same standard of health as home cats. For one thing, many are unvaccinated. Unfortunately, this also means they are more susceptible to infections and the like. In an ideal world, it would be great to get everything done - but for many caregivers it is already very expensive - so sterilisation is the best thing you CAN do for your cat because it raises the level of their health.
One thing that annoyed me about both these cases is that both people were threatening to put the cats back on the street, but suddenly, in the first case, the dead cat is a 'beautiful and special' cat. Perhaps she might have considered not dumping it then.
As for the other person, she is also considering dumping them back on the street, but when it came to sterilisation, she wants the best possible service for them.
This is not in any way to imply that community cats deserve worse service, but that if these people loved the cats so much, perhaps they might consider keeping them.