A reader sent me the link to this photo last month and I filed a FOIA request for the records of these kittens. There were 6 of them and all of their record notes are identical. Every note in each kitten’s record appears to have been copied and pasted from one to the next. All 6 kittens were surrendered to the Downey Animal Care Center in Los Angeles Co on October 25, 2012. Listed as 3 months old and weighing roughly 2 and 1/2 pounds each, they were vaccinated, dewormed and Frontline’d on October 26. Their “due out” date was October 31. On October 30, a note in each kitten’s records reads “pre-alter for Petsmart event this weekend”. I interpret that to mean that the 6 kittens were supposed to be neutered in preparation for an adoption event at Petsmart occurring on the weekend of November 3. On October 31, each kitten’s record has a note indicating they were too small for surgery. The next day’s notes indicate every one of the kittens was “found sneezing in the cage” and put on antibiotics. The day after that, the shelter killed them all for “space” and listed their condition as “ill”. They weren’t allowed to live long enough to finish their medication.
Since the notes were the same on all the kittens, I only scanned one kitten’s records for this post. You can view those records here.
If the so-called irresponsible public all neutered their pets, would that force the staff at Downey to do their jobs instead of cramming these kittens into a cage and killing them the first time they sneezed? Because that’s what killing apologists say – blame the public, spay-neuter, blah. The problem with blaming shelter killing on the public for failing to neuter their pets is three-fold:
- Most pet owners have already neutered their pets. Most of those who haven’t would do so if the service was something they could access and afford.
- Neutering pets does nothing to save the roughly 22,000 pets who are in shelters today. And those pets’ lives matter. All of them.
- There will always be a need for animal shelters, regardless of how many people neuter their pets. When shelter workers won’t do their jobs and shelter the pets in their care, reproductive status is irrelevant.
The bottom line: If you are an animal shelter worker who does not know that it’s wrong to stuff 6 kittens into a cage and then kill them, you can not be helped by anyone neutering their pets.