Worried about and frustrated by neighbour cat

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corvidae

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Hi all, sorry for my absence from this thread. Mindy had a bout of pancreatitis and had to be hospitalized - she’s home and doing better now.
I’m in the middle of the heat wave in Canada right now and Butters has been outside all day- it’s been up to 34, or 93* Fahrenheit. I’ve brought him water twice, and just now when I went to take the garbage out he emerged from a hole in our shed - I guess he’d been sheltering in there. As I write this he’s back to sitting on our front step, which he’s been doing a lot of over the past weeks, poor guy.
This morning I also noticed that his healing wound had some crusty fur around it. I’m wondering if it’s (re-?) infected.
I’m considering calling animal protection tomorrow morning since they’re putting him outside in this heat. Does anyone have thoughts on that?
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rubysmama

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I don't know much about animal protection, but my worry is that they wouldn't do enough to ensure he was returned to his humans, and you'd never know what happened to him. I suppose it couldn't hurt to call them, and tell them what's going on, without giving your address or anything.
 

fionasmom

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Very sorry to hear about Mindy and glad that she is improving. Poor baby just had all that dental work done and now pancreatitis.

I find Butter's treatment in the heat and with a suspicious recurrence of that sore, possibly, to be terrible.

Out here, AC would come and talk to the neighbors. Do you know what your neighbors would do in that case? As for confiscating a pet, it would have to be quite serious for them to do that, but keep in mind that I am talking about Los Angeles city/county where there are way more animals in need than AC could ever pick up. Maybe in Saskatchewan they have a better handle on situations like this.

If they did take him, what is the next step for him? I did look up the Saskatchewan Animal Protection Services and their definition of neglect and abuse, like most other places, would be determined by them, so it is hard to tell what they might do or not do.

I think that your neighbors will say that they did provide care for the wound and that they are providing water for him.

So, I have been no help, as I usually don't know what to do in these cases myself.
 
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corvidae

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Thanks, you two. I think I’ll check in with my friend who used to work at the SPCA and see what the options are if I report.
I was so excited when I hadn’t seen him outside today, thinking he was safe inside with a fan, but I just found him on our step again. I gave him some more water and set up a little box with a towel in the shed in case he goes in there again to cool off. I feel so helpless. Poor little guy.
 

IndyJones

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Poor thing. If the weather there is that hot humid weather we have here right now he's in danger of heat stroke. If you see him panting or struggling to breathe he needs to be cooled off immediately as these are signs of heat stroke. Untreated it can be fatal even.

Can you give him some shade and a bowl of water with an ice cube in it? He might even like a straight ice cube to lick. He needs lots of fluids and a sheltered area.
 
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corvidae

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A couple updates:
On Friday it was the hottest day of the week: 40 Celsius, and felt like even hotter. My partner noticed Butters outside and gave him some ice water, and then decided to reach out to his owners out of concern that he was outside in the heat, explaining that he’d been coming into our shed to seek shade. Unfortunately, Butters’ owners did not seem worried about him. They apologized for him getting into our yard (interesting considering they haven’t ever tried to prevent this by not letting him free roam), and said that because they don’t have air conditioning it’s actually not that bad for Butters to be outside in extreme heat. We don’t have A/C either, but at least in the house we have fans and ice packs and can monitor our cats for signs of heat stroke!
My partner called the animal protection people today, and they basically said that Butters isn’t being neglected/abused to the extent that they can step in. We would be able to call and report him as at large when he’s on our property, which would be a fine between 100-250 dollars for his owners to get him back, but they’d likely know it was us and we don’t know if that would change their behaviour or care of Butters at all. We also worry about him having no access to fresh water or human affection if they restrict him to their fenced backyard- after all, there’s a reason he is always on our steps looking for us.
This continues to be such a heartbreaking situation, and stressful too. Yesterday I took Mindy out for her first walk since she was hospitalized, and she was having a great time until Butters materialized from behind a bush and approached her. It just isn’t fair - to him or to our cats. He deserves so much better.
 

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I am sorry about this. TBH the same response would have been given here by AC. The burden of proof that Butters has NO water anywhere and is TOO hot falls onto you because they have made the whole thing theoretical. I had a similar situation with clearly abused "guard" dogs in a construction site. I called the police it was so bad and they told me that I could not prove that anything was really wrong. But, they did call the supposed owner of the guard dog company and the next day the dogs were gone....I have always shuddered to think what happened as one was a pregnant female...and a more normal and healthier dog was there in its place. Fining the neighbors opens up a huge issue in which they could come back at you in various ways and certainly could confine Butters in a worse place where he would have no help at all. Certainly your life has been impacted, and Mindy's, but Butters could be the biggest victim in this whole mess if you proceed.
 

rubysmama

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corvidae corvidae : I was thinking about Butters, and wondering how he's doing. Also wondering, if things are better, and whether you've been able to take Mindy out for walks without being bothered.
 

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corvidae corvidae : I was thinking about Butters, and wondering how he's doing. Also wondering, if things are better, and whether you've been able to take Mindy out for walks without being bothered.
After reading all the messages about poor Butters I’m also wondering how he made out….I hope things are better and he healed and survived. I don’t know how people can be so cruel to animals…..they should get the same treatment in my opinion….this is one reason why I have 12 cats, couldn’t give them up without wondering if they went to a good home or not so I kept them (all indoor and spayed and neutered)
 
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corvidae

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Thanks for your concerns about Butters, folks! He really is a special little guy. Honestly, his situation is much the same.

A couple days after my last update, we once again found Butters injured. I was too anxious to go to the neighbours' house, but my partner and our roommate both went to confront the owners. They spoke to the other member of the household, not the same one who opened the door the first time we presented him injured to them. Apparently she seemed quite concerned when my partner told her about our concerns for Butters and for our cats, and said she would talk to the rest of the house about keeping him enclosed/figuring out a way to cat proof their backyard. We learned that Butters has lived on this street for a long time. Initially he was a stray, and when our neighbours "adopted" him they basically just took over his vet costs (they did mention he has pet insurance) and feeding him. He comes and goes from their house because he meows when they try to keep him inside (this infuriated me - surely you can find a way to enrich your cat inside? If your kid cried because you wouldn't let him play in traffic does that mean you should let him go??). It seemed momentarily like there might actually be some changes in response to our concerns - the neighbours said they'd start cutting his claws, which they had been leaving totally untrimmed so he could "protect himself". He started wearing a collar with his city pet license on it, which is something at least - though the cynical part of me feels that was just so they wouldn't have to pay the higher fine if we did call animal control.

Heartbreakingly, that only lasted about a week. He lost his collar at some point. He's been spending a lot of time under a big branch in our yard. He is still outside all the time, he still runs up to me or to my partner outside because he knows we care for him, he sits on our steps all the time. Just yesterday I was taking Mindy for a walk in the opposite direction of Butters' house and he saw us and came trotting down the sidewalk to investigate, which really stressed her out. I'm so sad/mad about this whole situation and I honestly feel very helpless. I've been continuing to give him fresh water (once I saw his owners in our yard filling up the water bowl we have out for him, which was weird). I've also learned he LOVES being brushed. His poor fur is very greasy/dandruffy, and he purred and rolled over so I could brush him all over when I brought a brush outside to see what he would think. This little dude deserves so much better. We will be moving probably this summer, and there's a not-insignificant part of me that wants to catnap him and take him with us :( .
 

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What a story. And he has pet insurance so they could try to take better care of him if they wanted. The part about filling up your water bowl is also very odd. Do you have any ability to take him with you when you go? Even if you rehomed him later? He sounds as if he would be a very good pet for someone. I would take him if it were me. How you handle this would be in whatever way seemed right to you. I have done both....approaching owners and asking or presenting myself as having a solution to the "problem" and just removing an animal on my own. Of course, that is my situation ethics at work and may not be yours.

At our previous house, there were rampant mountain lions and coyotes. My neighbor routinely brought young cats from his sister's ranch in Texas and put them out for ratters, never allowing them inside. Some were killed on their first night there. The last one accidentally moved in with me. He finally gave up, but about a year later said to me that "Filene" had not even made it one night either. Actually she made it for 17 years inside my house.
 

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Thanks for the update…I feel so bad for both you and Butters…they don’t seem too concerned about him at all…wonder if they really do have health insurance for him…it doesn’t make sense…if they have insurance why not bring him to a vet?? And it’s very surprising if they truly have insurance, why would they pay if they really don’t give a sxxx for him. I think if I were you I’d be tempted to bring him along too. What’s gonna happen to him once you leave?
 

fionasmom

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Good point.....claiming to have insurance would be a good talking point to get you away from the door with your concerns about the cat. We really are good cat owners.......
 

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What a story. And he has pet insurance so they could try to take better care of him if they wanted. The part about filling up your water bowl is also very odd. Do you have any ability to take him with you when you go? Even if you rehomed him later? He sounds as if he would be a very good pet for someone. I would take him if it were me. How you handle this would be in whatever way seemed right to you. I have done both....approaching owners and asking or presenting myself as having a solution to the "problem" and just removing an animal on my own. Of course, that is my situation ethics at work and may not be yours.

At our previous house, there were rampant mountain lions and coyotes. My neighbor routinely brought young cats from his sister's ranch in Texas and put them out for ratters, never allowing them inside. Some were killed on their first night there. The last one accidentally moved in with me. He finally gave up, but about a year later said to me that "Filene" had not even made it one night either. Actually she made it for 17 years inside my house.
That’s horrible, those poor, poor cats, never had a chance….hope those SOB get their pay back!
 

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I am not suggesting that you do this, but if it were me, Butters would be coming with me when I moved. And, with any luck you have no one in your current neighborhood that you plan on keeping touch with. I know you still have to deal with this issue with Mindy, but where there is a will, there is a way.

I agree about the insurance and am not sure I believe it to be true. I personally think they really don't want Butters, but somewhere along the line they committed to someone to watch over him and feel obligated to do at least the minimum.
 

rubysmama

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corvidae corvidae : Such a strange situation with Butters and his owners, especially with the water dish in your yard incident. Maybe once you move away, they'll step up and take better care of him.

fionasmom fionasmom : those poor darling cats that your neighbour brought, basically to be killed. At least you were able to save one of them.
 

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My poor outside cats are out in a hundred-degree heat every day. I even water down the lilacs near our place to give them some cool dirt to lay on, but they prefer being in a metal garage! Mama has 4-week old kittens in there, too. I have two big pans of water in the shade of the building and when it got so hot I even have a box fan in the garage to stir things around. Cats are desert animals so I pray they aren't as hot as I am!
 

fionasmom

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All of my ferals out here have survived high temperatures. They are desert animals and don't suffer like dogs might. It is upsetting to think about the heat, but with water and shelter, they do survive. Mama probably feels safer in the garage despite the heat.
 
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