See more readers' letters to CAT FANCY magazine.
A Home For Jane Doe
Last month, as I was going into a building on a busy street in Worcester, Mass., I thought I saw cats playing at the end of the alley adjacent to this building. Since it was not an area of houses, I went to check out these cats and found seven or eight half-grown kittens that were living under a warehouse. I had food in the trunk of my car, as I feed several feral cats in another location. These cats came running out to eat and did not appear to be afraid. I talked to a forklift operator who works at this warehouse, and he said that two different ladies come regularly to feed these cats.
As you know, feeding is not the solution, as next year there will be 27 cats, instead of just seven. One of these cats looked pregnant, so I picked her up and brought her to my vet and had her spayed and given a rabies shot. I took her home to recuperate and then to a local cat hospital for FIV and leukemia testing and for vaccinations, etc. When the vet asked her name, I said, “Jane Doe,” and it stuck.
I thought that finding a no-kill shelter or a good home would be easy, as she is a very pretty cat. But, no way. The shelters are loaded, and no one wants her. The problem is that she does not get along with my cats. I have two Siamese, and Jane Doe attacks them brutally. My cats are terrified of her, and I must take great pains to keep them separated. I already have three cats. I can’t have any more. Since I am retired, I just can’t afford four cats. Help! Will someone give me a solution or a home for Jane?
Money Better Spent On Shelters Than TNR Programs
I wanted to point out that I disagree with the TNR (trap-neuter-return) programs. While they sound good and have their benefits, with less breeding and viral disease, I can’t help but see a whole lot of other problems. The main one is that these cats still die a horrible death by other causes — namely blood infections, heat stroke, being preyed upon, injury from fights, freezing to death and starving to death. What’s so compassionate about that?
The money would be better spent on cats at the local shelter to extend their stay and wait for a home. The good people at shelters have to euthanize these wonderful cats. I know no one wants to talk about it, but the money would be better spent euthanizing the “wild” ones and not perfectly adoptable kitties. No one wants to round the feral cats up and do this, but it would work. Killing adoptable kitties before their time is not fair, either. The money would be better spent improving their lives and allowing them to get a home.
Pets and Landlord Liability
I just got my December issue of CAT FANCY and read the letter from C. Sprague and C. Thirtyacre in response to my letter in the September issue. I checked www.legalmatch.com and www.nolo.com on the issue of landlord liability. Although both sites stated that landlord-tenant law is constantly changing, what I read on the issue of landlord liability said nothing about a landlord being liable for a tenant’s pets injuring someone. However, I can imagine that if a landlord had a pet that injured a visitor (an overly friendly and demonstrative dog knocking someone down, a cat scratching someone with an immune disorder, etc.), then the landlord might be liable. But, that would be more like a personal case, rather than a landlord case. I think that if a landlord has a pet like that, they would be wise to restrain the animal or keep it away from tenants and visitors.
The only other scenario that comes to mind would be if the area is known to have feral cats and stray dogs, and someone was injured by one of these non-resident animals. Unless the landlord can prove that they were unable to keep the feral cats or dogs out, they couldn’t be held liable. But if a tenant’s pet were to injure another tenant or a visitor, then the tenant would be liable, not the landlord. The only solution I can see is if a landlord has the tenant sign a waiver absolving him or her of responsibility for any injury from feral animals, as those are supposed to be the city’s responsibility, unless a concerned landlord had contacted an animal rescue group to trap the animals. If you own a pet, you are responsible for its actions at all times, whether or not you’re there with it.
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