Friday, February 21, 2014

Battle of the fleas and emotions

Bruce Nance, SPCA Florida community support manager/trapper caught another small cat Thursday. She was covered with fleas -- poor thing -- and he washed her down with flea spray before before making the trip back to the SPCA's Lakeland facility. On Wednesday Nance returned after getting a phone call from someone who heard a cat's cry from within the now vacant house. He set up more traps and refilled cat food dishes that were taken over by flies. He found a dead kitten and remains of another cat. Nance travels two and a half hours, five hours round trip, to assure cats that were in the house are rescued. He won't stop until the job is done.

Everywhere fleas
Nance depends on neighbors to check on traps he set near windows and contact him if and when a cat is caught. But getting near the windows without getting covered with fleas is not an easy task. We dusted the perimeter and immediate lawn area with a flea and insect product to help keep the fleas at bay.

Work through emotions
By neighbors, I am referring to myself, Judy and Sheryl. Our properties abut this lot and we are the most directly effected. It has been hard. We all share the same emotions -- sadness, helplessness, despair, anger and now accomplishment.

The anger is against the people who let their home become a jail for as many as 75 cats. Anger when they walked away and looked for others to fix their problems. But it is what it is and we have to move on -- pick up trash, as this home is still a part of our neighborhood. We don't have to forgive, but we can move on.

Thankful for their action
We are especially grateful for the support and action we receive from our county commissioner, Diane Rowden. She secured the help of SPCA Florida. She oversaw an agreement made between the county sheriff and the property owner that made it possible for the SPCA to enter the house and remove the cats and kittens. The SPCA did what needed to be done before putting them up for adoption.  Rowden is continuing to work with the owner regarding cat hoarding issues and is finding sources for removing the home that is now unfit and should be condemned.

Hopefully, the connection between the county commission and the SPCA will lead to solutions -- better ways to handle potential hoarding situations before they become out of control and better ways to protect pets.

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