It’s raining kittens and puppies – Medford News, Weather, Sports, Breaking News

10 kittens and 10 puppies recently left for dead highlight desperate need for shelter volunteers and foster families

Ten kittens who were recently rescued are recovering at the Jackson County Animal Shelter. [Jamie Lusch / Mail Tribune]

Sky Loos, executive director of Friends of the Animal Shelter, works with rescued puppies at the shelter on Wednesday. [Jamie Lusch / Mail Tribune]

The only thing that could overpower the stench of 10 newly weaned kittens snatched from a dumpster on a triple-digit day in Medford was the grief of rescuers over the animals being left to die in the scorching heat.

To be sure, Jackson County Animal Services Manager Kim Casey has seen heartbreaking stories in her decades of animal welfare work.

But the box of scared and hungry kittens, thrown out like trash, was one of the saddest stories.

“It’s not uncommon for a tragic or sad circumstance to arise in our work, especially when people are desperate and feel they have no other way to deal with their problems, but this was especially sad. “, Casey said.

“We weren’t able to take in any abandoned kittens because we kind of maxed out our foster program and our volunteers. But when someone walks into our office with a box of overheated kittens that smells like garbage, it’s not is not something we can turn our backs on.

Casey said the kittens came from two separate litters and were around 5 and 7 weeks old.

“Luckily someone heard their pitiful cries, otherwise it could have ended badly for these babies,” Casey said.

“We suspect it was a case of someone who was overwhelmed, probably rounded them up and decided they were going to take care of a situation. And that’s exactly what they did.

Just days after the kittens arrived, Casey said, local sheriff’s deputies delivered 11 more desperate souls. An emaciated mother dog – a border collie/pit bull mix – and her 10 two-week-old babies.

Casey said it was sobering to see several large groups of discarded and abandoned cats and dogs. A mother doodle and her six babies were dumped weeks before the 10 border collie mixes, she noted.

The 10 puppies had been left in a cage without water or food.

“The Jackson County Sheriff‘s Department was called to an abandoned trailer and she was locked in a wire crate with all of her puppies. They were badly overheated and we were pretty sure they couldn’t be saved,” Casey said.

“They were only 2 weeks old, so the odds weren’t good. Our technician spent several hours reviving these overheated babies, and we’re happy to report that they were all successful, in some way. or another.

Now 5 weeks old, the puppies, like the kittens, Casey said, are in desperate need of a foster home.

Even before the recent two 10-packs, an increase in owner abandonment and stray animals has overstretched the capacity and staff of county animal shelters.

The current restrictions, not being able to accept buyouts from owners due to capacity issues, have apparently caused bad decisions.

According to Casey, officials at a tactical shelter found that owners can’t — or won’t — pay for medical care to deliver their pets to the Southern Oregon specialty veterinary clinic, saying the animals are wandering. The clinic provides medical care to injured strays and then takes the animals to the shelter.

“There are a lot of issues that contribute to the issues we have. The housing issue has been bad. We have people losing their homes or being forced to move to other accommodation,” Casey said.

“Also, some of what we see are people who have made decisions during COVID. They were no longer at home. Maybe they didn’t think about the type of animal they were getting. Now they travel more, or they go on vacation…and they decide the cat or dog they adopted was a bad idea.

She added: “The underlying problem is that we have people who haven’t thought through their decision or thought about what should happen if their situation changes. In some cases, it’s because they can’t afford or don’t have access to medical care. Even still, we have people who have done everything they were supposed to and suddenly find themselves in a more hopeless situation.

For now, Casey said, shelter staff will continue to do as much as they can.

One afternoon last week, that meant little puppies and tiny kittens were sleeping on laps, buried on shoulders or sitting next to desk keyboards.

“We currently have a lot of babies in this shelter, and everyone is trying to help socialize them while we try to recruit volunteers to take them in. I had two in my arms as I was typing yesterday,” Casey said.

“It’s true what they say, that when it rains, it pours. And right now, it’s raining cats and dogs in the shelter… except, I guess you would say in this case, it’s raining puppies and kittens.

Casey said shelter officials hope to place the puppies and kittens in pairs, which is less scary for the animals. The shelter also urgently needs foster homes for older cats and dogs, and for dogs that are awaiting medical attention or are stressed by a shelter environment.

For more information on volunteers, see

For more information on 10 kittens or 10 puppies, email [email protected] or call 541-774-6651.

Contact journalist Buffy Pollock at 541-776-8784 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @orwritergal.

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Jennifer R. Strohm