Rescue organization says financial pressures could lead to animals being abandoned

On Monday morning, as Tami Williams was leaving her neighborhood on Sheehy Road in Nipomo, she noticed a plastic bin tipped over on its side with cat food spilled around it on the floor.

“I looked down and couldn’t believe what I was seeing, but there were four little kittens all nestled together inside the tub,” Williams said.

Two of the kittens didn’t even have their eyes open yet. Williams says it was a chilly morning when she found the kittens and they were fine, but experts say leaving an animal outside in the summer heat can be deadly.

“They can overheat, dehydrate and die very quickly,” said Elaine Genasci, co-founder of The Feline Network of the Central Coast.

As soon as she found the kittens, Williams called The Feline Network.

“I’m so glad I found them and was able to help them immediately. It makes me so sad that people don’t know their options,” Williams said.

Genasci says financial pressures could cause some people to give up on their animals.

“I think people are in a place where they can’t afford to feed them, or they can’t afford to have them neutered,” Genasci said.

Genasci suspects that veterinary bills and abandonment fees at humanitarian organizations both contribute to the financial strain caused by the animals, ultimately leading to abandonment.

“There’s always something better you can do. I can’t even imagine the level of hopelessness anyone would feel having to do that,” Williams said.

Animal Control encourages anyone who finds a sick or injured animal to take advantage of community humanitarian resources such as veterinary offices, the Department of Animal Services, and for cats and kittens, The Feline Network. If you are considering surrendering an animal, call your local animal service provider or local humane society to discuss surrender options.

“If you drop them somewhere, call somewhere, you don’t have to pay someone to pick them up. You can just drop them off, no questions asked and I think more people need to know that,” said Williams.

The kittens discovered by Tami Williams are now being fostered by the Central Coast Cat Network. They are clean, healthy, growing and together.

The cat network runs on volunteers and donations and they have many kittens looking for homes at the moment.

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Jennifer R. Strohm