Rescuing the Pets and Stray Cats of Hopeville

Categories: Animals

526696_3644586788562_145878860_n_opt.jpg
Danielle Faulkner-Schaffer
Narco the cat, formerly of Hopeville, now looking for a new home.
Even in Hopeville, there were pets. The stray cats who wandered in found homes, of sorts, with the stray human who had set up camp there.

"There aren't any feral cats," says Dawn Blaloch, a volunteer with the St. Louis Area Community Cat Coalition. "They're better socialized than my cats. They're the sweetest, most loving animals you'll ever meet."

So when word came that all the humans in Hopeville were being relocated in advance of the bulldozers scheduled to roll through this morning, it was clear that the cats had to go with them.

The St. Louis Area Community Cat Coalition works primarily with feral cats. They believe that the most humane way to rid the city of colonies of feral cats is not to exterminate the cats all at once, but to trap the cats, neuter or spay them and then return them to the colony sites, where they'll be watched and fed by human volunteers.

With a mass extermination, there's always a chance that a few cats will hide and continue to reproduce. Within seven years, Blaloch says, one female cat can produce as many as 65,000 descendants. But if the cats don't have any more kittens, the colony will die off naturally.

Similar TNR (trap-neuter-return) programs are already in place in Baltimore, New York and Oklahoma City. The Coalition had been working with the St. Louis Department of Health to set up its own TNR program here. When city officials discovered there were animals in Hopeville, too, they contacted the Coalition to see if the area would be a good site for TNR.

But, as the group discovered when a few of its members, accompanied by environmental health officers, first visited Hopeville on May 2, the cats and dogs there weren't feral at all. They were pets. A census determined that there were 53 cats in all, and ten dogs.

"The cats needed to stay with the people," says Blaloch.

cat2.jpg
Danielle Faulkner-Schaffer
And so the group got in touch with Catholic Charities, the organization responsible for relocating the humans. Coincidentally, the same day the Cat Coalition called, housing counselor Debbie Koeller had left messages with a few other animal rescue groups concerning the fate of the cats.

"It's really important for people to stay with their pets," Blaloch explains. "They've lost everything, but the animals stay with them. Once Catholic Charities was aware the animals were pets, they started looking for housing that would accept pets."

Catholic Charities also provided van transportation for the Hopeville residents to their new homes after members of the Cat Coalition pointed out that animals aren't allowed on buses or MetroLink.

The remaining cats, the ones without owners, have found temporary homes. The nursing mothers and their kittens are being fostered by Cat Coalition volunteers. (The dogs found homes, too.)

"We got all the cats out in time," says Blaloch. As of last night, only one cat had evaded capture. The group hoped to get him out before the bulldozers rolled him. He already has his next life lined up, as a barn cat.

If you're interested in adopting a Hopeville cat, you can find them at the Hillside Animal Hospital in Kings Oak and The Pet Doctorand All Paws Rescue, both in O'Fallon (Missouri).

Blaloch was moved by the site of the Hopeville residents and their pets. "That people living in the direst circumstances were willing to share what little they had with creatures worse off than they are...I'm inspired by the generosity of the human spirit."

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17 comments
Cat food
Cat food

Your veterinarian will perform a thorough physical examination on your cat. If tapeworms are present, they will be found in the anal sac or in the feces. A fecal sample can be used to review for the presence of tapeworms. False negatives do occur, but most test results are conclusive.

Cat food
Cat food

Rescuing a stray cat can be a very rewarding experience. A successful rescue can bring a new pet into your home or into someone else's home. However, a successful rescue requires work and patience. Since each cat is different in personality and needs, a rescue may occur very quickly or it may take a very long time, if at all.

susieque2
susieque2

OK, let's take Woodsman001's idiocy one claim at a time.

Campylobacter:  commonly found in the intestines of dogs, cats, rodents, swine, cattle humans and lots of other species, it is spread into humans by consuming food contaminated by fecal matter, by eating uncooked meat or by drinking unpasteurized milk.  If you're stupid enough to do those things and get sick, there are antibiotic treatments that work.  If so, you were probably infected by a mouse.

Catscratch Fever is one of the thousands of infections that people are exposed to in our natural environment.  Yep.  This one is spread by cats   Actually it's spread by kittens.  Older cats usually clear it from their systems. If you are bitten then infected and don't have AIDS, expect to have a sore throat and some swollen glands for about a week.  It is spread from bites.  Bites are less common when we're talking about pets like we are here.

Coxiella burnetti:  This is spread by cattle goats and sheep.  It can exist in humans, cats and dogs.  It is treated with antibiotics.  If it exists in humans, cats and dogs, they were likely infected from cattle, goats and sheep.  If you are in a high risk profession for this disease, like vet tech or sheep shearer, you have probably been exposed and are immune.  50% of the infected are completely asymptomatic.

Cryptosporidium:  Most commonly spread from human to human.  This lives in infected soil and water and is one of the most common water borne diseases in humans.  The most common secondary source of infection is cattle.  It's another one spread by ingesting fecal matter.

Tapeworm and hookworm:  Ok, we all know what these are.  Leptospirosis:  This is a fairly uncommon spirochete infection.  It is the name for a whole group of them.  The most common donor animals are rats, mice and moles.  There is a vaccine for the most common kind that infects cats, but most varieties don't have a vaccine.  That's because it's a bunch of different organisms and is rare.

Giardia:  You get this from sewage contaminated drinking water.  Most commonly spread from human to human.

Plague:  One of the noted causes of the Black Plague on Europe was the persecution of cats and the linking of them with witchcraft.  This caused a decline in the cat population, and explosion of the population of rats, and the access of human habitats to rats when the plague came to Europe from Asia.  Of course, cats can catch it, but don't catch it in the same numbers as humans and do catch it from rats, like we do.  It is transmitted by fleas.

Rabies:  Of the 22 human rabies cases found between 1980 and 1997, 19 were bat bites and the others didn't have a known cause.   Rabies is fairly rare in humans and domestic animals.  There was an outbreak in skunks a few years ago. 

Ringworm:  This is spread from all sorts of mammals to humans and back again.  You can get it from them, they can get it from you.  You can get it from other people.  You have to treat every infected thing in the house if you want to kill it.

Salmonella:  Another bacteria spread through fecal contamination.

Toxocara:  Roundworm.  Don't eat fecal contamination or walk barefoot through the sewer.

Toxoplasma:  Toxoplasmosis is a potentially dangerous disease, but one that almost half of the human population already carries.  It's the reason that pregnant women shouldn't clean the litter box.  It's fecal contamination again, along with eating uncooked meat.  It can cause behavior changes in the infected.  Maybe Woodsman001 has it.

Sarcosporidiosis:  The two types that can infect humans are spread by rat droppings and from infected cattle.  It's the uncooked meat thing again.

Flea-borne Typhus:  An extremely rare form of typhoid.   Most typhoid fever is transmitted from human to human via lice.  Treated with tetracycline.

Tularemia:  AKA deer fly fever, rabbit fever, lemming fever.  This is transmitted by ticks, horseflies, and mosquitoes.  Normally affects wild animals.  Are you getting the picture about this person yet?

Now, contrary to this person's statements that shooting wild cats in rural areas is common, it isn't.  The true disease spreaders on farms are rodents.  Cats eat rodents.  That's why a lot of farmers have populations of "barn cats."  Shooting or drowning wild cats is unnecessary, cruel and stupid.Most TRUE woodsmen don't hunt cats.

Propaganda Fixer
Propaganda Fixer

The one problem in ALL your claims, Nearly all of those animals contract those diseases FROM CATS. In fact, ALL your meats that come from herbivores can NOT contract those diseases any ANY OTHER WAY BUT FROM CATS' FECES. Nearly all those other wild animals aren't in close proximity to humans -- BUT CATS ARE. Cats also infect rodents with their Toxoplasma gondii parasite which hijacks the minds of rodents to have them attracted to cat-urine. CATS ARE ATTRACTING DISEASED RODENTS RIGHT TO THEM, CONTRACTING THOSE RODENT'S DISEASE, AND THEN RIGHT TO THE HUMANS THAT LICK THEIR USELESS INVASIVE SPECIES BUTTS.

You really are a total idiot, aren't you. What's the matter? That infestation of T. gondii parasites in your brain preventing you from thinking clearly?

Do you know how you can tell when a cat lover is lying? Whenever they are talking.

susieque2
susieque2

 Propaganda fixer, Woodsman001, or what ever other names you  are posting under, these are all infections that are either uncommon in cats or that are contracted by cats from rats and mice.   Back to registering under several names with several junk e-mail accounts, if you have other names here I wonder how many facebook identities you have.Are you one of the people who was contracted by the anti-humane society groups while the breeder laws were being debated to post hateful stuff or are you a freelance troll? 

Runjsun
Runjsun

"Cats also infect rodents with their Toxoplasma gondii parasite which hijacks the minds of rodents to have them attracted to cat-urine"That is the stupidest thing I've ever heard. Show me the scientific basis.

The cat is a super predator brought from europe aboard ships to kill rodents that has no natural predator of its own. Cats can't be stopped 

brian
brian

 what the lamestream media isn't telling you is that there are currently more than 3,000,000 feral cats collecting welfare checks from the government, and voting illegally!  While the media runs cartoons portraying cats as lovable, lasagna-loving, Monday-hating gluttons, their real world counterparts are running the streets, spreading boneitis!  Also, if you listen closely, as Lee Harvey Oswald is hustled off to his cell, anyone with half a brain can hear him saying that he's a "catsy"!

Woodsman001
Woodsman001

Be cautious about suggesting that any cats rounded-up from outdoors be used for adoption or you could be held criminally responsible for destroying the lives and finances of families and their pets. There's no way to know a wild-harvested cats' vaccination history, if any, nor their exposure to all the deadly diseases cats carry. If a cat has contracted rabies then a vaccination against it later will do no good. It's already too late. There's also no reliable known test for rabies while keeping the animal alive. They really need to be destroyed after they are trapped. It's the only sane and sensible solution. This is precisely why all wild-harvested animals in the world, of any type intended for the pet-industry, must undergo an extended quarantine period of up to 6 months before transfer or sale of those animals to prevent just these things. Cats are no different than any other animal when harvested from the wild. You're just risking this following story happening in every shelter across the land.

(Google for: rabid cat adopted wake county)

Adopting any cat that's been taken from outdoors is just playing Russian Roulette.

Stray-cats, the very source of all feral-cats, need to be euthanized too or you'll never be rid of the feral-cat problem.

I found some surprising things about all the diseases these invasive-species vermin are now spreading throughout the USA.

These are just the diseases they've been spreading to humans, not counting the ones they spread to all wildlife. THERE ARE NO VACCINES against many of these, and are in-fact listed as bio-terrorism agents. They include: Campylobacter Infection, Cat Scratch Disease, Coxiella burnetti Infection (Q fever), Cryptosporidium Infection, Dipylidium Infection (tapeworm), Hookworm Infection, Leptospira Infection, Giardia, Plague, Rabies, Ringworm, Salmonella Infection, Toxocara Infection, Toxoplasma. [Centers for Disease Control, July 2010] Sarcosporidiosis, Flea-borne Typhus, and Tularemia can now also be added to that list.

(Links to proof of cats spreading many of these removed per post requirement. Businesses have even been ruined by some of them. Like those in Miami being shut-down due to feral-cats spreading hookworm in all the beaches there. The most surprising in my research is that people have already died from cat to human transmitted plague in the USA, starting back as early as 1994 (earliest cat-transmitted plague-death of a human, that I could find). Fleas and rats not even required if you have cats around. The cats themselves are carriers and spreaders of the plague. Totally disproving that oft-spewed myth about lack of cats causing the plague in Europe. Cats would have made it worse.)

The most insidious one of all, cats' Toxoplasma gondii parasite they spread through their feces into all other animals. This is how it gets into meats and humans get it from meats, cats roaming around stockyards and farms. This is why cats are ROUTINELY destroyed around gestating livestock or important wildlife by shooting or drowning them. So those animals won't suffer from the same things that can happen to the unborn fetus of any pregnant woman. (Miscarriages, still-births, hydrocephaly, and microcephaly.) It can kill you at any time during your life once you've been infected. It becomes a permanent lifetime parasite in your mind, killing you when your immune system becomes compromised. It can last over a year in any soils or waters and not even washing your hands or garden vegetables in bleach will destroy the oocysts. Contrary to popular cat-lovers' self-deceptive myths, a cat can also become reinfected many times during its life and spread new oocysts each time. It's now linked to the cause of autism, schizophrenia, and brain cancers. This parasite is now also killing off rare and endangered marine-mammals along all coastal areas from cats' T. gondii oocysts in run-off from the land, the oocysts even surviving in saltwater.

Its strange life cycle is meant to infect rodents. Any rodents infected with it lose their fear of cats and are actually attracted to cat urine.

(Google for: Toxoplasma gondii hijacks rodent mind)

Cats attract rodents to your home with their whole slew of diseases. If you want rodents in your home keep cats outside of it to attract diseased rodents to your area.

The time has come to destroy them all whenever spotted away from supervised confinement. There's no other solution. We have nobody but cat-lovers to thank for this ecological disaster.

Fuck-suburbs
Fuck-suburbs

Maybe all of the Asian members of the population can go down there and have themselves a good harvest for the restaurants along South Grand. Cat; the other white meat.

CatLover1024
CatLover1024

It's nice to see that they took the cats into consideration. Animals dying is never a good thing.

Anniebellegirl
Anniebellegirl

Thanks to all the volunteers who worked so hard to help these cats and the people who cared for them. This is hard work, and the volunteers deserve thanks!

You are my heros!

Woodsman001
Woodsman001

If you advocate for cats as rodent-control on farms and ranches you've already doomed them to being destroyed by drowning or shooting when it becomes a financial liability more than any asset. Ranchers and farmers worldwide are fully aware that cats' Toxoplasma gondii parasite can cause the very same birth defects (hydrocephaly and microcephaly), still-births, and miscarriages in their livestock and important wildlife as it can in pregnant women. Consequently, this is also how this cats' brain-parasite gets into your meats and onto your dinner-tables, from herbivores ingesting this cat-parasites' oocysts in the soils, transferred to the plants and grains that they eat. Not even washing your hands in bleach will destroy this parasites' oocysts if you have contracted it from your garden or yard that a cat has defecated in.

This is why any cats are ROUTINELY destroyed around gestating livestock and wildlife-management areas in the most efficient, humane, and least-expensive method available. Common rural practice everywhere. The risk of financial loss from dead livestock and important native wildlife from an invasive-species cat is far too great to do otherwise. This cats' parasite is now even killing off rare marine-mammals along all coastal regions from run-off containing this cat-parasites' oocysts.

The next time you bite into that whole-grain veggie-muffin or McBurger, you need to just envision biting down on a shot-dead or drowned kitten or cat. For that's precisely how that food supply got to your mouth -- whether you want to face up to it or not. It's not going to change reality no matter how much you twist your mind away from the truth of your world.

If you want to blame someone for the drowning and shooting of cats, you need to prosecute yourself -- every time you eat.

Woodsman001
Woodsman001

Some further information to help you do the RIGHT thing. ALL the required laws that you need to deal with this problem are already in place and have been for decades most everywhere.

Cats listed in THE TOP 40 WORST INVASIVE-SPECIES OF THE WORLD in the "Global Invasive-Species Database": http://www.issg.org/database/s...

Cats are _NOT_ exempt from invasive-species laws.

IT IS YOUR CIVIC AND MORAL RESPONSIBILITY TO DESTROY ANY INVASIVE-SPECIES WHEN FOUND AWAY FROM SUPERVISED CONFINEMENT AND OUT IN A NON-NATIVE HABITAT. In fact, it is against the law to NOT destroy an invasive-species on-site. Since cats are genetically engineered through selective-breeding and no longer have ANY native habitat ANYWHERE on earth, these laws include cats. This is precisely how they are dealt with on my own land, destroyed by using any and all humane methods** (see note). You also CANNOT make any distinction between stray and feral cats. STRAY CATS ARE THE VERY SOURCE OF FERAL CATS. If you don't destroy the source  as well you'll never be rid of feral cats. They are BOTH the very same  destructive, wildlife-destroying, deadly-disease spreading, INVASIVE SPECIES. NEITHER HAS ANY RIGHT TO BE AWAY FROM SUPERVISED CONFINEMENT.

For an example of how invasive-species laws are properly followed and enforced: It is highly illegal for a person to transport an African Cichlid fish species to just the other side the road if you catch one in the canals of the Everglades when fishing. THEY MUST BE DESTROYED ON-SITE. Yet Cichlids are often kept as pets, that's how they wrongly got into the canals to begin with. There are hefty fines in place for anyone found transporting these invasive-species alive if caught in the wild. (Interestingly, these Cichlids are FAR FAR LESS damaging to the environment and all other native wildlife than ANY cat.)

All of this much to the dismay of criminally irresponsible and psychotic cat-lovers who are desperately trying to raise these invasive-species cats to some absurd level of "Community Cats". If they do that then just raise "Community Pet Piranha" and release them in all your lakes and pools, or "Community Pet Black-Mambas" and release them in all your backyards and parks, then claim the exact same protections for them as cat-advocates want for their invasive-species cats. It'd only be fair! Are you starting to see just how absurd and ludicrous these cat-advocates are yet?

** (Though, to be perfectly honest, considering how cats cruelly torture and destroy all other animals by ripping the skins off of live animals or disemboweling them for slowly dying and twitching cats' play-toys (not even using them for food), I'm not really sure why cats should be given the privilege of a humane death. I've been drawn to many animal screams in my woods to find their cats shredding another animal to death; which I had to then quickly put that animal out of its misery, torment, and suffering caused by that cat by having to stomp that poor suffering animal to death with my own boot. Lucky for those I found so fast from their screams. Other wildlife that I'd find days later had died a slow and agonizing death from wounds after being shredded by their cats. I guess I'm just more humane than all cat-lovers and their cats, that's why their cats get shot and die instantly on my land -- instead of equitably and justifiably tortured to death to put an end to the suffering of both cat and the wildlife that cats cruelly torture. If cat-advocates want REAL justice for their cats then any cat found outdoors would have to be cruelly tortured to death the same way their cats cruelly torture all other animals -- something that I couldn't do. Maybe that's why TNR-advocates (trap, neuter, release programs) don't mind that their cats slowly suffer to death by means of "attrition" -- by disease, attacks, exposure, starvation, road-kill, etc., on ad-infinauseum. They have absolutely no problems in torturing animals, not even their own cats. They're just like their cats.)

Woodsman001
Woodsman001

Here's how TNR works and how it can REALLY "benefit" your community ...

Rabies Outbreak Caused by TNR, 50+ Pets Euthanized, ALL Stray Cats Destroyed, Owners Pay For Rabies Shotswww.currentargus.com/carlsbad-...

Rabies Outbreak in Westchester County and the Connection to Feral Catsyorktown.patch.com/blog_posts/...

Rabid cat adopted from Wake County animal shelter puts owner in financial bind - Pets Quarantined for 6 months, buy your OWN rabies shotswww.charlotteobserver.com/2011...

Want some more fun links like that? There's hundreds more like those on the net, showing how TNR *REALLY* works and helps EVERYONE!

These are just the diseases they've been spreading to humans, not counting the ones they spread to all wildlife. THERE ARE NO VACCINES against many of these, and are in-fact listed as bio-terrorism agents. They include: Campylobacter Infection, Cat Scratch Disease, Coxiella burnetti Infection (Q fever), Cryptosporidium Infection, Dipylidium Infection (tapeworm), Hookworm Infection, Leptospira Infection, Giardia, Plague, Rabies, Ringworm, Salmonella Infection, Toxocara Infection, Toxoplasma. [Centers for Disease Control, July 2010] Sarcosporidiosis, Flea-borne Typhus, and Tularemia can now also be added to that list.

A few examples (of 1000s):

Cat-Transmitted PLAGUE:www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/80...www.pagosasun.com/archives/201...

Tularemia (rabbit-fever, transmissible to humans):www.westyellowstonenews.com/ne...

Flea-borne Typhus:www.ocregister.com/articles/co...

Hookworm -- ruined Miami Businesses:articles.sun-sentinel.com/2010...

Woodsman001
Woodsman001

FACT: Trap & Kill failed because cats cannot be trapped faster than they exponentially breed out of control.

FACT: Trap & Sterilize is an even bigger abject failure because they cannot be trapped faster than they exponentially breed out of control, and they also continue the cruelly annihilate all native wildlife (from the smallest of prey up to the top predators that are starved to death), and the cats continue to spread many deadly diseases that they carry today -- FOR WHICH THERE ARE NO VACCINES AGAINST THEM. Many of which are even listed as bioterrorism agents. (Such as Tularemia and The Plague -- Yes, people have already died from cat-transmitted plague in the USA. No fleas nor rats even required. The cats themselves carry and transmit the plague all on their own.)

FACT: Hunted To Extinction (or in this case, extirpation of all outdoor cats) is the ONLY method that is faster than a species like cats can exponentially out-breed and out-adapt to. Especially a man-made invasive-species like these cats that can breed 2-3X's faster than any naturally occurring cat-species.

FACT: Alley Cat ALL-LIES have only managed to trap 0.024% to 0.08% of all feral cats in their own city, thereby allowing more than 99.92% to 99.976% to continually and exponentially breed out of control. Alley Cat ALL-LIES can't even reduce the number of feral cats in their own city, yet they promote is as a worldwide solution, then even bigger fools fall for it and promote it.

FACT: When researching all the most "successful" TNR programs around the globe, JUST ONE OF THEM has managed to trap more than 0.4% of cats in their area. Oregon's amazing 50,000 TNR'ed cats (the highest rate I found) is only 4.9% of all feral-cats in their state. Yet, by applying advanced population growth calculus on the unsterilized 95.1% of cats they will have trapped only 0.35% of all feral-cats in their state sometime this year. <0.4% is a far cry from the required 70-80% to be the least bit effective.

FACT: During all this investigation I have discovered something that is unfaltering without fail. Something that you can bet your very life on and win every last time. That being -- IF A CAT-LOVER IS TALKING THEN THEY ARE LYING. 100% guaranteed!

susieque2
susieque2

FACT: You are a lying creep who is a deep well of misinformation.FACT:  You are promoting these lies as facts because you personally either just hate cats or have some psycho thing to gain by doing it.

Tom
Tom

What a moron.

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