LANCASTER COUNTY — The Lancaster Pet Pantry is using an incident that occurred this week to remind citizens that dumping kittens at the door of a shelter is irresponsible and potentially illegal.
On Wednesday, the Pantry said in a press release, a woman came to the building with a plastic bin full of seven kittens, all four to six weeks old. She told workers she had already taken the kittens to other shelters in the area and was told they were all full and unable to accept new kittens for adoptions.
After being told the Pet Pantry was also full and had a waiting list, the woman exited the building, leaving the kittens behind before she drove off, the press release said.
The Pantry said it was forced to take in the kittens, even as its resources were already stretched thin at a busy time of year for adoptions.
“It is a problem for all shelters, especially in the summer months,” said Dr. Bryan Langlois, Pet Pantry Co-Founder and Medical Director. “Shelters, Rescues, and Humane Societies all over are filled to capacity most of the time, and we are no different. Many people have been waiting quite a while on our list to be able to surrender their animals to the Pet Pantry for a chance at a second home. It is not fair to those who are following the rules that they now must wait a little longer because people are just dumping animals at our doorstep.
“We recognize that people are just trying to do the right thing, but doing the right thing also means trying to work with the rescues to provide the best possible outcome for the kittens they find. We try to do everything we can for every animal in need, but that means doing it in the capacity that our resources allow. We once again ask those Good Samaritans who are trying to do the best for stray animals they find to please understand this point.”
In addition, Dr. Langlois reminds everyone that what this woman did can be punishable by law as animal abandonment.
“While we never really want to take it to that level with anyone as we know they are likely just trying to do what is best for the kittens and are as frustrated as we are that there never is enough space, we do reserve the right to pursue charges if we choose,” he said. “If things like this continue to happen, we may be forced into that situation.”
The new additions to the Pantry, named “Strauss”, “Beethoven”, “Aria”, “Harmony”, “Tchaikovsky”, “Chopin”, and “Bach” will be placed in foster care homes until they are old enough to be put up for adoption, the Pantry said. All appear to be generally healthy and resting while they wait for their new forever homes in a month or so.
Anyone wishing to donate to the Pet Pantry of Lancaster County to help offset the cost of caring for these young ones can do so in person at the Pantry or online at http://www.petpantrylc.org through its “Adley’s Animal Rescue Fund”.
The cost to take care of each one (including spay/neuter, vaccines, medications, and testing for Feline Leukemia and FIV) is around $150 per kitten.