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Letter: Coyote Death Sentence Handed to Kitten by Mission Viejo Animal Shelter

A reader sends in this story about an abandoned kitten struggling for life.

The following letter was sent in by reader Bill Aitken. Aitken lives in Mission Viejo near Melinda Park:

Yesterday, my wife found an abandon young kitten in our yard. The poor thing had long claws, was extremely thin, raggedy, and seemed to be blind in one eye. My wife put out some food and water but the kitten was skittish. We assumed it was feral. Because my wife is allergic to cats, we called the Mission Viejo Animal shelter, hoping to get the poor kitten some help. We were told we needed to catch the kitten and bring it into the shelter. We were told when the shelter was open and left on our own to capture the kitten. 

We could not catch the kitten. We tried, but failed as neither my wife nor I are trained or have the equipment to capture a feral kitten, which quite naturally fears larger creatures. We don’t have shiny new trucks and equipment, or the training to capture feral animals, even small kittens. Because we could not capture the kitten and the shelter would not send someone out to help us, the tiny kitten is left to fend for itself in a neighborhood where coyotes are known to visit. 

We know there are coyotes in the vicinity because small dogs and cats have disappeared and on our daily neighborhood walks, we often see remains of rabbits and other animals in the undergrowth. I cannot understand how the Mission Viejo Animal Shelter, who devotes a whole page on their website about the urban coyotes, can sentence the kitten to the terrible consequences of becoming a coyote snack by refusing to help us. 

We are taxed to support the Animal Shelter and gladly pay that tax to assure animals in our community are offered the protection they deserve. But by refusing to send out a truck and a trained professional to help capture that small defenseless kitten and in effect, sentencing it to death by coyote, seems to be against everything the Mission Viejo Animal Shelter puts on their website. Instead of helping animals in distress, they spend the taxes on training, equipment, and shiny new trucks. I hope that poor little feral kitten with one eye finds shelter before a coyote finds it. It certainly won’t get any help from the Mission Viejo Animal Shelter.

I guess the tax money that goes to the Animal shelter is only for shiny new truck, salaries and retirement funds and not for the welfare of the poor little thin one eye kitten. I am sure that the shelter has policy that they must follow maybe it should be titled death by coyote. Thanks for your death by coyote for a little thin feral one eye kitten that will only be a snack for a coyote.

What's happening in your part of town? Let us know by sending a letter to Editor Pete Schelden: peter.schelden@patch.com

Ken Lopez October 27, 2012 at 01:40 AM
The cat rescue in Laguna Beach might know of someone. Their number is 949 494 1586.
Scout O'Hara October 28, 2012 at 05:01 AM
Well, the problem is that cats wander the Mission Viejo neighborhoods at will and there is no way to know if they are lost or just one of your neighbor's pets. If you couldn't catch it I really doubt that someone arriving to your home 30 minutes later would have any luck either, and there is no fancy "cat catching" equipment. The person to blame is the cat owner who either let the kitten out, or who did not get their adult cat spayed.
RenieFlynn Lawler October 28, 2012 at 05:48 AM
When we had an injured oppossum at our busines in Irvine, I called the Humane Society who instructed me to call the Sherriff's Department. Animal Control was there within minutes to help the poor little thing.

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