It is a cat-astrophe!
The owner of a Windsor Terrace animal shelter says his refuge is overflowing with abandoned felines because locals are scooping up litters of homeless kittens off the streets and dumping them onto his doorstop — and he is in desperate need of kind souls willing to help feed and care for the babes.
“We’re definitely getting just overrun with cats,” said Sean Casey of the Sean Casey Animal Rescue, an organization that rescues and rehabilitates abandoned, neglected, and injured animals and tries to find them permanent homes.
Casey says his no-kill shelter on E. Third Street is pushed to the limit by what he calls “kitten season” — also known as spring and summer — when large volumes of newborn kittens flood the city streets, which he says is likely due to a combination of felines getting frisky in the springtime and more of their offspring surviving thanks to the warmer weather.
He says well-meaning passersby pick up the superabundant strays and bring them to the shelter, but it just doesn’t have the space and resources to care for so many mousers at once. Casey says he often has to turn away kitties at the door — though he is unable to do that when people dump the cats and flee.
“This time of year, I feel like we have lost control, and the problem is the dumps,” said Casey, who says his shelter finds new homes for around 2,000 animals a year. “When I come here in the morning and it’s in a box outside, I don’t have a choice, or when they open the door and throw it in and run away.”
The shelter is now looking for volunteers willing to temporarily foster some of the furballs in their homes, a job that includes bottle-feeding and administering medication to the tiny kittens.
Animal-lovers who don’t have the time or space to look after a cat can also help by paying off some of the cats’ medical expenses. Casey said many of the kitties come in with ringworm or respiratory infections, and during kitten season the shelter racks up quite a tab at nearby vets, including Pet Haven Animal Hospital on McDonald Avenue and Alison Animal Hospital on Prospect Park West.
Casey is also calling on Brookynites to be more mindful when picking up strays on the streets. He says rescuers must take on some of the responsibility of caring for the animals themselves, instead of immediately throwing them at already packed-to-the-gills rescue centers.
“If you pick up a cat, be prepared to hold the cat for a little bit and find a shelter willing to work with you,” said Casey. “It can’t just be, ‘I found this, now you have to take full financial and medical responsibility.’”
Sean Casey Animal Rescue (153 E. Third St. between Fort Hamilton Parkway and Caton Avenue in Windsor Terrace, (718) 436–5163, www.nyani