- Associated Press - Friday, January 8, 2016

ANDERSON, Ind. (AP) - Pet owners often consider their animals their forever friends, but the lack of a plan for them in emergency situations can lead to unforeseen consequences.

Animal Protection League Executive Director Maleah Stringer said limited money and overcrowding prevent the shelter from housing pets temporarily for families.

“We’re not a boarding facility,” she said. “We don’t have that luxury.”

Stringer said if there’s a chance an owner won’t be able to take care of their animal for a period of time, they need to contact a friend, family member or boarding facility to foster their pet.

Anderson resident Fred Scott lost his cat after an emergency operation and an unexpected nine-month stay in a nursing home.

Scott, 59, had his right leg below the knee amputated because of complications from diabetes in December 2014. Scott said he asked a friend to take care of his cat, Pearl.

But as he was still recovering, Scott said his landlord wanted his things and the cat out of the apartment, and his friend who was in charge of caring for the feline called the animal shelter.

“I don’t want another cat,” he said. “It wouldn’t be the same.”

Stringer said an animal control officer was called to take the cat from its residence, and APL was told it was called in by the owner. She said Scott eventually contacted her claiming the cat belonged to him, but after several months, he never made arrangements to sign the paperwork and pick her up.

Stringer said the cat was behind on her vaccinations and was deathly ill from diabetes, so she was sent to Devonshire Veterinary Clinic, 5030 S. Scatterfield Road, for treatment.

Dr. Aaron Smiley said the clinic works with APL to house two dogs and two cats that need medical attention at times to help with overcrowding and to save the shelter with money.

Scott’s former cat initially required daily shots but has since gone into remission, Smiley said. Devonshire adopted her and she’s now the clinic’s pet.

“The biggest concern with Fred (Scott) was his ability to take care of the cat,” Smiley said. “It would have gotten significantly sicker (without intervention). I don’t know how able he is and I don’t even know the initial situation.”

Smiley said Scott is welcome to visit the veterinary clinic to play with the cat.

But Scott said he doesn’t have any family except for his cat, and he just wants her back now that he’s out of the nursing home.

“I’m not a rich person, but I’d pay anything to get her back,” he said.

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Source: The (Anderson) Herald-Bulletin, bit.ly/1Zd3255

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Information from: The Herald Bulletin, https://www.theheraldbulletin.com


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