For the first time in it’s 125 year history, a cat spay and neuter clinic was recently hosted by this public library. “I think this is a first such clinic to ever be held in a Maine library,” commented Liz Breault, Abbott Memorial Library Director.
The need for such a clinic was brought to the librarian’s attention by Lee Palmer of Spirit’s Place, a cat shelter, located in nearby St. Albans. On April 24th Lee was contacted by the Dexter Animal Control Officer regarding a mobile home which he had just entered in which 35 cats and kittens were living in a state of filth.
Lee and her volunteer assistants, Tina Santos and Hayley Greenlaw-Morrow, arrived with cat carriers and were able to collect 27 of the cats which were transported back to the cat shelter. They returned the next day to collect the remaining 10 cats. Many of the animals were in very poor health due to that fact that they were contained in the house and forced live in their own urine and feces. They were living in survival mode due to poor diet. The strong ammonia smell from the accumulated waste inside the mobile home has caused damage to their eyes, airways and lungs. Many of the cats were severely dehydrated. They were riddled with parasites and many have eye infections. Some have abscesses and bite wounds because none of the animals had been spayed or neutered.
Needing a facility in Dexter to spay and neuter the animals, Lee asked the Dexter librarian if they could use the library. “I was rather taken aback at the request because it seemed to be a very un-library activity, but I knew that the town had a responsibility in this matter so I agreed to the use of our basement meeting room.”
It turned out to be a two day clinic. Dr. Beth Sperry and her 4 assistants drove up from southern Maine bringing all the surgical equipment required, setting up lights, and anesthesia machines, tables, towels, sheets, and securing the area from any possible escapee cats. In two days all of the Dexter Mobile Home cats were spayed and neutered plus another 50 from the larger community.
Spirits Place has a long rehabilitation process ahead for these cats. They are on an intensive protocol for the next 10 days and many have severe dental disease due to poor nutrition and neglect. Almost all will require dental work in the immediate future Once the rehabilitation process is complete these cats will need forever homes. Nearly all of them are black and white short hair cats with a very few being gray and white. “They are all timid, but not feral.” says Lee, “They need homes. I hope the people of Dexter will find it in their hearts to adopt one of two of these beautiful animals who have suffered such neglect and abuse.”
Applications for adoption are available at the library: 924-7292