Searcher asked in PetsCats · 1 decade ago

Pet lovers, which is more ethical considering these circumstances?


Now, before you yell at me for not spaying our cat, you should know we took in a stray kitten and did not realize it had gone into heat (we've never had a female cat capable of going into heat). The one and only time it got out of our house, it ended up pregnant and before it was 6 months old, gave birth to 5 kittens.


We live in a poor rural county, with minimal funding for the animal control unit. As a result, they refuse to take in stray cats and only accept pets that will be given a 7 day window to find a new home. After 7 days, this shelter also allows cats to be sold to the local research facilities, or they can be euthanised. Because the cat population in our county runs unchecked, and there are more cats available than interested parties to take cats, far too many families in our area cannot keep up with the cats.

The other alternative is to set the cat free in the country.

If a person has checked with the no-kill shelters, advertised cats for free to good homes, checked with the ASPCA and still has found no homes for the kittens, and the homeowners cannot continue to feed and care for 8 cats....

which is the more ethical choice?

Place the cats in the pound with little or no hope of finding a home (and possibly end up as laboratory test subjects), or to set them free in the country.

Update 2:

Edit: I am hesitant to give out my location on the Internet, which is why I can only tell you that I live in a rural county in Michigan. Our unemployment is well over 10%. I have checked in the neighboring county for the local ASPCA, which told me that they had no spaces available. I cannot find any shelters to place the cats at, unless I send them to our local shelter which does sell animals for research purposes. I'm more concerned that they will end up as lab test subjects.

Update 3:

Also, the larger county that I live near, is where I checked with the ASPCA.

Update 4:

Regarding the animals being able to be sold for research purposes. This is found in the animal shelter's animal control ordinance on the website, which states their fees.

(D) Animals sold for research - fee of $10.00.

11 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Where do you live? What state? I work at a cat shelter and we had 180 cats but we just adopted out 7 kittens and should have room for more.

    Oh, I live in Florida. I'm so sorry. I was really hoping that I could have helped :(

    I think you need to find a no-kill shelter near you.

    Just about nobody know about the shelter I work at, so you never know. There could be one near you.

    Just trying to help out:

    2nd Chance Animal Adoption Agency

    ADOPT-A-PET - Western Michigan

    Adopt-A-Pet, Inc, Fenton

    All Paws Animal Rescue, Ann Arbor

    Animals Deserve Adequate Protection Today & Tomorrow

    Animal Placement Bureau in Lansing, MI

    Animal Welfare Society of Southeastern Michigan

    Betsy's Haven Rescue

    Cat Connection, Berkeley

    Charly's Exotic and Small Animal Rescue

    Companion Cat Adoption Agency, Grand Blanc

    GreyHeart Greyhound Rescue/Adoption of Michigan

    Help Orphaned Pets Everywhere, Ironwood

    Humane Society of Saginaw County

    Jethro's Place Animal Sanctuary, Memphis

    Kalamazoo Animal Rescue, Kalamazoo

    K-9 Stray Rescue League, Oxford

    Mason County Humane Society,

    Michigan Animal Adoption Network

    Michigan Animal Rescue League, Inc., Pontiac

    Mid Michigan Society for Animal Protection, Mason

    P.A.W.S., Sault Ste Marie

    Pets Alive, Inc.

    Volunteers For Animals in Utica, Michigan

    West Michigan SPCA, Muskegon

  • 1 decade ago

    There probably is no "ethical" choice. But there is a choice as regards the future for the cat. First of all, no reputable research outfit would take a shelter kitty. A reputable research company needs to know the background of any animal in their study, and a shelter kitty is a total unknown. (Remember, I use the term reputable....)

    If they are selling animals to experimentation, I would think that a local television station might be interested in that story. It is disgraceful if a shelter would sell animals for experimentation.

    So if euthanasia is in the future if you surrender to a shelter, it will be a quick and dignified end. Very sad, but all too common. If you let the kittens lose, they will suffer, other animals and birds may die, and if they are not spayed or neutered, they will contribute to the overpopulation of pets. The life of a cat on their own is often short and miserable.

  • 1 decade ago

    Neither of them, actually.

    If you get right down to it, it was actually your responsibility to have the cat spayed before she could have young (a vet could have told you to be careful over the phone, which leads me to believe none of the cats have ever been to the vet, so the kittens are your responsibility to raise. You know they'll die from either ... with or without horrible testing beforehand. If you are willing to condemn them to either fate, you should not have a cat at all.You had not taken the time to realise that this cat can have young as all normal cats can (neighbours, your vet on a simple phone call could have helped you), and if you cannot, then take them to the shelter and have them put to sleep humanely, something you cannot guarantee in either scenario you paint.

    You have also not said if the mom cat has been sterilised since?

    To me it does not matter wat fee gets paid to whom for the animals to be sold in any lab - a lab is noat a humance place for any animal, not when you know what those poor animals have to suffer.

  • 1 decade ago

    No shelter sells to laboratories You need accurate information, not guessing and heresay. Any shelter that sells to labs would be out of business very quickly and the bad pr would hit the papers, guaranteed.

    Dumping cats ends up with cats dying agonizingly. They do NOT know how to live on farms around cows (killed by being stepped on or rolled over on), farm machinery, vehicles, and farm dogs. My sister has a dairy farm and they take the obviously dumped former pets to the shelter there, where they are put down because now the 'dumped' cat has an upper respiratory infection, pus filled eyes, his in pain from injuries and possibly missing an eye from trying to get past the resident tom cats guarding their territory. She takes in about 15 stray dumped dogs too, each year.

    If you do not ask the farmer, they do NOT want the cats dumped on them. Don't expect loving homes to find them, or the cats to survive past the first winter if they're in the wild. Foxes, coyotes and dogs take them out as prey.

    Your ethical choice should be the shelter or a feline rescue. Even if they are eventually euthenized, they won't have to deal wtih broken backs, rocks thrown at them, kids kicking them, people snagging them to train pit bulls to fight, road injuries, or anything else that will be giving them a slow death.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Hmmm...interesting and tough question. Personally, I would find a no-kill (which doesn't necessarily mean "no-kill" in terms of sick or dying animals only) shelter that would take them in. But seeing as you only gave us the two options, I would not release them into the country. If you do, you're only supplying to the overpopulation of cat anyway. I would take them to the shelter. If even just one of the kittens gets adopted, it's better than letting them get hit by a car or mauled by an animal, right?

    Another thing...have you considered advertising free kittens in your local newspaper? An idea that might work...

  • eixlsl
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    call either the ASPCA National Hotline, or the Humane Society's National Hotline, or even PETA's National Hotline. Just google them, they should come right up. Ask them if they can recommend a shelter in your area. There may be some you don't know of. You may have to go to the next county over, but it's worth it to save their lives. Good Luck.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Wow. That's a tough choice... I'd say set them free, but get them fixed first so you're not further continuing the problem. If that wasn't an option then I'd rather get them euthanized than have them go to a lab. That's a horrible life.

  • 1 decade ago

    whacking them over the head with a shovel would be more humane then letting loose in the country.

    being a lab rat would be more humane then letting loose in the country.

    I would find them homes. even if i had to advertise on ebay and pay for shipping, but that is just me.

    having them put to sleep, you take them to the vet, would also be an option.

  • Emma
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Give them to the person named (potatoes)

    and get your cat spayed.

    If your countries like that the last thing to have is more kittens!

    What country do u live in?

  • Ocimom
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    IMO if the cats are neutered and spayed before release, I would say that is the better choice. But if they are not neutered/spayed, then you have a bigger problem.

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