When Wilton resident Andrea Topalian learned via a friend on Facebook that a kitten was to be euthanized because it had nothing more than a common cold, she sprung into action. Topalian told her friend that she would adopt the kitten—an adorable orange tabby from California—and welcome it into her home. She and others like her are part of an ever-needed effort to rescue kittens from animal shelters which employ euthanasia as a means of population control.
Topalian on Wilton Patch about her rescue kitty (named Cali) which is also a call to action for interested residents to save kittens from so-called ‘kill shelters.’
“After that [saving Cali], it made me want to take care of other kittens,” said Topalian, a Wilton mother of three children. Since then, Topalain has fostered about 10 cats and kittens (and adopting two), using her own space and time to care for them while an adoptive family is searched for. She had at least one of her kittens neutered in town by a local veterinarian, Janette Alvarez, for a negligible cost.
“We’ve tried to be an active component in the saving of pets’ lives,” said Alvarez, a veterinarian with 18 years of experience and Wilton resident who opened a veterinary practice, the Animal Wellness Veterinary Center in Norwalk last July, 2011.
Alvarez connected with NYC-based rescue program Anjellicle Cats Rescue, volunteering her services through them with neutering and examination procedures at 10 dollars a cat when a rescue kitten finds a home via Anjellicle Cats in the local Wilton area. There’s no profit in it: that 10 dollars is about enough to cover the cost of getting rid of the left over medical waste and compensate for her time to enter some data into a computer, she said. Occasionally she gets to keep in touch with the kittens and their owners if they are close enough, but mostly she does it out of good will.
“What you do in the world does come back to you, but we really do it because we believe in it,” said Alvarez. Her practice, located just beyond the Wilton/Norwalk boarder at 570 Main Avenue in Norwalk, caters to all kinds of animals—the $10 charge is unique for cats found via rescue services.
Wilton, it should be noted, has a no-kill shelter located just behind Wilton Town Hall. But in areas like New York City, kill shelters are common; in order to find foster or adoption parents, they release a list of animals to be killed, often due to severe overcrowding because of a constant influx of strays taken in by animal control. It’s also mating time so animal rescue efforts have to gear up for a busy season when the babies are born.
“Tons of kittens are born in spring and early fall,” said Catherine Willis, Director of Anjellicle Cats. For strays turned over to kill shelters, “either a rescue group comes in or they’re killed,” she said.
Willis and a group of volunteers began Anjellicle cats about seven years ago, having since helped save over 700 cats. Veterinarians like Alvarez are “the only way we can exist—through the generosity of vets we work with, and [also] with some subsidiaries” said Willis. Good will runs throughout the entire operation, as Alvarez helped Willis set up a fundraiser event at Ridgefield’s animal shelter, ROAR, as well as a local Pet Co. in addition to her volunteer services.
Anjellicle Cats can facilitate transport of kittens to a local veterinarian—able to go about two hours outside of the city—for shots and neutering, which is all included in the $125 adoption fee. Those wishing to use Anjellicle Cats can visit http://www.anjelliclecats.com/ and email Willis at email@example.com. Wilton’s rescue cat shelter’s website may be found at http://www.animals-in-distress.com/.