Kittens ditched at Island Safe Harbor

The yard's overrun; spay and neuter programs needed
Alex Green
Jul 5, 2014

A kitten was found dead Tuesday at the Island Safe Harbor Animal Sanctuary alongside two other living kittens.

The animals were left in a box at the sanctuary's doorstep.

"This is because we have irresponsible pet owners and the 'farmer with barn cats' mentality," sanctuary CEO Nancy Benevento said. "People come up here for the summer months, feed the kittens and cats and then complain because they are in their yard hanging around."

Benevento has recently said public perception with animals needs to change.

She often sees owners return the pets they adopted.

But the area has a bigger stray cat problem. She said that's a result of human error.

"This area needs a mobile unit (for a) trap, spray, neuter release program for these poor cats," Benevento. "The ones who suffer are the hundreds of kittens they produce. They are left to starve. Nature is nature but humans caused the problem. I even had a cat dumped here, declawed."

Declawed cats are unable to survive in the wild, she said.

Other release programs were successful in the past but people began complaining about snake and rodent populations.

"Hello?" she said. "What do you think the cats were eating?"

The two kittens are in addition to an already overcrowded Island Safe Harbor Animal Sanctuary.

The shelter, above all else, need someone who can bottle-feed two kittens that are about three weeks old, Benevento said.

Benevento said she is unsure if the act of dropping off kittens is animal cruelty, but rather she believes the act is an indication of a lack of education about animals.

"If you find one or two kittens by themselves, you have interrupted the mother cat while she was moving them," she said. "She can only carry one at a time."

Tuesday was the fourth time the sanctuary has received kittens unannounced.

"We as a community may need to step in and help (the cat population) a bit," Benevento said.

Indoor cats can live up to 20 years, while outdoor cats are lucky to make it to three, she said.



I agree with Nancy. I had complained to the Humane Society but they did not do a thing. They were more interested in checking if my dogs had licenses than doing anything about stray cats. I have found that too many people hate cats and try to run them over. Others want kittens for their kids (like they're toys) then want to get rid of it when it gets older. Other people just don't want to see a bunch of cats around, stray or owned. People in Ottawa County have poisoned cats I've tried to care for even though they were not mine and it kills me that people just don't care about helpless animals. I've even known neighbors that had cats but did not feed them, thinking they can 'live off the land eating mice and birds'. BS. One person or one organization can only do so much. The trap, spay and neuter thing is needed desperately.


Humane Society are not the "license enforcer" anyway. I would have told them to go away if they were not going to help with the issue you called them for.


I was told to go to upper Sandusky so they could be put down. So my husband asked if he could kill them and she said no that illegal. But they want me to pay for gas to take it to upper Sandusky so they could do it??? Needless to say we have an extra cat! Ugh. Love her but they make it so hard to do the right thing!


'farmer with barn cats' mentality," don't say such things with beef, chicken,fish or other farm animals between your teeth! You activists disgust me, you care nothing for the 5,300 babies slaughtered in one day, maybe because your own child has a "Farmer mentality' when it comes to their personal lack of responsibility and morality and the failure of the parent to raise chase children who understand consequences and morality.... When 'surprisingly' its discovered there's a baby coming it no longer is an issue of responsibility but a RIGHT so you justify slaughtering the child in the womb! You have no conscience burning the baby in the womb with saline solutions and then cut the child up like a chicken, but don't ever do anything which harms an animal! You condemn others for being too lazy to take care of the animals but say nothing about being too lazy to raise chase children with morals, instead you make excuses for the lazy and irresponsible who thinks abortion is a contraceptive and then turn on those who understand that animals are not as important as a human. You then ignorantly say they have a 'farmer mentality'. Many are just pathetic HYPOCRITES!


So should we burn kittens with saline solutions and cut them up like chickens?


Such a reply shows just how ignorant some people are. No logical person would say such a thing , 'Wethepeople' you are not.


Well, you said it. Try clarifying what you say. I'm not fond of the practice, but I realize that I have nothing to feel guilty over because of what someone else did. So I'm not going to force someone to carry a baby, but I'm not going to support abortion. It's their problem, not mine.

mimi's word

Is there any topic you can't bring abortion into??? I support abortion rights till the day I die because I have NO right to tell anyone else what they can or can not do! The world is over populated and not only are we running out of space but also still have not figured out how to fix the issues in the world do to too many people!!! Why not worrying about the animals and children that are already here instead! Take 5 minutes and look over the adoption web site just for the state of ohio!!!! 1,000 of children begging for a against abortion go adopt and make sure every child has a home...loving home...the ones that feel constants unending pain and heart ache


How the frack did this go from 'we need to fix stray cats so they don't overpopulate' to abortion?
I seriously hope you are vegan, otherwise you're a hypocrite in addition to someone that can link a person that eats meat to someone that is also willing to have an abortion.


Humans have choices in having children or not , animals don't have that choice, litter after litter is not the same, spay & neuter , and release is the answer.

thinkagain's picture

Mutilating innocent unborn children that were created in God's no big deal. But God forbid someone leave a kitten at a sanctuary’s doorstep.

Hitler killed 6 million. American babies killed – 50 million.

You go baby killers! You’re #1!


Here in Erie County we have the same problem. I feed every cat in the neighborhood but I cannot afford to spay/neuter them. WTH dies the Erie County Humane Society do? Nothing from what I see.

lunchtime 175

its sad to read stories like this when there is so much waste by humans of tossed away food, etc, etc. People should be ashamed to have to read stories like this because of the neglect of humans taking care of animals. The people that hate animals should be put out on the streets or fields without any money or way to provide for themselves and see how it might feel to be a helpless starving cat or dog or other animal out there on their own with no food, water or shelter. Humans have become horrible in caring for no one but themselves. I praise the pet owners out there that take great care of their pets and some pets are treated better than some humans are because the pets deserve all the care they can get.


I agree: We need a trap, neuter, and release program here! Without new litters feeding the population growth, the number of strays would decrease gradually and NATURALLY (the latter mitigating sudden rodent population explosions and the like).

At the same time, we also need to stiffen animal cruelty laws in Ohio. These are living, breathing, FEELING creatures that heartless people are abandoning or abusing! (And the correlation between animal abuse and the escalation into the abuse of human beings is strong.) Any population control program will be far more effective if we can also prevent more "throw-away" animals!


Ms. Benevento, are you not an animal sanctuary that accepts and takes care of animals that others cannot? Isn't it better that this "horrible" person brought these cats to you so they could be cared for rather than dumping them off the side of a bridge? I agree that there are all kinds of people out there who don't take care of pets like they should, and they are completely and entirely wrong. But for you to berate farmers, tourists, and anyone who ends up - sometimes through no fault of their own - with an animal they can't take care of and so they bring it to you is wrong. Instead of screaming vile and cruel things, why don't you use some of that money you get from the public to educate people about pet ownership? A while back the Erie County Humane Society got a grant to capture, medically treat, and vaccinate stray cats. You are a 501-c-3 just like they are, and you have access to the same money they do. When was the last time you took positive action to do something like that instead of bad-mouthing people you don't know? Oh, that would be never. I suggest you take a good look at what you told the IRS you do, and then ramp up to do it. Quit complaining about having to do what you say you'll do. You get a lot of money from people to take care of animals like these cats.


She doesn't get a lot of money and has been very close to having to shut down a couple of times. I didn't see her statements as badmouthing anyone. Her organization generally takes in animals that have medical problems or come from puppy mills. She is usually full. She is doing the best she can and she did take the kittens. All pet shelters and humane societies should be educating people on how to care for cats and dogs and other pets and do somewhat but most people are just irresponsible. So if that's badmouthing others, then so be it.


I don't get the spay neuter program! You find it OK to allow an animal to live in that environment to suffer and die of starvation and or disease?? Just so you can close your eyes and pretend you did something. BTW, who is going to pay for the program? I say all pet owners should in the form of a pet tax!


No, I don't like the idea of ANY feral cats. No, I don't think it's okay for them to live only to suffer. But there are a few issues with feral cats of which you may not be aware:

It can be extraordinarily difficult to tame a feral cat sufficiently to live in even the most animal-loving home. When a feral cat CAN be tamed, it frequently bonds with one person ONLY, making it frustrating for others in the home at best, and even occasionally dangerous at worst. It can be a grave risk for other pets in the home to bring a feral cat inside given the potential for diseases and/or parasites (most of which can be diagnosed, but would also be a significant added expense to cover all of the bases). Feral cats are used to defending against "strangers" (other animals) and can thus be threats to other pets.

All of the problems with feral cats becoming pets aren't, of course, universal. I have a couple myself (though they were adopted as kittens which makes things a little easier). They're never-the-less common and serious enough that the best course of action may be to leave well enough alone, at least in part.

No, don't let them starve. But don't let them breed, either! The best way to get rid of feral cats isn't killing OR adopting them. It's making sure that there are no more feral cats through sterilization programs for the animals, education programs for the people, and PUNISHMENT for the humans who actively contribute to feral populations with their cruel abandonments.

Who pays? Most of these programs are funded via donated monies. Alley Cat Rescue is one organization regularly engaging in trap/neuter/release to which you can contribute.


I volunteered at nancys shelter once and they are operating in the red most days. they use their own money and vehicles to take care of animals. they are tireless and selfless. I volunteered at the humane society also. as I see it once again someone that doesn't know what they are talking about is running off at the mouth babbling about all the money that nancy has at her disposal. good grief!