I found a dying cat in my yard — Here’s what I learned NOT to do

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Thursday afternoon a cute black kitten was taking a little nap in the middle of my pool cover. It never occurred to me that he was doing more than lounging in the sun.

In retrospect, I believe that he looked for water in the place where a small puddle sometimes forms.

I have no idea if the kitten was injured or starved when it returned on Friday, and I found it very still for too long. At first I thought it was just taking another nap in the sun like cats do, until my grandchildren called me and said, “Wow, Grandma, this kitten is napping longer than anyone!”

I realized that the cat was absolutely still. For a good half an hour, too quiet for consolation.

Everyone at home was getting nervous, so my son ran to see if he was breathing. It was, but the breaths seemed shallow with a thread-like pulse.

I remembered reading that like humans, injured animals shouldn’t be moved or fed, so I was at a loss. I called my local ASPCA who told me to call my local police and ask them to dispatch Animal Control. Six minutes later, the still alive cat was taken to a nearby veterinary clinic.

I called a vet friend of mine to ask what else I should have done. He said that under the circumstances, I could not have taken any other action.

I had to read up on how I dealt with the situation and it turned out that I was doing just the right thing: not moving, picking up, or feeding the animal, and going very quietly and slowly when you feel like the situation having to assess.

According to an article on Petfinder.com, in most cases it is best to leave the animal alone and call for help.

The cutest animal in the world can bite in response to pain. The slightest movement can make an injury worse.

Before handling an injured animal, get the help of medical personnel, including by telephone, to assess the animal. If YOU suggest moving it or picking it up, they can give you better instruction on the proper handling technique for the particular injury or illness, just as 911 operators are trained to do.

Loving animals and making them caring doesn’t make you a veterinarian. Therefore, consult experts before treating sick or injured animals.

The above post reflects the thoughts and observations of talk show host Judi Franco from New Jersey 101.5. All opinions expressed are those of Judi Franco.

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