Since You Asked: What Yuba-Sutter agency rescues cats at night?
Q: In the Yuba-Sutter area, does anybody rescue stranded cats at night?
A: No, there is no kitten rescue task force in the Yuba-Sutter area, at least not one that works nights.
Not in this economy.
The issue came up last Wednesday night when Olivehurst's Carol Donaldson, a concerned citizen and animal lover, notified every public-safety agency in Yuba County about a cat stuck on the roof of the U.S. Post Office annex building near her home.
"I really do think somebody should've come out. It would've been an easy fix to just go up on the roof and take it down," Donaldson said. "It seemed like such a friendly cat; it had to belong to somebody."
While many may think it a non-issue, the problem of the cat-nobody-would-save opens a small window into several significant local issues, including public safety and Postal Service funding as well as an overwhelming explosion of stray and feral cats in Yuba and Sutter counties.
In an era of service reductions, layoffs, furloughs and early retirement packages, stranded kittens just don't rate as much as pet lovers would like.
"Obviously nobody wants any animal to suffer," Yuba County sheriff's spokesman Lt. Damon Gil said. "But, honestly, if the animal is not suffering in pain, you may have to wait for Animal Control to open in the morning."
Donaldson was upset by what she felt was a lack of concern and said she's also had difficulties getting help at night even for animals that have been in pain.
"The post office could've sent someone and it would've cost just a little bit of overtime," Donaldson said.
Reasonable people can disagree over whether or not expending overtime wages to save a pet from a drizzly night is a reasonable use of tax dollars, but realistically, if public agencies started scrambling after every stray-cat call, there probably wouldn't be much time for anything else. There's just too many orphaned cats.
Recent reports indicate local animal shelters have seen abandoned cat numbers skyrocket, largely because feral cats continue breeding. Last year, veterinarian Richard Bachman said shelter populations have climbed 22 percent since 2006.
Donaldson said pet owners are the real issue.
"There's a huge population problem here because people keep dumping their pets," Donaldson said. "I wish people would spay and neuter; I think there should be a spay and neuter clinic that's low-cost."
The Yuba-Sutter SPCA offers the service cheaply, but the waiting list is lengthy and booking an appointment can only be done months in advance. Their number is 673-6390.
The kitten was eventually rescued from the rooftop by a postal employee around 4 a.m. the following morning, Postmaster Jennifer Arnold confirmed. It was in good health and was set free.
Since You Asked is published on Mondays. Send questions to reporter Rob Parsons at the Appeal-Democrat, 1530 Ellis Lake Drive, Marysville, CA 95901, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 749-4785.