Non-Newf - my worse nightmere


New member
Why is it that things go from bad to worse? Aside from the fact that last week I had to yet again buy a new car (some may remember my doing this last April).

Last Sunday I scooped up 2 kittens from a property a few houses down from me. They were living in deplorable conditions and since I've done this so many times on my street (though I have not taken in any in 2 years now and swore I would not take in any more) I thought what the heck I'll do it yet again. Now I did help an 88 year old woman on my street a few months ago who found herself with 3 litters of kittens. I convinced her to take them into her home and I personally went into her house 2 to 3 times a day to take care of them. No mere feat as I can't even describe the stench in her house which was harmful to my health. Still I promised her I would help her if she kept them safe until they were old enough to go into foster. Okay long story short, Toronto Cat Rescue was the only rescue who stepped up to help us and took all 10 kittens. I paid for their food, their vetting and gave them a donation for helping us. Still they came to our rescue.

Back to my story. One of the kittens I brought in sounded like it had an upper respiratory so I called my vet and asked him what I should do. He said to give it a few days to see if it clears up on it's own. The kittens were about 8 weeks old. Two days ago I noticed the kitten was salvating. At first I thought it was coming from it's nose but then realized it wasn't. Also when it first came in it was eating like mad and then it was having problems eating. So I called my vet and took in both kittens last night. My vet said to me "did you consider rabies?". I said no how does a kitten get rabies when there are no puncture wounds on the animal? He said they can get it from their mothers. I had no idea and had never heard of this.

Needless to say the kittens were put down but my vet is obligated to contact the City of
Toronto Health Services or Animal Control who will do a test on the kitten and if they find rabies they will likely come into my place and seize my animals for quarantine. Even though the kittens were quarantined at my place and none of my animals were exposed to them. Also when I held the kittens I used a towel to wrap them in (something I always do) and I washed my hands and face before leaving the bathroom. As well I was not bitten nor scratched by this kitten. Still I am freaked out. I will die if they take my animals away from me and some of my older cats would not survive being caged.

I'm not sure I would have done things any differently as I have had dozens of kittens in my home without incident but the thought of my animals being taken away is more than I can bare. To say I will never again take in a stray goes without saying.

In tring to make it a better world for them look what I've done. How can this be? I am beside myself with worry.



New member
((((Susan)))) I don't know what to say... I would have done the same thing!
Following all those universal precautions your other animals should be fine.
I know the worry is the worst, but you've got us to commiserate with. Small thing, with what you're going through...


New member
If they take your animals and quarantine them, they give them back, right? I can't imagine, I'm so sorry you're dealing with this. I had a friend who's cat got out of the house, got into a fight and had a wound on his ear. She had to keep him quarantined for 6 months because his rabies shot was out of date, and if he scratched or bit anyone would have had to be put to sleep, but she was allowed to do this in her home. Could you do that?


New member
Thanks guys I can't even describe to you how worried I am about this. How stupid could I have been? I tried so hard to make a difference and make it a better world for them and for what? I don't even care if I was exposed. So I may have to get a rabbies shot big deal. However my animals who weren't even exposed to them might have to pay for my mistake. Most are up to date with shots but my cats are indoor cats and I'm not a big believer in shots to begin with especially for indoor animals.

I don't know if they will let me quarantine here as I'm in petcare and I rely on dogs boarding here which is income I cannot give up. I understand my vet's position even though it would have been better if he could have said I found it outside and brought it in since I'm really the only one who was exposed to it and then I would have the shots and that's it.

Will they return all my animals, not likely as I exceed the legal limit allowed. I believe I am allowed nor more than 3 dogs and can have 3 cats. So 6 is the limit. I have 3 dogs but unfortunately have 10 cats. Thankfully one cat went to a home on June 30. I had another cat go to a home and he was brought back 2 weeks later. This is the second time this same cat has come back. Both times the people who took him said he cried night and day and he does not want to be away from you so he was returned. You see I ruin then in more ways than one. They come here and they don't want to leave.

I'm sick to my stomach and have been crying my eyes out since last night after leaving the vet. I love my vet and he has been very good to me and he told he me will stress to them that the kittens were quarantined at my place.

Please keep all your digits crossed for my animals.


Jorge's mum

New member
so very sorry :( it sucks when things backfire when all you wanted to do was make a difference :( I shall pray that non of your animals are taken away :( I am heartbroken for you :( I have no advice but really feel for what you are going through :( xxxx


New member
Thank you and please keep the prayers coming. The power of NN is incredible and has worked for me in the past which is why I will never underestimate positive thinking.

Based on everything I have read it is really rare for a kitten to have contracted rabbies but we did have an incident here where someone had purchased a puppy from a flea market and the puppy had rabbies. The owner of the flea market would not give the authorities the vendors name or phone number. Because of this they now make it a really big issue.

I hope they don't decide to use me as an example.


Sue M.

New member
Hey Susan, I'm so sorry you are going through this. Sometimes bad things happen to good people. Sending good thoughts and prayers your way.

Sandra McGinty

New member
I had my own rabies scare here years ago. A raccoon attacked my dog on the back porch -- animal control had me quarantine my animal in my own home since the dog only had a 1 year rabies vaccine. So for 3 months my Bruno was only allowed outside on a leash for potty -- no walks -- only potty. He spent his quarantine in the back bedroom the entire time. I also had to keep ALL the cats in the basement the entire time for their quarantine.
Anyway -- maybe IF you have to have them quarantined you'll be able to do it at home. It was not fun, but it was better than them taking my animals away.
Good luck --


New member
Laws ARE changing in a lot of places, and in home quarantine is often an option.
As Sandy said, it's not fun, but it beats having them taken and quarantined at animal control....
I'm betting it was just a pneumonia or something...they will often spit up white frothy stuff from the lungs in those cases. They will also stop eating because of the fluid.
Finger and toes and newfy digits all crossed for your crew.


New member
Oh Susan, I can't begin to imagine the horror or fear. It's so hard when trying to do good results in bad for all. Just praying you can quarantine your babies at home. Wonder if a public relations campaign on your behalf with the Toronto Health Authorities would help or hurt. We could all emphasize how loving and careful you are with your animals. But then they might just resent people outside of Toronto saying anything.
Gosh, I have no idea what to say. Maybe you can get some of the animals out of there before the authorities come. Hopefully the vet did not report the animals you have, just the incident. Is he a vet you can deal with and find out what he reported???


New member
Again thanks guys. Sandy that's interesting and hopefully if it comes to that I can do the same. My dogs are never off leash at parks anyway so no biggie.

Leonard I gave serious thought to what you suggested and even my sister suggested the same thing but I can't really ask anyone to take that chance. Even those who know me and how careful I am are those who also have animals of their own and once someone hears rabbies they get scared. No my vet would never tell them the numbers here as even he doesn't know for certain. He himself has taken about 6 litters of kittens from me to help with adoptions.

Some of my guys are on meds that are needed daily and I can't rely on any of our city agencies to actually keep this up and administer their meds. It would be much better if I could keep them.

Emmie Lou I like your idea and if it came to that I'd be calling upon all of our members here as well I would take it to the media if I had to. Hell have no fury...

To whine a little I have to say that this really isn't fair. I have spent almost 20 years doing rescue and all of it out of my own pocket. I am not a registered charity and I receive absolutely no donations for what I do. That being said, and though I won't be taking in anymore strays, I still wouldn't have done things any differently. Thankfully I was always very cautious about bringing in animals and always put my animals' safety first. As was suggested here hopefully it is pneumonia and nothing more.

The one thing I may have to do is move out a boarding dog. His owner would freak if she came home to find her dog in quarantine. The good thing is that it's a long weekend here and nothing will be done until Tuesday when the kittens are picked up from my vet and tested. They were put down.



New member
What a nightmare! I'm so sorry that you are going through this ordeal & pray that none of your animals has to go into quarantine away from your home.

I, also, have done lots of rescuing & this situation really makes me stop & think.

Hugs for you & your pets.


New member
This feels like one of those "no good deed goes unpunished" situations. I'm so sorry you're going through this. Prayers for a good outcome.


New member
What an impossible situation. You do the absolute best thing you can do at the time, and are punished for your dear heart. I feel totally for you. Like you've said, you have a 2-decade record of helping and stepping up. I pray this situation won't stop you from doing what we all know is right, regardless of how poorly it is interpreted. Make sure the prosecutors understand WHAT you have been doing for 20+ years!! I'll keep you in my prayers!


New member
Thanks guys. After much consideration and having marinated over it last night I have decided to do as Leonard suggested. I have a client/friend who has a large home with a finished basement where I could house some for a period of time. The thing is I don't know if they will contact me or just show up so that's my only worry now.

I've also done a lot of reading within the last 2 days about rabbies in kittens and based on what I read it is very rare that this occurs and contracting it from their saliva (without have been bitten or scratched) is next to impossible. I hope this is all for not but if it comes down to this I think my case will have to be that I was neither bitten nor scratched therefore could not possibly have been exposed to rabbies. Too I know who the mother of the kittens is and she doesn't appear sick to me. She's been in the neighbourhood for years.

I scrubbed my bathroom with bleach and threw out everything that was in there for the kittens. I had bought them new toys and had put a pet bed in there. I also threw out my toothbrush which was exposed so I've made sure there isn't anything with the kitten's saliva on it.

Now the task of scrubbing my place and making sure everyone here is nicely groomed in the event that they do show up. At the very least they will see a home that's clean and animals that are all healthy.

I don't believe in rabbi shots for indoor animals and that's my problem. The older cats have had their initial shots with rabbies but since they are indoors I refuse to give them a rabbies shot. I read that if an animal's shot is outdated or has not received one and they think it may have been exposed to rabbis they will euthanize the animal immediately. The dogs are current (the law here is every 3 years) but I don't have the records for Gershwin. The woman I took him from was dying and so I didn't pursue her finding the records for him. I believed her and that he did receive all his shots. He was only just over a year when I got him which was almost a year ago.

Again let's just pray that this is just a bad dream that will soon go way. It is a wake up call and though rescue is in my blood and 100% who I am, I don't ever want to go through this again therefore my rescue days have come to an end. Of course this now means walking outside with blinders on.


KS Newf

New member
I think you are planning this perfectly, I also think (just a gut feeling) that there is a very good chance it isn't rabies. My guess also is they just might let you quarantine them at home. You are a friend to all animals, and I am so sorry this has happened.