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Impromptu pet rescue shelter irks neighbors

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Impromptu pet rescue shelter irks neighbors

Kelli Ash and 5-year-old daughter IzzaBelle hold their youngest cat "Princess "Thursday afternoon that will have to go in with others the city animal control officers were forced to collect after ...

GLENN KAHL/The Bulletin

POSTED September 25, 2009 1:56 a.m.
It was a tearful separation Thursday afternoon for two adult sisters and a 5-year-old daughter whose love for animals crowded their small home.

It is a family of “rescues,” rescued cats, rabbits, dogs and guinea pigs that drew the attention of neighbors when the hot summer days produced a wafting odor from the small side yard of a Manteca duplex in the 1300 block of Spruce Lane.

In answer to a neighborhood complaint, Manteca Animal Control Officer Les Rowe told the Ash family they could only have two dogs and three cats at their home.  Several cats, rabbits and 12 guinea pigs and their cages had to go.  Rowe said the family volunteered to give them up along with the cages used to house them.

They were allowed to keep two dogs – a dachshund and a wire haired Chihuahua, terrier mix – but, the 12 guinea pigs, rabbits and rats had to go.

Now the family hopes the community will come forward to adopt their pets from Manteca’s Animal Control.  The cats were all house cats and should not go to families that will allow them to run outside.  Their fear is that their animals will ultimately be destroyed at the shelter.

Jamie Ash, 26, and her sister Kelli, 29, were living with their mother at the Spruce Lane home where they let the rabbits romp around the back yard but kept the cats in the house.  The rabbits, rats, and guinea pigs were kept in cages along the side of the home next to the fence.

It was those outside cages that undoubtedly brought the ire of neighbors.

Kelli Ash said that through all of her animals she has taken good care of them and fixed them up when they were hurt or sick.

Jamie, who worked formerly as a veterinary tech, said all of the animals were given names that everyone in the family recognized at first glance.  Now working as a certified nursing assistant in a skilled nursing facility, Jamie was filled with emotion as her animals were taken out the side gate of their home.

Sister Kelli was equally upset by the loss of their animals, especially “Bubby” who has a chip under her fur.  She raised her from birth, bottle feeding her day and night.

Another cat she is very close to is “Princess” who followed her home one day from a home down the street.  “Every time I went down to return her they shut their door and closed their windows – my daughter just fell in love with her,” she said.

The guinea pigs include a black and white “Lacy,” a red and white “Charley,” two sisters: “Mouse” and “Sky.” One is gray and the other white.  “Raiderette” is a black and white long-haired guinea pig and “Cupcake” is rusty colored. “Zoey” is white with a cocoa color around its eyes.  “Lacy” was a rescue from a woman in Manteca. “Peanut” has a dark red and white coat and “Riley” has hair described as “being kinda wild.”  “Areal” is white with red and brown spots.  And then there is “Rose.”

Also up for adoption through the Manteca Animal Shelter are three rats, a black and white “Aurora,” a tan and white “Little Man” and another that is white with brown and black spots, “Prince Jake.”  And then there is “Bell” who was found “just running around” in the neighborhood – the family couldn’t help but take him in, too.

The rabbits had their unique names too.  There is “Cassie” a turtle shell that should only be adopted by an older couple and “Bubby” a two-year-old solid gray long hair that would be best going to a single, retired lady.  The last rabbit is a gray tabby called “Nikki.”

The rabbits were all rescued by the family – one from the Oakdale pound and another from the Humane Society.

City of Manteca spokesman Rex Osborn found other violations at the home that could create a fire hazard.  He offered to put a dumpster at the curb for the weekend to allow the family to rid themselves of accumulated trash.
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