Dear Ladies and Gentlemen of PJ's Pets
I'm writing this in a blog as I'm so incredibly sickened about Cleo. Last night was night number three with no sleep whatsoever.
When I saw the original plea about Cleo from my colleague at All Paws, I called the PJ's Pets in Brampton at the BCC and spoke with a girl (I believe her name was Jessica) who claimed she works for a vet and has 9 years experience working with "pets". When Jessica declined my wish to purchase/hold this baby girl, I began to question the care she had been receiving and advised her that she is aiding in the decline of Cleo's health. She advised me that the OSPCA had been called so I let her know that I would also be calling to ensure they were indeed investigating the health of Cleo. My conversation with the OSPCA went well and my information taken down. I was told they had already received a couple calls to which I then apologized and let the operator know that I had just posted the kitten's information on my rescue page and I had over 600 followers. We chuckled a bit in an attempt to lighten the nature of the call and hung up on a pleasant note.
My post on Facebook is currently sitting at having reached over 14,000 people:
Which, to be perfectly honest, I couldn't care less as it's essentially done nothing for Cleo. I've been informed that Cleo is at the store manager's home. I have read the letter from the "vet" and PJ's posts hidden in the comments of the New Years post on their official page. I'm 43 years old and I can read through the lines. The letter does not state the kitten is healthy. The letter states the kitten is "not in poor health" and the vet merely guesses as to why she is losing weight.
Not only do I run my cat rescue, but I volunteer at my vet's office. I have seen snd nursed back to health more sick cats in the past 2 years than I care to admit. I've seen many cover-ups and heard several lies from all kinds of people including those we would trust the most. Reading this "veterinarian's" letter is more depressing than reassuring.
When one can't sleep, one digs. When one digs, this is what you find:
PJ's Pets "Chief Veterinarian" is Dr. Jeff. Dig a little deeper within the PJ's website and you'll find his full name: Dr. Jeff Rabinovitch, DVM
If you google his name, you will find his clinic and staff:
The veterinarian in the scribbled out letter PJ's Pets submitted discretely in their comments on their New Year's post, boasts of 10 years experience which would mean Dr. Jeff would not have written this, however, there are two more practicing DVMs at his clinic who are far younger than himself. I'll let the general public generate their own conclusion.
Still awake, and even more digging, one will easily find just how committed and dedicated Dr. Jeff is to helping out the OSPCA with his sponsorships.
I've done my best to remain professional when I've spoken in reference to this poor, sweet kitten. I'm well educated and am not easily conned. My goal with Cleo is to get her the proper vet care. It's been my experience that the colour of the gums are not the go to for checking a feline's hydration. To check for hydration, you typically pull up the skin over the shoulders and neck, give it a gentle twist and release to see how slow (or fast) the skin falls back onto the feline (you are checking the skin's elasticity). It's always been my understanding that the nose, gums, tongue, and footpads are usually the indicator of anemia if pale, in fact, a quick Google search confirms my belief:
So bearing this in mind, if a vet has been in practice for 10 years, one would hope the veterinarian would know how to check a cat for dehydration. If all this vet did was look at her gums there's a big problem here. Huge. Not to mention a kitten being stolen by a "hoarder" and being among 11 other cats with unknown health concerns, puts this kitten at a giant risk and she should have been placed in isolation for at least two weeks to ensure she was not exposed to anything. Many very contagious feline diseases like coccidia (a common intestinal parasite that is lethal in kittens and found by doing a $40 fecal flotation) can take up to 13 days to show up in a feline. Coccidia is not killed with regular deworming. It's treated with Sulfa. Giardia, another very common intestinal parasite requires treatment with Metronidazole and doesn't always show up in a flotation but will in a Giardia Eliza test. Something like ringworm (also quite common in rescues - I use rescues as an example as no one knows what kind of cats the "hoarder" may have had) can take up to THREE weeks before symptoms show up.
I don't want to come off as a know-it-all, but we've all seen the photos. The "vet" did not say the kitten was in "fine health" as Ms. Young quotes. The vet wrote the kitten is "not in poor health"... Then again, this is coming from a seasoned vet with 10 years of experience, a seasoned vet with 10 years of experience that doesn't know pink gums means Cleo is not anemic.
I'm not sure what else I can do at this point. In my eyes, it's very clear to me Cleo is not well. I pray she will pull through and beat the odds. If there is anything at all anyone is able to do, I beg you, please do so in a professional and non-violent manner. This kitten deserves a fighting chance. I don't want Cleo to be the reason why PJ's is shut down, they will be the key to their own undoing. What's important is Cleo's life matters and she deserves to know love.
My hands are tied. I would like to think PJ's would be more proactive in saving face by making more of an effort to prove Cleo is 100% healthy. A healthy kitten that isn't required to see the vet on the 12th. Am I the only one who wonders why a kitten "in fine health" as Ms. Young states, is required to see the vet again in a few days? Does anyone else wonder why, in his or her letter, this "vet" is merely GUESSING at why this kitten is losing weight instead of running tests that could in fact save her life?
Baby Cleo deserves so much more than she's getting. Any staff at PJ's Pets at the BCC that has seen Cleo and her condition is an accomplice to this awful cover up. Go ahead and ask me about any of my rescues. Not only will you see all my invoices for extensive vet care, you will also see my veterinarian's name and contact information. My vet, who has been in practice for approximately 30 years now and is known for her love and compassion of animals. I give full disclosure as I have nothing to hide and I'll add that I'm always open to suggestions and if I'm wrong, I will admit it and make it right and also be grateful for learning something new.
I will say I'm thankful for one thing. Baby Cleo is sheltered. Something I can't say for the long list of abandoned cats waiting for rescue. Some will have passed away last night due to the extreme cold and that breaks my heart as I've had to turn many away due to lack of funding and space. It is because of stores like PJ's that there are so many backyard breeders and a huge cat overpopulation. I'm sure many people aren't aware that even purebred cats find themselves at animal control. The proof is in the pudding. I liked it when I had blinders on. Now, I just don't sleep at night.
One final note. If Cleo is indeed as healthy as Ms. Young states, why aren't more current or updated photos being shown? A video perhaps? If my name was in the process of being severely tarnished and my staff was being threatened, you can bet I would move mountains to prove everyone wrong. But that's me. I'm honest and I tell it like it is. Sadly, I've dealt with enough liars in my past. PJ's could fix this so incredibly fast yet they remain evasive and defensive. Both are key indicators of hiding something, not protecting their staff. Protecting their staff would be giving documented proof that she is thriving, or, working with others outside of PJ's to calm a growing "outrage".
***Please also find it in your hearts to read and sign the following petition that has been set up in light of the events that have occurred with Cleo over the past couple days:
Nicole Paling, Owner of ELM Cat Rescue
PS: I wanted to add in another fine example of just how foolish people are at Christmas with their impulse buys and "breeders" and/or stores making it just too easy for absolutely anyone to get their hands on a pet they now feel is disposable. Society needs to wake up and smarten up. Pets are for life.