Monday, July 5, 2010
She has shared the screen and stage with the Divine Miss M, Bette Midler, and even on her own she has given the world beauty and pleasure with her amazing talents in song, dance, acting, and comedy. Now, Rhae Ann Theriault has another mission in her life, one she feels as deeply and passionately as anything she has ever accomplished in showbusiness. Her latest endeavours may not see her name emblazoned in lights, but will earn her a place among the angels, and in the hearts of everyone who knows her.
Save Leadwell Kitties came about due to a colony of cats she and other friends in the animal rescue vocation found in desperate need of rescuing. There are many cats (and dogs) living in substandard and appalling environments, and Leadwell Kitties is just one of many operations that Theriault has been personally involved in, together with friends like Eldad Hagar from Hope For Paws, another inspirational organisation.
This lovely feline pictured left is one poor individual that has made it important for Theriault to get the message across that treating animals like this is completely unnacceptable and must be dealt with.
Theriault states: "To the "rescuers" who abandoned these helpless animals...you should be ASHAMED of yourselves! Especially for obstructing my attempts to do something to REALLY help them!! If this colony was "under control" - as you put it - than how the hell do you explain the 51 cats & kittens that I've removed from there??? And I've yet to make a DENT in their population."
In regard to the specific Leadwell Kitties project, Theriault describes the work she does in her website's mission statement as such:
"Since January of this year (2010), I have been trying to get a large-scale cat hoarding colony under control. At the time of making the commitment, I had no idea what a huge undertaking it would be. The location is a run-down, abandoned apartment complex, overgrown with weeds, strewn with debris. This is home to some 50-60+ cats, kittens, and the property owner's daughter - who is mentally ill. The 'complex' sits one block over from where I currently live in Van Nuys, CA and has been a menace to the surrounding neighborhood for well over ten years. Police & Animal Control officers have served warrants, innocent cats & kittens have been seized & destroyed, & other rescuers have tried to intervene and help cut down the numbers. Unfortunately, without proper follow-up & support, this is only a temporary fix.
Without spaying & neutering the entire colony they continue to reproduce. Although I've rescued/removed approximately 45+ cats/kittens since February of this year, I’ve barely made a dent! There are many kittens that are now over 8 weeks-old and are not going to be socialized, adoptable, nor easy to catch. Once they reach 4-5 months of age, they will begin to reproduce - along with the countless other litters within the remaining colony. By the next “kitten season” their numbers will have gone right back up.
The mother (who owns the property & lives off-site) and daughter (who is extremely unpredictable & difficult to deal with) pick & choose which animals I can remove. The nights that I have trapped there is, typically, tremendous interference...if not a complete lack of cooperation.
Meanwhile, these innocent creatures live in deplorable conditions, & never receive any type of vet care. Dozens have suffered & died due to illness, disease, neglect, human cruelty, hit by cars, etc. It has gotten to a point where some of the surrounding neighbors have taken matters in to their own hands & are fed up with the overpopulation, stench, flies, feces, urine, debris, & general eye sores.
This is why I've embarked upon a large-scale TNR project with help from: Eldad Hagar (founder of Hope For Paws), Sarah Coatts, & volunteers: Hali Burton, Anna Raner, & Barry Preston. In the process I'm finding there are MANY tame/adoptable young cats & kittens. Foster homes are URGENTLY needed. Temporary housing is vital for me to remain focused on spaying & neutering. Can you HELP???"
YouTube site for hosting videos she has made of her rescue efforts. Many of these videos are disturbing in nature and will break your heart, but there is hope and inspiration offered by the people like Theriault who literally risk life and limb to save these unfortunate victims.
Here is another video link Theriault has added to her page, the situation is critical and as wonderful as she is, Theriault cannot do everything alone and will need help to make this project succeed.
Theriault has recently updated the crisis with new information about just how serious this issue is and how she faces opposition from some very despicable people:
"I'm hoping & praying to be able to pass this torch on to a foundation or entity with the legal power & resources that I, as a private citizen, do not have. When the media wanted to come in and do a story on this situation, 'certain' people in the rescue community did what they could to block that from happening. The same day I received a call from one of the local news stations, asking if I was willing to go on camera the following day - I also began receiving nasty, hateful emails & phone calls (from only a 'few') but their opinion was 'shining media attention on this will only get the animals euthanized.' Meanwhile, those 'rescuers' have not lifted a finger to help in any manner - not even so much as cross posting a plea or picking up a phone! ALSO, meanwhile, months of continued breeding, suffering, and dying has been going on - at an alarming rate - as it has been for YEARS!"
Watch this video & you'll get the picture:
or this one: