I reread the March Newsletter prior to writing this edition, and I was surprised to read that just a bit ago I was writing about "falling snowflakes". Now I am looking out the window and I see grass that was mowed less than a week ago needing to be cut again. Although I see flowers here and there, the weeds are taking over. The hummingbird feeders are out for the 'hummers' and the oranges and grape jelly are awaiting the orioles, but I have yet to see them. The hot, humid days of summer will soon be upon us so let's enjoy spring while we can. I love this time of year - a time to be outside doing all of the things that we dreamed about over the winter. There have been so many positive things happening at ICHS in the past few weeks that I am going to put aside the 'forever challenges' for this edition and write about 'good things'. As you read my letter it is important to remember that I am a volunteer and these are MY thoughts.
As I write this, National Volunteer Week is coming to a close. I want to thank all of you who give of your time and talents to support the ICHS. Many of you spend time with the animals while they await their 'forever' home. Many of you make treats and toys for the animals. You provide needed supplies for the animals and the shelter. Some of you spend countless hours organizing fundraisers. Many of you attend and contribute financially to the fundraisers. Some of you give your time and sit on the board, and some take time to attend the board meetings. I know there are many of you who volunteer in ways that I don't even know about. Thanks to each and every one of you who give of yourself - all for the animals of Iowa County!
In the past couple of newsletters I had mentioned the need of finding a way to give our dogs more attention, exercise and education - especially the dogs that live in the "back row" (NEWS FLASH - two of those dogs, Dominic and Rodney, have been adopted). I am excited to tell you about a new event scheduled for this summer. It is called the Extreme Shelter Dog Makeover, Iowa County Edition. This event is designed to promote some of the longer term dogs at ICHS. It will involve 6 local dog trainers working with 6 special needs/longer term dogs for a 6 week time period. There will be a final judge-off utilizing the AKC Canine Good Citizen test to determine how prizes will be awarded. Our hope is that this event will provide much needed skills and experience for these dogs which will make them more appealing to adopters. At the same time this event will help showcase local professional trainers and their talent. There will be a Top Dog at ICHS. Which one? Stay tuned. In addition to the Makeover event, many of the dogs will be involved with the 4-H Dog Project. This is the 3rd year for this event. This is a great opportunity for the dogs. They are challenged in a structured setting that promotes discipline and a life away from ICHS until their "forever" family comes along. So…for the time being, perhaps "the club" (that I have hinted about in previous newsletters) is not needed. However there is always a need for walkers at the shelter. I am hoping to walk the dogs a bit more frequently this summer and I would enjoy having company (besides the dogs).
Lastly, puppy and kitten season has already started. There are already 3 litters of kittens being fostered. As cute as these kittens are, this brings us back to the subject of spaying and neutering our animals. When I think about 1 unspayed mama cat and her young reproducing 420,000 kittens in 7 years and 1 unspayed dog and her young reproducing 67,000 puppies in 6 years, I need to do something. So…I will be designating ALL proceeds from my up-coming 'Plant Sale' to ICHS's 'low-cost spay/neuter program'. This program is intended to assist pet owners who are in need of financial help in spaying and neutering their pets. I realize that selling a few pansies and primroses is not the answer to the spaying/neutering challenge, but it is a start.
Upcoming Fundraising Events
A small, but enthusiastic group of volunteers meet monthly to plan the 2010 fundraisers. We will be meeting again on May 12th to continue the discussion and planning of future events. Please join us if you would like to be a part of the fundraising committee. And, if you can't make it to the meeting, please e-mail Cheri at ICHS and share your ideas with her. Upcoming fundraisers include:
Benefit Buffet at Pizza Hut
Ruth Olson has organized a Benefit Buffet at the Pizza Hut in Dodgeville on Monday, May 17th, from 5-8 p.m. A percentage of the evening's profits will benefit ICHS. Thank you, Ruth, for your time and effort in organizing this event. Please join Ruth and other lovers of animals (and pizza) at Pizza Hut on May 17th to help the animals. Thank you, Pizza Hut, for your generosity!
ICHS Plant Sale
The 4th annual 'ICHS Plant Sale' will be held in the parking lot at ICHS on the following Saturdays: May 15th, 22nd and 29th from 9:00 - noon. There will be annuals and perennials for sale. No vegetables. I have quite a variety of hostas and daylilies. It is important to note that although I do have a wide variety of plants, it is difficult to transport so many plants so I can only bring a few at a time. For example, I may have a dozen 'Bleeding Hearts' for sale, but I may only bring 3 or 4 of them because of space on the trailer. My philosophy is that plants are for sharing and for that reason the plants are reasonably priced. If it weren't for trying to raise money for the shelter, I wouldn't sell my plants - but rather, I would give them away. Also, on the 15th, the Uplands Garden Club will be having their 12th annual Plant Sale at Harris Park (just down the road from ICHS), and from what I understand, they have a huge variety of plants to choose from. So you can attend two plant sales, have a great selection of plants to choose from and donate to two worthy causes. As a reminder, all proceeds from the ICHS sale will benefit the shelter's 'low-cost spay and neuter program'. If you have questions about the variety and availability of plants at the ICHS sale, you may contact me at email@example.com
Shannon Hermanson is again sponsoring a Garage Sale which will benefit ICHS and WeCare. The sale features new and 'gently used' clothing. The sale will be held on Friday, June 4th, and Saturday, June 5th, at the Plymouth Congregational Church, 115 W. Merrimac St. in Dodgeville. Shannon is still looking for donations of clothing as well as large plastic storage totes. If you have clothing donations, please bring them to Store n Stuff - unit 71 (behind Super 8 in Dodgeville) on May 16th from 1 - 3 p.m. Arrangements can also be made for pick up by calling (608) 574-4706.
'Hogs for Dogs (and Kitties too)' Poker Run
Doing a poker run for ICHS (a dream for the past three years) is finally going to be a reality. This event will be on Saturday, June 19th, (rain or shine). Registration for the poker run will take place at the ICHS parking lot from 10:00 until 11:00 a.m. The ride will be approximately 115 miles long winding through the rural roads of Iowa County. Food, music, a silent auction, raffle, and prizes will await the participants at the final destination which is the Pleasant Ridge Store northeast of Dodgeville. This event is not only for motorcycle riders. There will be enough food and fun for everyone. Final arrangements are still being worked on so all of the details/plans are not available at this time. Watch for posters, ads or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
We all know that all animals are 'special' but the animals featured in this section are indeed special. These are 'special needs' animals. The special person/family who adopts one of these animals knows that this may/may not be the long-term relationship which we hope for when we open our hearts and homes to a new family member. These animals' 'forever homes' with us may be just for a short time before they move on…But, nevertheless, these animals need a home and a loving family just as we all do. Are you possibly the family that could provide a home for one of these animals? If not, do you know of a family who could provide a loving home for these animals? If so, please come out to ICHS and find out more about these animals from the ICHS staff.
Lorenzo is a senior Redbone Coonhound. He has been at ICHS since mid-November. It really did hurt to look at Lorenzo when he first came here. He was so thin; it took so much effort (both his and mine) to take him on a short walk. Although he is six-months older now than he was in November, he is acting like a dog much younger than his 10-12 years. He is alert and forever on the trail of something (after all, he is a hound) when he goes on his daily walks. He gets along well with other dogs. Although Lorenzo seems to have a new 'lease on life', we still have to accept that he is an older dog and who knows how much time he has left. So…Lorenzo needs a home.
Jax is a handsome, long-haired, grey kitty who tested positive for feline leukemia. He is probably 2-3 years old. He is quite playful and loves all of the attention that he can get. Jax does not get along with other cats so he probably needs to be an 'only' cat, and he must be kept indoors. I can't go into the specifics of Jax's condition, but it can't be ignored that he will probably have a shorter lifespan than most cats. He is in wonderful shape right now - lots of energy and has a let's play, play, play attitude! So…Jax needs a home.
No success stories this edition. I don't mean that there aren't any success stories out there. What I mean to say is that I have been so busy with my plants, I did not get around to doing any success story write-ups. As a matter of fact, there were 27 cats and 23 dogs adopted from ICHS since the March newsletter. Talk about SUCCESS! That is awesome! So…I will have many stories to choose from next newsletter!
305 Co. Rd. YZ
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