“Ring out the old, Ring in the new…” says it all as ICHS is in the midst of moving from the old building on Bennett Road to the new location. Although I am very excited about this up-coming chapter in ICHS’s history, I have so many fond memories of the ‘old place’ – both of the people and the animals. When I left the “old” shelter on Thursday for the final time, I had a lump in my throat – nostalgia sometimes gets the best of me! I didn’t start volunteering until the summer of 2002, and so I was not a part of ICHS in the early years. By the time I came along, ICHS had already been at the Bennett Road location for a couple of years. ICHS shared the building with a sports and taxidermy shop – that was an interesting arrangement! Although there weren’t as many animals then as there are now, there still was not enough space for the animals which found their way to ICHS. At some point Sharon McGann bought the building. The sports/taxidermy shop moved out and the entire building became the ICHS home. What an exciting time that was! Thank you, Sharon! But the animals kept coming. There wasn’t enough room to meet the needs of the stray animals. And so it is time to move on, to start the next chapter…
This chapter is a work in progress and many of you are more familiar with the plans than I am. I know that it includes a much larger area for the dogs and cats (several cat rooms) as well as a more efficient and effective space for the employees and volunteers. It is exciting that the animals will have access to proper quarantine areas to better control disease. Designated areas for vet exams and minor surgeries will be a luxury as well as a grooming area. The new building has been referred to as a “blank slate”. It has also been stated that this project will be carried out in two phases – this is going to take awhile. We have a work in progress with a lot to do. The turning of each page is much anticipated...
Even though we are into a new chapter, there are still concerns that aren’t going to go away just because we have moved to a new location. Looking back at the January 2010 Newsletter, I had mentioned three challenges and those challenges are still concerns of mine! An obvious challenge is the fundraising for the new ICHS facility. But as important as the facility is, I am especially concerned with two other dilemmas that I have voiced on a regular basis over the past year – and they have to do with the animals – both the current residents of ICHS as well as future residents.
The second challenge is similar to that which I wrote about last year – how do you find homes for the large, energetic dogs that continually get overlooked by potential adopters? The difference in this challenge versus that of a year ago is that there are now more of these dogs than before! There has to be a solution to finding these animals homes (and if not homes, at least more socialization opportunities.) I believe that the solution will come from volunteers – people who will give of their time to come to the aid of these animals. Hopefully, a new facility will become the catalyst to inspire volunteers to get involved with these misunderstood and needy dogs.The BIG challenge is one what I didn’t know how to tackle last year and I still don’t have the answer. People need to spay and neuter their pets!!! Until the population of unwanted cats and dogs is reduced, there will be no end in sight to the number of cats and dogs coming through the doors of ICHS…How do we go about this??? As you were reading the above letter, it is important to keep in mind that I am a volunteer and these are MY thoughts.
A small, but enthusiastic group of volunteers meet monthly to plan upcoming fundraisers. We will not be having “the usual” meeting in January because of “the move”. However…the 11 th Annual ICHS Art Auction is right around the corner! Dawn Judd, the Art Auction event organizer, is looking for volunteers for this committee. Meetings are minimal as most of the communication is through e-mails and phone calls. The first committee meeting will be held on Wednesday, January 12 th, at Dodger Bowl in Dodgeville at 6:00 p.m. If you would like to be part of this committee, please contact ICHS
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 (some people feel that he resembles a Vizsla). He has been at ICHS since mid-November. It hurt to look at Lorenzo when he first came here. He was so thin; it took so much effort to take him on a short walk. Although he is eight-months older now than he was in November, he is acting like a dog much younger than his 10-12 years. Now when he goes on his daily walks, he is alert and forever on the trail of something (after all, he is a hound). Lorenzo did ‘showmanship’ in the 4-H Dog Project. It was so heart-warming to see this old guy going through his paces with his young handler. He was so proud when he posed with his red ribbon for the camera, and I was so proud of Lorenzo and his handler, Winndie. Lorenzo 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. Since Jax cannot be with other cats, he has been allowed to play with the Beagle pups. It is so fun to watch him play with them. And, on a side note, I believe that Jax is the cat who helps out when staff are doing temperament testing with the dogs. 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.
Barney is a big, handsome (if you haven’t noticed, ALL of the cats at ICHS are handsome, beautiful, gorgeous, etc. J ), male, orange tabby. Barney is probably 2-3 years old. He is an absolute sweetheart and so loving. He is a definite lap cat and loves to rub against you. Barney has tested positive for FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus). Barney needs to be an ‘only’ cat, and he must be kept indoors. I can’t go into the specifics of Barney’s condition, but it can’t be ignored that he will probably have a shorter lifespan than most cats. So…Barney needs a home.
Waldo is SPECIAL!!!-but no one seems to notice! No one notices Waldo! Waldo is a black and white terrier-mix. He is approximately 5-6 years old, and he has been at ICHS since September of 2006. Waldo was a featured pet on the ICHS website last fall and he is still here – FOUR years!!! Waldo does not have a PHYSICAL malady. He is energetic, shy and STRESSED! I am sure that a shelter can be a stressful place for animals. And just like people, some animals handle the stress better than others. In my opinion, Waldo is probably handling the stress quite well – considering it has been FOUR years! You notice Waldo’s agitation when he is indoors. He constantly ‘runs’ back and forth (5 feet), leaps and slams into the fiberglass wall of his kennel. It is so heart-wrenching to hear that sound. I don’t know if he stops this behavior after he is fed and the lights are turned off OR if he continues this behavior off and on through the night!!! Can you imagine what it must be like for the other dogs (or at least his neighbors) if this goes on all night!?! Waldo was fostered for a time in 2009 and it was a GREAT experience for all concerned. The gal who fostered WALDO had no intention of adopting him as she already had several dogs. The plan was simply to see how Waldo would do in a setting other than ICHS. There were no problems! Waldo gets along well with most dogs and older children. Can you, or do you know of anyone, who can possibly foster/adopt Waldo? He needs a chance to show how SPECIAL he really is!!! So…Waldo really, really needs a home!
I need your help if I am to continue to feature the success stories which begin the moment your adopted companion chooses you. It is not difficult for me to write a paragraph that showcases your pet. The problem that I have is finding YOU and your pet. I don’t know who you are or how to contact you. If you would be interested in having your pet’s story in the newsletter, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org . A picture and a brief write up about your pet(s) is all that I need. If I don’t have enough info, I will get back to you. It would be helpful to know your pet’s shelter name (if you renamed your pet), when you adopted, pet’s favorite activities, other pets that you have and whatever else you care to include. If you are not able to send a picture, that’s OK. Many of you send periodic updates regarding your adopted pet to the shelter. I can use those write-ups if you would please indicate (in your letter to ICHS) that you are giving me permission to include your pet’s story in the newsletter. I hope to hear from you!
305 Co. Rd. YZ
WI Dog Seller & Dog Facility Operator license #267019-DS