…Two years, twelve newsletters and lots of missed deadlines later – the ICHS PAWPRINTS newsletter is ready to be sent to the webmaster, Chuck Pound, at GetSirius Internet Services. Chuck donates his services to upload the newsletter to the website. The other Chuck, my husband, helps me with the ‘computin’ here at home – and believe me, I need a lot of help! The newsletter’s purpose was/is to be all about the animals – those waiting for homes as well as those who have already been adopted. I am always looking for ideas, stories and feedback which will help me create an improved newsletter. Please get in touch if you have any thoughts of how I can better meet the needs of the ICHS animals. In the meantime, a huge THANK YOU to the ‘Chucks’ and to those of you who have contributed to PAWPRINTS in some way this past year – that includes the ‘words of encouragement’ that I hear from time to time. So…I need to finish the ‘computin’. And as you read this letter, it is important to remember that I am a volunteer and these are MY thoughts.
A year gone by and the issues which I wrote about in last year’s editorial (see November 2010) continue to be concerns, but I am going to use this opportunity to update you about two additional causes which ICHS is committed to. I am referring to providing assistance to the public in a variety of ways (animal-related) and promoting education (regarding animal issues). In order to move forward, the Outreach & Education Committee has started to meet on the 3 rd Tuesday of the month at the shelter. Several possible Outreach Program ideas have been identified. Some of the ideas discussed have been a low-cost spay/neuter program, the pet food pantry, pet therapy group, READ group, CGC and temperament testing program, a pet friendly housing cooperative, DART (Disaster Animal Response Team), transportation assistance (having to do with pets) and a lost pet helpline. As important as the above ideas are, our committee decided that a good starting point would be to recruit community ambassadors to help spread the word about what ICHS does – helping animals. We are hoping to get (at least) one animal lover from each of the communities in Iowa County who would be willing to be the “go-to” person that we (the committee members) can contact to aid us in “small ways” which make a “big difference” for the animals. Stay tuned for more!
Our committee also decided that education is our most important ally when it comes to the welfare of animals. Some Education Program ideas include restarting the Junior Humane Society (or some other type of “club” for kids who love animals), implementing an educational program which can be taken to the schools regarding peoples’ responsibilities for the welfare of animals, a continuation of the Paws n Claws University seminars, a program for community feral cat caregivers, a transitional program for newly adopted pets and providing training and behavioral counseling for pet owners.
There are so many aspects of being a responsible pet owner. Our responsibility does not end by just providing for our own personal animals. Providing temporary shelter, food and medical care for the unwanted and homeless animals at ICHS is not enough either. We need to be there for our neighbors to assist them with their animals as well. ICHS is dedicated to making our communities the best they can be for our four-footed friends!If you have any suggestions or ideas about the contents of ICHS PAWPRINTS, please contact me, Terri Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org
After several months of having Wednesday evening fundraising meetings, we are making some changes which will enable us to make better use of our time. Our new meeting night will be the 3 rd Tuesday of each month (no meeting in December). The reason for this change is that we now have two committees which require monthly meetings, and so both meetings will be held the same evening. The outreach & education committee meeting will begin at 6 o’clock with the fundraising meeting following (approximately 7 o’clock). Some of our committee members are on both committees and so it seemed practical to make this schedule change. If you have an interest in being a part of either committee, please join us on the 15 th of November at 6:00 p.m. at the shelter. And, if you can’t make it to the meeting, please contact Cheri at ICHS and share your ideas with her. Up-coming events include:
Holiday Bake Sale
ICHS’s Easter Bake Sale is always a huge success and so the suggestion to have one at Christmas seems like a “no-brainer”. The bake sale will be at Spring Gate Mall. We will set up in the usual spot outside of Piggly Wiggly and Radio Shack. The sale will begin at 8:00 a.m. and continue until 2:00 (or until the baked items are gone). This sale will provide the busy shopper a means of getting a variety of goodies without having to spend a lot of time doing it yourself. Just thinking about a holiday bake sale, I have visions of candy, cakes and cookies dancing in my head…
Mary Ann Petrak has generously donated a beautiful quilt to ICHS with the intention of it being raffled off a few days before Christmas. Mary Ann started quilting about a year ago, and I believe that this ‘Country Star’ pattern quilt was Mary Ann’s first large endeavor (she donated a smaller one which you may have seen hanging on one of the shelter’s walls). The full-sized quilt is machine quilted in mocha, cream and dark red florals. It is absolutely stunning and would look great in your house or would make a very thoughtful gift. Tickets are $2.00 apiece or 6 for $10.00 and Mary is donating all of the proceeds to the animals at ICHS. The quilt will be on display at the Holiday Bake Sale and may be seen at the shelter. The drawing for the quilt will be December 20 th. The one thing that I haven’t figured out yet is how Mary Ann can part with something so beautiful…
Taco John Nachos Navidad
Once again this holiday season, Taco John’s in Platteville, will be donating 25 cents from each Nacho Navidad entree purchased between November 21 st and December 31 st. Feliz Navidad!
Festive Friday Eve at Moonhill Mercantile
In the spirit of the holidays, Moonhill Mercantile will be giving to the animals at ICHS. From 5-7 p.m. on December 16 th (aka Festive Friday Eve) the gift shop will donate 20% of its proceeds from shoppers to the shelter. The gift store, located in Mt. Horeb, is known for its high quality gifts and home décor. If this is your first time visiting Moonhill Mercantile, you will find Lang gift items, a great selection of candles, jewelry and many other unique gift items. This would be a great opportunity to get some items crossed off of your Christmas list and support a store which is supporting the ICHS.
A BIG Thank YouI want to thank all of you who supported the ICHS animals by attending and purchasing plants at the plant sale fundraiser held last May and June. This year the money was used to purchase a surgery table for the shelter. In addition to the table, cabinets were also purchased and installed in the surgery room. I enjoy plants and I find it so rewarding that petunias, marigolds and coneflowers can be used to make a difference for the animals. But, without YOUR support, none of this would have come about. Besides a BIG thank you to everyone who bought plants, I would also like to thank Janis Crook who helped with the monotonous task of transplanting, Sue Cashman for the beautiful mums which she donated, my neighbors and good friends Samantha, Julian and Renae for all of their help, and my husband, Chuck, for putting up with me. I look forward to next year’s plant sale and am hoping for your continued support.
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.
Jax is a handsome, long-haired, grey kitty who tested positive for feline leukemia. He is probably 3-4 years old. He reminds me of a BIG Teddy Bear – especially when staff and volunteers carry him around. He puts his front ‘arms’ around his person’s neck and lovingly holds on. He loves attention and is very playful. Mary (who fell in love with Callie and has since adopted her) gives Jax the credit for helping Callie to overcome her fears of leaving her cage. Callie was always frightened when having to leave her cage which in turn led to some ‘undesirable behaviors’. However, after she and Jax were moved to the ‘Catnip Lounge’, she would see Jax play, play and play some more which led her to want to get in on the action. So after Jax was put back in his cage, Callie started to willingly venture out. Jax, you are a ‘good guy’- you helped Callie get a home! 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.
Dominic, Sarah, Noreen, Duchess and Walter
These 5 kitties are special needs cats – they have been diagnosed with FIV. With so many cats available for adoption, it is understandable why FIV cats get overlooked. These five cats are normal and happy cats and deserve a chance to live in a home setting. One misconception of FIV cats is that these cats can’t live in the same house with non-FIV cats. But FIV is transmitted primarily through bite wounds and isn’t spread easily. As long as you introduce an FIV cat to your other cat(s) slowly and properly (just as you would with any new cat) there is little risk of infecting others. Obviously, adopting (or fostering) an FIV cat (or any animal) is something that needs to be thought about carefully. So do the homework. There’s lots of information on the Internet, talk to your veterinarian and/or the staff here at ICHS and just maybe you will be taking one or more of these kitties home with you. So…Dominic, Sarah, Noreen, Duchess and Walter need homes.
Lindy is a brown Lab mix who came to ICHS in August. She is probably an older lady, but I don’t know her exact age. Lindy is a special dog who just happens to be blind. She does have one eye but it is ‘sightless’ (perhaps you can see how it bulges outward) and it needs to be removed. Lindy’s ‘bulging’ eye will hopefully be removed by the time she is adopted (a project that is being worked on). She will make a wonderful dog for the right family. She walks beautifully on a leash – granted you have to be her seeing-eye person, but that is your responsibility when walking any dog! My blind cat, Raymond (see the July 2010 Newsletter), fits in so well in our household. When I brought him home in 2004, my concern was ‘How does a blind cat differ from other cats’? Other than not being able to see, there is little difference. My guess is you will find the same with Lindy. Well, there are little differences that may come up from time to time… Ho Hum! I am referring to the first time that I gave Lindy some hot dog pieces. Not thinking, my fingers ended up ‘between her teeth’ since she had no idea of how big the hot dog bits were! Its little things like that which you will have to get used to. In comparing Lindy to Raymond, one advantage of a blind dog (over a blind cat) is that you can exercise a dog by going on daily walks - I haven’t figured out how to get Raymond to exercise! Lindy would be better off in a quiet household. I don’t know if she would necessarily have to be an only animal – I guess it would depend on the other pets in your household. If perhaps you could be Lindy’s new family, come in, and get to know her – just remember - if you offer her a treat - you have to watch your fingers! So…Lindy needs a home.
HollyHolly was one of the special pets featured in the September 2011 PawPrints Newsletter, and I am pleased to announce that Holly was adopted. I don’t know the details, but it is so wonderful that a family was willing to open up their home and their hearts to a special ‘sweet-heart of a dog’.
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 sharing your pet’s story in the newsletter, please e-mail me at email@example.com . 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 may have and whatever else you would like 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!
Bella and Miranda
Bella (Arabella), a lovely black and white lady cat, and Miranda, a beautiful calico kitty, were adopted last spring by Debbie and Ben Woodbury of Madison. They had lost their older cat, Max, to cancer and they felt that it was time to get another cat. They had intended to adopt either Vegas or a couple of FIV+ kitties. But Vegas would probably have had to have been an ‘only’ cat. So they chose Bella, who had been at ICHS a long time, and Miranda who lived in the same kitty room as Bella. The girls are not necessarily ‘best friends’ but they do get along with each other as long as Miranda remembers that Bella is the boss. Miranda is the one that gets the day started by reminding Debbie that it is breakfast time - she starts in daily at 4:00 a.m. (having no concept of ‘sleeping in’ on the weekend). After breakfast both kitties get their exercise by racing around the living room and then it’s time for THE NAP which usually lasts much of the day. Both kitties have their own heating pads which are usually where the naps occur but other favorite spots are the laundry basket and the computer. One of the girls’ favorite activities is to cruise the garage looking for mice. Before Debbie caught on and realized that it wasn’t wise to leave the door open (so that the girls could come and go as they pleased), they had presented mom and dad with ‘presents’. Debbie managed to get all of the ‘presents’ out of the house except for the one which made it to the basement – she’s not quite sure of that one’s fate. Debbie is hoping that people understand that shelter animals – both dogs and cats – just need a chance. Debbie feels, “If given love, patience and time, these animals can become a truly valued member of the family”.To add a bit to Bella’s success story… Since 2008, I haven’t spent much time with the kitties at the shelter as most of my time is spent with the dogs. Because of limited exposure to the cats, I did not know either Bella or Miranda. However, when I chatted with Debbie (in July) she told me that she had adopted Arabella. I couldn’t believe what I had heard! I asked her “…and how is Arabella getting along?” Debbie’s reply was, “She’s doing great”. The reason that I was so surprised to hear that Arabella was doing well is because I also write the Pets of the Month articles. The animals chosen for the articles are based on how long they have been at the shelter. Several months ago, it was Arabella’s turn to be featured but it was decided to skip her as she probably would not do well in a household since she had some ‘issues’. So…to find Arabella doing well in a loving household is AWESOME! Debbie and Ben, thank you so much for giving both of these ladies a loving home and a chance! A chance is all these animals need.
305 Co. Rd. YZ
WI Dog Seller & Dog Facility Operator license #267019-DS