Serving the animals and citizens of Iowa County and its surrounding communities
|Letter From The Editor|
A Letter From The Editor......Harry, Smokey and I just returned from our morning ritual of checking out the flower beds. I have a cup of coffee and a scissors in
hand with the intent of doing some "deadheading" but mostly it's just 10-15 minutes of admiring the blossoms and discovering what wasn't blooming yesterday but is today. I "ooh and aah" whenever I spy something new in bloom while the boys admire in silence. Of course there are lots of weeds but we don't dwell on those during our morning stroll. The rains have been timely thus far and it has been heavenly not to have to water. For those of you who garden (whether flowers or vegetables), I hope that your experience is the same as mine – lots of blooms and plenty of bounty to come. I want to mention that ICHS's annual plant sale was another success. Many "repeat customers" stopped by and there were many new faces also. I wish to extend a big THANK YOU to all who supported our sale as well as those of you who donated plants and helped at the sale. Since all money goes to the animals it is a worthwhile endeavor and it allows me to share my plants. As you read this letter, it is important to remember that I am a volunteer and these are my thoughts.
In the previous PawPrints issue I mentioned several projects which were being worked on. The flooring and painting projects have been completed. The reception area, conference room and offices look GREAT! Thank you to Chris, Alisha, Marcia and Scott for their hard work. The outdoor dog kennels are almost finished. There were several people involved early in the project – removing existing fencing, clearing the area of brush and roots, leveling the area, building forms and pouring cement. After the cement was poured, Marcia and Scott spent many hours/days working on drainage, sowing grass seed and erecting the panels. Thank you to all who helped with this project! Hannah T is working on a mural in the House of Mouse cat room. I saw the plan on paper a month ago and it is positively awesome. Hannah has been lightly sketching on the walls and it is exciting to see it take shape. I must admit I am (more than) a bit envious of people who can draw when all I can do is appreciate others' talents and efforts.
The Low Cost Spay and Neuter Program is finally ready to make its debut. For those of us working on this project, it has been a long time in coming. Past-director Cheri P wrote the initial plan back in 2008. Spaghetti suppers, memorials and bowling events enabled us to acquire the funds to get the program started. This program is "a work in progress". We will need participants' feedback to "iron out the kinks" and more money will need to be raised to continue this program.
How much this program will help with population control (especially cats) will remain to be seen. The past couple of "kitten seasons" here at ICHS started slowly even though we were "bursting at the seams" by the middle of August. This year has been different as kittens were being dropped off in March. If you go online and wonder where all of these kittens are that I am referring to – believe me, we have kittens! It is just that they can't be on the floor (nor on the website) until they have been spayed and neutered. Also, we continue to look for families to foster these kittens since socialization at a young age is critical. If you are interested in fostering, please go to the ICHS website and click on the 'volunteer page' and then click on 'Kitten Foster Families' for more information.
One more update. In the May PawPrints issue I mentioned that we had several dogs who needed to be worked with. The good news is that of those dogs I mentioned, only one remains – Jersey. And she needs a home more than she needs training. Jersey's issues are her reactivity to strangers and other dogs. You can imagine how exciting it was when I was conducting a tour of the building a couple of weeks ago. Kaity had Jersey in the training area and here I come with 19 volunteers in tow. I opened the door and asked Kaity if we should avoid that area of the building (because of Jersey) and she said it would be OK. So...20 of us crowding in the training area and Jersey paid us no mind at all. This girl needs a home! If you have any suggestions or ideas about the content of ICHS PAWPRINTS, please contact me, Terri Davis at email@example.com
As a reminder, ICHS is a volunteer-based organization and our volunteers are priceless when it comes to our mission and success. As important as our volunteers are, perhaps we don't have an adequate way to express our thanks other than to say "thank you" and there may be times when even that doesn't occur. Most of us volunteer because we want to, and we don't expect thanks – a wagging tail or a purring cat is all of the thanks that we need. ICHS has a "Lucky Volunteer of the Month" drawing – just for fun. One volunteer's name is drawn each month and receives a little something – no, not a kitten☺ – as a token of ICHS's appreciation. The volunteer is "lucky" because it has nothing to do with how often you volunteer (there is only one name/per person/ per month no matter how much time you spend volunteering) and so "lucky" is simply being the one whose name is drawn from the container – that's "the luck of the draw"!
Our most recent "lucky volunteers" are: May – Ed W. Ed is from Barneveld. He and his family attended volunteer orientation this past April and are "cat cuddlers". June – Ashley D. Ashley is from Dodgeville and attended orientation this past January along with her mom. Ashley spends time with the cats. Thank you to Ed, Ashley and all the rest of you for everything that you do for ICHS! Also, please check the website and click on the link to find out what our 'immediate/specific volunteer needs' are and see how you can help! Also as a reminder, our volunteer orientation sessions are the 3rd Sunday of the month.
Upcoming Fundraising Events
Just a reminder that ICHS is always looking for volunteers to help with the planning and implementation of our fundraisers. Our goal is to have enough volunteers so that each individual would only have to help plan and work at one event per year. So...if you would like to get involved with the planning and organizing of 2015's fundraisers, please contact the shelter for more details. We hope to hear from you!!!
May & June Adoptions
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.
Sox is a big guy that needs to be an "only cat" – he insists! So, if you have no other cats and are looking for a kitty companion (or if you know of someone who is), please consider Sox. He has a HUGE personality! He also may have some health concerns which is why you may want to foster this fella rather than outright adopt him. Sox may/may not have some urinary issues. He may possibly have a kidney stone, possibly a tumor or possibly lower urinary tract disease. He is showing no symptoms at the moment other than (at times) having lots of urine – yes; he does use his litter box. Sox was surrendered in February of 2014 and is 13 years old. Sox is very vocal (includes loud). He can open doors, loves food and can be somewhat choosy in who he befriends. He will not tolerate other cats so that doesn't help in finding him a family. Again, because it is unclear of the status of his health (to look at him, he appears to be the "picture of health") – you may want to ask about fostering him. So foster family or forever family...Sox needs a home.
Bunny is a "special" kitty who needs a "special" person. Bunny is 2-3 years old and came to ICHS in July of 2013. She lived with other cats in the community rooms and was always timid. Bunny never warmed up to people and because of that, received little attention/socialization. She didn't befriend any of her "roomies" – kind of oblivious to the other cats. She was moved to a different cat room with the older kitties since they were a pretty sedate bunch. By this time she spent most of her time hiding in a cubby or behind the door. One of ICHS's very good supporters had just lost one of his two cats and so he adopted Bunny last fall. I don't know all of the details, but for the several months that she lived with her new family, she rarely ventured from beneath the bed. It was not an ideal (or even tolerable) situation for all involved so she was returned to the shelter a couple of months ago. Bunny now lives in The Catnip Lounge – rarely coming out of her cubby. Bunny needs a quiet home, a patient family (yes, she had this at her previous home) but she also needs a cage until she is comfortable with YOU (ask at the shelter if you can borrow a cage for awhile) and perhaps she needs to be an only cat. Only time will tell what is going to bring Bunny "out of her shell" but she obviously needs to be away from the shelter. So...Bunny needs a home.
Our FIV population is at one and that would be Buzz. Buzz is a "normal" cat – it's just that he has a virus (FIV) which affects his immune system – but slowly – over a period of years! Buzz should live a long and normal life! Buzz was thought to be 'feral' when he first arrived at ICHS; hiding in his cubby 24/7 for weeks – but he was simply frightened. Buzz had the reputation of being "one of the sweetest and most loving cats in the building" however he recently received his "orange card". He just doesn't want to go back to his cage when it's time so he gets a bit "feisty" and he scares easily when unexpected noise or movement occurs. If it wasn't for the FIV+ sign on his cage, you wouldn't have a clue that he has FIV! Is it possible that YOU just might be the special family that Buzz is looking for? Although we call FIV cats "special", there really are no special considerations when adopting them. They must be kept indoors. They may live with other cats since FIV is not easily passed between cats (it would be best if your other cat(s) are good-natured and amicable to a new pal). FIV is primarily spread by serious bite wounds so if you have other cats, it is important to properly introduce FIV cats to the others (but you would do that with any cat that you bring home). It is also important to keep them free from stress so a quiet home would be best. So...Buzz needs a home.
To those of you who don't have a cat, but have been thinking about getting one – PLEASE do yourself a favor and come and meet Laurel. Laurel has only been with us a few weeks. She is about eight years old, a sweetheart and tested positive for FeLV. Because of her FeLV status, she does need to be an only cat (unless you have other FeLV cats). People shy away from kitties with FeLV, and they remain at the shelter for months/years. PLEASE don't let that happen to Laurel. She's healthy and happy and so precious! So...Laurel needs a home.
Gregory is indeed a special kitty! He tested positive for both FeLV and FIV. Now don't let that deter you from making this guy a part of your family! As mentioned earlier, as long as FeLV cats are kept indoors, are only cats and live in a stress-free environment (as much as possible), they should be with your family for many years to come. Gregory is friendly and affectionate, but he hasn't had a lot of opportunities to interact with people (he was a barn cat), so he needs YOU to show him what a loving relationship is all about. So...Gregory 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 sharing 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 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/e-mail to ICHS) that you are giving me permission to include your pet's story in the newsletter. I hope to hear from you!
Dora and Sammi (Molly Malone)
Thea S sent an update and pictures of her two kitties, Dora and Sammi, which she adopted back in 2009. I often wonder about some of the animals and what has become of them. As Thea mentions in her update, Dora was a featured pet in my write-ups and I grew attached to her – granted it was very one-sided as she had no use for me. When Dora came to the shelter she was shy and skittish to begin with but she also had to have drops in one of her eyes twice a day (which she didn't appreciate). She did eventually have surgery, but she still associated people with being "man-handled". Sammi was also very shy but so sweet. For those of you who remember the previous shelter on Bennett Road, there were three small community cat rooms along the east wall. Dora and Sammi were in the room in the back corner. Thea, thank you so much for adopting this pair. It is so good to know that they are doing well.
Hello, I was reading the ICHS newsletter and saw your request for success stories. I would be happy to provide you with my experiences with my two adopted cats. Please use anything you would like in the newsletter. My cat, Boo, died my last year at school and I was just devastated. I went to ICHS's website and saw Dora as Pet of the Month. A few weeks later, I checked back, and she was still featured. Each month, I would check back, and she was still featured waiting for a home. This went on for about 9 months, and I think at some point, I just started to see her as my cat. I moved back home after I finished school and the day after I got home, I went to ICHS to meet Dora. I remember very clearly going into the room where Dora and her two roommates, Sammi and Donner, lived. I went over to Dora and started to pet her - she bit me and I knew she was the cat for me! I had asked about whether or not Dora should be a single cat, or if she had friends. I was told about Sammi and I took a look online, but she just didn't jump out at me. I thought I should just get one cat. While I was meeting Dora, I gave Sammi a pat and told her I was so sorry, but I couldn't take her, too. I turned to leave to start the paperwork and as I was walking out the door, Sammi reached out and grabbed my purse handle - my heart just broke! I turned in my paperwork and made it clear that I wanted to adopt Dora, but I really couldn't take a second cat. I had trouble sleeping that night... The next day, ICHS called and told me I could come and get Dora and I told them that I had changed my mind and would like Dora AND Sammi.
When we got home, they were very shy - my father doesn't think he saw them for the first 6 months. It took a long time to earn their trust, but it was worth the effort and now I have two extremely affectionate, goofy buddies. They enjoy toys like no other cat I have ever had, and I find toys hidden in the oddest spots. Other times, I come home from work and practically every toy is strewn out on the floor. As I am writing this, Dora is snuggled next to me snoring and Molly (formerly Sammi) is in her favorite spot...the top of the fish tank; so far she has only fallen in once...
Molly, Dora, and I live in Door County now. They travel with me when I come back to Iowa County to visit family. They aren't crazy about getting into the car, but once they are in, they just take a 5 hour nap.
Thank you to the staff and volunteers at the ICHS for taking such good care of Molly and Dora!
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WI Dog Rescue
Iowa County Humane Society
305 Co. Rd. YZ
Dodgeville, WI. 53533
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WI Dog Seller & Dog Facility Operator license #267019-DS
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