Serving the animals and citizens of Iowa County and its surrounding communities
Current Issue: May 2013
A Letter From The Editor...
After a long winter, spring has finally arrived and we're moving on to summer! After thinking about last year's spring season (more like summer than spring), it is easy to get frustrated with the weather which we have been experiencing, but this spring seems like the "real deal". A day or two of warmth and then back to cooler days is the way that I remember spring – a slow transition from winter to summer. I find the many windy days rather annoying, but the amount of precipitation has been so welcome – one can only hope that the precipitation will continue in a timely manner. Folks are tilling their gardens and farmers are planting their fields; this is such a busy time of the year! We can only hope for a bountiful growing season. The staff, volunteers and ICHS Board have been busy as well – moving forward to where ICHS finally has a place that we can call our own. And as you read this letter, it is important to remember that I am a volunteer and these are MY thoughts.
On April 29th, Jan Tabor, an ICHS Board member and Treasurer, cut the ribbon to indicate that we had finalized the purchase of our building. This purchase was 15 years in the making. The purchase actually occurred suddenly. Jan reported in early March that our landlord had deeded our building back to the bank, DMB Community Bank in Deforest, in lieu of foreclosure. Under our existing lease, ICHS had the option to purchase the building. On March 7, 2013, a negotiating team, consisting of Todd Novak, Cheri Phillmore, Mona Thoreson and Jan Tabor met with the bank. On March 22, 2013, the bank accepted our offer to purchase the building, contingent upon two things: 1. The ICHS membership would approve the purchase at the annual meeting, and 2. The DMB Community Bank would agree to finance the purchase of the building. The results of the Resolution to Purchase Building Vote at the annual meeting was 44 Yes and 2 No, and the Bank agreed to finance the purchase of the building. Time to celebrate!!! A Special Fundraising Committee will need to be formed to ensure a successful "Burn the Mortgage" campaign. Stay tuned for details.
Now that the building is ours, we will be attempting to make some changes to our very restrictive conditional use permit. We are looking to expand the hours that the dogs can be outside (at this time, no dogs may be outside after 5:30 pm). Volunteers have indicated that they are more than willing to work with our dogs in the evenings (many of our volunteers work and their schedules are such that they cannot make it to the shelter before 5:30). We are continuing to move forth with our Mod Squad program which is a behavior modification training program personally developed for each dog. For this program to be successful, volunteers are a key component and so it is imperative that we try to work with our volunteers' schedules. We will be installing a couple of additional dog runs which will allow the dogs to socialize with other dogs. We have also rented two acres to the east of the building. "Farmer Dave" Thoreson has tilled and seeded the acreage and now we are awaiting grass and additional space to walk the dogs. Thank you to Vita Plus for donating the seed and thank you to Tommy Mueller for providing the equipment.
ICHS is currently looking for people who are interested in being on the Steering Committee to help provide direction so that we can move forward with our newly acquired property. There is also a need for people willing to work with the Building and Grounds Committee. Never fear -no matter what your area of expertise, Dave will find something for you to do.
All of us at ICHS would like to take this opportunity to thank Chuck Pound at Get Sirius in Mineral Point. Both Chuck and Jill have been long-time supporters of ICHS and Chuck has been the webmaster for the ICHS website for many years. Thank you, Chuck. Lisa Cvengros, one of our many volunteers, will now be assisting Chuck by handling many of the day to day website duties. Thank you, Lisa.
If you have any suggestions or ideas about the content of ICHS PawPrints, please contact me, Terri Davis, at email@example.com
Upcoming Fundraising Events
A small, but enthusiastic group of volunteers meet monthly to plan the ICHS fundraisers. As everyone knows, fundraising to meet our shelter needs is an ongoing challenge! We meet the 3rd Tuesday of the month at 6 o'clock at the shelter (call Cheri for verification). Our meetings include the discussion of ideas for "possible" events as well as the planning of "actual" events. Please join us if you would like to be a part of the action. And if you can't make it to the meetings, please e-mail Cheri at ICHS and share your ideas with her.
ICHS Plant Sale
The 7th annual ICHS Plant Sale will be held in the parking lot at ICHS on consecutive Saturdays: May 18th and May 25th from 8:00 – noon. There will be annuals and perennials for sale. No vegetables, herbs, house plants or grasses. The proceeds from last year's sale purchased the dog and cat scales for the shelter and helped provide for a HAWS seminar for ICHS staff. This year's monies will go towards whatever Bonnie, the kennel manager, decides is needed for the benefit of the animals. There are also two other nice area plant sales on the 18th. The Spring Green Garden Club's sale is at the Spring Green North Park from 6:30 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. The Uplands Garden Club will again hold their sale at Harris Park (here in Dodgeville) beginning at 8:00 a.m. Keep in mind that there are also FFA sales going on at many area high schools. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions.
"Recycle Fur Rescue" Garage Sale – Part 2
We had been considering a garage sale for several years, and we finally held our first ever on April 26th. Not just a garage sale, this was also an estate sale. As successful as this venture proved to be, there are some left over items and so the plan is to continue the sale in conjunction with the plant sale. These special sale items will be available in the ICHS parking lot (next to the plants) on the Saturdays , May 18 and 25th, from 8:00 am – noon. Contact the shelter for more information.
Lands'End Farmers Market
ICHS will once again have a booth at the Farmers Market at Lands' End on Thursday, June 6th from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. This is a fun event with many vendors selling a variety of products. ICHS will have baked goods, plants and maybe a few surprises. Farmers Markets – always a good time!
Mounds Dog Fest
ICHS will be rocking and rolling at Mounds Dog Fest on Sunday, June 9th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Angell Park in Sun Prairie. This year's theme is "You Ain't Nothin But A Hound Dog—Rock and Roll Over" so come on out with your canine companion and enjoy a day of amazing demonstrations, games & vendors while meeting local area rescue groups and humane societies!
Come and party with us on Saturday, June 15th, at the 2nd annual Pawsapalooza! We're still in the planning stages but look for a Fun Dog Show, demonstrations and a whole lot of fun!! New this year will be a Junior Art Show featuring art provided by students from our area schools. Ribbons will be awarded and there will be a People's Choice Award so come and vote for your favorite!! All of the artwork will be auctioned at the conclusion of the show with the proceeds going to help the dogs and cats at ICHS. Look for more information on the ICHS website and our Facebook page as the date draws near!!
Music Under the Stars
Just imagine a warm summer evening, lying on a blanket, gazing up at the stars and enjoying the music of Harmonious Wail. Harmonious Wail will be entertaining on Saturday, June 29th, from 7:00 to 9:00 pm on the ICHS lawn. This event will begin at 6:00 pm complete with wine tasting, hors d'oeurves, chocolate and time to visit with friends – both old and new. This event is still being coordinated so look for more information in the upcoming weeks.
March & April 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.
Our population of FIV (Feline Immuno-deficiency Virus) kitties has shrunk to only one, Cameron. The others (which have been featured in past issues of PawPrints) have all found their special homes. Cameron is a handsome, active, playful guy who loves attention. He is a very normal cat in all respects – the difference is that Cameron has the FIV virus which does affect his immune system – but slowly - over a period of years. Although we call Cameron “special”, there really are no special considerations when adopting him. He must be kept indoors. He 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 Cameron to the others (but you would do that with any cat that you bring home). It is also important to keep Cameron free from stress so a quiet home would be best. Cameron is about two years old and so he should be a part of your family for many years to come. Is it possible that YOU might just be the special family that Cam is looking for, and that when the next PawPrints is published, there will be no FIVs to feature?☺ So…Cameron is in need of YOU!
Lance, Wilbur & Frieda
Lance, Wilbur and Frieda are FeLV (Feline Leukemia Virus) kitties. Lance has been at ICHS for awhile (on the Top Ten chart). He is a handsome, playful orange tabby with a wonderful personality. Although he can be a “lap-cat extraordinaire” there are times when he prefers his solitude. Wilbur is a handsome beige kind of guy. He has been with us less than a year and needs more practice being with people – he can be a bit “rough around the edges” – but Lance has been a wonderful mentor for him. Frieda, a beautiful gray lady, has only been at ICHS a couple of months. She is so affectionate and only wants “lap time” when she is taken out of her cage. All three of these kitties were recently placed in one of the community rooms. As you can see from the picture, Lance and Wilbur are “best buds”. Frieda decided that she wanted nothing to do with these guys and wanted her cage back. FeLV cats are harder to place in homes than FIV cats. If you only want one cat, any of these would be perfect – but it would be absolutely WONDERFUL if Wilbur and Lance could go to the same home to continue their “bromance”! FeLV cats must be only cats (they can live with other FeLV cats) and they must be kept indoors. FeLV cats may be asymptomatic (free from symptoms) for years and will hopefully live relatively long lives. So…if you are looking for a kitty companion, these kitties are looking for YOU!
Vegas is considered a special kitty because of her ‘catitude’. She is one of those cats who is difficult to place. Anyone who knows cats is aware that most Tortis and Calicoes are known for their “temperaments”. It is believed that she will do fine once adopted, but that’s the problem – how do you get someone to adopt her because she can be a bit “scary” if she doesn’t know you! Vegas is approximately 5-6 years old. She had been abandoned by her previous owner and has been at ICHS for three years. She was very scared and confused when she came to the shelter. She lives in the quiet Catnip Lounge where she is somewhat isolated from noise and people. However living in this quiet room also means that she doesn’t have a lot of contact with people and so people who are looking for their ‘forever’ cat never meet Vegas. But…there is a sign on her cage which says “Staff Only” which would deter most people from adopting her anyway. Now, it’s not that Vegas isn’t friendly – she’s just “choosy”. She even prefers some staff to others. The main problem occurs when it’s time for her to return to her cage. She is declawed in the front so scratching is not an issue and I don’t believe she has ever bitten anyone. She just hisses and vocalizes a bit. She apparently does well with other cats. Vegas is like other ‘hard to place’ cats which we have had at the shelter (most of them being Torties and Calicoes) in that once they go to a home, they do very well. An experienced ‘cat-family’ living in a quiet household is exactly what Vegas needs. So…Vegas needs a home.
Packman is a very special guy, but he’s only special because he’s special (as all cats are). Packman is a young, handsome, long-haired black cat. He lost one of his ears due to frostbite, but that just adds to his charm. Packman has the distinction of being the first stray cat to be brought to our new shelter because he was the last cat brought in at the old shelter on Bennett Road. Actually he had been there for awhile. He had been living in the storage shed to the west of the main building. We were cleaning the shed out when Packman was discovered hiding in a box. Upon being discovered, he raced to the open door. The door was slammed shut just in the nick of time and then it was just a matter of patience and perseverance before Bonnie was able to catch him. Packman settled into the shelter routine quickly, however after two years, he is still a bit timid/shy when he first meets someone. Packman was temporarily fostered for a few months last winter and he did well. He does get along with most cats and was recently moved to a community room. He does need a special diet as he was diagnosed with urinary issues last spring. Upon diagnosis of the problem, Packman was put on a special diet and he is doing fine. Packman would do best in a quieter household as loud noises tend to frighten him. So…Packman needs a home.
The following was sent to me by Rita Thompson. Thank you, Rita, for sharing.
Crossing over that bridge…
It is never easy to say “goodbye” to our friends and family, but please note that your adopted pet has touched many lives. When your pet crosses the Rainbow Bridge, feel free to let us know about your loved one’s passing…
In Memory of Lauren…
Lauren was a sweet older lady who came to ICHS when her owner passed away. She lived in the quieter environment of the Catnip Lounge. Lauren, you are missed…
In Memory of Woodrow…
Woodrow was a very nice, friendly, young Pit Bull who was at ICHS for only a short time. During his brief stay, he was an ambassador for this breed illustrating how wonderful Pit Bulls can be. Sharon Shea made it her mission to find a family for him. She and “Woody” went to the Pawsitively Pitties classes (obedience classes) offered by DCHS this spring and she took him on day trips to her home to give him an opportunity to spend time in a home (away from the shelter). It was noted that he had a “strange” gait and would sit awkwardly at times. When x-rayed, the x-rays showed that his hip joint was crushed and the other hip was badly arthritic from dysplasia. Apparently no medical care had ever been given. The injury had since healed and this stoic dog never let on that he was in pain and suffering on a daily basis. Woody was allowed to “cross the bridge” on April 17th. Woody, you are missed…
In Memory of Bronson…
Bronson was probably a year-old when he came to the shelter in July of 2010. The most remarkable thing about Bronson at the time was he had a broken front leg. He was found in a cornfield and it was surmised that he had been hit by a vehicle. If Bronson could have found his forever home within his first year at the shelter, I wouldn’t be writing this. He was one of those animals who had a hard time adjusting to shelter life and little by little he started to deteriorate – mentally. He became fearful of most everything and his fear gradually turned to aggression. There were two things in particular that Bronson loved – snow and watching the UPS trucks making their mass exodus in the mornings. Well, it wasn’t the UPS trucks so much - it was Bronson’s best friend who drove one of those trucks. Bronson lived to have that guy step out of that brown truck and fondle his head and ears. Bronson was one of those “if only” dogs – if only things could have been different! Bronson, you are missed (especially by that UPS guy and me)…
Rather than success stories this month, let’s focus on one way that shelter animals can be more successful in finding their forever family. An important piece to success for some of our shelter animals is to provide a temporary setting – a place that can allow an animal to transition from shelter living to a home environment. This needed setting could be a foster situation.
Sharon Shea works closely with Cheri Phillmore to oversee the ICHS Foster Program. Sharon and her husband, Mike, have been providing foster care to homeless, sick and elderly dogs for many years. Their first foster came from the Dane County Humane Society. She was an old Vizsla, who had given up on life. She did not see or hear much and had refused food and water. When Sharon saw her curled up on a blanket, she did not recognize her as a Vizsla, the breed of dog that they share their home with. While force feeding her, she began to swallow and wag her tail. Mike named her Kati, after Katherine Hepburn. She found her will to live and never stopped wagging that tail. Countless dogs later they are still fostering dogs – mostly from the ICHS. Rayne was their latest foster – a beautiful dark brindle bully breed mix who was recovering from eye surgery while she was at the Sheas’. Rayne has since been adopted.
Dogs and cats that are past the puppy/kitten stage have a better chance for adoption living with a foster family (while providing space for another cat or dog in the shelter). Fostering allows the animal an opportunity to recover from the stress of kennel living. Aside from the daily care, foster families teach manners, housetraining if needed, basic obedience and the pet learns how to live with a family. Foster families should have some knowledge or experience although full support from ICHS is provided. The volunteer family gets to spend time with a special animal and will find this to be a rewarding experience. Foster families help them overcome fear and learn to trust people again. There is no set time frame for the pet to be in foster care; however a few weeks is normal. Then the animals are reassessed prior to being available for adoption.
Kittens and puppies need foster families. Animals with health problems may need time away from the hubbub of the shelter so that the animal can rest. Leo and Polly, dogs who were being treated for heartworm, both were fostered during the course of their treatment. Medium to large bully breeds, black, untrained or under socialized dogs are often overlooked by adopters. A foster home would do these dogs so much good in adjusting to life other than a shelter. There is also “fospice” which is fostering an animal who has a health-related condition in which the animal will not recover from. This can be difficult as the animal nears “the end”. I am currently fostering Harry, a kitty diagnosed with kidney failure and congestive heart failure. I have had him 5 months. Even though I may agonize over how much time he has left, he seems to be quite content.
And then there are “failed foster families” – but that’s another story for another time! ICHS loves “failed fosters”.☺
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