Serving the animals and citizens of Iowa County and its surrounding communities
|Letter From The Editor|
When writing PawPrints I usually begin my commentary with the weather and seasonal changes. In this issue, my opening comments have not to do with a season but an evening - Sunday, June 29 – the night two tornadoes tore a path through Iowa County. After tuning into the 9 o'clock weather forecast and being assured there was only a chance of thunderstorms – nothing severe – I went to bed. I woke up at 10:52 to realize that rain was coming in a bedroom window. I got up, closed it and when I turned around, the power had gone out that quickly (the clock was dark). I grabbed the flashlight and went through the house closing windows. Although the lightning was almost continuous and the wind was blowing "pretty good", I went back to bed. I got up at 6:00; saw that the rain gauge was showing almost 3 inches of rain and that the top third of a white pine in the back yard had brought the power line down. Hmmm – no TV, Internet, radio or phone (and of course, the battery on my cell was dead). OK – give it an hour and head to the neighbor's to use their 'landline' to report the power outage. If you are from the area and have driven the back roads, you know the rest of the story – devastation and destruction! The good news is that the tornadoes were rated as F2s and neither one was very wide. Most of the damage appeared to be trees. Several barns and out buildings were leveled and although there was considerable damage to a couple of houses, most houses were spared. And, most importantly, there were no human fatalities or serious injuries. As terrifying as those few minutes had to have been for those who were in the tornadoes' paths, it is so inspiring and refreshing to see people come together to support those in need. Complete strangers – all ages and from all walks of life – came from far and near to help with the clean-up and get these families on the road to recovery...And as you read this letter, it is important to remember that I am a volunteer and these are my thoughts.
Although not a tornado, there certainly has been a whirlwind of kittens coming through the shelter's doors with no end in sight. Our cat population is well over 100 and growing. This happens every year at this time and will continue to occur unless we can get at the root of the problem. It would appear (to me) that the long-range solution to this on-going problem is spay and neutering – this includes both companion cats as well as feral cats. In a perfect world, people would get their cats (and dogs) to their vet clinic and get their animals "fixed". That's not happening! Why not? The main reason is probably the cost. Although spay/neuter is a one-time procedure and certainly pays for itself in the long run, the procedure is expensive. That's why the Dane County Humane Society's Cat Spay & Neuter Clinic is committed to help decrease the number of homeless cats by providing low-cost spay and neuter services. ICHS is partnering with DCHS by acting as an intermediary to coordinate transportation to allow families to get their cats to the clinic (see the ICHS website). ICHS is also continuing to work towards the implementation of its own low-cost spay/neuter program through our Community Assistance Program. Hopefully this program will be in place by early next year – we're still working on funding. Another reason people don't spay/neuter is misinformation (or perhaps no information at all) regarding the importance of spay/neuter. ICHS's HELP (Humane Education Learning Program) is a program meant to educate the community about responsible pet ownership. Between our CIP and HELP programs, ICHS will make a difference in the number of homeless animals in the future. But in the meantime, we do what we can – one animal at a time!
I also want to take a moment to let you know that ICHS has hired a new director as Cheri Phillmore resigned in early May. Thank you, Cheri, for your many years of service at ICHS and good luck in your future endeavors. Cheri's replacement, Lisa Renier Thomas, began work on July 7th. Welcome, 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
Just a reminder that ICHS is always looking for volunteers to help with the planning and implementation of our fundraisers. A 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 this year's fundraisers, please contact the shelter at ichs.net to get 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.
Limbo, Buzz, Grover & Jimi
Our four FIV kitties are patiently waiting for someone to notice them. FIV cats are "normal" cats – it's just that these four kitties have a virus (FIV) which affects their immune system – but slowly – over a period of years! So these kitties should live long and normal lives! Limbo is a good-looking gray guy who loves attention. Buzz was thought to be 'feral' when he first arrived at ICHS – but he was simply frightened. He now has the reputation of being "one of the sweetest and most loving cats in the building". Although handsome Grover has been at the shelter for a couple of months, I haven't gotten to know him well nor have I gotten well acquainted with Jimi. He also hasn't been with us long, but if he is as friendly as he is handsome, he is the cat for you! If it wasn't for the FIV+ sign on their cages, you wouldn't have a clue that these cats have FIV! Although we call these 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 any of these four 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. Is it possible that YOU just might be the special family that these kitties are looking for? So... Limbo, Buzz, Grover and Jimi need homes!
Lance & Wilbur
Many of you are familiar with Lance and Wilbur - aka the "bromance boys"! These two are on the Top Ten List having been at ICHS way too long. These guys were adopted together last October, but unfortunately had to be returned as their family was no longer able to keep them. It was great to see them again but now... they need a home. Both of these guys are FeLV. Like FIV, FeLV affects a cat's immune system and so the cat's ability to fight off bacteria, viruses and fungi is jeopardized which may contribute to other serious health problems. FeLV can also cause anemia and lymphoma (a type of cancer). FeLV-positive cats may live many years in a healthy state. There is no set life expectancy for FeLV positive cats; much depends on the cat's immune system and ability to fight the virus. Whereas FIV is not easily transmitted from cat to cat, this is not the case with FeLV. The feline leukemia virus is spread through direct contact with an infected cat. High concentrations of the virus are found in saliva with lower concentrations in blood, urine and feces. The virus is most commonly transmitted through shared food and water bowls, grooming of each other and bites. Litter boxes can be a source of transmission. Housing FeLV cats with non-FeLV cats is not recommended which is why Lance and Wilbur are the "purrfect pair" as they already have each other and now YOU! Purrfect!
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.
Vegas is considered a special kitty because of her 'catitude' – and she is also in sole possession of # 1 at the top of the Top Ten List!!! She is one of those cats who is difficult to place. Vegas is approximately 6-7 years old. She had been abandoned by her previous owner and has been at ICHS going on 5 years. Now, it's not that Vegas isn't friendly – she's just "choosy"; even preferring some staff to others! She is declawed in the front so scratching is not an issue and I don't believe she has ever bitten anyone. She just vocalizes a lot – trying to get YOUR attention! Vegas is like other 'hard to place' cats which we have had at the shelter - once they go to a home, they do very well. An experienced 'cat-family' living in a quiet household is exactly what Vegas needs. She does OK with other cats. So...Vegas 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 to ICHS) that you are giving me permission to include your pet's story in the newsletter. I hope to hear from you!
Life's adventures with our rescue dog, Abby!
Abby, our Parson Russell Terrier, was adopted from the Iowa Co Humane Society on Valentine's Day, 2012. When we met her she had the cutest, angelic face that you can't help but love and a little stub tail that just wagged with affection. So we decided that we wanted her in our lives to share our adventures. Abby has shared our adventures, as well as, creating adventures of her own!
Abby has taught us not to leave our shoes at the door; she especially likes ripping up the insoles from the shoes. We always know when she found a stray shoe when she goes running by us, stops, shakes it in front of us, then takes off running wanting someone to chase her.
On her first camping trip she decided to scamper into a drain pipe that ran underneath a large parking lot. Half a dozen curious onlookers, who also were concerned and helpful, tried to coax Abby to one of the four drain openings across the parking lot. It all ended well with lots of soap, water and heavy scrubbing to clean her up.
Last summer Abby went with us on her first long car trip to California and she was very well behaved. Little did we know she had too much traveling serenity built up that once we got to the beach in California, which goes forever, she decided to run with the horses that were being ridden along the beach. We couldn't catch her, the horses were gone, she was gone. Luckily the people on horseback noticed a little dog chasing after them, stopped, picked her up and gave her a horseback ride back to us.
Abby loves to go for rides in the car, when we get out her travel kennel, she hops in and waits for us to get ready. Loves to watch TV but jumps at the dogs that appear. We never realized before how many dogs appear on TV, during ads and regular shows, but Abby lets us know! Abby also loves the dog parks where she can get off her leash and run, run and run some more. Plus during her first summer she dug up & caught a dozen moles in our yard, now the moles are gone! We are thinking of hiring her out to others that have mole problems.
So as you can see Abby has brought lots of adventure to our lives and much love! Abby has turned out to be a great companion for us. We have always gotten rescued dogs and they have been the best. Plus we are so happy that we found and rescued Abby from the Iowa Co Humane Society.
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