Serving the animals and citizens of Iowa County and its surrounding communities
|Letter From The Editor|
A Letter From The Editor......The start of a new year is a special time to look ahead, but sometimes looking ahead begins with a ‘glance at the past’ – so that means a history lesson! OK – forget that. I have a hard time remembering what happened yesterday and so my recollection of ICHS’s history would be a bit blurred. Let’s just say there have been many changes since the Iowa County Humane Society was founded back in 1998. So, looking ahead doesn’t mean starting over; we simply have to continue with the founding members’ goals and their dream. The goals of that small group back in 1998 were probably similar to our current goals. We need (1) a facility to house homeless animals, (2) a source of funding to operate on a daily basis, (3) to educate the public of the existence, the mission and the needs of ICHS and (4) to provide the best possible care for the animals while they are in our care. So, moving forward, what is our focus in the coming year (besides finding Althea a loving family)? As you read this letter it is important to remember that I am a volunteer and these are MY thoughts.
The first of the goals listed above (the need for a facility to house homeless animals) may seem irrelevant now since we have a building and grounds. We moved into this building in 2011 after considerable remodeling (turning a factory into an animal shelter). In hindsight (remember this is MY opinion) perhaps more thought and exploration could have gone into this remodeling project. However, at the time the plans seemed feasible. Keep in mind there were deadlines to meet and the need to stick to a budget was imperative (and as a reminder, the financial support given to the organization for this project was incredible)! Many changes have been made to the building since 2011and overall, ICHS is a nice place. However, can more be done to make the facility even more people and animal friendly? I think so (remember this is my opinion). With this introduction in mind, I invite you to an upcoming meeting with the focus being on “improvements – how can ICHS life be better for both our animal residents and for staff, volunteers and visitors”.
The Animal Welfare Enrichment (AWE) Committee had its beginning in 2012. Rather than print AWE’s mission statement, let’s just say that it corresponds to the fourth goal in the opening paragraph (to provide the best possible care for the animals while they are in our care) which includes physical, medical, emotional and behavioral issues. The purpose of this upcoming AWE meeting will be to generate ideas and suggestions of how we can make the best use of this building. For example, back in 2011 when the initial plans were drawn up, we always had a minimum of 25 dogs and oftentimes many more! Because of the dog population back then, we did need a large area for the dog kennel. Fast forward to 2019. The dog population is now usually less than ten dogs. So, the question becomes do we really need that large of an area for dogs? If we don’t need that amount of space for dogs, how can that area best be used? The cat population is always large and many of these cats spend way too much time in their cages. Is there more that can be done for the cats while they await their “furever home”? Quarantine areas – is there a better solution than what we currently have in place? This upcoming AWE meeting can address other needs/concerns besides use of physical space – such as – well, whatever happens to be on your mind!
The AWE Committee was quite active at its inception and many improvements/enhancements came about because of this committee’s involvement. However, in the past couple of years, the committee has largely been inactive. The upcoming AWE meeting has not been scheduled but will probably be on a Sunday afternoon in late February or early March. If you have ideas of what changes you would like to see here at the shelter but can’t attend, please pass them on to a Board member, the office or me. Again, keep in mind that this meeting will be for ideas and suggestions only and it is OK to wear your “rose-colored glasses”! You can watch the website (Events Page) for the AWE meeting date.
The second and third goals listed (“a source of funding to operate”) and (“to educate the public”) are on-going priorities also but won’t be addressed in this issue. Regarding priorities – let’s talk Althea and other kitties. ICHS may not have a huge dog population but not so for the cats! We still have several older kittens and many adults who are still “kittens at heart” and they are waiting for YOU! Some of these adults have been waiting far too long! I am wondering if you would indulge me by allowing me to ask that if/when you are planning to add a new kitty to your family, would you please consider following this 3-step resolution? It goes like this:
I resolve to:
1. Adopt from an animal shelter or rescue organization. If you happen to have a ‘non-feral’ homeless community cat and would prefer to provide a home for it - rather than adopting – that would be perfect too! (Please make sure to have it spayed or neutered).
2. Stop and take a look at the “Top Ten List” (also on website). These cats have been at ICHS way too long. (You don’t have to choose one of these 10, but at least start your search by checking out the kitties on this list).
3. Check out the “special needs” cats. If you can only have one cat, why not one of these sweeties? (If not YOU, who?)
Usually when we speak of “special needs” cats, we are referring to kitties with health issues. But there are also cats like Althea (opening picture) which do not have physical concerns but whatever the reason; they are overlooked by potential adopters. And by being called “special”, yes, it probably does indicate that “special” families are needed for these kitties. Althea is painfully shy and will absolutely need a PATIENT family in a QUIET home and will probably need to be an only cat. She is such a sweet cat – if she knows you! Most of the cats on the Top Ten List have the same issue – wonderful cats but they are ignored. There are exceptions (see Heidi and Veda – both former Top Ten ladies – in Success Stories). If you have any suggestions or ideas about the content of ICHS PAWPRINTS, please contact me,Terri Davis, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Upcoming Fundraising Events and Volunteer Needs
Most of our volunteers spend their time at ICHS socializing the cats. A nice problem to have is that some days we have too many volunteers – which is not a problem for the cats but it can be problematic for volunteers! Planning to spend an enjoyable couple of hours with cats only to find that there is nothing to do (too many people) is a disappointment. And then at other times, there is no one here – all of the M&G rooms are empty which is concerning for the cats! ☺ Is scheduling volunteers an option? How do you, as volunteers, feel about being scheduled? Is there available space in the building for more M&G rooms? These are questions that can be discussed at the upcoming AWE meeting. Not to exclude dog walkers – you are also welcome to attend the meeting and voice any concerns that you may have!
November & December 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.
FIV Kitties – No FeLV kitties at the moment
FeLV Kitties – No FeLV kitties at the moment
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/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!
I need your help if I am to continue to feature the success stories which begin the moment your adopted companion chooses you. If you would be interested in sharing your pet’s story in the newsletter, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you to everyone at the Iowa County Humane Society for taking such good care of Heidi the cat. I found her on your Top Ten Cat List, adopted her and I am so happy that I did. She is such a joy. In less than a week she has become part of our family. She sleeps at the foot of the bed, loves running as fast as she can in the upstairs hallway (for no apparent reason), and plays with her favorite new toys, carrying some with her as she follows me from room to room. I know she had been in your shelter for many months. Several years ago, my family adopted two of your Top Ten Cats, Elsie and Wilma. Rather ordinary looking, they were healthy adult cats, but they were unremarkable in every way and had been overlooked and with you for two years. In no time at all, in our home they became wonderful pets, playful and loving, each with her own delightful personality. Kittens are adorable, but thank you for also taking care of the older cats and those with special needs. Again, thank you for Heidi. Mary T.
Veda and my daughter have fallen in love with each other! We'll be taking Veda for her rabies shot over the Thanksgiving Holiday. She's adjusting very well. We have no concerns with our newest addition. Have a great Holiday.
I wanted to send you some pictures of our baby.... you named her Tamara and I named her Josie.... she is awesome. She is housebroken and is great with kids. I am so in love. Thank You
It’s a boy!!!! 6 years old and 17 pounds of pure unconditional love. He has adjusted to our home nicely. Leonard, we love you. He is playful and LOVES attention. He purrs when you pet him and loves to sleep with you. Thank you to the ICHS for letting us adopt him and taking good care of him til he found his permanent home.
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We have chosen Kuranda dog beds because they are so good for our dogs. We don't have enough for all of our kennels. You can help by donating a bed.
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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