Serving the animals and citizens of Iowa County and its surrounding communities
|Letter From The Editor|
A Letter From The Editor......The November issue of PawPrints is a bit special for me because it is the anniversary month of when I began writing the newsletter back in 2009. The newsletter hasn't changed too much over the years – which includes never meeting the deadlines! I always think that I have plenty of time to put the newsletter together and the next thing I know it is the first of the month and I haven't even started it. Then the first week of the month has somehow slipped away and I know it is time to get serious. Once in a while the second week of the month gets away from me too and then it really is "crunch time". It is not that I procrastinate – it is just how busy life gets. I don't think that it is just me as most people that I talk to agree that there aren't enough hours in a day. So as busy as our days are I want to thank all of you who make the time to help out with ICHS's mission of helping the homeless animals of Iowa County. There are so many people and I wish I could thank YOU personally, but that isn't practical so instead it will have to suffice for me to simply say "Thank you to all" – you know who you are! But I do need to thank two people who help make PawPrints possible. Webmaster Chuck Pound, at GetSirius Internet Services, hosts and upgrades the website and makes any technical updates when necessary. Chuck donates his services. Lisa Cvengros then puts the newsletter on the website. Thank you, Lisa! As you read this letter it is important to remember that I am a volunteer and these are MY thoughts.
Although the actual writing of the newsletter hasn't changed too much over time, the content of the newsletter hasn't changed much either. One area that definitely hasn't changed is the area's cat population – I take that back, it is changing – the numbers are increasing. I have been a volunteer at ICHS for fifteen years and I don't think that I have ever seen so many autumn litters of kittens coming through our doors! We are scrambling to find space for these kittens and cats. Luckily we have some AWESOME foster families that currently have about 25 kittens in their homes but they will be returned at some point. And, of course, it's not just the space (or lack of it) that is a concern but it is also the financial resources needed to take care of these animals. The following was posted on ICHS's Facebook as well as sent as an e-mail a few weeks ago:
Having so many cats that need homes is overwhelming! And it's not just the cats here at ICHS. There are daily calls from people asking if ICHS could possibly take their cats and the answer is "No, we are full." The staff gives names and telephone numbers of other shelters/rescues but those places pretty much have the same dilemma that ICHS has – too many cats!
Adoption is never going to solve the problem of homeless/unwanted animals. Spaying and neutering our animals is a necessity if we are ever going to make any headway with the cat population problem. Statistics show that "ONE unspayed cat and her young can reproduce up to 420,000 kittens in 7 years." A few years ago I did a series of workshops with a group of third graders on caring for pets. One of the topics was the importance of spaying and neutering family pets (and yes, third graders understood the concept of 'spay and neuter'). And did those kids ever catch on fast! I did an activity which demonstrated how one cute, little female kitten (which was not spayed and allowed to go outdoors) and her offspring resulted in hundreds of cats by the end of one year. Those third graders caught on immediately to the importance of altering our animals!
Along with the problem of the sheer number of cats and kittens that ICHS has is the adoptability of some of our kitties. I am referring to a group of "fraidy cats" that people tend to 'shy away' from when looking for a cat. Someone that came to the shelter recently (when asked what kind of cat they were interested in) said that they wanted a cat that would fit into their household immediately and would be friendly with visitors. They didn't want a cat that would hide under the bed for weeks and that visitors would never see. It is understandable why an adopter would want such a cat. However, we have several shy cats that will make outstanding companions but they will need families with lots of PATIENCE until they settle in. These shy cats will need QUIET homes so they obviously won't be a good fit in just any home. But...what about YOUR home? Come and meet some of these kitties: Vixen, Lexas, Maxine, Gloria & Eddie (shown in order).
These five shy kitties just need a chance to show what wonderful kitties they are. These five do well with volunteers and staff that they know. If you come to meet these cats, they will be somewhat hesitant with you. To be honest it will take several visits before they will relax and be themselves. If you live a distance from ICHS or can't come frequently to visit, it would be a matter of taking them home, giving them time to adjust and then you will see their real personalities. These kitties are NOT unadoptable; they just need the chance to have a loving family and home.
We have other shy kitties also – Cranberry and Hannah – come to mind. We also have some kitties that need experienced cat families and don't forget our FeLV cats – they all need homes! 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
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/or work at one event per year. So...if you would like to get involved with the planning and organizing of 2018's fundraisers, please contact the shelter for more details. The Buildings and Grounds Committee also has an upcoming project that we could use some help with. We plan to do some major work on the outdoor dog kennels and play yards so that the dogs can spend more time outside in the warmer months. Our intent is to work on this project next spring but the planning will occur over the winter months. If you have an interest and the time to help, please contact the office by email email@example.com or call (608) 935-1381 and let them know that you want to be involved. And don't forget we always need cat cuddlers and dog walkers! We hope to hear from you!!!
Holiday Bake Sale Saturday December 23rd: Please join us for our annual Holiday Bake Sale Fundraiser! We will be having a "cookie walk" as usual, as well of lots of other delicious options like cupcakes, breads, pies, cakes, etc. Stock up for the holidays and help out with a great cause! If you'd like to volunteer, we are in need of lots and lots of bakers, as well as help the day of the event. Contact Jen at firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to help out. The Bake Sale starts at 9am and goes until we sell out (or 1pm at the latest). It is located at the Springate Mall in Dodgeville (in the hallway by the Piggly Wiggly).
September & October 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.
ICHS has NO FIV cats at the moment – YIPPEE!
Cleo, Cheerio and Gallagher - FeLV Kitties
Cleo and Cheerio areboth about a year old and have been at ICHS for a year. Cheerio and Cleo are 'roommates' so if YOU are looking for a pair of young kitties that will entertain YOU as well as each other, come and get to know these two youngsters. Both of these 'best friends' are extremely playful. Cleo is the "cuddler" of the two. She is a very petite kitty so she may have some more growing to do or perhaps she will always be petite – either way she is a little bundle of joy! Cheerio is growing into a very handsome young gentleman – well maybe not a 'gentle' man as he is still a bit squirmy when he is picked up. Although he is getting better about being held, he needs more "hands on" – that would be where YOU become involved. It would be wonderful if these two could go to the same home.
Gallagher has been at ICHS for a couple of months. He is a young Maine Coon mix. He had to be shaved as he was so matted and his hair has not grown in yet. He is a bit unique because he is polydactyl (the extra set of toes) but what YOU will notice first about him is how loving and sweet he is. He gets along well with his roommates. Gallagher has so many "positives" going for him – being of the popular Maine Coon breed, an extra set of toes and a HUGE loving disposition – so don't ignore him just because of his FeLV status.
Similar to FIV cats, FeLV cats also must be kept indoors and a quiet home is best. FeLV cats do need to be only cats (may live with other FeLV cats). FeLV kitties may live for years having a "normal" life span, but once/if the later stage of the infection occurs, the cat's health may deteriorate rapidly. That, of course, is one reason FeLV cats are not readily adopted – no one wants to lose their pet to illness. So...Gallagher, Cleo and Cheerio need 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 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!
Hello, I spoke to Laurie about the recent adoption of our kitten. My daughter, Claire & I were so grateful to add him to our family. His name is Kamikaze. I decided to keep the name that the Humane Society had given him. He's absolutely a great fit, such a patient, loving and energetic cat. I knew from the first time we went to visit that he was the one for us. I'm writing you today because Laurie had mentioned something about you writing a newsletter for the Humane Society. Every time I see her we talk about how famously he and my daughter get along. I wanted to send you a funny picture of the two of them that you are more than welcome to use in your newsletter. :) On this day last week, my daughter decided that Kamikaze needed a ride in her baby stroller. Of course poor ol' kitty just sat in the seat. He puts up with so much grief from her it's truly amazing. I again want to thank everybody for the addition to our family. We couldn't have picked a better friend. Adriana & Claire
For those of you who have read PawPrints over the years, you will recognize this picture/cat. This picture was featured many times over the years as we were trying to find a home for Vegas. Vegas was at the shelter for 7 years before I finally brought her home. I have had Vegas for over a year now and have been intending to let people know that she is doing well, but that's not going to happen in this issue due to lack of time. But as someone who knows from experience, if Vegas can "fit into a home" then certainly the shy, frightened kitties mentioned in the opening article can adjust to YOUR quiet home. More on Vegas' story later...
Dear Iowa County Humane Society - Seven years ago, after our beloved dog of sixteen years passed away, we stopped in by you to see a rather funny looking dog named Hunter. Well, he wasn't really funny looking, he just kind of looked that way in the picture. You see, he was an Australian Cattle Dog/Blue Heeler and had huge ears that stuck straight up, and almost looked too big for his head. They thought he was two or three years old, and the story was that his owner had died and he ended up at the shelter. When he was brought out his head was hanging down so low it almost touched the ground, he was that sad. After the volunteer brought him into the room to see us, he very slowly and gently rose up on his hind legs, put his paws around her waist and buried his head against her abdomen. I'd never seen anything like it. I remember saying to my husband, "Is he hugging her?" After the volunteer left, Hunter hugged my husband and then me. It was as if he were saying, "Please take me home." Well, needless to say, that was it. Our hearts immediately went out to this sad, sad boy. Our twelve-year-old son was in school, so we brought him back that afternoon to meet Hunter, too, and we adopted him. Hunter wasn't housebroken, but he learned quickly. This was a dog that didn't want to do anything wrong. He was so sweet-natured and gentle. I spent the first week sitting on the couch stroking him and telling him it was going to be okay. He was what is known as a Velcro-dog, and I was the lucky recipient of his unbounding loyalty and affection. He became my shadow and followed me everywhere. When I went upstairs he was right behind me. If I forgot something and had to go back upstairs he went, too. Use the bathroom? Hunter lay outside the door waiting for me to open it. Go into another room? He followed and lay by my chair. He had a very mellow personality, wasn't interested in playing, but loved to go hiking, go for walks, loved to chase anything that moved on the hiking trails (herding instinct), and loved to go for rides in the car. But most of all, he loved to be by my side. Even at the end. I started to notice something was wrong last March. We took him to the vet and he was misdiagnosed. We took him to another vet and after several visits over a five month period still could not seem to find out what was wrong. In desperation we took him to the University of Madison Veterinary Hospital where we sadly found out that Hunter had Lymphoma. Eighteen days later our sweet, gentle, beautiful boy was gone. Our hearts are broken. Mine has a hole in it so big I can hardly breathe. He was by my side from the minute I woke up in the morning until I went to bed at night. There is not one thing I can do that doesn't remind me of him, nothing that he wasn't a part of. And it is hard, so very hard to be without him: Hunter of the big, beautiful ears. I cry daily and miss him more than I often think I can bear, but through my tears I realize just how lucky we were to have this sweet, gentle, loving boy in our lives. So thank you for all you do. If not for you, we would not have found our sweet Hunter. Dogs are truly a gift to be cherished. We are so very lucky....Regards, Janet Warrick
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WI Dog Rescue
Iowa County Humane Society
305 Co. Rd. YZ
Dodgeville, WI. 53533
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