Serving the animals and citizens of Iowa County and its surrounding communities
|Letter From The Editor|
Although "kitten season" was late this past year, we still had huge numbers of kittens coming to the shelter – and they are still coming. Because of the huge kitten population, we have many "teenagers" awaiting homes (and sadly, they are not as cute as when they were younger). Hopefully their 'kittenish antics' will get them noticed and adopted soon. Predictions are that with December's mild temperatures, we will probably have an early "kitten season" this year. So...we will need foster families to help care for and socialize those kittens. Depending on the age of the kittens, their needs vary. New-born orphans need "around the clock" care whereas the older ones need attention and cuddling. More foster families are needed to help get these kittens off to a good start. If you are able to become a part of the foster group known as the "kitten kadre", please contact the shelter ASAP. Thank you!
ICHS has many volunteers/supporters who do what they can to help the homeless animals of Iowa County – fostering kittens, volunteering at the shelter, helping financially or maybe by feeding the stray cats that appear in their own backyards. As much as you folks do, there is more to be done. We have to break this senseless cycle of reproduction in companion animals. We need to be proactive so that homeless litters don't inundate our neighborhoods and the shelter, and let's face it; there just aren't enough adopters to provide homes for all of these animals. To break this cycle, there needs to be a plan to provide spay/neuter services for those who need financial assistance. And it is not just providing help to people who can't afford to alter their own pets. We also need to think of the people who can manage their own pets, but unfortunately have stray cats show up at their door. Being a compassionate person, you feed them, provide shelter and the next thing you know there is a litter of kittens. And months later, alas, the backyard is overrun with felines. I have said this many times – but it bears repeating – one mother cat and her offspring (under optimal conditions over a period of 7 years) can boost the population to 420,000 cats – that's ONE unspayed mother cat!!! No wonder there are so many strays!!
We have to get to the heart of this problem which is worsening each year. We need to provide help to prevent unwanted litters. Historically the Iowa County Humane Society has been attempting for years to start a low-cost spay/neuter program. Cheri Phillmore wrote an initial plan back in 2008 – it was shelved as there simply were no funds available to move forward. The Community Assistance Program was initiated back in 2013 with one of its goals being to start a low-cost spay/neuter program. A small committee, some "spayghetti" suppers, last year's Scottish Doubles Bowling Tournament, a memorial donation, some other smaller donations – we were on a roll! Then things came to a screeching halt when Cheri resigned. We are moving forward once again – cautiously optimistic – that we will have a program "open for business" soon. We are still in the planning stages – we don't know the how, who, when, where or what exactly our plan is going to look like, but it's going to happen – it has to! Stay tuned!
One more thing...if you are looking to adopt a cat, please consider one of our many elderly cats. Elderly kitties make 'purrfect' companions! Depending on the individual, these older cats may not need/want lots of attention. They won't be constantly underfoot because they'll spend a good share of their day curled up in their bed or in a sunny window sill. If you have a busy, hectic schedule or are gone much of the day, adopting an elderly kitty could be a win-win for the both of you. Granted, the downside of "elderly" is that there may (or may not) be health issues and obviously you won't have your companion for decades to come. Some of our elderly cats do have health concerns – but they still need homes! Can you help? See more in the "Special Pets" segment. 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. 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!!! 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!
Scottish Doubles Bowling Tournament
Come and enjoy the fun and action on Saturday, January 31, at Ten Pin Alley – all for a worthy cause! This is the second year that a group of volunteers from the Verona area have sponsored this fun event for ICHS (it is actually the 6th annual event that this group has put together but the 2nd year that ICHS has been fortunate to be the recipient). Proceeds will benefit ICHS's new Low Cost Spay/Neuter Assistance Program. The entry fee is $20.00 per person. In addition to bowling, there will also be door prizes, raffles, a silent auction, bake sale and a DJ & music by Tourdot Tunes. The fun begins at noon and continues until 6:00 PM. For more information or to pre-register, call Wendi at (608) 576-2103, Boomer at (608) 516-2671 or Hailey at (608) 576-5995. Ten Pin Alley is located in Fitchburg at 6285 Nesbitt Rd. (just east of Verona). So find a partner and head out for an afternoon of fun!
Save the date! ICHS Annual Meeting to be held Monday, March 9.
All current members (anyone who has made a donation between February 2014 and January 31, 2015) are welcome and eligible to vote. New board members will be elected, updates to the animal adoptability policy will be voted on, by-laws reviewed and a general state of the shelter will be shared. Your input as always is encouraged.
Not yet a member? You have until January 31st to make your donation. Thank you!
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.
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? So...Buzz needs a home!
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.
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.
Cupcake, Mabel, Sadie, Rolly & Sox
Please check out these elderly cats when you come to adopt. Cupcake has been at ICHS for over a year. Although she gets along with other cats, she seldom interacts with them. She is not overly impressed with people either (but perhaps that is because she hasn't met YOU). She prefers her privacy and won't need tons of attention. Mabel is an older kitty found wandering in the Wal-Mart parking lot. Unlike Cupcake, she loves attention. Although a pretty cat, she looks "rough" and needs your TLC. Sadie has only been at ICHS for a short time. She likes people but can be a bit bossy with other cats. Rolly is a fancy fella – part Burmese and looks great for his age. He has quite a "yowl" when he wants attention. Besides possibly having hearing issues, he has been diagnosed with kidney disease. Rolly does get quite a bit of attention from the office staff, but he would benefit from a loving home. Sox is a handsome guy who apparently has a tumor. He is doing fairly well, but just like Rolly, it would be wonderful if he could have a home before it's too late. Unlike Rolly, Sox doesn't tolerate other cats so he needs to be an only cat. Again, there are pros and cons of adopting the elderly, but they need loving, quiet homes – just like all of our animals. If you have a quiet home, can YOU possibly help out by adopting/fostering one of these "old-timers"?
Vegas is considered a special kitty because of her 'catitude' – and she is also in sole possession of #1at 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 was abandoned by her previous owner and has been at ICHS almost 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.
Many of you remember this guy. Mikey had been at ICHS for several years. He was involved in the Iowa County 4-H program for a couple of years. He was an amazing dog – he even went to the state show the last year that he was in the 4-H program. Although Mikey was adopted a couple of times, he had some behavior issues and it became apparent that he needed to be someplace else besides ICHS.
In 2013 he went to a sanctuary, Happily Ever After. HEA just posted the terrific news on Face Book that Mikey has been adopted. For those of us who knew Mikey – and he had lots of fans – this is incredible news! Thank you to HEA and Mikey's new family.
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