Serving the animals and citizens of Iowa County and its surrounding communities
|Letter From The Editor|
...how fitting that the anniversary of the Newsletter PawPrints coincides with Thanksgiving! There are so many people that I wish to thank for all they give – all done unselfishly for our area's needy animals. But I first wish to thank four 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's services are all donated. Thank you, Chuck! Cheri Phillmore, ICHS's Outreach Director, does the proofing for me and gives PawPrints the final OK! Thank you, Cheri! Lisa Cvengros then puts the newsletter on the website (she also puts the "Pets of the Month" on the website as well as a bazillion other things). Thank you, Lisa! And lastly, is the other Chuck, my husband, who still has to help me with the computer from time to time – although my computer skills are getting a bit better!☺ Thank you, other Chuck!
To everyone else who donates, volunteers, adopts and supports the Iowa County Humane Society - in ways too numerous to mention – THANK YOU! And as thankful as we are to ALL adopters, a special thank you goes to Hope F. for adopting Wilbur & Lance. Hope, you can't begin to imagine how much "excitement" you caused when the news spread that these two guys were adopted! The Bromance guys – both FeLV+, both on the Top Ten List and both loved by everyone that knows them! Thank you!!! As you read this letter, it is important to remember that I am a volunteer and these are MY thoughts.
The past year has brought many changes to ICHS, but no matter how much change is made, some things don't change. I had written the following paragraph four years ago: "The first challenge is the ongoing one of garnering more support for ICHS. There is a constant need for donations, for fundraisers, for volunteers to socialize both the cats and the dogs, for finding 'forever' homes for our animals and the need to get the word out to others about the good that ICHS does for the county's unwanted and neglected animals. This is an ongoing challenge..." Yes, there were challenges met and changes made at ICHS this past year. But we have a lot more to do...
If asked what the role of a humane society is, most people would probably say, "...taking care of homeless dogs and cats until new homes can be found." And yes, as supporters of ICHS, most of us would probably agree that finding homes for the animals is what we do. However there is more to ICHS's mission than just taking care of homeless animals. ICHS also takes pride in giving back to our communities; providing needed services to the county's citizens as well as the animals. Granted, for the animals it is generally housing them until homes can be found. But ICHS realizes we need to be proactive and that (in most cases) it is best to keep pets in their homes in the first place. The reality is that times are tough! There are too many area families having difficulty providing for the human members of the family – much less pets. ICHS wants to provide assistance to people in need – whether it is low income families, senior citizens or someone who has simply "fallen on hard times" and needs to "get back on their feet". To help families, ICHS does have a pet food pantry, low cost vaccination and licensing clinics and a domestic abuse pet sheltering program. ICHS also provides behavioral counseling for families who are having behavior/training issues – especially with dogs.
In addition to the ICHS programs already in place, there are three other programs needed in our community to help families in time of need. One is to provide low cost spay and neuter assistance – animal populations need to be kept in check. A second program is to provide necessary veterinary assistance for the pets of people who can't afford proper medical care. The third program is to recruit people who are interested in becoming involved with a needed trap/neuter/return program for community/feral cats. The ICHS outreach director, Cheri Phillmore, will be creating and organizing these programs, but it will take a commitment from all of us to make Iowa County a better place for both its animals and its citizens. If you have any suggestions or ideas about the content of ICHS PAWPRINTS, please contact me, Terri Davis at email@example.com
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. At this time, we are brainstorming ideas for 2014. So...if you can help out with the planning and organizing for next year's events, please contact Cheri firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope to hear from you!!!
Recent & upcoming fundraising events include:
Packer "Tail" Gate Party
This Packer pep rally event was held Sunday, November 10th, at the Dodger Bowl in Dodgeville. The event began at 11:00 am and concluded at approximately 3:00 pm. While it wasn't a great day for the Green and Gold, it was a very successful day for the animals, raising $5753.60!! There were great silent auction items and several games of chance with some great prizes. The Dodger Bowl provided an "all you can eat" lunch of delicious brats and chili and Country Kitchen provided dessert! A fun afternoon was had by all!! Thanks go to Nick and his staff at the Dodger Bowl, Country Kitchen in Dodgeville and all of our wonderful ICHS volunteers who helped out all day as well as the folks who generously donated the items for the raffle, the silent auction and the other prizes. A special thank you goes to Mark Kratzer for all of the time and energy that he put into soliciting the merchandise (prizes) to make this day a success. Go Pack!!!
"Pasta for Pets"
This spaghetti dinner benefit for ICHS was held on Tuesday, November 12th, from 5:00 pm until 8:00 pm at the Ristorante Italiano Sole Sapori located on Main Street in Mt. Horeb. Huge thanks go out to owner, Anne Nause, for once again generously donating her time and her restaurant to support the ICHS's cause!!! Fun and great food was enjoyed by all who stopped in and our volunteers did a great job of making sure everything went smoothly. In just 3 hours, $1045.65 was raised to help our animals! Thank you for your support!!!
Taco John Nachos Navidad
Beginning Monday, Nov. 18th and running through December, Taco John in Platteville will donate a portion from each Nachos Navidad entrée purchased during the upcoming holiday season to help our animals. There will also be a donation drop box for supplies from our Wish List. Taco John has generously supported ICHS for the past three holiday seasons with this fundraiser. Please support Taco John as you are out and about doing your holiday shopping. Feliz Navidad!
Holiday Bake Sale
"Ho-Ho-Ho!" ICHS is pleased to announce that we will once again be having our Holiday Bake Sale on Saturday, December 7th. The sale will be at Spring Gate Mall in Dodgeville. We will be set up in the usual spot outside of Piggly Wiggly. The sale will begin at 8:00 am and continue until 2:00 pm (or until the baked items are gone). As in past years, there will be a huge variety of tempting holiday-themed goodies. Whether you are a baker, a buyer or both – please circle this date on the calendar and we'll see you there! "YUM-YUM-YUM!"
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.
Cameron, Limbo & Buzz
Our FIV+ (Feline Immuno-deficiency Virus) population has increased to three – Cameron, Limbo and Buzz. FIV cats are "normal" cats– it's just that these three guys have a virus (FIV) which affects the immune system – but slowly – over a period of years! So these kitties should live long and normal lives! Cameron is a handsome, active, playful guy who loves attention. He has been at ICHS for well over a year. Limbo is a good-looking gray guy who also loves attention. Buzz has only been with us for a few weeks, and at this time, he prefers his privacy. It was thought that he was 'feral', but he was simply frightened. Because of his fear, he hasn't been handled much so stay tuned for more regarding Buzz! If it wasn't for the FIV+ sign on their cages, you wouldn't have a clue that these guys have FIV! Although we call these guys "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 three 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. Cameron is about two years old and so he should be a part of your family for many years to come. Limbo, likewise, is a young cat and I'm not sure of Buzz's age. Is it possible that YOU just might be the special family that these guys are looking for? So...Cameron, Limbo and Buzz need homes!
Frieda & Madison
Frieda and Madison are FeLV+ (Feline Leukemia Virus) kitties. Frieda, a beautiful gray lady, has been at ICHS for a while. She is very affectionate and she only wants "lap time" when she is taken out of her cage – she has the sweetest little "meow"! She is not overly fond of other cats. Little Madison has only been with us for a few weeks. She is a strikingly beautiful "classic" tabby with the bold, swirling pattern. She is about a year old, can't get enough attention and does well with other cats (she even tried to be friendly with Frieda, but Frieda had other ideas). If you only want one cat, either of these would be perfect. 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. FeLV cats are hard to place which is unfortunate because they need someone – just as we all do! So...if you are looking for a kitty companion, these kitties are looking for YOU!
Gregory & Fozzy
Both Gregory and Fozzy are indeed special kitties! They tested positive for both FeLV and FIV. Now don't let that deter you from making either one of these guys (or both of them☺) a part of your family! As mentioned earlier, as long as these guys 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. Both Gregory and Fozzy have only been at ICHS for a short time. Gregory is very 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. Fozzy is a young fella and a real character! He is a bit "cross-eyed" which simply adds to his charm (take a look at his pic – how can you resist?). He is very affectionate and loves to play. So...Gregory & Fozzy need homes.
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 6-7 years old. She had been abandoned by her previous owner and has been at ICHS for 4 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 OK 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.
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...
An Australian Shepherd mix, Farrah was an "if only" dog. Not knowing Farrah's history prior to coming to ICHS, it makes one wonder who/why/what happened to cause her to become a dog that was "so unadoptable". Some dogs can handle the "stress" of living at the shelter; Farrah could not and this was apparent soon after she arrived. There were even two different "very qualified" families who were willing to try and foster her, but Farrah's aggression towards other dogs soon became directed towards people – taking the chance of her harming someone was not an option. In the July 2013 issue of PawPrints, I had written about "if only dogs". Sadly, Farrah fit the description of an "if only dog". If only...
I had intended to write about some of our "old-timer" kitties in this edition's Letter From the Editor. But since I ran out of space there, let's turn this section into "soon to be" success stories.☺
As I had said in the editorial, cat populations need to be controlled! Whether it be community/feral cats or the family's pet cat – there are simply too many unwanted cats! Some of the fortunate ones end up at ICHS, but we don't have room for all of the homeless cats. Here at the shelter, we were down to less than 60 cats last spring – and then 'kitten season' began and it has been non-stop – they are still coming in. Look at the adoption chart for felines and yes, we have been adopting out a lot of kittens. But what about the adult cats that have been here for so long? The majority of the adults have little chance of being adopted as long as there are cute kittens to be had.
ICHS will do its part and work on programs to educate the public, work towards a low cost spay and neuter assistance program as well as a trap/neuter/release of community/feral cats. But we need ALL OF YOU to help get our 'less adoptable' cats adopted? So, how can YOU help?
Oh, and when you do adopt, remember that it does take time for your new cat to adjust to its new home. For a kitty that has lived in a cage for 4 years, it might be a bit much to expect them NOT to hide under the bed for a day or two. Some cats take longer to adjust than you might expect, but give it time and things have a way of working out.
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