Serving the animals and citizens of Iowa County and its surrounding communities
|Letter From The Editor|
A Letter From The Editor......(To me) the "all too short" window which encompasses the last week of April and the first couple weeks of May is the most beautiful time of the year. It's not just the gorgeous spring flowers and the scent of blossoms in the air, but what lies ahead – what we have to look forward to! The vivid colors of autumn are also beautiful – but fleeting –and I certainly don't look forward to winter! Spring brings the promise of "good things". Calves and lambs are frolicking in the pastures, the fields are being tilled and planted and the alfalfa fields look so good. Folks are readying the vegetable gardens, mowing lawns and doing spring cleaning – both inside and out. Graduations, picnics, farmers' markets, garage sales and warm weather – so much anticipation and hope of what's to come next! As you read this letter, it is important to remember that I am a volunteer and these are my thoughts.
Much of my spring has been spent gearing up for the ICHS Plant Sale Fundraiser. I grow the majority of my annuals and some perennials from seed – starting the sowing right after Christmas. Sowing, transplanting and caring for the little plants takes more and more time as the growing season continues. This year there was an added challenge as Bobbie Sue (adopted in June) kept pulling the young plants out of the potting mix. It was probably my fault. During the winter I plant oats for the cats and I suppose she can't discern a petunia from oats (her favorite is the candy lily)! The couple of weeks before the plant sale are extremely hectic as the perennials have to be dug and potted. The approximately four hours of watering and 1-2 hours of moving plants in and out of the house (depending on the weather) continues as well as the time it takes to side-step over and around the cats.
Jen (ICHS's new Fundraising/Outreach Manager) was putting together a flyer for the plant sale and she asked how the ICHS plant sale stands out from other area plant sales. I responded that there is a wide variety of plants (both annuals and perennials). The prices are certainly competitive with other sellers (in many cases lower). But I didn't mention the most important reason that people should attend and shop the ICHS sale – ALL money collected goes to the animals' health care!
The sale is a lot of work but so much good has come from supporters buying my pansies, petunias and primroses over the years. The furnishing of the surgery room (surgery table, cabinets, sink, flooring) came about from the 2011 plant sale. The dog and cat scales were part of the purchase from the sale in 2012. And since 2013, the funds have been designated for the animals' health care – dewormer, flea/tick prevention (or whatever Bonnie, the kennel manager, feels is needed). So...the plant sale is for a great cause – it's worth all the time and effort that goes into it! Hope to see you there!
In the March issue of PawPrints, I mentioned several projects that were in the works. Well, much of that work is either completed or great strides have been made in moving forward with the projects. The new flooring is about three-fourths completed thanks to Chris and Alisha. They both have full time jobs, as well as two young sons, and have been working on the floor when their schedules allow. What is completed looks terrific! Along with the floor, it was determined that the walls in the offices and reception area needed to be painted so that is also happening thanks to Marcia. Tully finished the vertical structure in the House of Mouse cat room. Looks great! The preliminary work on the outdoor dog holding kennels has been completed and we are now awaiting the cement. By the next newsletter I should be able to report that the dogs are enjoying more time outdoors. Progress has been made on the 'low-cost spay and neuter' program and will continue when the plant sales and painting projects are completed. It has been a lot of work for the people involved with these projects, but such a sense of accomplishment!
Our dog population is down and has been for several months. Many of the dogs that have come to the shelter recently have pretty much been out the door as soon as they are placed on the website. However we have a few dogs that haven't been with us long (Jersey is the exception) and although people have shown an interest in these dogs, they are just too much for the 'average' family. Jersey, Brownie, Buster, Rueben, and Wrangler – all are nice, young dogs that need to be worked with. They need basic manners and obedience training. The AWE Committee will be meeting in early June to determine how these dogs can get the additional work that they need. Staff doesn't have the time so volunteers will be needed to work with the dogs. If you have an interest, consider attending the June AWE meeting (check the website for the next meeting).
And a brief note regarding the cats... we have several cats that want/need to be "only cats". As I have said before, many of us who know these cats would take these cats in a heartbeat. However most of us already have other cats and it wouldn't work for these "only cats" to go to our multi-cat homes. If you currently don't have a cat but are considering adding a cat to your household, please consider adopting one of our "only cats". Having a cat that doesn't get along well with other cats can be a good thing – it keeps you from bringing more home – something to consider.☺ (See the write-ups on Sox and Bunny). Please also consider our FIV/FeLV cats – they need homes too. If you have any suggestions or ideas about the content of ICHS PAWPRINTS, please contact me, Terri Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org
ICHS Dogs Are Canine Good Citizens
The American Kennel Club (AKC) Canine Good Citizen Program (CGC) trains and tests dogs on several aspects of basic obedience, good manners and social interactions including sit, down, come, stay, allowing handling, walking politely on a leash and interacting politely with dogs and strangers when out in public.
Among the dogs that participated in the CGC Program and received their CGC Certificates on Sunday, April 26th, four were ICHS dogs. Three of the four dogs, Crowley (formerly Sherlock), Gus, and Roxy, have already found their forever homes through ICHS in the past 14 months. The 4th CGC, Jocci (pictured), is still looking for a family.
We would like to applaud all of these dogs and their trainers for taking the time to prove that they have the training and social skills to be great companions at home and in public. We also want to extend special appreciation to Hannah, an ICHS employee, who took personal time to train Jocci. Hannah currently is fostering Jocci while she awaits her forever home. Most of all, many thanks to Joy Richardson and Pam Richardson who regularly volunteer their time and expertise to offer CGC classes and certification tests at the ICHS for all interested dogs/handlers of Iowa County and surrounding areas twice yearly in April and October.
As a reminder, ICHS is a volunteer-based organization and our volunteers are priceless when it comes to our mission and success. As important as our volunteers are, perhaps we don't have an adequate way to express our thanks other than to say "thank you" and there may be times when even that doesn't occur. Most of us volunteer because we want to, and we don't expect thanks – a wagging tail or a purring cat is all of the thanks that we need. ICHS has a "Lucky Volunteer of the Month" drawing – just for fun. One volunteer's name is drawn each month and receives a little something – no, not a kitten☺ – as a token of ICHS's appreciation. The volunteer is "lucky" because it has nothing to do with how often you volunteer (there is only one name/per person/ per month no matter how much time you spend volunteering) and so "lucky" is simply being the one whose name is drawn from the container – that's "the luck of the draw"!
Our most recent "lucky volunteers" are: March – Zachary D a student at UW-Platteville. Zach is a recent volunteer attending orientation this past February. He is both a dog walker and a "cat cuddler". April – Jessica K is from Mineral Point. Jessica has been with ICHS since December of 2013 and is one of our awesome "cat cuddlers".
Thank you to Zachary, Jessica and all the rest of you for everything that you do for ICHS! 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! We are in need of foster families for kittens and people to help with dog training/obedience. The Buildings & Grounds Committee is also looking for people to help with some building projects the weekend of May 30/31.
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!!!
ICHS Plant Sale Fundraiser – May 16 & May 23
The 9th annual ICHS Plant Sale will be held in the parking lot at ICHS on consecutive Saturdays: May 16th and May 23rd from 8:30 – noon. There will be annuals and perennials for sale. No vegetables or herbs. The proceeds from this sale go to the animals' health care. There are also two other nice area plant sales on the 16th. The Spring Green Garden Club's sale is at the Spring Green Library from 6:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. The Uplands Garden Club will again hold their sale at Harris Park (here in Dodgeville) beginning at 8:00 a.m. Keep in mind that there are also FFA sales going on at many area high schools. You can contact me at email@example.com if you have questions. (This is Raymond, my blind cat, admiring the dianthus). We are having a small bake sale as well so you can enjoy a cup of coffee and a tasty treat while choosing your plants.
Reiki Animal Wellness Day – Sat., June 13th 9am – 4pm by appointment
Reiki is a gentle, noninvasive technique that animals respond to which can support the healing of emotional, behavioral and physical illnesses and injuries or help them to maintain their health by enhancing relaxation and providing contentment. All species can benefit from a session. Sessions are $10 and all proceeds go to ICHS. Call Rene' Christesen Animal Care Master and owner of Channels Reiki, to learn more or to book an appointment at (608)574-5550.
March & April 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.
Sox is a big guy that needs to be an "only cat" – he insists! So, if you have no other cats and are looking for a kitty companion (or if you know of someone who is), please consider Sox. He has a HUGE personality! He also may have some health concerns which is why you may want to foster this fella rather than outright adopt him. Sox may/may not have some urinary issues. He may possibly have a kidney stone, possibly a tumor or possibly lower urinary tract disease. He is showing no symptoms at the moment other than (at times) having lots of urine – yes; he does use his litter box. Sox was surrendered in February of 2014 and is 13 years old. Sox is very vocal (includes loud). He can open doors, loves food and can be somewhat choosy in who he befriends. He will not tolerate other cats so that doesn't help in finding him a family. Again, because it is unclear of the status of his health (to look at him, he appears to be the "picture of health") – you may want to ask about fostering him. So foster family or forever family...Sox needs a home.
Bunny is a "special" kitty who needs a "special" person. Bunny is 2-3 years old and came to ICHS in July of 2013. She lived with other cats in the community rooms and was always timid. Bunny never warmed up to people and because of that, received little attention/socialization. She didn't befriend any of her "roomies" – kind of oblivious to the other cats. She was moved to a different cat room with the older kitties since they were a pretty sedate bunch. By this time she spent most of her time hiding in a cubby or behind the door. One of ICHS's very good supporters had just lost one of his two cats and so he adopted Bunny last fall. I don't know all of the details, but for the several months that she lived with her new family, she rarely ventured from beneath the bed. It was not an ideal (or even tolerable) situation for all involved so she was returned to the shelter a couple of months ago. Bunny now lives in The Catnip Lounge – rarely coming out of her cubby. Bunny needs a quiet home, a patient family (yes, she had this at her previous home) but she also needs a cage until she is comfortable with YOU (ask at the shelter if you can borrow a cage for awhile) and perhaps she needs to be an only cat. Only time will tell what is going to bring Bunny "out of her shell" but she obviously needs to be away from the shelter. So...Bunny needs a home.
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? 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. So...Buzz needs a home.
To those of you who don't have a cat, but have been thinking about getting one – PLEASE do yourself a favor and come and meet Laurel. Laurel has only been with us a few weeks. She is about eight years old, a sweetheart and tested positive for FeLV. Because of her FeLV status, she does need to be an only cat (unless you have other FeLV cats). People shy away from kitties with FeLV, and they remain at the shelter for months/years. PLEASE don't let that happen to Laurel. She's healthy and happy and so precious! So...Laurel needs a home.
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.
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/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!
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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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