Serving the animals and citizens of Iowa County and its surrounding communities
|Letter From The Editor|
A Letter From The Editor......As usual I am not sure how I feel about summer coming to an end, but once again the carefree days of summer are just about over. I am still outside pulling weeds and mulching. I wish I could say that I am simply ahead "of the game" – preparing the perennial beds for the winter to come, but alas – not the case as I am still doing the chores which should have been accomplished last spring. Wait a minute; I guess I am readying the beds for winter since it will be here before we know it! I had written in the July issue of PawPrints how timely the rains had been thus far...well, that sure came to a "screeching halt". I know there had been some spotty rains here and there, but NOT in the southeastern corner of Wyoming Township. We had rain on Thursday, July 16, and it did NOT rain again until Friday, August 28. OK...I will amend that statement. Driving home from dog walking on a Saturday PM (might have been the 22nd of August), I could see that it was quite dark to the southeast (would have been in the Barneveld/Mt.Horeb area). By the time I arrived home it was starting to cloud up and a bit later, it did sprinkle on the south deck of my house but the north side of the house didn't receive a drop! Talk about "spotty"...As you read this letter it is important to remember that I am a volunteer and these are MY thoughts.
I recently watched the "Clear the Shelters" special on Madison's Channel 15. "Clear the Shelters" was a television event hosted by local NBC news affiliates. This is the second year for this event dedicated to bringing awareness to homeless pets across the U.S. Last year approximately 2,000 animals were adopted during this event and apparently more than 20,000 animals were adopted this year. Although ICHS didn't participate in the actual event, a crew from Channel 15 did come out on September 2nd and filmed and interviewed some staff and volunteers. Reporter Amy Pflugshaupt and "interviewees" did a nice job with the segment. If you missed its airing, the segment is on ICHS's Facebook.
Before being aware of NBC's "Clearing the Shelters" event, I was planning my annual editorial on ICHS's "special needs" cats. Sad to say but the reason that ICHS will never have a sign that says, "Closed – Out of Animals" (as some of the shelters in the TV special had) is that no one wants (or can take) our "special needs" cats! Whether the cat is FIV, FeLV, has other health-related issues (diabetes/kidney failure/urinary tract issues, etc.), needs special food, has litter box concerns, doesn't tolerate other animals or just has some "quirky" habits – these animals need homes. They cannot live at ICHS forever – although some have been here a long time.
We all want our pets to be healthy and happy – that makes us happy! Having a healthy pet means that we don't have to budget excessively for vet visits and special food. Having a healthy pet means that we don't have to agonize over having our beloved pet euthanized prematurely. I get all that! But these "special needs" cats are "special" through no fault of their own. They shouldn't have to live in a cage indefinitely when they can provide happiness, companionship and perhaps even a certain measure of fulfillment – knowing that you opened your heart and home to an animal that no one else would take. Providing a home for one of these cats is a win-win situation!
Now let's face it, not just any family can take these cats. In most cases, these cats must be only cats and many of you who would take one of these "special" cats already have other cats. Many of these cats need quiet homes without small children. The cost of caring for these cats must be taken into consideration. And being "special needs", it can't be ignored that the cat's life expectancy may be less. It is always difficult to watch a beloved pet "going downhill"; knowing that there is little you can do.
So...I pose some questions. I am not sure when I first started hearing the phrase, "If not you, then who?" but how appropriate is that phrase when it comes to these kitties that no one wants! If YOU are in a situation where you do not have a cat but would like one, would YOU possibly consider one of these "special" kitties if the cost of special cat food and vet care were paid for by ICHS sponsors? OK, so there aren't sponsors for this type of program at the moment, but if sponsorship/funding could be arranged to help with costs, then would you consider caring for one of these needy cats? If/when it comes time to have the kitty euthanized (after you provided a loving home – whether for a few months or years), would it be easier if someone else took on the responsibility for those last few hours? What would it take for YOU to take one of our "special needs" kitties? What can ICHS do to find families for these kitties? If you are not able to take one of these cats, would you be willing to help sponsor one of these "special" cats? And if you personally can't take one of these kitties, do you know of someone who might be interested? Please think about our "special needs" cats and how you can possibly help!
On a personal note, my husband thought two cats was an OK number of cats to have. But even ten plus years ago I already had the mindset, "If not me, then who?" so every once in a while another cat would come home with me. In December 2012 I brought Harry home. Harry had been at the shelter for over a year, had kidney disease, was not eating and it appeared that he had little time left. Sad to say I didn't know Harry – too many cats at the shelter so you tend to "cuddle" your favorites and hope that other volunteers "cuddle" the others – so I had never even taken Harry out of his cage. When I would walk past he would just look at me with his speckled, amber eyes and meow his croaky meow.
Since he only had a few weeks to live, Chuck agreed that he could spend his last few weeks at our house. A few weeks ago I had to have Harry euthanized and it wasn't from his kidney issues; he broke his hind leg. Dr. Lind thought that he fell which is a bit confusing since he never climbed and seldom jumped any higher than the height of a bed or chair. So, for a kitty that was only to live a few weeks he was part of the family for 2¾ years – and such a loving cat! Hearing of Harry's passing; a friend said to me, "He knew he was loved. I am so glad that he knew freedom and grass and wind. What you do is so wonderful. To take the "least of these" and give them a loving home and see them through to the end when you know that you will have heart ache, is such a selfless and loving ministry." I thank my friend for her kind words, and I share her thoughts with you – not for me and Harry, but for YOU and these "special" cats that need homes. If you have any suggestions or ideas about the content of ICHS PAWPRINTS, please contact me, Terri Davis at email@example.com
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: July – Stephanie L. Stephanie lives in Wyoming Township. She and her older sister, Adriane, are "cat cuddlers" and have been volunteering for the past couple of years. August – Korbin B. Korbin is from Mt. Horeb and attended orientation this past February. His wife and children are also volunteers and are frequently here at the shelter cuddling the cats.
Thank you to Stephanie, Korbin 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! Also as a reminder, our volunteer orientation sessions are the 3rd Sunday of the month.
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 is holding a PaintNite Fundraiser on September 24th at the Dodger Bowl in Dodgeville. Tickets are $45 per person, and can be purchased online. Please check out our website for more information on this fun event!
ICHS is also participating in the Bucky Book fundraiser this year. A portion of each sale goes directly to the shelter. This year's Bucky Book is better than ever- TONS of new offers added, and 50% off coupons to 275 different businesses. New this year are $100s in grocery coupons! Books are $35 each, and can be purchased at the shelter.
July & August 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.
Buzz & Juniper - FIV Kitties
Our 2 FIV kitties are Buzz and Juniper. Buzz and Juniper are "normal" cats – it's just that they have a virus (FIV) which affects their immune systems – but slowly – over a period of years! They should live long and normal lives! 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! Buzz has been with us for two years – he really needs a home! Is it possible that YOU just might be the special family that Buzz is looking for? So...Buzz needs a home.
Juniper has been with us since May. I hadn't met Juniper until just recently – and was I in for a treat – she is simply "precious"!!! She is a beautiful orange cat with matching eyes. She is so loving and will probably be a "lap cat supreme" once she has the opportunity to be away from the shelter. She doesn't get the attention that she craves; "special needs" cats are too often ignored here at the shelter – even by volunteers. So...Juniper needs a home.
Although we call FIV cats "special", there really are no special considerations when adopting Buzz and/or Juniper. 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.
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.
Slade is a young, gray guy who had one thing on his mind when I took him out of his cage the other day – FOOD! And he could probably benefit from having some extra treats – being the young cat that he is, he is a bit gangly. I didn't have much time to spend with him so I leave it up to YOU to get to know Slade. So...Slade 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!
Paisley and now Poppy too (Mary G)
Mary G is a long-time volunteer from Barneveld who fell in love with Paisley a while ago and she thought that Paisley needed a companion. Thank you, Mary, for giving Poppy her "forever home".
I wanted you to know what a success adopting Poppy was. I brought Poppy home on Thursday, May 21st. I had asked Paisley if she wanted a playmate. The first three days were a little tense - some hissing and growling. I even took Poppy to work with on Friday, as I only had to work for an hour and a half. Poppy took a nap and no one knew she was there. I didn't know if it would be good to leave the two alone together immediately.
After the first days, Paisley figured out that this thing that Mom brought home was not just a visitor, she was here to stay. Gradually Poppy and Paisley started to make friends. Poppy had already won my heart; it just took Paisley a little longer to warm up to the idea that she was no longer the one and only kitty. Paisley now loves her new baby sister. I know because when I get ready for work in the mornings, the two of them are giving each other a bath.
Poppy and Paisley like to chase each other. At times I think I have the Indy 500 track in the house. Poppy is a bit of a rascal, she thinks that my dinner is hers and wants me to share. I have had to put her in the carrier so that I could eat in peace. Poppy is a very loving little girl. I can't sit down, but she is on my lap or chest ready to take a nap. Of course I have a new bed partner. Her purr is so loud that sometimes she keeps me awake. Thanks to the Iowa County Humane Society for keeping their eye out for just the right baby sister for Paisley!
Molly (aka Boo) (Mary Beth and Stu)
Mary Beth and Stu are long-time ICHS supporters from the Mazomanie area. They have several large dogs – various mixes of hounds – with a story behind each one. They fostered Boo (now Molly) when it was apparent that Boo wasn't doing well at the shelter and needed a change of scenery. Thank you, Mary Beth and Stu, for adding Molly to your pack.
Stu and I have a success story for you: Molly.
We fostered and then adopted Molly (was Boo) about a year ago. How she's grown! She's now 2 years old, full of joy, and full of herself. And smart. And not a mean bone in her body. When she first came, she didn't know what to do with all her energy, and was a handful. She's since settled in, learned a routine and commands, gotten a lot of love and treats, and figured out that swiping at me with her paw wouldn't get me to do what she wanted. Despite her hound ears, she's a lab / blue heeler mix, so that means she explores the world with her front teeth (never biting, just toothing). She picked up the command, "No teeth, just lickies," which immediately gets us slurped and slobbered over instead! Which is how she wakes me up in the morning. Sometime between 5 and 6:30 am, she puts her front paws up on my side of the bed and starts licking my head. Oh Joy! It's Morning!!! Get UP!!! She's still a puppy....
Her favorite toys are a squeaky ball that she likes to chase, and will even bring back, and an old leather work glove. She uses the glove to tease our other dogs into chasing her when we're out on walks. She and Jay (used to be Poindexter. Anyone remember the ICHS Hound Brothers from about 7 years ago? He was one.) especially like to chase each other. She does not like to watch The Dog Whisperer. We're not sure whether it's the people or the dogs, but she'll start growling and barking while she's watching it. Yes, she watches TV, and particularly likes dog or wildlife shows. She and Tink (Brittany / Blue Tick) are my faithful copilots when I drive to get the mail or make a quick trip into town (and can park in a shady place). If Molly thinks I'm going on an errand, she'll wait by the back door of my car hoping for
Molly is a wonderful addition to our pack. She makes us laugh; she gets along with the other dogs. She likes to be with people. She's a good dog, and we're so glad she's here.
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