Serving the animals and citizens of Iowa County and its surrounding communities
|Letter From The Editor|
A Letter From The Editor......my eyes keep drifting to the window and instead of snowflakes, there is a light mist falling from the gray sky. The forecast is calling for light rain for the next couple of days – not typical of the winters that I remember as a kid. Meteorologists say that the warmer temperatures and liquid precipitation are due to El Nino. I don't know when they first started to use the term 'El Nino' in the evening newscasts, but this phenomenon (unusually warm waters in the Pacific Ocean occurring every 2-7 years which affect our weather) was first recognized back in the 1600s by South American fishermen (good to know that it was prior to the debate over 'global warming')! Not being a "winter person" I enjoy the warmer temps, but still...it is January and so it should be snowing – not raining! A sign that spring is on the way (for me) is when I start sowing seeds for the ICHS plant sale fundraiser. Although I was a bit delayed in getting started this year, the first flats have been sown. I never tire of seeing the little seedlings make their appearance – but that means there is no turning back! I have to move forward or my efforts are all for naught – just like our mission at ICHS. ICHS began back in 1998 and while so much has been accomplished, there is more to be done. We can't stop now!As you read this letter it is important to remember that I am a volunteer and these are MY thoughts.
A lot was accomplished at ICHS in 2015! Although some of these projects are considered ongoing, there is such a sense of accomplishment and pride in seeing ICHS move forward! Accomplishments include:
And now…our plans for 2016:The Building and Grounds Committee will continue to be active in the coming year. We have a special meeting scheduled for Sunday, January 24, at 1:30 at the shelter. Although a lot of progress has been made with our facility, there is a lot to be done and we feel that we need input from the public on updating the master plan so that the B&G Committee knows how to proceed. Some areas where feedback is needed include: We currently have a large dog kennel but our dog population is much lower than when we moved here 5 years ago. Are 35 dog kennels needed when we seldom have more than 15-20 dogs? We are in desperate need of a dog quarantine area. There have been suggestions of where to put a quarantine area but there are drawbacks to each suggestion – so where should the dog quarantine area be located? We have space in the building that is not used optimally – how can we make better use of this space? Is there space available for additional cat rooms (can’t you picture the kitties sunning themselves on the east-facing windowsills located where the dog kennels are now)? We need to address HVAC issues as well as an air exchange system, but again, we feel that a master plan is needed before we make further plans. Please attend the meeting on the 24th if you have input or want to be a part of our future. In addition to continued work on the HVAC plan, there is also more work up above the ceiling (ductwork and insulation) that needs to be continued.
The plans for the community cat rooms include creating climbing areas, high perches and murals in each of the four rooms. Larry’s Living Room will be turning into a “real” living room sometime this month and that will leave only one remaining room which we plan to tackle sometime in 2016.
The “low cost spay and neuter program” made its debut this summer. Recall this was a goal that was put on paper back in 2008. Fundraising efforts began at that time and through bowling events, spaghetti suppers and memorial donations, we finally had the funds to get started this past July. Admittedly the program was a “trial run” and we need to make some changes for 2016. Although I don’t have the number of animals/owners that took advantage of the program, every animal that is altered means less homeless animals in the future. Obviously our fundraising efforts for this program will need to continue. If you have any interest in being on this committee or helping with continued fundraising, please contact Jen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ICHS has had a formal dog evaluation program for several years (meaning that all in-coming dogs receive an evaluation as well as follow-up evaluations – if needed). It was felt that a similar program for the cats would be helpful. But with the huge number of cats coming through our doors it would have been mind-boggling to evaluate so many cats. So instead of a formal evaluation, we have settled on a color-coded personality description plan to help aid adopters in determining which cat may be the best fit for their family. We just implemented this plan in December so it is a bit early to determine how well it is working – but hopefully it will help adopters in choosing that “purrfect” kitty.
This past year has seen some very dedicated volunteer ‘cat cuddlers’ come through our doors. Each year we always have a large number of people attend the monthly orientation sessions, but the “class of 2015” has had an usually large number of individuals and families that frequently spend time with the cats (and we can always use more – just ask the cats)! Dog walking has perhaps been a bit frustrating for our volunteers because there are not always dogs to be walked. Most dogs don’t remain long at ICHS (which is wonderful)! I wish that I could list the names of the volunteers that spend so much time with our animals, but knowing that I would overlook someone, it is best that I don’t include anyone and just say “THANK YOU”. Same goes with our generous supporters – I don’t even know who most of you are, but “THANK YOU” as well!
Lastly, when putting together “PawPrints” I don’t get around to tracking down the amazing SUCCESS STORIES from past adoptions – and I always feel a bit guilty that I am not doing “my job”. So…it would be awesome if you folks would inundate me with your great stories but if not, I have a back-up plan. If I don’t have a success story to report, I will write about the animal that I (personally) would add to my feline family – if I dared bring another one home. So, please read “Coming Soon – Woody’s Success Story” and let’s have a success story in the making!
And before I forget, The ICHS Annual Meeting will be held on Monday, March 14. All current members (anyone who has made a donation between February 2015 and January 31, 2016) are welcome and eligible to vote. New board members will be elected, by-laws voted on and a general state of the shelter will be shared. Your input, as always, is encouraged. If you are not yet a member, you have until January 31st to make a donation. Thank you! 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 a time 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 our thanks! 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: November – Paula F. Paula and her children, Zoey and Zane, have been volunteers since April 2015. The family recently moved to Ridgeway and comes to cuddle with the cats. December – Kim F. Kim lives in Platteville, has been a volunteer since April 2015 and spends time with our cats at least once a week – sometimes more if her schedule permits. When Kim comes, she stays until every cat (on the floor) has been out of their cage. She quickly does the math (how many cats and how much time she has) and sets her phone to let her know when it’s time to put one kitty away and get the next one out. It’s always a bit of a relief for Kim when there is another cat cuddler (or two) around to help so that the cats can get more time out of their cages. BTW, if you remember Fozzy (an FeLV & FIV kitty), Kim is his “mom”. Thank you to Paula and children and Kim – and all the rest of you for everything that you do for ICHS! The number of people spending time with the cats is up but the cats will be the first to tell you that they still don’t get enough attention – and some don’t! 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! If you are thinking about becoming a volunteer, our volunteer orientations are the 3rd Sunday of the month at 1:00 at the shelter in Dodgeville.
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/or work at one event per year. So…if you would like to get involved with the planning and organizing of 2016’s fundraisers, please contact the shelter for more details. We hope to hear from you!!!
“Paint Your Pet” Fundraiser
Please join us for the “Paint Your Pet” fundraiser on February 19 at the Dodger Bowl in Dodgeville. The event starts at 6:30 PM and lasts approximately 2.5-3 hours. Professional artists will walk you through painting your own animal – no experience needed. Each ticket includes all painting supplies and materials as well as a complimentary beverage! Tickets are limited so reserve your spot now! Tickets are $65 each. To purchase, visit the website below and scroll to the bottom for the Iowa County Humane Society event: http://www.winecanvasyou.com/paint_your_pet.
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.
Buzz, Juniper, Woody, Mustard & Garfield - FIV Kitties
Our FIV population is growing! These kitties 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 – and he still frightens easily when unexpected noises or movement occurs. Buzz is one of the sweetest and most loving cats in the building. 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?
Juniper has been with us since May. Juniper 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
Woody hasn't been at ICHS very long. He is quite popular with the volunteers so he does get out of his cage more than the older cats. This little guy has a few issues (besides his FIV status) but he has his entire life ahead of him. Please find out more about Woody in " Coming Soon – Woody's Success Story".
Mustard was extremely vocal when he first came to ICHS but has quieted down. He is also a popular kitty with the volunteers. Because he had appeared to be so "needy" (meowing) when in his cage, I wasn't sure what to expect from him when I took him to a M&G room for the first time, but he was very well-behaved. Although he played a bit, he seemed to be content just having my attention (and a few treats). He'll be a wonderful addition to YOUR family.
Garfield is a neat cat! He also meows a lot, but it is simply to get YOUR attention. His round pumpkin-face gives the impression that he is HUGE, but when you take him out of his cage, you will find him to be an average-sized fellow. He is very loving and it appears that he will be a wonderful lap cat as well as a snuggle bug. Don't take my word for it. Come and meet him and see for yourself. He will impress YOU!
Although we call FIV cats "special", there really are no special considerations when adopting Buzz, Juniper, Woody, Mustard or Garfield. If it wasn't for the FIV+ sign on their cages, you wouldn't have a clue that they have FIV! 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, Juniper, Woody, Mustard and Garfield need homes.
Laurel & Slade - FeLV Kitties
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. She is an older kitty, a sweetheart and tested positive for FeLV. 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 spends much of her day sleeping and is perhaps "hard of hearing". Let her enjoy taking her naps curled up on your lap or a sunny window sill! So...Laurel needs a home.
Slade is a young, gray guy who has one thing on his mind when I take him out of his cage – FOOD! And he could probably benefit from having some extra treats – being the young cat that he is, he is a bit gangly. He is so happy to be out of his cage that it is difficult to get him to focus. When I have him out, he isn't interested in food, my lap or playing, but once he adjusts to YOUR home – his real personality will come shining through. Since I don't know Slade very well, I leave it up to YOU to get to know him – whether as a volunteer here at ICHS or by making him YOURS. So...Slade needs a home.
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. But these kitties need homes.
"Coming Soon – Woody's Success Story"
As mentioned earlier in the newsletter, since I don't have an actual success story, let's try to make one happen – SOON! I will choose an animal that I would bring home if I dared to bring another animal home!!! My house is full – no more (at least for the time being)! But if my cats would put up with another sibling, it would be WOODY! So, pay attention, and let's see if Woody can become our next "good news" story. In addition to a wonderful cat, you will also receive Woody's personal portrait. Thank you, Justin P, for taking the time to put Woody on paper!
Woody is an interesting little guy. He's not what he seems! Woody appears to be a younger cat because of his size – he is quite small. However, it is possible that his growth was stunted and he may be older than what we think. He is uncoordinated and it's almost as if he has "wobbly cat syndrome" but probably not. His paws are humongous in comparison to his little body. It almost appears that he has extra toes – but he doesn't – just big paws. And if the little guy didn't have enough problems, his hair started falling out. It is growing back.
What do we know about the little guy? He is as "cute as a button". He has a huge purr and is the wiggliest and squirmiest cat that I know. He LOVES attention – never gets enough! And, sad to say, he is FIV+ positive – which means that few people will even consider him as their forever kitty. Keep in mind that FIV cats can live with other cats, but he will more than likely enjoy being YOUR one and only! A quiet home is best and he must remain indoors to keep him healthy. Please do Woody, YOURSELF and me a favor and come and meet this little guy today!!!
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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
For additional contacts go to:
Board of Directors and Staff
WI Dog Seller & Dog Facility Operator license #267019-DS
ICHS is always looking for Volunteers,
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**Notice for Current Volunteers**
Please note that volunteers are resticted to visiting during ICHS open hours ONLY. Thank you!
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