Serving the animals and citizens of Iowa County and its surrounding communities
|Letter From The Editor|
A Letter From The Editor......and this beautiful autumn weather continues. We know that it is just a matter of days before winter gets serious about making an appearance but in the meantime let's enjoy this beautiful weather! I still have windows to wash, the last of the mulch needs to be spread and more wood needs to be added to the winter's wood pile – did I say "enjoy"?☺ I also need to finish this PawPrints issue and by the way, this issue begins the seventh year of me writing the newsletter. How fitting that the anniversary of PawPrints coincides with Thanksgiving! There are so many people that I wish I could thank personally for all they do and give – all done unselfishly for our area's homeless animals. But that isn't practical so instead it will have to suffice for me to simply say "Thank you to all" – you know who you are! But I do need to thank the 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 donates his services. Lisa Cvengros, ICHS Board Member and treasurer, 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! ...As you read this letter it is important to remember that I am a volunteer and these are MY thoughts.
This 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 six years ago when I wrote my first editorial for PawPrints: "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..." and yes, challenges were 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 they find a new home." 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. I'm happy to say that our low cost spay and neuter program was also implemented this past year.
Despite all of the changes there are still too many homeless animals – some ending up at ICHS (I call those "the lucky ones") but most – at least the cats – having to fend for themselves. Our dog numbers have been down for the past year. The dogs are pretty much adopted as soon as they arrive and their evaluations completed. It has been quite the year trying to do 'dog walking training' with new volunteers – there have been times when we simply didn't have the dogs for new volunteers to walk (what a wonderful problem to have)! The cats, again, are a different story. As mentioned in the last PawPrints (please see September 2015 issue) our population of FIV, FeLV cats and other cats with special needs/diets is growing. Families are desperately needed who are willing to adopt/foster these kitties that no one else appears to want (or can't take for various reasons). As much as ICHS has accomplished this past year there is so much more that needs to be done. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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: September – Mary C. Mary has been a volunteer since 2006 and can be found at ICHS most Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday afternoons. She is the "cat lady" and also helps out in the office when needed. Mary and her husband, Paul, live in the Avoca/Highland/Clyde area (you know – that beautiful area NW of Dodgeville). October –Adriane L. Talk about the "luck of the draw" – Adriane's sister, Stephanie, was the Volunteer of the Month for July! Adriane lives in Wyoming Township and is a student at River Valley High School. Both Adriane and Stephanie are "cat cuddlers" and have been volunteering for a couple of years. Thank you to Mary, Adriane 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 next orientation will be Sunday, November 22 (the 4th Sunday rather than the usual 3rd Sunday of the month) and there will be NO orientation in December.
Upcoming Fundraising Events
JJust 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!!!
We will be having our annual "It's Chili Outside" event on Sunday, November 15th from 11am-2pm at the Dodger Bowl. The day's events will include a chili lunch, bingo (with cash prizes from $10-$100 per game!), a cake walk, a silent auction, and a 50/50 raffle. Tickets will be sold at the door, and ticket prices are as follows: Adults, includes food and all activities- $10, Adults, just Bingo, no food included-$5, -Children under 12- $6.
Please join us for a "Paint Your Pet" fundraiser on December 3rd at the Dodger Bowl. The event starts at 6:30pm, and lasts approximately 2.5-3 hours. Professional artists will walk you through painting your own animal- No experience needed! Each ticket includes all paintings supplies & materials, professional instruction, and a pre-sketched canvas of your animal (you provide a photo ahead of time), as well as a complimentary glass of wine or beer and a cupcake from Steph's Sweet Treats! 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.
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 19th. 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 hope to see you there! "YUM-YUM-YUM!"
September & October 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 & Woody - FIV Kitties
Our FIV kitties are Buzz, Juniper and Woody. 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. Buzz had the reputation of being "one of the sweetest and most loving cats in the building" however he now has an "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?
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 volunteers.
Woody is a "teenager" and hasn't been at ICHS very long. Being the young feller that he is, it is sad that he can't be in one of the community rooms playing with the other kittens. The good news is that he is quite popular with the volunteers so he does get out of his cage more than the older cats. This little guy has his entire life ahead of him and he is waiting to spend it with YOU!
Although we call FIV cats "special", there really are no special considerations when adopting Buzz, Juniper and/or Woody. 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 and Woody 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 but what else is there to do living in a cage. Let her enjoy your lap or a sunny window sill! So...Laurel needs a home.
Slade is a young, gray guy who had 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. I don't know Slade very well so 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.
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 email@example.com. Some of you send periodic updates about your adopted pets to the shelter, and 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!
For those of you familiar with PawPrints, you've read about Raymond before, and he truly was an amazing cat! Sadly, I had to euthanize him in September, but I would like to share our story again. I brought Raymond (named after the TV show "Everybody Loves Raymond") home in August of 2004. Ray came to the shelter that June after being found in one of the Dodgeville parks. Ray didn't have any eyes (probably due to an untreated infection) and I just had to have him. The problem was that I had to convince my husband that Ray was meant to be – ours! Chuck wouldn't budge but he made the mistake of asking me what I wanted for my birthday. BIG mistake! That's how Ray came to live with us – he was my birthday present!
For several years Ray was just another cat – we didn't really think of him as 'sightless' and he didn't appear to know that he couldn't see. He played a lot and was a wonderful lap cat. He loved to be outdoors so we had to "Ray proof" our decks so that he could be outside without supervision. He also loved to wander the yard when I was outside with him. He loved to run – always in large circles with his head and tail held high – we called it "the moose run". He always had a weight problem as he loved to eat and didn't get enough exercise so it wasn't a big surprise when he was diagnosed with diabetes in 2013.
In Ray's earlier years, he did well with our other cats and he was "best buds" with our little dog, Benjamin. But as he aged, he became intolerant of the other cats that I would occasionally bring home. It got to the point that Ray had to be kept separated from most of the other cats. I don't think he cared that he wasn't with the others, but it was difficult to do – both because of the floor plan of my house as well as me feeling guilty when I was with the others and not him (or with him and not the others). It also became increasingly difficult to regulate his blood sugar. So I had a difficult decision to make.
Being unable to control his diabetes, the expense of the insulin and other "diabetic supplies" and not getting along with the other cats were all factors in making the decision. To be honest, I had been contemplating the decision for several (agonizing) months – back and forth, what to do? Although he was still doing "fairly well", I knew it was just a matter of time before I would have to say "good-bye". So the decision was made. I miss him a lot but it was the right decision. Raymond truly was an amazing cat!
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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.
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