Serving the animals and citizens of Iowa County and its surrounding communities
|Letter From The Editor|
. . . .congratulations to me! Why? Because I have managed to "publish" another year of PawPrints! Five years of writing the newsletter – it's just too bad that I can't be more punctual about meeting deadlines! Five years later, lots of changes but at the same time, little has changed. There are still too many homeless animals and not enough resources. But on the bright side there are many happy adoption stories and many loyal supporters who help ICHS continue its mission of making our communities more humane places for all animals. And, of course, besides November being the newsletter's anniversary, it is also the month that Thanksgiving occurs so it is time to thank so many of you. Special thanks to those who help get PawPrints on the website – notably Chuck Pound at GetSirius Web Services, Lisa Cvengros and Lisa Thomas. To everyone who donates, volunteers, adopts and supports the Iowa County Humane Society – in ways too numerous to mention – THANK YOU! As you read this letter, it is important to remember that I am a volunteer and these are MY thoughts.
First order of business, five years later and Vegas and Horton are still waiting for their "forever" homes! An inherent belief of mine is that there is someone for every animal – regardless of the animal's personality – it is just a matter of finding that "someone". As you read this appeal for homes for Vegas and Horton, do you know of someone who could possibly provide a home for one of these cats? Horton will not share "his family" with another cat so he absolutely must be an only cat! It would be in Vegas' best interest (and YOURS) if she were an only cat also. Both Vegas and Horton do have a "quirk or two" – so experienced families only – but it must be noted that they may be entirely different once they are in a home and not at an animal shelter. Please keep your hearts open to offering your home to one of these cats and if you can't, please keep your eyes and ears open for someone who can provide a much needed loving home for Vegas or Horton!
Cats, cats and more cats and I am not just referring to the cats here at the shelter. There are daily calls to the shelter from people wanting to rehome their own cats (for various reasons) or to ask for assistance with tame, stray cats that have wandered to their door. The feral cat population is booming. There are more and more reports of people trapping cats and dumping them off in the country – let someone else deal with the problem! A friend called me the other day asking if there was any hope of getting some kittens into the shelter – she was willing to pay the surrender fee as well as the costs of spaying and neutering them. She has been dealing with stray cats for several years – not actually strays; they do "belong" to the neighbor (but that's another story). She has been spaying and neutering them and had felt that she was making progress (thirteen "strays") but in mid-October, two more mamas and their litters appeared (that now makes twenty-three). She was told "no" as ICHS is at capacity (which we are) and that there is a huge waiting list (which there is). Sadly there are more cats wandering our streets and fields than ever before – but not surprising! Statistics show that ONE unspayed mother cat (and her offspring) can reproduce 420,000 cats in 7 years – no wonder there are so many homeless cats! We can't continue to ignore the homeless cat population and shelters don't have the room and resources to take them all in. So what's to be done?
There are many people like my friend who feed stray cats. Keep in mind there is a difference between "strays" and feral cats – but that's also another story. Many people are only able to feed the cats – not spay, neuter and vaccinate. (In my opinion) it is wonderful that people do feed the strays and hopefully provide some type of shelter in the winter months. But that doesn't solve the population problem – instead, it probably enhances it! And then there are those of us who take cats in – providing homes for that 'over-looked' shelter cat or that sweet stray that just appeared on the doorstep. There are lots of us who have more than our share of cats. Why? The only explanation that I have is that "we do what we have to do".
Have you ever heard of the Ig Nobel Prizes? Well, I hadn't either so here is the explanation from Wikipedia – "The Ig Nobel Prizes are a parody of the Nobel Prizes and are given each year in October for ten unusual or trivial achievements in scientific research. The stated aim of the prizes is to "honor achievements that first make people laugh, and then make them think." So where am I going with this? Four cats was pretty much the limit at my house. After a tumultuous 2014 spring, I decided that I had earned the right to bring home a fifth cat. Of course, there were several at ICHS to choose from, but I had promised Bobbie a year ago that she would be my next cat. However, dear Trisa, also held a special place in my heart so the decision was made to bring them both home – even though I knew better. However that's what I did, and yes, it was not a wise decision! But I had learned my lesson – there would be no more cats! On the eve of bringing home my 7th cat, I was reading the Wisconsin State Journal and I came across the article "Pork, cats, bananas and more at Ig Nobels". As I skimmed the article, my thoughts were more on, "What in the world am I doing bringing home Cat #7?" than concentrating on what I was reading and so I interpreted the scientific question as "Are cat people crazy?" That got my attention!!! Well, as I reread the article the question was more like, "is owning a cat bad for your mental health?" (which doesn't mean 'crazy'). The article didn't go into much detail but when I googled the Ig Nobel awards, the study appeared to have more to do with toxoplasmosis and depression and not mental health. However...I'm still wondering if I'm crazy – having seven cats that don't get along!!! I wonder if others that take in lots of cats also wonder about their mental health. I think that maybe we need to form a support group for those of us with lots of cats – actually I said that as a joke, but maybe it should be considered!!!
Anyway, too many cats! More has to be done to help people spay and neuter – I am referring to low cost spay and neuter programs. It was devastating to lose the DCHS Mt. Horeb Clinic. It continues to be one of our goals here at ICHS to initiate a low-cost spay and neuter clinic...hopefully this will happen someday. More also has to be done to educate the public about the importance of altering their pets – too many people just don't get it!
If you have any suggestions or ideas about the content of ICHS PAWPRINTS, please contact me, Terri Davis at email@example.com
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!!! 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!
Are you tired of breaking your back shoveling snow? Or has your current snow thrower seen better days? Why not enter the ICHS snowblower raffle? You can win a shiny new 2014 Ariens 24-inch, two-stage snowblower complete with electric start, valued at almost $800! Tickets are $10 each or three for $25, and are available at the shelter or at Alisha's Best Friends in Dodgeville. Only 300 tickets will be sold! A winner will be drawn on Saturday, December 20.
Taco John's Nachos Navidad All of December
Taco John's in Platteville will be donating 25 cents from each Nacho Navidad entrée purchased during the upcoming holiday season. Taco John's has generously supported ICHS for the past four holiday seasons with this fundraiser. Please support Taco John's as you are out and about doing your holiday shopping. Feliz Navidad!
Piggly Wiggly Holiday Bake Sale December 6
"Ho-Ho-Ho!" ICHS is pleased to announce that we will once again be having our Holiday Bake Sale on Saturday, December 6th. 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!"
Holiday Bake Sale and Lunch at the Secret Santa Shop December 13
We are looking for bakers to provide goods to sell, and workers to serve food at, the 12th Annual Secret Santa Shop to be held at Hill's Pub in Dodgeville from 9:30am until 2pm. The event is put on by the Dodgeville Kiwanis. Families can enjoy a meal and drinks upstairs while little ones shop (with the help of Santa's helpers) on the lower level. Bake sale proceeds and a portion of food sales will go to the ICHS.
Poppin' Paws! Keep an eye out for our popcorn sale!
I.C. GoodPets, the winning flavor in our Poppin' Paws Popcorn Contest, will soon be for sale both at the shelter and at the Rural Route 1 store in Montfort. The flavor is sweet and crunchy with just a hint of cinnamon. Available in tins perfect for gift giving this holiday season!
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.
Limbo, Buzz & Grover
Our three FIV kitties are patiently waiting for someone to notice them. FIV cats are "normal" cats – it's just that these four kitties have a virus (FIV) which affects their immune system – but slowly – over a period of years! So these kitties should live long and normal lives! Limbo is a good-looking gray guy who loves attention. Buzz was thought to be 'feral' when he first arrived at ICHS – but he was simply frightened. He had the reputation of being "one of the sweetest and most loving cats in the building". He recently received his "orange card"; he just doesn't get enough cuddling. Although handsome Grover has been at the shelter for several months, I haven't gotten to know him well. If it wasn't for the FIV+ sign on their cages, you wouldn't have a clue that these cats have FIV! Although we call these 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 any of these four 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. Is it possible that YOU just might be the special family that these kitties are looking for? So... Limbo, Buzz and Grover 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.
Vegas is considered a special kitty because of her 'catitude' – and she is also in sole possession of #1at the top of the Top Ten List!!! She is one of those cats who is difficult to place. Vegas is approximately 6-7 years old. She was abandoned by her previous owner and has been at ICHS almost 5 years. Now, it's not that Vegas isn't friendly – she's just "choosy"; even preferring some staff to others! She is declawed in the front so scratching is not an issue and I don't believe she has ever bitten anyone. She just vocalizes a lot – trying to get YOUR attention! Vegas is like other 'hard to place' cats which we have had at the shelter - once they go to a home, they do very well. An experienced 'cat-family' living in a quiet household is exactly what Vegas needs. She does OK with other cats. So...Vegas needs a home.
Smokey is cat #7 that I brought home in mid-September. If you go on ICHS's Facebook, you may remember the following:
The cat that came in as a "stray" we found out he wasn't actually a stray. His name is Smokey and he is 11yrs. We also found out he is diabetic and needs insulin. The insulin shot is not something we are able to do with a cat living at the shelter. Shots have to be given at certain times during the day. We do not have staff at the shelter late enough during the day to manage this. Is there anyone willing to take this on? Please call the shelter ASAP. It is critical he starts to get treatment.
I am not quite ready to say that we have a success story – just an update – but there is some good news. Diabetic cats do need their insulin every 12 hours, special food, their glucose needs to be monitored frequently and financially it does add up. So since I had one diabetic cat and already had the insulin, the test kit and a life style that pretty much has me home at "insulin times", it just made sense to bring Smokey home (am I crazy?). As it turns out, I am not convinced that Smokey is actually diabetic although it is possible that the diabetes is currently controlled because of his diet. At the shelter and when I first brought him home, his blood glucose numbers were between 450-500 (extremely high). But after a couple of weeks of special food and insulin, his numbers are consistently under 100 (which is normal) – and he no longer gets insulin injections. Smokey is definitely a "scaredy cat". I can't help but think that living at the shelter for a couple of weeks and then the week or two that it took him to get used to his new home, perhaps too much glucose was getting into his bloodstream. I will continue to monitor his glucose and he definitely has to lose some weight, but I am hopeful that diabetes is no longer an issue with him – time will tell.
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