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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Off to the vet!

I just got back from taking Ramses and Isabella to the vet.  Isabella has had a chronic problem with her ears and had started scratching at her ears in the last week or so.  Before Isabella came to us, she lived with someone else.  That person or those people did not take very good care of her.  At some point, she had ear mites and they never took her to the vet so her ears just got worse and worse.  Then her owners moved out of their house and left her and Jackson in the house with no food and only toilet water to drink-and she still had ear mites!

She has been to the vet many times, today makes the 4th time since June.  Her ears are not too bad today but there is enough bacteria in there to bother her.  She doesn't have that much bacteria but the vet said she just must be sensitive.  I clean her ears once a week with a cleaning product then I use a Bur-Otic solution every 3 days.  So, now she is on medicated drops for 2 weeks.

How to clean a cat's ears
Chronic ear problems in cats
Middle and inner ear infections in cats
Ear infections in cats
Pictures of healthy and infected ear canal of cat

Ramses went to the vet because he had pretty loose stools.  I tried using something called Diar-eze , which usually solves the problem, but this time it didn't.  They did a fecal test and found no parasites.  The vet thinks that it might be stress related, or due to a parasite that they did not see.  This was not as "fresh" as it could have been but this was from the last time he went, so that is what I had to bring.  Stress makes sense since Scratchy passed away only a little over 2 weeks ago.  They were friends.  :(

Ramses was put on medication for the diarrhea, even if it is stress related, this medication will help him feel better.

Low Cost Spay/Neuter for Cats Only in Indiana Jan 2009-Free vaccinations

Have a cat?  Low cost spay/neuter for cats only in Indiana, Jan 5-8.  $40 if you pre-pay, $50 at the door, includes free vaccines!

Visit their website for more information!

**If you read this after the date listed, contact the organization/clinic.  Often times, they offer these services on a regular basis.  If not, these clinics may offer the low cost clinics once a month.  You can use the same contact information listed above.**

Monday, December 29, 2008

Prince Edward Accused of Beating Black Lab

Prince Edward, 44, caused international outrage when he was photographed brandishing a 4-foot long walking stick over a pair of black Labradors.

The incident occurred over the holidays while royal family members--including Prince William; the queen's husband Prince Philip; and second son, Prince Andrew--were hunting for pheasant on the Queen's private estate in eastern England. 

There's no denying these pictures.  It looks like he was targeting one dog.  He hit the dog with a stick, even while he was cowering.  I hope he has charges brought against him.

Petco Stops Selling Rabbits!!

NEW YORK -- Petco is now hopping to a different tune, as it announced it will cease rabbit sales, and only facilitate adoptions, after Jan. 1, 2009.
All of the rabbits in Petco stores at the start of the new year will still be eligible to find forever homes, just through an expanded adoption program.
"Moving to an all-adoption approach with rabbits is the right thing to do," Petco CEO Jim Myers said in a Nov. 17 release.
"We believe it's good for the animals, good for our business and is consistent with our Think Adoption First philosophy, in which we encourage prospective pet parents to consider adopting an animal rather than purchasing one."
Petco already has an adoption program instated for dogs and cats at its stores, and has partially worked to facilitate rabbit adoptions, as well.
The policy shift is likely to welcome an increased level of partnership with various animal-welfare agencies and local rescue groups, with which Petco already has partnerships, according to the release.
Rabbits, the third most popular companion animal in the United States, have been available for purchase at roughly a third of Petco's 950 stores in recent years. The remaining rabbits were processed through the company's adoption system, according to The SmallAnimalChannel News Division.
Petco already has "strong relationships" with about 70 rabbit adoption groups, including the Minnesota Companion Rabbit Society and the San Diego House Rabbit Society, according to its release.
The franchise will seek to further these relationships, as well as establishing additional partnerships to assist in facilitating more adoptions.
Petco will also work to provide more habitat housing for adoptable rabbits in store, as well as caring for and feeding them.
The announcement has drawn praise from the Humane Society of the United States, which noted the apt timing of the program, given the spike of rabbit births in the springtime.
"The phaseout of rabbit sales by Petco is a great step forward to help homeless, adoptable rabbits across the country," said Adam Goldfarb, an HSUS issues specialist, in a Dec. 4 HSUS release.
"Rabbits are the third-most commonly surrendered animal to shelters after dogs and cats."
By replacing sales with adoptions, Petco, one of the largest pet supply chains in the country, can serve to curb homelessness and surrender rates, the HSUS said.

Woman Lives in Van with 120 Dogs

ARDMORE, Okla. -- There is an old woman who lives in a van -- she has so many dogs, she doesn't know how her lifestyle can withstand.
Animal rescue organizers don't understand how 71-year-old Catherine Titus has been able to care for more than 120 dogs, either, while living out of an stripped van in rural Wilson, Okla.
"The dogs mean everything, but it is definitely overwhelming for her," said Scott Sutherland, director of Southern Oklahoma Animal Resources (SORE), an organization that facilitates low-cost spay/neuter initiatives.
"She loves the dogs, but she has to be taking care of herself, too."
Titus, who is unemployed, survives off the $700 Social Security check she receives each month. Five hundred of those dollars go toward the dogs, who were all strays she took in several years ago.
The rest is used to feed herself.
Initially, Sutherland said, Titus, who used to work for the Humane Society in Texas, had around 35 dogs that stuck around her van after she continued to feed them.
The dogs continued to breed and grow in number, eventually depleting the majority of Titus' funds and energy.
She heard about SORE two months ago, Sutherland said, and called him, seeking urgent help.
"She said, 'I can't live like this any more. I have all of these dogs and I don't know what to do.' I went out there, met her, saw all the dogs, and it was just a mess. We couldn't even tell how many there were," he said.
None of the dogs, which were mostly Lab mixes and in the 20- to 30-pound range, had any shots, or were fixed. They had never visited a veterinarian, but appeared well-fed and, aside from cases of sarcoptic mange, in good health. Titus had also treated them herself, Sutherland said, with penicillin shots she occasionally administered.
Even though she recognized the need for assistance, Titus wasn't willing to give all of her dogs up. She allowed Sutherland and his team to remove approximately 76 dogs, which were later spayed and neutered.
Around 40 dogs remain on Titus' empty lot, Sutherland said. SORE hopes to have all of the dogs removed within the next few months, a variable dependent on Titus' willingness to release them.
The surrounding community does not have many state or city run animal care and control resources to fall back on, says Karin Morrison, director of Compassion Seeds, a private organization that provides animal re-homing and foster services.
"We try to do as much as we can, but this is a totally different area," Morrison said, remarking on the high abandonment and stray numbers in the community.
"We have gotten calls from people wanting to help from Germany to Maine, but no one here is stepping forward. We can't do it all on our own and people don't care."
The closest animal shelter, Ardmore Animal Care, Inc., is a private facility, which admits nearly 8,000 pets a year, its director, Kim Lee, told Pet Pulse.
Though the shelter is based one-and-a-half hours away from Titus' lot, Lee has brought her dogs food on several occasions. Lee also "tried to get the dogs out of there," she said, but Titus would not surrender them.
SORE has been working "non-stop" to reason with Titus over the past few weeks, and to also catch her dogs, which Sutherland described as "shy."
Only 15 of the dogs are presently available for adoption. The rest will "need a little more time" until they have received all necessary medical treatment and are properly socialized. They are not aggressive, Sutherland said, but are unused to the human touch.
"They need to be pet a little more, to spend more time with humans," Sutherland said. "We will continue to work with them."
SORE's efforts have become convoluted by Titus' fickle, yet determined nature, Sutherland says.
"We will take some dogs and then she will say that she wants the 10 oldest back, and then begins naming them," he explained. "Then we have to convince her all over again to allow us to keep those."
The situation can't be simply classified as a traditional hoarding case, Sutherland says, given the need for Titus' cooperation, as well as her attachment to the dogs.
"This isn't an animal rescue, but a human one, too," Sutherland explained. "This woman has nothing. She lives in a filthy, shell of a van that sits on flat tires. These animals are everything to her."
"If you remove some dogs, then yes, you have rescued some animals, but maybe we have destroyed a human being in the process, too."
As a part-Cherokee Indian, Titus is willing to be admitted to a shelter or facility available only to people of Native American descent.
But she won't got unless she knows that all of her dogs are taken care of.
Now looking outside the community, the animal welfare organizers assisting Titus are hoping other shelters or agencies will step in and lend a hand.
"Ardmore is only a town of 30,000, and the surrounding towns are only 2,000 to 4,000-population," Sutherland said. "We don't have a big market here and we need someone to step in, from New Jersey or New York to say, 'We will take 30 dogs, we can help.' "
It's a step that would help pull both the 120 dogs, Titus and her van out of the mud and onto a better life.

Low Cost Spay Neuter in Mississippi

Mississippi Spay and Neuter returns each month to the Pine Belt with its low-cost spay and neuter clinic.

The clinic is offered two days each month, and vouchers are offered if both days are filled to capacity.
If you have a cat or dog that you have wanted to get fixed and have not been able to afford it in the past, or if you have stray animals in your area that you want to prevent more, MS SPAN may be able to help.

For more information or to make an appointment, call (866) 901-7729.
Leave a number where you can be reached between the hours of 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Your call will be returned within 48 hours.

Dates, times and location of the service will be designated once the appointment is confirmed.

For more information on MS SPAN and its efforts to help Mississippi residents, visit

**If you read this after the date listed, contact the organization/clinic.  Often times, they offer these services on a regular basis.  If not, these clinics may offer the low cost clinics once a month.  You can use the same contact information listed above.**

Can you help in Ohio?

Pet Guards Shelter, 950 Hardy Road, Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44223, is a low-cost spay, neuter and vaccination clinic for dogs and cats, as well as a shelter that houses and adopts out unwanted cats.
The shelter is seeking donations of 1,500 square feet of vinyl flooring, a 5- to 7-ton vertical-discharge, roof-mount heating and cooling unit, a tankless water heater, window tint, signage and awning materials.
In addition, it needs these volunteers: a licensed HVAC installer, an electrician, a flooring installer, a window tinter, a sign maker and an awning maker.
To volunteer, call Joe Elton, 330-431-9391.  For information on donations only, e-mail Information is at

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Low Cost Spay Neuter Options in California

1) The county of San Diego will issue $75 spay/neuter vouchers for female dogs and cats and $25 for males automatically for anyone in the qualifying zip codes of the SD shelter district.

Males $55 - $25 voucher = $30
Females $65 - $75 voucer = FREE
(prices increments raise by $20 for dogs over 40 lbs and again over 80lbs)

Males $40 - $25 = $15
Females $50 - $75 = FREE

If your zip code does not qualify, you can still get a list of the low cost vets in your area that offer the base low cost prices.
Call (619) 544-1222 Mon-Wed-Fri from 9-1. Keep calling through the busy signals!
They will also set you up with low cost vaccines if your animals has never had any.


2) SNAP offers low cost spay/neuters on their mobile spay/neuter bus the Neuter Scooter!
Qualification is based on income.

Dogs: $30 for 1st dog, $25 for each dog after that
Bully breeds - Pits, Rotweilers, and Chows and any mixes of these: $20
Cats: $20 for 1st cat, $15 for each cat after that

Included in this price is a nail trim, dose of Advantage flea drops, a rabies vaccine (for dogs only) and an E-collar (male dogs only)
Call 1-866-SPAYBUS to schedule an appt, or visit


3) The Feral Cat Coalition will spay/neuter feral (wild) and stray cats for FREE at their monthly spay/neuter clinics. Inlcudes a rabies vaccine, dose of Advantage, and ear-tip (ear notched to publically indicate neutered-status).
This service is not for pet cats.

Call (619) 758-9194 to leave a message asking for reservations to the next clinic.

Berkeley East Bay Humane Society

Clinic Hours:
By appointment only.
Tuesdays - 8:00am to 5:00pm
Drop-off ~ 
Pick-up ~ 

Please phone for an appointment:
(510) 845-3633 or (510) 845-7735, ext. 1

Every Tuesday, the BEBHS Veterinary Hospital runs a Spay/Neuter Clinic offering low-cost surgery prices to our community. Please read the requirements carefully to determine who qualifies for the Clinic. We also offer reduced prices for those who can demonstrate financial need or hardship. Appointments must be made in advance.

 Tuesday Spay/Neuter Clinic are for residents of the following cities only and income restrictions apply:
• Berkeley
• El Cerrito
• Albany
• Emeryville
• Richmond

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Low Cost Vaccinations in Rhode Island Tomorrow!

This Sunday, December 28, Luv My Pet and Petco will be holding affordable vaccination clinics for dogs and cats that are older than 8 weeks of age. State licensed vets will be administering all the core vaccines offered. Keep your precious pets current on shots to protect against harmful/fatal diseases.

Individual and package pricing available. Also offering pet microchipping, heartworm preventatives, flea treatments, and diagnostic testing.

For prices and specific clinic times/locations,
Sunday, December 28:
9:30AM to 11:30AM
Petco Providence
585 N. Main Street
Providence, RI 02903

1:30PM to 3:30PM
Petco Warwick
1400 Bald Hill Road
Warwick, RI 02886

Low Cost Spay Neuter Clinic for Cats Only in Ohio Jan 3

Citizens for Humane Animal Practices (CHAP) will host a feline low-cost spay/neuter clinic, in cooperation with the Summit County Animal Control Department, on Saturday, January 3, 2009 at the NEFCO Building at 180 E. South Street in Akron.
A male cat neuter will cost $35 and a female cat spay will cost $50.
Pre-registration is required and can be handled by calling 330-724-6181.

**If you read this after the date listed, contact the organization/clinic.  Often times, they offer these services on a regular basis.  If not, these clinics may offer the low cost clinics once a month.  You can use the same contact information listed above.**

$20 spay/neuter for cats, $47 for dogs in North Carolina Jan 7-Call by Dec. 29

LOW-COST SPAY/NEUTER: On Jan. 7, Community Partnership for Pets Inc. is offering spay/neuter surgery and a rabies vaccination for $20 for cats and $47 for dogs. CPPI will be offering a free shuttle to take pets from Hendersonville to the Spay/Neuter Clinic in Asheville. Call 693-5172 to reserve a space by Dec. 29.

Click here to visit their website for more information.

**If you read this after the date listed, contact the organization/clinic.  Often times, they offer these services on a regular basis.  If not, these clinics may offer the low cost clinics once a month.  You can use the same contact information listed above.**

Friday, December 26, 2008

Tick Tock Teaser Product Review

This is the Tick Tock Teaser.  It is a good toy in theory and I thought the kitties would love it.  The pendulum does not move as freely as the cats would like-it requires a lot of force to move it.  I am not sure if that is because there is just a short space for it to move or if it is something with the screws holding it in place.  It seems to only move a few inches, then go right back to the middle.  It doesn't swing back and forth with normal use.  If I push it hard enough, it will go back and forth but only once.

Also, when two cats (and sometimes just one cat) are playing with it, the top stick thingy hits them in the face.  I think the cats noticed the mouse on the bottom because the tail hangs out of the toy a little.  If that gets bit off (which it will eventually), I don't think they would even notice the mouse.  Here is a link to this toy on

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Bill Clinton's Cat is Dying from Cancer...

WASHINGTON -- Two famous figures in the Bill Clinton White House -- his personal secretary and ailing pet cat, Socks -- are back in the public eye.
Clinton secretary Betty Currie is working for John D. Podesta, co-chairman of President-elect Barack Obama's transition, at the same time reports surfaced that her adopted pet Socks has cancer.
"It's not a happy prognosis," said presidential historian Barry Landau, a friend of Currie's. Although Currie opted against invasive tests, Landau believes Socks has "days or weeks" to live.
Currie is remembered for picking up from Monica Lewinsky gifts that the former president had given the White House intern in 1997. Currie later testified during investigations into Clinton's affair.
Currie went to the Clinton White House after serving in his transition, but it was unclear whether she would follow a similar path with Obama.
Socks has lived with Currie since the Clintons left the White House. The black-and-white cat didn't get along with the Clintons' dog, Buddy, and aggravated the president's allergies.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Treat Recall for Dogs

Preliminary Animal Health Notification
FDA Continues To Receive Complaints about Chicken Jerky Products for Dogs and Cautions Consumers
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continues to caution consumers of a potential association between the development of illness in dogs and the consumption of chicken jerky products also described as chicken tenders, strips or treats.  FDA continues to receive complaints of dogs experiencing illness that their owners or veterinarians associate with consumption of chicken jerky products. The chicken jerky products are imported to the U.S. from China.  FDA issued a cautionary warning to consumers in September 2007.
Australian news organizations report the University of Sydney is also investigating an association between illness in dogs and the consumption of chicken jerky in Australia. At least one firm in Australia has recalled their chicken jerky product and the recall notification stated the chicken jerky product was manufactured in China.
FDA believes the continued trend of consumer complaints coupled with the information obtained from Australia warrants an additional reminder and animal health notification.
Chicken jerky products should not be substituted for a balanced diet and are intended to be
used occasionally and in small quantities.  Owners of small dogs must be especially careful to limit the amount of these products.
FDA, in addition to several veterinary diagnostic laboratories in the U.S, is working to determine why these products are associated with illness in dogs.   To date, scientists have not been able to determine a definitive cause for the reported illnesses.  FDA has conducted extensive chemical and microbial testing but has not identified any contaminant.
FDA is advising consumers who choose to feed their dogs chicken jerky products to watch their dogs closely for any or all of the following signs which may occur within hours to days of feeding the product: decreased appetite, although some may continue to consume the treats to the exclusion of other foods; decreased activity; vomiting; diarrhea, sometimes with blood; and increased water consumption and/or increased urination.  If the dog shows any of these signs, stop feeding the chicken jerky product.  Owners should consult their veterinarian if signs are severe or persist for more than 24 hours.  Blood tests may indicate kidney failure (increased urea nitrogen and creatinine).  Urine tests may indicate Fanconi syndrome (increased glucose). Although most dogs appear to recover, some reports to the FDA have involved dogs that have died.
The FDA continues to actively investigate the problem.  Many of the illnesses reported may be the result of causes other than eating chicken jerky.  Veterinarians and consumers alike should report cases of animal illness associated with pet foods to the FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator in their state.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Pets as presents a good idea? It can be.

Through out this article I refer only to adopting an animal.  I do not believe in buying an animal from a breeder or from a pet store, who usually come from puppy mills or other less than satisfactory circumstances.  (Why reward these people with money for creating a life when millions of animals are killed every year in shelters??)  I guarantee anyone will be able to find an animal they want from an animal shelter or a breed rescue.  There are millions of animals who need good homes, just waiting for their new parent to walk through the door!

Pets as presents can be a good idea-ONLY if the recipient has made the decision to adopt a pet.  Pets can be at least a 20 year commitment.  Someone who doesn't want a pet, may mistreat them, neglect them, fail to care for them, or any number of other things.  It can also cause a problem between the people involved if someone feels obligated to keep a pet they did not want in the first place.

Adopting a pet is a very rewarding experience.  Some shelters allow you to do something called "Foster to Adopt", which means you will foster the animal for a few weeks to make sure it is a good fit.  At the end of that time, or before, you can return the animal if they are not working out.

The best thing for someone to do is to buy a gift certificate for an animal.  The person goes to the shelter, adopts an animal and you pick up the tab! offers these and some local shelters do, too.  Many people want to choose their own pet.  The animal will be living with them and it is a big decision.  They might want to wait until after the hectic holiday season when they will have more time to spend with them once they get them home to ease the transition.

Adopting a pet, a kitten or adult, is a big responsibility but it is very rewarding.  Younger animals require more time, more training, more energy.  Older animals (1 year +) are less energetic and can be relaxing members of your family.  That is not to say that older animals won't play.  They can and do!  They just rest eventually and it seems that kittens and puppies don't!

I have read about giving pets as gifts and some sites say that pets given as gifts are kept longer than those people adopted from a shelter or as a stray.  Other sites say the opposite.  I don't know what the truth is but I don't think people should treat a pet a certain way, with a certain commitment based on how they received them.  Pet parents need to take the commitment seriously and keep the animals that they say they are going to keep.  There are very few reasons that I feel are justified for relinquishing an animal.

Adopting a new pet is a wonderful opportunity for parents to teach their children responsibility in the house with taking care of a pet and with keeping commitments.  I hope that parents use the opportunity to raise educated, compassionate children and show them that when you adopt an animal, it is for the rest of their life.  We have too many animals being taken to shelters for ridiculous reasons, such a moving.  You can move with an animal, it just requires effort that some people don't want to deal with.  If that is the case, don't get an animal in the first place.  You get an animal's hopes up, bring them into your home, then bring them back to the shelter when they are inconvenient.

Be responsible and teach your children what it really means to adopt an animal.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Grieving for week later.

Scratchy died a week ago yesterday.  It was a very sad day where I had a few emotional outbursts of tears and sobbing.  Throughout the day, I was remembering what was happening at specific times on the day she died.  I was feeling bad for myself for what I went through and the loss of Scratchy.  I felt increased sorrow at 5:15 pm when Scratchy had been gone for one week.  

I am still very distraught and filled with grief and most times when I talk about Scratchy, I still tear up.  Throughout the week, I experienced numbness where I was matter-of-fact and tried to stay occupied to distract myself.  I felt deep sorrow and grief where I would sob uncontrollably and depression where I didn’t really talk or interact with anyone.  I also felt denial that she was even really gone-even though I saw her die.  It does seem to get better with time but I feel that there is a certain amount of grieving that I will have to do before I can let her go.

I am not a grief expert and I haven’t even really dealt with death before.  I read about ways to help myself cope and let myself cry whenever and where ever, I needed to.  I was kind to myself and did not blame myself or anyone else for her death.  I understood now, and at the time of her death, that this was a rare occurrence and there was nothing anyone could do to save her.  I accept that it was an illness that she could not recover from.  I am just left with why her? Why me?  

It is painful and strange to not see Scratchy sleeping in her favorite spots and jumping on our laps for a belly rub.  She had certain things that she did regularly.  When I changed the litter boxes, she always wanted to watch me.  She would try to sit on my lap or right next to me.  In the morning, I would go into the bathroom and when I opened the door, there was Scratchy waiting for me next to the door-in the same spot everyday.  I would always pick her up and carry her into the kitchen where I would start the coffee maker.  At night, I give the cats a small amount of wet food and now I have to get one less plate each night.  When I give them dry food, I give them one less scoop.  

All through the day, there are reminders of her not being here.  It is getting easier as my new circumstances become normal-but it is still difficult.

I have been concerned about the other cats grieving.  I have 3 cats living in a separate part of the apartment and we were going to begin transitioning one of them to be out here on the day that Scratchy ended up passing away.  Of course when we planned to do this that Saturday, it was because I was not doing adoptions and I could be here all day to monitor the situation and to see how the cats were responding to each other.  When we made this decision, Scratchy was healthy.    

So, I have been concerned about how the cats would respond to Scratchy’s absence and then Jackson’s appearance.  I have not brought Jackson out to meet the others yet.  I am still monitoring the other cats to find the right time to introduce Jackson.  I might try it in another week or so.

Out of all of the cats here, I think that Ramses is grieving in a way that I can see.  The others might be hiding their grief, I am not sure.  Ramses has definitely been more clingy and needy.  He wants to be near us more and sit on our laps more.  He also comes into our bed more at night.  He is a little vocal normally and I think that has increased a bit.  He goes into rooms and meows, possibly looking for Scratchy, maybe just crying out because he knows she is gone.
Yesterday, my boyfriend and I went to the pet cemetery where Scratchy’s ashes were spread with other animals who have passed away.  It was a very peaceful area in the country with lots of trees.  Some areas have actual tombstones, that like of a human cemetery.  The area that her ashes are in do not have any tombstones, it is the designated place for ashes only.  

Before we went, we bought 3 baby pink balloons.  The number of 3 has no real meaning to me but maybe subconsciously I chose 3 because she was with us for 3 months.  I didn’t want just one balloon, so I chose 3.  They were baby pink with baby pink ribbon.  We had the option to buy a weight and I did so that I could take that home with me to remember that day and Scratchy.  

We drove about 4 miles into the country and saw the white picket fence that surrounds the area.  We drove down a short, winding road into the cemetery.  As we drove in, we saw a small pond with a fountain in the middle with all kinds of geese swimming around it.  There were small statues with angels holding animals or of animals alone strewn about the trees and tombstones.  

We drove a little more and got to the office and parking area.  This cemetery, called Rolling Acres, was the first in Kansas City, created in 1973.  It is a small operation and the area showed that.  It did not feel “commercialized”.  I felt better that is felt so quaint and caring.  

We got the balloons and walked to the area where Scratchy was.  We walked through the snow and ice and very cold winds.  The winds were bitterly cold.  The high was 11 degrees and the low was -1 degrees. We dressed in layers so that we could be as warm as possible while we stood out on that hill remembering Scratchy.  

We chose a spot to stand in and my boyfriend said some kind words, remembering Scratchy when she was alive and talking about how she would feel if she could talk to us now.  She was in a peaceful place and we had done the best for her, while she was alive and making the decision of her death.  

We stood together, holding hands and hugging, then decided it was too cold to stand outside any longer.  I held the balloons and let them go when I was ready.  For some reason, I was hesitant to let them go.  It had some kind of meaning for me to let those balloons go up into the sky.  I don't know what that meaning was.  It was another way of letting her go, I guess.  

We watched the balloons rise into the sky and continue to go right into a large tree!  The wind must have changed directions right before I let them go because we both thought they were going to go in a different direction.  

This entire experience has been very painful and emotionally draining.  Some people don't seem to understand my grief, which makes it even worse.  

Some things I did or plan to do to remember Scratchy:

I made a short video slideshow (click here to watch it) and sent it to everyone I knew.  We went to where her ashes were on the week anniversary of her death and released balloons.  I am making cat toys and blankets for the cats at the shelter in her memory.  I am going to have a pet tag engraved with her name and put it on my key chain.  I am also putting her picture in a nice frame and hanging in on the wall in a prominent place.  I am also going to put her picture on a coffee mug (through cafepress or another service like that) because I drink a lot of coffee and it is another way to remember her.  

We miss you and love you so much, Scratchy!

Can you give an animal a temporary home?

The Friends of Parkville Animal Shelter Volunteers and Community Friends Needed to Save our Strays!

FOPAS is always in need of foster homes for our cats and dogs. With limited space available at the shelter, without your help we will need to turn animals away. 
Your support will save their lives!
What is a foster home? FOPAS provides food and medical care while the foster family provides love, attention, opportunities for socialization, and an indoor home until the cat or dog finds a forever family. 

Long and short term commitments are available. We ask that you transport the animal to Saturday adoptions and/or be available to meet a FOPAS volunteer with the potential adoptive family evenings or weekends.

Fostering is a very rewarding experience and you can help us know more about the animal's personality and behavior so we can match him/her with the best possible home.

If you are interested, or would like to know more about fostering, please contact Leslie at Thank you in advance for your friendship and support!  

Visit our site at 

Saturday, December 20, 2008

$10,000 of veterinarian bills-Can You Help Out?

The Humane Society of North Central Iowa is asking for the community's help.

The recent outbreak of parvovirus with the dogs and the e. coli outbreak among the cats have generated almost $10,000 of veterinarian bills.
Volunteers will be making calls from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. today to local residents who have donated in the past or who have been identified as animal lovers to ask for help to cover the costs to save the animals.
"The local vets have been very helpful providing discounts for the shelter animals and providing antibiotics," said Laurie Hagey, interim executive director for the shelter. "But when you think about how much it costs to provide one cat with medication and then you times that by 70 cats, it can get very expensive very fast."

All the cats housed at the shelter are being treated with antibiotics as a precaution, but only 20 cats have shown symptoms of an e. coli infection, she said. Of the cats who have been infected, five have died, and three of those were feral cats.

Hagey said the feral cats may have been cause of the outbreak and attempts to isolate the new animals for seven to 10 days were not successful.

"We don't have the ability to restrict air circulation at the shelter, so it's hard to completely isolate any animal," Hagey said.

Dr. Culley Holm, veterinarian at Holm Animal Hospital, said e. coli is a common virus found on just about every surface but is normally not deadly or even associated with respiratory symptoms much like the symptoms shown by the animals.

He said he suspects there is another virus at work and the culture that was grown at Iowa State University to determine the disease may have been contaminated with e.coli.

E. coli causes severe diarrhea that can turn deadly when not treated with antibiotics. The cats may not have e. coli, Holm said, but they are getting better with the prescribed antibiotics.

The facility housing the cats has been closed to the public while the cats recover, Hagey said. The cat shelter is expected to reopen Friday.
The dogs at the shelter suffered an outbreak earlier and nine dogs were infected with parvo. Of the nine dogs, four died, but the rest have recovered and adoption has continued in that facility, she said.

It was believed that the outbreak started when a stray dog was brought to the facility and isolation efforts didn't stop the infection.

A new shelter is being planned, and construction should begin in the spring, Hagey said. The new shelter will have separate isolation and quarantine wards for recently arrived or sick animals, and airlocks will reduce the opportunity for contamination between groups of animals.

People who would like to donate to the shelter can send their gift to the Humane Society of North Central Iowa , P.O. Box 3013, Fort Dodge. People can also call 570-6471 or 570-4106 between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Can you give an animal a temporary home?

The Friends of Parkville Animal Shelter Volunteers and Community Friends Needed to Save our Strays!

FOPAS is always in need of foster homes for our cats and dogs. With limited space available at the shelter, without your help we will need to turn animals away. 
Your support will save their lives!
What is a foster home? FOPAS provides food and medical care while the foster family provides love, attention, opportunities for socialization, and an indoor home until the cat or dog finds a forever family. 

Long and short term commitments are available. We ask that you transport the animal to Saturday adoptions and/or be available to meet a FOPAS volunteer with the potential adoptive family evenings or weekends.

Fostering is a very rewarding experience and you can help us know more about the animal's personality and behavior so we can match him/her with the best possible home.

If you are interested, or would like to know more about fostering, please contact Leslie at Thank you in advance for your friendship and support!  

Visit our site at 

Friday, December 19, 2008

Annie's anniversary and my opinion on taming feral cats

I trapped Annie quite awhile ago, a year ago today in fact.  Annie is now living at the Parkville Animal Shelter.  I thought it would be best for her to live at the shelter to get more used to people.  She lived here with myself and my boyfriend but was not getting to know anyone else.  She was friendly with me but scared of my boyfriend.  So, once a space opened up at the shelter, I brought her to live there.

To be honest, I don't think I would do this again.  I think that Annie would have been happier outside.  The process of taming her was very difficult and took a long time.  She is not even completely tame now-a year later! She will never, ever be the kind of cat that you could pick up and hug.  When I trapped her, I felt that she was around 6 months old because of her size.  When she was getting spayed, the vet was able to look at her teeth and estimated her age to be between 1-2 years.  I thought she was a kitten, that is the only reason why I decided to tame her.  I waited about 2 months to get her spayed because she was really unmanageable.  I didn't take her immediately because I felt that I would be able to tame her and did not want her ear to be tipped.  Also, generally, the people who work with feral cats are at the clinics where their ears get tipped when they get fixed.  Because I was taking her to a regular vet, I wanted to work with her a little to make the process easier on Annie and the vet.

If I would have known she was an adult, I would not have tried tame her.  I would have trapped her, got her fixed, her shots and released her outside.  Although where we live is not the ideal place for a cat to live, I do think she could survive.  There is quite a bit of traffic out there but I would have done my best to take care of her.

Although she loves me and lets me pet her, I don't think she is totally happy.  She lives at the shelter so she has lots of kitty friends (which she loves).  I think Annie would rather just have her kitty friends and not have to deal with humans.  I am sure that she is happy to be warm inside rather than outside in these freezing temperatures but when spring comes around, she will probably want to be outside.

One thing I have noticed with feral cats is that they get along well with other cats.  I don't know if the feral cats I have had contact with just happen to like other cats or if that is the norm.

So, if I had to do it over again, I would not have attempted to tame her.  I now have a new rule.  Any cat I trap from now on has a 4 day grace period.  After 4 days, if I cannot pet the cat, they will be fixed and released.  I have two cats here right now that were considered feral at one point and they are still very, very shy.  I still have quite a while to go before they will be ready for adoption.  Since they are here, I cannot bring any other cats in.  If they were more friendly, they could be adopted then I would have 2 spots for other cats to be helped.

My decision to do this is partially for my convenience, partly for them (the feral-ish cats who are happier outside) and partly for the cats I can help if I don't try to tame cats that can take months.

If you have any questions about taming please email me or leave a comment.

Thank You!

Senior Rottie chained in Kentucky needs rescued!

This is from an online group I am in.  If you can help this sweet dog please contact

Lexington, KY - Senior Rottie - underweight & living on 4 ft. cable - owners willing to give up

We sure would like to find help for this old guy. It's very cold in KY right now and his old bones are not taking it well. He is also very underweight. He is approx. 12 years old and is living on a 4 ft. cable tied to his dog house. He gets no exercise and is suffering from muscle atrophy. He would really like to find a safe and loving home to live out his life in -- one where he could live inside but have a nice fenced yard to play and exercise in. He simply craves human attention and has never truly had it. The owners are willing to give him up. If anyone can help give this boy a good indoor home, please contact Jennifer directly at

17 month old Alaskan Malamute needs rescued in Georgia-can you save her from her owners taking her to be killed?

This is from an online group I belong to.  Please contact the person listed at the bottom if you would like to help.

Charlotte, Alaskan Malamute in GA needs rescued!!!

12-17-08 UPDATE: The owners DO NOT CARE what happens to her! I (Julane, who is the contact person for her) spoke w/the man last night, and he said "I
just as soon take her to the pound, 20 minutes away, than have my wife drive
an hour to meet you. I really don't care what happens to her & realize she
may be put down.....I just want her GONE!" 

SO, PLEASE, HELP ME HELP HER! She is only 17 mo. old, sweet, and playful!
She's a pup that was NEVER worked with or given the attention she craves!
Consequently, she's "acting out" in being destructive!
She's spayed & current on vaccinations and will need to find rescue ASAP!
Please help this sweet girl who was NEVER given a good chance from the start
of her life to be the sweet, good girl she is!!

The reason they're giving up: "she destroys things." She runs free on a
13-acre lot, never allowed to come inside, ever, and has not received a lot
of human attention. Because of her "puppy behavior," she is now chained and
has been for 3 weeks, so she is REALLY miserable! She's destructive because she doesn't get much attention! Try ignoring your children, and see how
destructive they become! All she wants is love & attention, like all
animals! She's not wanting/needing anything more!! 

Charlotte is good w/other dogs and children as there are 3 children at her
home. She has been around cats as there is a large Manx cat at this home,
who, also, lives outdoors! She's beautiful and SWEET -- see her picture!
PLEASE notify me @ or 404 290
8261 ASAP if you're able to help Charlotte ! 

Kindergarten Teacher Arrested-Starved Chained Dog Had Seizures in Backyard Resulting in Death

A dog house, a bowl and a chain are all that are left of Fluff Ball.

The lab mix belonged to a Metro school teacher and her husband. They are facing felony charges alleging they starved their dog to death. Fluff Ball was about 8 years old and weighed 20 pounds.

"It should have weighed 45 to possibly even 60 pounds," said Animal Control's Judy Ladebauche. "This little dog weighed 20 pounds."

Ladebauche said Fluff Ball died of emaciation and starvation.

Sunday, a neighbor called police when the dog, chained to a tree, seemed to be having problems.

"They found the dog on a chain having severe seizures," Ladebauche said.

No one could tell Animal Control officers exactly how long it had been since Fluff Ball's last meal. Officers said another dog in the home seemed healthy and well-fed.

The dog's owners, Elizabeth and David Sadler, were arrested Monday and charged with aggravated animal cruelty. No one answered the door Thursday at the couple's Antioch home.

"(They) seemed upset and angry and felt that it was just a dog, but, unfortunately, we don't see it that way," Ladebauche said.

Elizabeth Sadler is a teacher at Hattie Cotton Elementary School, where she was arrested. She was an interim teacher until September, when she was hired full-time as a kindergarten teacher. She is now on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

Sadler and her husband were being held in Metro jail on $10,000 bond each. Both have been released.

A hearing is scheduled for Jan. 7.

Michael Mondelli is the Judge for both of them. The hearing is in the Birch Bldg, Court Room 4C.
The prosecutor is Almalina Hernandez. 

David L. Sadler's Case Number is GS412289
Elizabeth Joy Sadler's Case number is GS412290

David L. Sadler's Case

Here is the text of the affidavit:

Arrived on the scene at 844 Rocky Mountain Pkwy on 11/30/08 at 12:18pm on 
a dog in distress complaint. Upon arrival , I observed a tan, female, severely emaciated dog chained up with what appeared to be 4 feet of chain. The dog was severely seizuring and was unresponsive. Dog was immediately confiscated and taken to Nashville Pet E.R.. The dog had current rabies tag that was registered to the defendant.  Contact was made to 
the defendant and defendant admitted ownership. The attending E.R. veterinarians diagnosed animal as severely neglected, starvation and the result of starvation was the seizuring and the dogs weight of 20 lbs. No food or water was present on scene of confiscation. 

The offense of Animal Cruelty is an Aggravated E FELONY.