Serving the animals and citizens of Iowa County and its surrounding communities
|Letter From The Editor|
Letter From The Editor......Once again summer has gone by way too fast – everyone agrees with that, but there is some disagreement on this summer’s weather conditions – the only agreement being that there was a lot of rain! Other than my container plants, I didn’t water even once. I did go to the bother of taking the hoses outside and attaching them to the spigots but all for naught. The lawn mower did get used frequently – about once a week but it should have been used more often! I still have a pile of mulch (load #2) in the driveway that needs to be moved – the plan was to have it spread within two weeks of its arrival (first week of August). I am working on it – two wheelbarrow loads a day. The reason that the mulch is such a chore is that weeds need to be pulled before it can be spread! Anyway…the 2019 summer season is winding down! Let’s hope for a warm, vibrant Indian summer…As you read this letter it is important to remember that I am a volunteer and these are MY thoughts.
I wrote about two of our long-term dogs, Bobbie Sue and Theodore, in the May issue of PawPrints and then updated their status in the July issue. Since then an organization called Life Plus 1 came to do some promotional videos (aka “VolunCheers”) of some of our cats. In talking to the two gals who were videotaping the cats, Bobbie Sue’s name came up. They took what little bit I shared about her back to the rest of the Life Plus 1 team and a day or two later, ICHS received an email saying that they wanted to come and meet Bobbie Sue. They were so moved by Bobbie Sue’s story that they wanted to do what they could to find her a loving foster home or better yet, a perfect permanent home. A few days later two of their board members came to meet Bobbie Sue and a week after that Ben N and Karen G came to videotape Bobbie Sue. A couple of days later “A Hope for Bobbi Sue” was completed, OK’d by the ICHS board and “went viral”! Most of you have probably already seen Bobbie Sue’s video, but if not, you can go to:
https://vimeopro.com/canislupusllc/voluncheers-ichs/video/356140387 to view it. Nice job, Life Plus 1!!! Since “The Hope for Bobbi Sue” debuted, there have been 2 families who have been coming weekly to meet her (because of Bobbie Sue’s shyness, you take everything slowly). We are all hoping for a happy ending (or a new beginning) for Bobbie Sue – hopefully soon! For more info regarding Life Plus 1, go to https://www.lifeplus1.org/
The “big dog in a little body” (aka Theodore) is still here too. There has been some interest in him over the summer, but Theo is “standoffish” – always has been and he really takes his time in deciding how interested he is going to be in YOU! So...if you want to come and meet this guy, persistence and patience will be needed. In the meantime, one of our volunteers, Connie L, has been working diligently with him and will continue to do so. It is amazing how well-mannered Theo is compared to what he was like when I first wrote about him last May! Thank you, Connie!
I mention Dr. Karen Becker occasionally in PawPrints. I really enjoyed her recent article entitled “How to Give Your Indoor Cat the Best of Both Worlds”. I really do struggle every time I open the door and let one of my “indoor/outdoor cats” outside realizing that, sadly, I may never see him/her again. But what do I do? I remind them to “be careful” and send them on their way! My intent was to summarize what Dr. Becker wrote and pass it on but I just don’t have the time in this issue to devote to that. So, Plan B is to give you Dr. Becker’s on-line info and you can read the article yourself if you are interested. The date of the article was September 3. Her address is firstname.lastname@example.org
It took most of the summer (just too busy), but a friend and I managed to install a shelf in each of two cat cages. The added shelf gives the occupant 50% more space. The picture shows Roger on the shelf and, as you can see, his litter box and dishes are beneath the shelf. Although this was intended to be a temporary fix to give the cats more room, that additional space does make “cage-living” appear to be more tolerable. I say ‘temporary’ because we are looking for cat housing which provides more living area – especially for the kitties that end up spending months here at ICHS. A couple of other options are that all cats reside in community rooms, but as you know, some cats don’t tolerate other cats. Another option is that the cats are adopted in a timely fashion and don’t have to live in cages long term – that’s the preferable option! But in the meantime, shelves will be added to the other cat cages soon.
Another project that has been on ICHS’s “to do” list for the past few years is the installation of egress lights and exit signs. Egress lighting – also called emergency lighting – is used in public buildings as a safety precaution so that people can find their way out of the building in the case of a power outage. So nice to have that project completed – just not as exciting as cat shelves! 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 and Volunteer Needs
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 2019’s fundraisers, please contact the shelter for more details. We hope to hear from you!!! And, of course, the cats and dogs are always on the lookout for people to spend quality time with them!!! For more information on volunteer opportunities, please visit the ICHS website at https://ichs.net/volunteer-help/volunteer/
Botham Vineyard’s Uncorked 5K event in Barneveld benefitting the ICHS is coming up soon on September 28th. Volunteers and runners are needed! This is a fun event with lots of different options for volunteering. Please go to https://www.uncorked5k.com/volunteer/ to commit to volunteer that day and be sure to designate that you are volunteering on behalf of ICHS during the signup process. Thank you! If you are planning to join in the 5k run, you will find registration information through Race Day Events: http://www.uncorked5k.com.
Mineral Point Cornish Festival - September 28 – As part of the Cornish Festival, this year’s children’s activities will welcome Mowzer Cat from Cornwall, UK! “Paws in the Park” will be held at Cornish Heritage Park, 143 High St. from 10 am - 2 pm. Activities will include cat crafts, coloring, tic-cat-toe and more! Proceeds will support the ICHS cats.
ICHS Fall Garage Sale Fundraiser - October 11 & 12 – Please join us for our fall garage sale! We’ll be open from 8am to 2pm each day. You’ll find great deals on new and lightly used animal items as well as everything else you’d expect at a garage sale! Want to help raise money for ICHS? We are now accepting garage sale donations such as furniture, household items, jewelry, Christmas décor, etc. (no clothing or electronics). Please only bring us items that are in good condition and functional – if you’re not sure, call ahead and ask! Thank you!
Canine Good Citizen Fall Session Fundraiser - It’s that time of year again! ICHS will be holding our Fall CGC class session during the month of October with classes every Sunday (10/6, 10/13, 10/20, 10/27) at the shelter. Class will be from 1PM to 3 PM, with the certification test on the last Sunday (10/27). The cost for this session is just $65 and all proceeds go to ICHS. Sign up now, spots are limited and usually fill up quickly! For more information call (608) 935-1381 or visit www.ichs.net.
ROOF $$ MATCH CHALLENGE!! The roof at ICHS has been under consideration for a major overhaul for the past several years, but this past WET spring was the “final straw” – there is just NO MORE PUTTING IT OFF! Because of the damage and the age of the roof, it can no longer be patched and must be replaced ASAP! Thanks to a few generous donors, every dollar that you donate to the ROOF FUND will be matched so your dollars will go twice as far!! With your generosity, the animals will be kept safe and dry! THANK YOU for your support! You can donate here: https://ichs.net/help-ichs/donations/
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.
FIV Kitties – Roger, Jazzy & Parker
Roger is a big, shy, handsome two year old kitty who tested positive for FIV. It seems that all the FIV cats that I have ever known are “sweet hearts” and Roger is no exception! He loves attention and is playful – not too different from most cats. We have tried to put Roger in with the other FIV kitties, but he wants no part of them. He prefers to be by himself – however he is not aggressive so he probably could adapt to another cat(s) if YOU happen to have one!
Jazzy and Parker are both about a year old and are both very sweet, affectionate and it’s all about play, play, play with the two of them! They are a fun pair and could be adopted together or separately. Although we call FIV cats “special”, there really are no special considerations when adopting FIV kitties. 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 indoor 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… Roger, Jazzy and Parker need a home!
FeLV Kitties – No FeLV kitties at the moment
I need your help if I am to continue to feature the success stories which begin the moment your adopted companion chooses you. If you would be interested in sharing your pet's story in the newsletter, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am being a bit selfish because rather than sharing this space with the stories that YOU have sent updating your adopted pets, I am going to share one of mine. But to preface my story, I am going to share that the office kitty, Althea, was adopted earlier this month! Shy Althea was getting better with people but had nothing to do with people that she was not familiar with (which makes it difficult to find a forever family). Well…Althea’s new mom recently came to the shelter wanting to adopt the cat who had been at ICHS the longest and that is how sweet Althea managed to get a family. Hopefully I will be sharing Althea’s success story in the near future!
I mention Althea because I also adopted a cat that had been at ICHS a long time – 7 years. And for those of you who have been reading PawPrints over the years, you will recall Vegas being written about in most issues in the ‘special pets’ segment (she was, indeed, a special cat). Vegas came to ICHS in 2009 and I took her home in 2016. For the seven years that Vegas was at ICHS, I had nothing to do with her because she was so intolerant of everyone/thing which included me! I had thought about taking her home in 2014, but I came to my senses and realized that it was not a wise idea.
When I moved in the fall of 2016, I decided it was time for me to become hers so I brought her home – she was cat #7. I didn’t have an ideal set-up for her but it was the best that I could do. She had a bedroom during the day and I had a cage on wheels that she used at night (she couldn’t have the bedroom at night because Oscar needed to be ‘imprisoned’ at night). She was also placed in her cage during the day for short periods of time when I thought it was in her best interest to be out in the mainstream. I had to have long, leather gloves to put her in the cage but used them less and less as time went by. I struggled when to allow her to be out and about with the other cats (most of my cats don’t get along well with other cats). That dilemma was solved (5 months later) when I forgot to latch the cage door and unbeknownst to me, she spent the day with the other cats. Everyone survived!
Vegas never was aggressive towards the others – she did a lot of hissing if any of them came within 2-3 feet of her – they either respected her or feared her. She knew that she was “royalty” and as long as the rest of us understood that, she would tolerate us. She laid across my shoulders most evenings when I read the newspaper and as annoying as that was for me, it was worse for her when I disturbed her by turning the page. Her tail twitched constantly and she seldom walked – she ‘trotted’ all of the time.
Safe to say that life was definitely interesting with Vegas – never a dull moment! I didn’t know how old she was – at least 12 but probably older. I didn’t expect to lose her when I did! Other than her limping (I blame that on her being declawed) and being so thin, she seemed relatively healthy. Although she seldom ate during the day, her dishes were always empty by morning. But then she abruptly quit eating and within a few days I knew it was time – time to say good-bye. Goodbye, Vegas!
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