- Neat! RT @starfocus: Everyday Nature: Our Snack-o-Lantern http://t.co/SelfS8ub #wildlifegarden via @garden4wildlife @GoExploreNature 10:46:54, 2011-11-07
- Remember O'Malley, the cat I saved from the side of the road? Check out the video about his amazing story! Please… http://t.co/fK0xdDa3 10:59:34, 2011-11-07
- Buy calendars, support animals! RT @JillTooley: Hi, fellow animal lovers! We're raising money for TAILS Humane Society http://t.co/z0BQUnwV 11:20:09, 2011-11-07
- Here's a great article about the Love-A-Bull, Inc. pittie pride event we went to yesterday. A must read for… http://t.co/NqZhrkOe 11:35:48, 2011-11-07
- #Austin #TX – Free adoptions on animals from Town Lake Animal Center until Wed, Nov. 9th so the move to the new… http://t.co/5L4fuLJU 12:58:40, 2011-11-07
- Dear @torianddean I hope you'll enjoy this inspiring video about a cat we rescued: http://t.co/z1JocJcM Thanks for all you do for animals! 15:47:26, 2011-11-07
- #Austin #TX – We're throwing down a foster challenge! We want you to join us in fostering an animal for Austin… http://t.co/GzoAFqNE 20:50:36, 2011-11-07
- #NYC RT @SueB2246: PLS RT Sweet tabby family, mom & 11-week-old kittens. On death row at #NY ACC. http://t.co/kNpbKY9A http://t.co/l4HSnRQi 21:07:54, 2011-11-07
- *lol* Pit Bull Licks Baby Deer on Head, Local News Agencies Outraged They Don't Have Sensational Story to Blow Out… http://t.co/Nul7fqQR 12:24:53, 2011-11-08
- #Austin #TX – Throwing down a foster challenge to help @austinanimals during the move! http://t.co/29z9SV2D Won't you join us? 12:33:23, 2011-11-08
- #PA RT @TheMuttMommy: Pretty girl needs out TODAY. #Adopt ABBY: #Terrier on @Petfinder http://t.co/YMv4ZGZt #tweetapettues #URGENT 12:34:36, 2011-11-08
- Have you seen O'Malley's story yet? It's sure to inspire you! http://t.co/jXgZG5nt Please share!… http://t.co/JRcEaXqf 15:49:43, 2011-11-09
- I posted 7 photos on Facebook in the album "Foster Cats Looking for Homes" http://t.co/1zEZyoUH 12:30:40, 2011-11-10
- Hey fellow Austin folks! We have three foster cats looking for good homes and we've made a photo gallery for you… http://t.co/JMg89tzg 12:43:39, 2011-11-10
- RT @KatoSpace: @CarmenElectra's @Closets4Causes closet auction benefits dog rescue #houndsofhope, live right now at: http://t.co/atxS14Fx 00:50:46, 2011-11-11
- Be sure to make a wish at 11:11! With today's date, it's bound to be powerful! Make it a good one! (There's 1 tonight too!) 11:01:17, 2011-11-11
- A truly touching story and a testament to the strong bond between man and dog. Happy Veteran's Day to those who… http://t.co/A1Erotr6 12:08:29, 2011-11-11
- Happy Veteran's Day to both man and his brave four-legged counterpart. To all who have defended what they love. ♥ http://t.co/8B0JMcnZ 12:29:11, 2011-11-11
- Tomorrow is National Animal Shelter Check-In Day! We'll be at Austin Animal Center, where will you be? Raise… http://t.co/otqZmerY 20:41:44, 2011-11-11
- Big congratulations to our friend Surf Dog Ricochet for winning the Emerging Dog Hero Award at the Hero Dog… http://t.co/WGunNLNO 20:59:30, 2011-11-11
- I wish for humans to learn to be as loving and understanding as animals. #11:11 23:11:16, 2011-11-11
- Today was the ribbon cutting on the brand new Austin Animal Center. Years of dedication, passion, and a common… http://t.co/z6JnPFkk 14:56:51, 2011-11-12
- In honor of Ace this week's Shelter Sketch is a pit bull mix in Detroit. Meet Logan…. http://t.co/l3aOAVVG 16:46:10, 2011-11-12
- Look who came into our yard tonight! It's Angel! She's been running with our pups for 10 minutes! http://t.co/nuThxx3c 22:51:09, 2011-11-13
In honor of Ace, this week’s Shelter Sketch is a pit bull mix in the Detroit area.
Logan was brought to the shelter because he was too friendly and happy to meet new people to be a guard dog, so his people didn’t want him anymore. He is a two year old male pit bull mix who loves people and other dogs, and wants to be your best friend. Logan is up to date on all his vaccinations and house-trained. Can you give this sweet boy a forever home?
Precious Pets Adoption League, Sterling Heights, MI
Texture from Lost & Taken.
To find out more about Logan, check out his Petfinder page.
Chelsea Conlin lives in Las Vegas with her husband, where they do what they can to help animals. They have two dogs of their own: a rescue greyhound named Storm and a mixed breed named Azu. You can find Chelsea on Facebook, her sketchblog, twitter, and deviantArt.
Hey guys! We are excited to be participating in the 2011 Pet ‘Net event which takes place November 16th! This year’s event revisits the topic of the first Pet ‘Net held 4 years ago: pet adoption. How perfect is that for ILRA? Before we get on with our topic, however, I’d like to talk a little more about Pet Net. It is put on by the wonderful people at Petside and this year they are determined to use it to make a difference in the lives of animals. To add some fun for the bloggers and encourage great articles, there will be a voting component this year where the blog chosen as the best will win a $500 donation to the shelter of their choice! How great is that? And Petside has partnered with the Iams Bags 4 Bowls Initiative so everyone can get involved with social media to help feed animals in need! There are two components to this: Facebook and twitter.
On twitter, each tweet with Pet ‘Net hash tag (#IHeartShelterPets) and @Iams will yield 25 meals to local shelters. This includes original tweets as well as RTs! Be sure to have BOTH in your tweet!
On Facebook, every personal adoption story and photo posted onto Petside’s wall will show your support for your local shelters and give you the chance to be featured on Petfinder.com as a Happy Tail story!. Every comment or “like” on each post will yield an ADDITIONAL donation of one bowl of food to local shelters and each “like” of the entire page results in a donation of 25 bowls!! So be sure to not only post your story but encourage all your friends to like all the posts. This has the potential to be HUGE!
Adopting Special Needs Cats
Now onto our topic, and one that is near and dear to our hearts: Adopting Special Needs Cats! As many of you know, we are very personally involved in rescuing animals. Over the last few years, we have been involved in Trap-Neuter-Return, helped maintain feral colonies, fostered dogs, saved a cat who had been hit and left to die on the side of the road, caught and cared for cats from the gutter outside our home, raised 2 kittens from a feral mom and successfully moved a feral cat from one location to another. We live and breathe rescue. You would think all of that would be the hard part but it’s not. To us, the hardest part is adopting out those animals, most specifically, the cats. Dogs are easy but as any shelter or rescue will tell you, cats are just hard to adopt out. And I don’t know the reason. Maybe there are less cat people than dog people out there. But more specifically for us, we tend to end up with what could be considered “special needs” kitties. And I would like to take away some of the stigma from them so that wonderful cats like ours can find their loving forever homes faster.
So what are special needs cats? They could have a variety of issues. Some are certainly harder to care for than others but some problems that our fosters have don’t really affect them at all and yet it still seems to scare people off. For instance, we have a habit of being found by cats that are FIV+. FIV, like HIV, means that the cat has a potentially lowered immune system. Like HIV, this status carries a very scary connotation. But if people would do a bit of research, they would quickly find that this is not something that should deter you from adopting a cat. Believe me, when we had our first foster diagnosed with it, we were worried. Would she be sick all the time? Would she make our own cats sick? One vet, going on old, now discounted thinking, even told us that we should put our FIV cats down. Then we came across an article from Best Friends Animal Sanctuary that set us at ease. Cats with FIV can live perfectly normal lives. There are cats that are 20 years old with it! While it can be spread to other cats, it is only through deep puncture wounds or sexual contact. That means that there are people out there that have both FIV positive and negative cats living together with no problems. If the cats are properly socialized, they can love and cuddle with one another and share food bowls and litter boxes as much as they want and the negative cat will be perfectly safe! And you know what? They aren’t going to be sick all the time!
Our first FIV+ foster, Storm, was never sick the entire year we had her and since her adoption, has continued to thrive without consequence. O’Malley, the cat that we rescued from the side of the road, was also diagnosed with FIV. Despite that, he recovered from his wounds and underwent major surgery with no ill effects from his FIV status! FIV is not something to run and hide from. It’s merely something to be aware of. What it really comes down to is that you will need to be certain that your FIV+ cat is kept up to date on all their vaccinations, that you lower their risk of exposure by making them indoor-only cats and that if they do become sick, you take them to the vet immediately because they may not be able to fight off their illness as easily as a negative cat. Now that’s not so daunting anymore, is it?
Urinary Blockages or Crystals
Another special need that we have run across in our cat family is cats with a history of urinary blockage or crystals in the urine. We rescued Jacob from the gutter outside our house. He was perfectly healthy until one day we found him straining to urinate. After a few hours of him crying, we knew he had to be rushed to the vet right away. Because a blockage can kill a cat in mere hours, he had to have a catheter put in immediately, had to have an IV drip and be put on antibiotics. Granted, the emergency vet cost was enormous and we still have not recovered from it. BUT, just because a cat has had a blockage in the past is NOT a reason to skip over them when looking to adopt a cat. For one, there is no way of telling which cats will develop blockages. Like I said, Jacob was perfect until his happened. So avoiding one with a known history of a blockage is no guarantee that you won’t have to deal with one. Knowing a cat has had it can once again, just make you a more informed owner. To keep Jacob from developing one again, he is on a special diet food. There are both dry and canned versions and a few different brands that are specially formulated for cats with this issue. They are of the right acidity that they keep new crystals from forming. While a special diet might seem daunting, we feed Jacob the more expensive wet food every day and it still costs less than $25 a month. And Jacob hasn’t had a single problem since being on his prescription diet. Now that’s not so daunting, is it?
One last special case I’d like to discuss is kittens from feral mothers. While this isn’t something you might consider a special need, it seems to be something that people are reluctant to take on. Here’s the thing – there is a definite difference between stray and feral cats. Feral cats are wild and yes, pretty much un-tameable. You can keep a feral cat for years and it may never calm down and come to like you. Feral cats are happiest left outside in managed colonies. When we caught Matilda, we were hoping that she would tame. But she was miserable inside so eventually we released her at our new place (carefully following relocation procedures so she would recognize this as her new home). Her two kittens, Mel and Maggie Mae, are a different story. Granted, we didn’t catch them until they were already close to 8 weeks old. That was definitely pushing the cusp – it is best to get the kittens as young as possible so they don’t learn to be afraid of humans from their mom. Don’t get me wrong, it has been a struggle. It has taken us months of work to get the kittens to where they are now. But it has been completely worth it! Maggie Mae is such a little cuddle bug who loves to sit in your lap and just purr away. Mel, while a wild child, has also taken to liking his chin scratched and ears rubbed. They are absolutely gorgeous cats that anyone would be lucky to have in their family. So should a possible few months of patience stop you from adopting a wonderful cat? I think we all know the answer to that question!
Other Special Needs
Now of course there are conditions that are more work than these examples. Diabetic cats would need shots every day. Cats with heart problems like our Merlin require pills every day. Cats with amputations or blindess or any other special need will, yes, need special attention. But I can tell you story after story of how people cope with these problems not only to the point of the animals surviving, but truly thriving. Animals with special needs rely on you to care for them more than those without them. But I can promise you that they know it and they are grateful. You can’t help but develop a special bond with an animal that you have to put a little bit of extra effort into. Don’t you think that extra closeness, that extra time spent together, will be more than worth it in the end? The next time you come across a special needs cat, I hope you will take the time to learn about their needs and find a special place for them in your heart and home.
Adopting & Donating
NOTE: For anyone living in or near Austin, TX, O’Malley, Mel and Maggie Mae are still available for adoption. They are all amazing cats and deserve to find their very own forever homes. You can learn more about O’Malley’s story in his video below. If you could possibly donate towards his care, that would be amazing as well and can be done at his ChipIn. We are able to do the physical rescue and rehabilition but without financial support, we won’t be able to help as many animals in need. Thank you!
Hey guys! We’re excited to try out an idea that I’ve had floating around in my head for awhile and that is to throw down a foster challenge. What I mean by that is this: we hear of a shelter in need so we ask a certain number of you lovely people to join us in fostering for a short period of time to lighten their load. I think it will be cool and fun. It will be a great way for us to work together to make a bigger impact than Nikki & I could on our own. It’ll be fun to see us achieve goals!
Our first foster challenge is for people here in the Austin, TX area. For those who don’t know, Town Lake Animal Center is moving to its new location at the Austin Animal Center in East Austin. This is so exciting for our community as we continue to be a leader in no-kill because the old shelter is very outdated and the new, state-of-the-art building will make the adoption experience more inviting. This is a huge undertaking, however, so TLAC is asking for temporary fosters to keep dogs, cats & rabbits during the move. This will make the transition a lot smoother. They are looking for fosters from today through about the 17th. It’s not a very long time but it will make a huge difference. So let’s do it!
If you’re already an approved foster with TLAC, great! If not, it’s a simple online form. I apologize that I don’t know exactly how it will work from there but for this challenge I’m just hoping to get 5 people from the ILRA community to sign up for and foster an animal from TLAC during the move. Just five, but it will help those 5 animals! We’ve submitted a foster application so that means we only need 4 more people to do the same to meet our goal! And once we have our animals, let’s make sure to take a bunch of pictures and videos of our animals and make sure that once they go back to the new Austin Animal Center, they’ll have lots of people lined up wanting to adopt! And don’t worry, they straight up say that if after those days you are too attached to let your animal go, you’ll be allowed to adopt them! So what do you have to lose? Let us know that you’re going to do it and let’s make our first foster challenge a huge success!
- Want to make sure your #feral friends stay warm this winter? Here are great, EASY instructions on building a warm… http://t.co/oeuNlwbw 09:40:04, 2011-10-31
- #LA #CA – B&W small dog RT @ashleyilenfeld: Help I just #found this #dog off the 110 fwy. Info in video #losangeles http://t.co/yba8vZDM 14:54:19, 2011-10-31
- Too funny! Why witches only hang out with black cats… http://t.co/wSQJziVh 14:56:04, 2011-10-31
- Happy birthday, Rufus! 5 years ago, Rufus was born in a shelter in #WI. I've known him since he was 3 days old! http://t.co/9WLrSIMK 15:14:37, 2011-10-31
- Wishing a very happy birthday to our Rufus puppy! He was born on Halloween night 5 years ago in a small shelter… http://t.co/61lZKjUc 15:20:46, 2011-10-31
- Oh no! This is so sad! Sanctuary Elephant Tarra Mourns Loss of Best Friend, Dog Bella. Rest in peace, sweet Bella…. http://t.co/9cYb9Thk 20:31:28, 2011-10-31
- Garland #TX – Let's help network these 7 puppies and their momma and get them out of there! Such precious faces! http://t.co/xtW8S1jj 10:14:17, 2011-11-01
- Always love this. A 6 Year Old Answers Why Dogs Live Shorter Lives… http://t.co/9GFKFnhA 10:15:14, 2011-11-02
- The @FamilyMenagerie is back!!! Check out: "The Wake-Up Call"! This comic is based on our lives and I'm sure each… http://t.co/PpU8aWaN 10:21:12, 2011-11-02
- Here, here! RT @MaddiesCorner: Have a little room and some love to spare? Open your heart and home to an animal in need! #foster #adopt ! 13:27:24, 2011-11-02
- Yay! RT @catstercatsmeow: A Joplin tornado cat is finally back home with his family — 5 months and 15 lost lbs later: http://t.co/hu9WiFYI 14:49:59, 2011-11-02
- VICTORY! Tony the truck stop tiger will soon be on his way to a sanctuary! Thanks @Care2 for the news! http://t.co/QzFSIDIK 10:47:15, 2011-11-04
- *lol* RT @TheNakedK9: Grrrrrreat! @RescueAnimals VICTORY! Tony the truck stop tiger will be on his way to sanctuary! http://t.co/QzFSIDIK 11:48:30, 2011-11-04
- MUST SEE photo montage of the human-animal bond! http://t.co/GJ1Uwrh5 You WILL need tissues! Wow. Just beautiful! Please RT! 13:07:42, 2011-11-04
- I signed. Won't you? RT @MBPurdyArtz: Please help us Save NYC's Canada Geese from slaughter! http://t.co/x1bCv7lI 13:10:57, 2011-11-04
- RT @World_Wildlife: Great photo of critically endangered black rhino being moved by helicopter to a more spacious home http://t.co/tXISzYTF 13:14:14, 2011-11-04
- It's that time of year again! The @SantaPawsDrive is up and running! Please help out our friend Dorian from Your… http://t.co/7fu2FakW 10:06:52, 2011-11-05
- Here's a cute sled dog smile to make your day that much brighter! Thanks Houston Dog Blog for this pic! http://t.co/jgLbYHE8 14:48:47, 2011-11-05
- #Austin #TX – Come on out tomorrow & support pit bulls at Love-A-Bull, Inc.'s Texas-Sized Pittie Pride Awareness… http://t.co/zRAM1L0A 15:28:42, 2011-11-05
- #NYC Can any1 rescue? RT @SueB2246: PLS HELP Laconia sweet 4-w/o f kitten w/possible spinal injury. At Manhattan ACC. http://t.co/2lw7LJER 15:42:19, 2011-11-05
- We just had the BEST time at the @Love_A_Bull VIP party! We met some really awesome people doing their part to help animals! So exciting! 22:34:11, 2011-11-05
- #Bangkok #Thailand RT @kinshipcircle: Volunteers saving Animals in #ThaiFlood http://t.co/niyFmGRd. Situation dire. Help desperately needed! 18:40:29, 2011-11-06