May 8, 2013 in Uncategorized
February 6, 2013 in Uncategorized
Jaden France, a fourth grader at Reede Gray Elementary School, missed Kiki, his cat.
Jaden was three years old and recovering from open-heart surgery when his mom, Michelle, first brought home the orange cat.
“I found Kiki abandoned right outside my car one day at work,” said Michelle. “I heard this mewing, and saw this teensy-teensy cat trotting out of a bush.” Michelle couldn’t resist. She took the cat home, where he instantly became Jaden’s best friend.
“Kiki was my first cat, and he made me feel better,” Jaden said.
Flash forward six years, to last September.
Michelle and Jaden were at Michelle’s parents’ house in North Redwood.
They let Kiki out for a few minutes — and this time Kiki didn’t come back.
Nearly three months passed.
“Jaden shed a lot of tears during those two and a half months,” Michelle said. “There are a lot of stray cats in the area, and we thought he had gotten lost with them.”
One day in late November Michelle decided to check the Duke Memorial Redwood Area Animal Shelter’s FaceBook page, just to stay in touch with her animal nature. There was one cat pictured there….
“I thought, ‘Omigosh! He’s lost a lot of weight, but that looks like our cat!’” she said.
One frantic phone message later, Michelle got a call back from an animal shelter volunteer. Michelle asked was that cat still there? Did that cat have a white tip on his tail? Did he have those markings on his head? The cat was, he did, and the he did. Michelle and Jaden rushed to the shelter that evening.“Jaden cried and cried, he was so happy,” said Michelle. “The volunteers said Kiki had been found in a dumpster behind Pizza Ranch.” Kiki’s nearly three months practicing being feral came at a cost.
“He’s lost his voice,” said Michelle. “He used to talk all the time, but now a sound barely comes out.
“The people at the animal shelter were extremely happy to reunite our family. It’s a good thing some people care so much,” Michelle said.
By Joshua Dixon
September 3, 2012 in Uncategorized
As she stopped at my kennel I blocked her view from a little accident I had in the back of my cage. I didn’t want her to know that I hadn’t been walked today. Sometimes the shelter keepers get too busy and I didn’t want her to think poorly of them.
She got down on her knees and made little kissy sounds at me. I shoved my shoulder and side of my head up against the bars to comfort her. Gentle fingertips caressed my neck; she was desperate for companionship.
A tear fell down her cheek and I raised my paw to assure her that all would be well. Soon my kennel door opened and her smile was so bright that I instantly jumped into her arms. I would promise to keep her safe. I would promise to always be by her side. I would promise to do everything I could to see that radiant smile and sparkle in her eyes. I was so fortunate that she came down my corridor. So many more are out there who haven’t walked the corridors. So many more to be saved. At least I could save one.
I rescued a human today. ~ Cathy Gallagher
July 30, 2012 in Uncategorized
To keep even more up-to-date on things that are going on at the shelter you can ‘LIKE’ us on Facebook. We have daily updates and keep you posted on everything that we currently need help with, news, or animals that we currently have at our shelter. If you would like to visit us on Facebook click here.
July 21, 2012 in Uncategorized
Think about the facts before you judge. Pit Bull Statistics are truthful, with no bias.
- According to the American Temperament Test Society, temperament evaluations of American Pit Bull Terriers shows that this breed has a very high passing rate of 82.6%.
- The average passing rate for the other 121 breeds of dogs in the tests: 77%
No dog breed is human aggressive by nature. Pit bulls pass the American Temperament Testing Society’s test at a rate similar to many other medium-to-large, powerful breeds. The American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, and Staffordshire Bull Terrier pass at rates of 85.3%, 83.9%, and 88.0% respectively. Compare this to Golden Retrievers (84.6%), Great Danes (79.2%), Weimaraners (80.2%), and Standard Poodles (85.0%), to name just four common breeds.
The Pit Bull breed makes up 5-9.6% of the United States dog population. In 2007, there were above 72 million dogs in the United States provided by American Pet Products Manufacturers Association. That’s between 3,600,000 and 6,912,000 Pit Bull breed dogs in the United States.
So, for our example we’ll take the average percent between 5 and 9.6, and use 7.3 percent, which would give an average estimation of the Pit Bull population in the United States. That leaves us with 5,256,000 Pit Bulls.
Other dog populations (United States):
(estimation) Pit Bulls: 5,256,000
(estimation) Rottweilers: 900,000
(estimation) German Shepherds: 780,000
(estimation) Chows: 240,000
Fatal attacks by these breeds of dogs (1979-1998):
Pit Bulls: 66
German Shepherds: 17
When we divide the population by the fatal attacks, we can get a percentage based on the dogs probability of fatally attacking a human.
Pit Bulls: .00125 %
Rottweilers: .00433 %
German Shepherds: .00217%
WELL, it would seem the Pit Bull is at the bottom of the list. 4 times as many Rottweilers, 2 times as many German Shepherds, and 3 times as many Chows are involved in Fatal Attacks based on the population percentage. It is only logical that if there are more Pit Bulls there would be more attacks. Lets take a little less blame on the breed and put a little more blame on the people. Through all they’ve been through, the Pit Bull still triumphs.
A 2008 University of Pennsylvania study of 6,000 dog owners who were interviewed indicated that dogs of smaller breeds were far more likely to be “genetically predisposed towards aggressive behavior” than breeds such as those falling under the category of “pit bulls.” Dachshunds were rated the most aggressive, with 20% having bitten strangers, as well as high rates of attacks on other dogs and their owners. Because small dogs are less likely to cause serious injuries, they usually go under-reported. However, there is a case of even a Pomeranian killing a child. So, it is always important to supervise children with dogs. The American Veterinary Medical Association suggests that parents wait until a child is four years old until getting a dog, regardless of breed. Like most other large breeds, pit bulls can be excellent with children. They have a high tolerance for the normal child’s play. However, as with all dogs, children should be supervised around dogs and taught how to interact around dogs. And, the dog must be properly socialized and trained. Most importantly, the dog should be treated as a family pet, not abused or neglected.
Since the late 1800s, pit bulls have been popular family pets. Famous historical figures like Helen Keller (her service dog), Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain, and John Steinbeck all owned them. The dog featured in “The Little Rascals” was a pit bull; pit bulls were the only dogs to grace the cover of Time Magazine three times. Popular advertisements of the early 1900s also featured pit bull type dogs, including Buster Brown Shoes, Wells Fargo, and Eveready (now Energizer) Batteries. A pit bull was the original mascot for the University of Texas Longhorns!
Pit bulls also served our country during World War I; at least one, Sergeant Stubby, gained fame for saving lives, lifting morale, and warning U.S. soldiers about an enemy attack. He served in 17 battles and was awarded nearly a dozen medals, including the Purple Heart. Stubby was the first dog to be given a rank in the U.S. Army (Sergeant). The American Pit Bull Terrier represented the U.S. on war posters of the time—“neutral, but not afraid.”
As the century progressed, however, new efforts by animal advocates put an increased focus on the cruel and illegal activity of dog fighting. The inadvertent and unfortunate side effect of this new movement was that some people began to seek out pit bulls for illicit purposes. This began a cyclical process whereby the media began to cover only negative stories about the dog, ignoring the over 99% of pit bulls living in happy, fulfilling homes. The dogs themselves had not changed, but public perception of them had.
Today, advocates, rescuers, and pit bull owners work extremely hard to restore the image of the pit bull as an All-American family dog, like the hero Stubby.
May 2, 2012 in Uncategorized
Adult Cats in Shelters—Give Them Hope
If you have ever been to an animal shelter, you have probably seen a sad sight: dozens of adult cats desperate for homes, most of which have little chance of getting out.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals states that every year, about 5 to 7 million pets enter the animal shelter system, of which more than half are cats. Unfortunately, approximately 70% of those cats are euthanized simply because no one wants them, and most shelters don’t have the funds to board them for more than a few weeks.
Why aren’t these cats getting homes?
Supply vs. Demand
Even though more animals are being spayed or neutered, 75% of animals coming into the shelter are still intact. One unspayed cat can produce many litters of kittens over the years, and those litters produce their own litters. The supply of cats is simply too large.
Michael Moyer, VMD, AAHA past-president, Rosenthal director and adjunct associate professor of Shelter Animal Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, says, “There are more [cats] heading into shelters than there are people going to shelters to adopt, or than are being displayed off-site from shelters to get adopted.”
The rate of intake of adult cats at shelters is significantly higher than the rate of adoption, and in spring, when the “kitten season” begins, the margin increases alarmingly. When given the opportunity to adopt a cute little kitten, people tend to ignore the older cats.
The American Humane Association has dubbed June “Adopt a Cat Month”—June has the lowest rate of adoption from shelters, therefore the highest rate of euthanasia. Kittens usually go fast, but unfortunately, the majority of shelter cats are over 5 years old. Some are “boring” looking, like tabbies or black cats, and others are part of a bonded pair, which means they would be miserable without their friend. Some have easily remedied medical conditions, while others aren’t well socialized. These cats stand no chance against the puppies, kittens and dogs in the shelters.
Location, Location, Location
According to the Humane Society of the United States, 33% of Americans have at least one cat. Of that number, only 21% were adopted from animal shelters. The rest came from a hodgepodge of sources: friends, family, coworkers, wandering strays or unplanned litters of kittens. Because people are getting cats from these other sources, they don’t turn to the shelter for adoption.
Part of the problem has to do with the shelters themselves. Because of city noise regulations, most shelters are located in industrial or other “undesirable” neighborhoods. People often don’t even know there’s a shelter in their area. “Most shelters are not in highly desirable foot-traffic neighborhoods,” Moyer says. Also, cities frequently lack the funds to modernize shelters, so walking through them can be dismal.
Numbers aren’t the only reason for low shelter adoptions. The shelter environment, specifically the cage, can dramatically decrease a cat’s odds of being adopted. The shelter is a loud, scary place, and with no consistent or regular exercise, cats can become depressed and fearful.
Cats need about 9 square feet to be comfortable, but shelter kennels are smaller than that. The animals need vertical space for jumping and horizontal space for play and sleep. When they are forced to live in cages, they have some serious adjusting to do. It may take up to 5 weeks for a cat to feel comfortable in a new environment, but most shelters aren’t able to keep them that long.
Illona Rodan, DVM, DABVP and founder of the Cat Care Clinic in Madison, Wis., says, “Cats are fearful in unfamiliar environments, and fearful cats tend to hide or flee. If caged, they will most likely hide in the back of the cage, as far away as possible in an attempt to protect themselves. To potential adopters, these cats appear unfriendly and undesirable.”
With litters of cute kittens prancing around, who would want to adopt an older cat? Smart people! With adult cats, what you see is usually what you get. You may have to look a little harder, past the fearfulness, but, as Rodan says, “Adopting an adult cat allows one to know the personality you are getting.”
Older cats, especially in pairs, are also great for seniors and people who don’t want a huge time commitment. “Kittens require a lot of time and energy, and are usually more costly to care for than an adult cat,” says Rodan. Adults are more well-adjusted to life, and pairs keep each other company.
But more than anything else, adult cats are grateful. “Adult cats that find their way into homes can be the most loving pets of all—perhaps they know how lucky they are to have found a loving and caring home,” Rodan says.
How You Can Help
If you are thinking of adopting a cat, visit your local shelter first. Sure, your coworker might need a new home for her cat, or your neighbor might have a litter in the back yard, but those cats are “safe,” meaning they aren’t in immediate risk of being euthanized.
You can also spread the word in your community that adult cats in shelters need homes, too, and encourage people to visit their shelter first, either to adopt or to volunteer. “More adoptions is what shelters need, by whatever means can be found within that particular community,” says Moyer. “There is a role for vets, for shelters and for the community to step in and make a better outcome possible for cats.”
And, you can help with prevention. In the words of Bob Barker, “Help control the pet population. Have your pets spayed or neutered.” And encourage others to do the same.
Ann Everhart is managing editor for Trends magazine, JAAHA, and PetsMatter.
PetsMatter is provided by the American Animal Hospital Association for educational purposes only. The information should not be used as a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. PetsMatter is not intended as a recommendation or endorsement of specific tests, products, procedures, or opinions. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian.
AAHA is an association of veterinary teams that are committed to excellence in companion animal care. It is the only organization that accredits animal hospitals throughout the United States and Canada.
© 2012 American Animal Hospital Association. All rights reserved.