41 thoughts on “Open Thread

  1. I am a very small dog sanctuary in MO. Just read KC dog Blog about new bill to punish us more for saving dogs’ lives. I arm ready to quit rescue, adopt the dogs I am not fostering and move on. MO is one big rescue joke.

    1. Every state has their ups and downs but yeah, I’d hate to be in MO this past year. One good thing for you – that bill is not law yet. You can still make your voice heard as a resident. Contact your state politicians and tell them how you feel.

    2. I understand your concern. But urge you to make your voice heard. If all the rescuers banded together with how this will impact what they are doing to save animals, which in many cases is going above & beyond what many shelters do. Don’t give up yet – those animals depend on you. I firmly believe that if all rescuers, breeders, shelters, etc would band together you could see significant change. There is a public hearing tomorrow at the Capitol. Try to rally together as many people as you can through your rescue and those you know that do similar things and show up in full force. Be heard and let your legislators know the impact this is going ot have on the entire animal industry – from breeders to shelters & rescues to pet food stores, vets, etc.

      Keep up the good work – I believe that you will “win” in the end!

  2. Just wanted to say that I thoroughly appreciate your blog. It is refreshing to see someone question the shelter norms and root for change. Thanks for that.

    I foster for & volunteer at a kill shelter, I love that they honestly care about their animals. I learn a lot through this blog about what the rest of the country is experiencing – the good and the bad in shelter management. I’m hoping that I’m in a position to change our shelter to no kill in the future.

    Thanks again for blogging :)

    1. You’ve got your foot in the door which is a far better position to be in than having the door in your face! Thanks for helping to save more shelter pets and thanks for reading.

  3. I’m posting this on January 24, 2011. In three days, people will be converging on the city where I type this for what I call a Kill Conference. They call it a Euthanasia Training Session. It will last two days and will include “hands-on instruction.” The person running the show is none other than the director of our local “shelter” who is a veterinarian. The shelter is a combo city/county operation being paid for by the taxpayers who live here.

    After I met with the mayor and her boss a couple of years back, the shelter vet ended up attending the no kill conference on my dime. I told her boss if he would get her there, I would pay for her ticket. She came back, having been blinded by one speaker and apparently disregarding every other person she met there. She was so enraged by his audacity to put the responsibility for the killing in her facility squarely at her feet (her kill rate is consistently above 72%) that she called him a disrespectful jackass who had no regard for people like her who had “tried so very hard” to make changes to make the lives of animals better. (Those animals she does not kill, that is.) She professed that the information put out at the conference was “all common knowledge anyway.”

    This shelter director can spend days getting ready for her Kill Conference but apparently cannot be bothered to spend that same amount of time meeting with local advocates in order to brainstorm or troubleshoot no kill ideas toward saving more lives. The shelter vet has openly said that if this area plans to become no kill, she is not the one to make it happen in spite of her annual 1.6 million dollar budget.

    Cost of her conference? $220. Cost of the next No Kill Conference, a portion of which will be aimed at municipal shelters just like hers? $200.

      1. I know you were being humorous but it was never about money. I figured if I offered up bucks for her ticket, the mayor (a self-proclaimed dog guy) would see fit to send her.

        I know she found one of the speakers distasteful. But there were many people there. She has, in effect, put her ego before the welfare of the animals entrusted to her care. She is a defender of the status quo of the worst sort. Had she done one act to try to even consider no kill concepts, I would have been on board. Had she admitted that her numbers are high and that they could be lower, I’d work with her. As it is, she lives in her world and I live in mine. She kills and I say she does not need to.

        Unless and until the others in this commmunity call her on her practices (regardless of her words) nothing will change. For now, I am written off as an uninformed zealot and am easily dismissed as being naive. May the time come when others dare speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.

      2. Brie – Do you think taking this “public” will help? While I know there are many people that feel going public with certain information just fires up the powers that be at the shelters and gets a door slammed in your face if you are the root cause of it (sometimes)…I have seen many shelters become more transparent when faced with a whole slew of people questioning their practice and at some point if enough voices are raised you may begin to see change – you just have to make sure you stay on top of it – because if the voices die down then it will return to work as usual.

        Maybe if you show the BOD or Mayor statistics from shelters that have gone the true No Kill route it will have greater meaning – some people just learn better when they have all those fancy graphs and stuff in front of them. Best place I have found to do this is at a city hall type meeting. It can open the eyes of some people who aren’t in the position that you are to know what is really going on behind closed doors.

        Good luck in this endeavor – I know it is hard trying to change people’s perceptions and ideas about things…but with the proper tools to back you up with facts & figures to boot…you can do it!

    1. Brie said: “Cost of her conference? $220. Cost of the next No Kill Conference, a portion of which will be aimed at municipal shelters just like hers? $200.”

      The value of an open mind and a willing heart? PRICELESS!!!

      Thanks for trying Brie. And thanks to Bobbie Rae too…hang in there. You can do animal rescue One Dog at a Time! Just for today, take care of this one, or those three, or these ten! Tomorrow is a new day, and you can choose fresh then.
      You may think I’m writing this pep talk for you guys, but, well, really, I’m reading my own words and trying to take my own advice. I had a rough day today.
      One of my 12 year old foster dogs isn’t feeling well. $200 worth of x-rays and exams and I’ve got no obvious gastric obstruction (my first thought.) So fluids and meds for a a few days, then maybe bloodwork. Meanwhile I can’t afford to feed the baker’s dozen of other foster dogs. Gotta go, my under-the-weather guy needs fluids (sub-Q) several times a day. The good news is that the weather broke and it’s almost above zero now!

      1. Lynn – Do you know if you have a pet food pantry in your area? They come in handy when you hit situations like this…

        Surprisingly, enough – I thought my city didn’t have anything to help like that – but while doing a search for a low cost vet for a friends I found not 1, but 4 pet food pantrys. You can always call your local humane society and ask them if they know of any…or Google is a wonderful tool to help. If you live in Ohio – you can look info up here to help with all kinds of dog/cat things: http://www.columbusdogconnection.com/dog_information__links.htm If you aren’t in Ohio I am sure that your state probably has something similar. Good luck – I know that it can be stressful dealing with a sick animal and worrying about feeding the rest. Praying for you & your 12 yr old foster.

  4. So, I’m trying to gently encourage my small local shelter to join the current century. These are not bad people, just “Well, we’ve always done it this way” kind of folks. As an example – I started sending them Kuranda beds. They were so surprised and grateful and “had never seen anything like these beds before, they work great and are so easy to clean!” The “beds” they had been using were heavy formed plastic things that they called “whelping beds” (dear Lord, I hope no one ever tried to use them for that purpose) that they would put blankets in for the dogs.

    The head of the shelter (who is also the Dog Warden) told me that those whelping beds had been there “forever” (as long as he could remember and he’s been there for more than ten years) and that most of the dogs wouldn’t go near them, so it was a real pleasure to see dogs using the Kuranda beds.

    So…not bad people just…really, really uninformed. And with a rural mentality that doesn’t lend itself to reaching out to see what else might be out there that they’re missing.

    Do you know of a decent sheltering magazine that I could send them a subscription of to help expose them to what others are doing and new ideas? Ideally, it would be something pro-No Kill with practical approaches to modern sheltering, you know? But I know nothing about the industry itself, so I don’t know if there’s even a proper magazine/newsletter out there.

    And before anyone asks – yes, I sent all of the shelter staff Winograd’s book. It was met with resounding silence (but these are pretty backwoods kind of guys, so reading a whole book might not be high on the “things to do list”), so I’m taking a different approach with the city council and working it from that end. Right now, I just want something with pictures and ideas for these guys to try and kick some of the dust off their brains.

    So, any sheltering magazine recommendations?

  5. People can help save more of their local shelter pets by posting about them on the free classified ads places online. The fact is that many people still look at classified ads first when they are considering getting a new pet.

    If the shelter is one that posts nice photos and bios with their pets you can just grab the pic and info from there and post the ad without leaving your computer. Quick and Easy!

    But if like many shelters they have lousy photos and no bio at all, then it is best to visit the shelter in person and check out the animals. (If they are open during hours where you can get there) Pick a couple of pets that pull at your heart strings and take them out into their exercise yard for a photo shoot. Play with them and check out and take notes about their personality. Then post the classified ad on a few of the free ad sites like, ebay ads, craiglist, recycler, oodle, etc. You can do a search for other sites like these.

    But if the shelter has horrible customer service, terrible hours, and are not open on the weekends, and smells disgusting, people still might pass up adopting the pet even if they want it. If this is the case work on shelter reform!

    Check out your local shelter pet listings on petfinder and see if you can help a pet find a new home!

    P.S. All tweet, facebook, and blog about the pets too!

    1. There is a stigma associated with advertising in certain places but I say – advertise away! It all comes down to appropriate screening of adopters and matching of the pet to the adopter. If you have those things covered, who cares if the person learned about the pet off a bathroom wall at Denny’s!

    2. our local shelter started facebook posting their dogs and their adoptions are UP! It’s amazing considering as a whole, adoption is down.

    3. I once adopted a dog to a woman I met at Home Depot. We were in the same section of the store – screening, and both trying to find the extra boxes of the pet proof stuff (which, for the record, is vaguely pet resistant). :O)

      We got to talking, she mentioned one of her dogs had passed away a few months back and she was debating about getting a dog. I gave her my card, had her give me her number, and a month later called when I just happened to get a dog in that sounded exactly like what she was looking for. Love at first site, and happily ever after.

      Thank you, Home Depot.

      My husband makes fun of me, but we had big 4″ buttons printed up advertising the rescue, ones for the dogs to wear on bandanas that say “Adopt Me” in red and white they wear on their walks and during their training, and I always wear a “Looking for a Dog? ASK ME!” button on my jacket – it has pictures of some of the more “unique” dogs we’ve rescued over the years on it and never fails to get comments.

      And ALWAYS carry cards, even if it’s just with a link to petfinder. You can make them on Word and print them out on pre-scored paper for about $10 plus the ink, or you can order black and white ones for about $20/500 cards from most print shops. You’d think people could remember “petfinder”, but they don’t! Ever. Serious.

      I got tired of writing it out and started printing the general link to petfinder itself on the back of our card.

      Another great place – grocery store poster boards, and pet supply stores. A nice big colourful page with lots of pics of ALL KINDS and ALL SIZES of dogs, the more goofy the better. Just basic information – like “ADOPT!” “Fully Vetted” etc. I laminate mine, and then staple a dozen or so rows of tear off slips with our website attached. When we get requests and I don’t have a dog that fits that profile, I take a few minutes, do a quick petfinder search and offer a few suggestions in the form of links to other available dogs, information about adopting, the bonus of being fully vetted, fostered, not having to go through puppy stages, etc.

      If *I* can’t adopt them a dog, maybe I can get them to adopt a dog from somewhere else. Either way, it’s one less dog that needs saving.

      Sorry, now I’m just babbling… :OP My point is, YesBiscuit’s exactly right – the more people you make contact with, the better.

      As far as screening goes, I think we all need to step back from our screening process every once in a while and check ourselves. I think our desire to protect the dogs in our care sometimes outweighs common sense when it comes to getting dogs in homes and saving more lives.

      Our local SPCA stopped doing “screening” other than that ridiculous colour matching scheme (can’t think of the trade name now). Their theory? If people are coming to the shelter to adopt a pet, how can these be bad people?

      Um, ok – that’s one side of the coin.

      On the other side, there’s the rescue who won’t adopt to ANYONE with children, no fenced yard, who rent, who are under 25, who own a particular breed, etc, etc.

      Not good either.

      I find it a rare occasion when I interview someone that I absolutely would NOT let have a dog from me. I do, however, find myself telling people that unfortunately their situation or personality simply does not mesh well with the dog they are interested in, no matter how cute they think Rover is. And of course some dogs are the kind that would fit into just about any home, and others require very specific homes indeed.

      But we need to be very careful we are not alienating adopters in the process. Too often I hear complaints that it’s just so much easier to pick a puppy out of the paper or the store window or the internet ad than it is to jump through the sometimes insane hoops that rescues require.

      I think that as a group we need to examine this a lot closer than we have in the past.

      1. i agree- our organization emphasizes education rather that restriction. Honestly, i can’t think of the last time i outright denied an adoption- most situations can be salvaged with gentle counseling or effort to make a successful adoption. because- let’s be serious here- they’re going to get a pet from SOMEwhere. and if they’re turned away from us, well the pet store is down the street and their money’s always good there. Denying adoptions doesn’t stop people from owning a pet- it just stops them from ADOPTING a pet- and i think that’s one of the worst tragedies of all

      2. I LOVE the button idea – where did you have them made ??
        But as far as loosening restrictions, I have to tell you, last year we had a 10 yr old toothless Pomeranian for adoption. Weighed maybe 5 lbs. Historically we have always required fences. But I had a couple that wanted to adopt the pom, and I let them adopt him even though they had no fence. I wanted the little guy to be in a home.
        Not THREE WEEKS LATER I get a call from a man who found this little old pom in the middle of the road at dusk. The pom had my ID tag on him.
        I returned the pom to the adoptors against my better judgment. They said it would never happen again. But every night when I go to bed I wonder if that little pom is still alive.
        Never again will I adopt to people without a fence, no matter what they say.

      3. Mary–
        My adopted Pom has never ended up wandering around in the middle of the road by himself at any hour and my yard is not fenced. I’m sure many other people could say the same thing. And I’m sure that more than one person has had a dog get out of a fenced yard and wander out into the road.

      4. Mary: You can click on my name, and go to my blog, and see Katy, my adopted dog.

        Fortunately, the shelter I got her at was much more concerned about my ability to care for her, my experience with her breed, and the fact that she got along with my first dog, than whether or not my yard was fenced.

        BTW, it still isn’t fenced.

        And my first dog? Bought from a breeder, since the rescues in the area I was living in at the time had the same opinion you did, and wouldn’t let me have one of their dogs. Apparently the shelter there thought dogs were better off dead than adopted to someone without a fence.

      5. Sadly enough there are rescues & shelters that do the same. Now I can understand in regards to pits (here in Ohio they are automatically labeled vicious – we currently have House Bill 14 which IF it passes will change that, but it still leavse wiggle room for individual localities to enact their own breed restrictions). I think instead of having all these guidelines that people HAVE to adhere to in order to get a dog/cat…maybe people should be looked at as to what they have to offer the dog/cat.

        I have found through years of rescuing on my own that I can walk into someone’s house – and I will see areas that need addressed. Instead of pointing that out as a problem I have a dialogue with them and kind of work it in to see what they are thinking. I have found that many times the potential adopters know that they need to do a, b, and c – and plan on doing it prior to bringing their new family member home. If I had walked into their home and instantly started ticking off the list of “wrongs” it would have instantly put a wall up for them and quite possibly offend them. I ALWAYS use my visits prior to placing any animal and use it as a tool to educate people.

        There are many times that someone doesn’t think that something is going to be a problem – like having an open stairway with no railings, but I had a an issue with it because they were looking at a kitten I had. Unfortunately my aunt recently had 2 kittens and as they were playing one of them went flying down the steps – and off the side fairly high up – and slammed into a wall. Not a happy ending there.

        I think we all need to take past experiences into account and be able to look past some “issues” that may not even be a real problem. I understand not placing an animal that does not get along well with other dogs – to a home with other dogs, or if the animal doesn’t get along with kids – then no kids. Those are the no-brainers.

        I think that in many cases we have a gut feeling about people when we meet them – through multiple communications we will begin to know for sure if they are “the” one for the dog/cat in question. And – many rescues do have a clause where they do home visits every so often just to check in and make sure things are going well…with a stipulation that the dog can be removed for certain situations.

        I guess what I am thinking is that we really need to take these opportunities to make sure these people understand the behaviors of the specific breed that they are looking at getting. And make sure that the potentional adopters have really thought this through. Many times a certain breed that a person may have their heart set on is not a good fit for some situations. I would never in a million years place a animal that requires lots of exercise and has boundless amounts of energy to an elderly couple just looking for a lay around lap dog.

        While I understand the need for some rules and policies in regards to adoptions – I also think that there needs to be times when we leave some wiggle room for those special situations.

      6. @Anne – you made the key point. These people want a pet, they are getting it from SOMEwhere.

        Now, that’s not to say I haven’t turned people away. But it’s usually due to a history of “fast and clean” pet ownership (those that just give away or euthanize any animal who develops an issue or illness and simply gets a new one) or like Erica mentioned, a gut feeling. There are people that I’ve met I’ll admit to making up excuses why they couldn’t have one dog or another until they simply moved on. I could never nail down what it was, but I just knew that these people were… wrong.

        @Mary – we get the buttons made at our local grocery store’s photo area. Most big box stores do them… I think Walmart does, Costco does…

        They also do shirts, sweaters, books, tote bags, all kinds of things you can use to increase your visibility. I’ve even had stickers made, although we never came up with a great use for them. :OP

        As far as the fence goes, are there dogs we get in that I will require a fenced yard for? VERY rarely. Generally these are animals with serious prey drive or known flight histories, and the odd scent hound that just doesn’t know when to quit.

        What I find is that too many groups focus on energy level. Fido doesn’t need a big fenced yard just because he’s active. I have three young, EXTREMELY active cattle dog mixes and a yard that’s just big enough to run in a circle and poop. It’s not secure, and the short side is 3′, which is a hiccup for my two younger girls who can both easily clear 6′ fences.

        Why do I say activity level should not equate to fencing? Because I have found a direct correlation to fenced yards and a LACK of physical exercise. How many times have you heard “but I let him run around in the yard for hours…” I would prefer an active person who lives in a high rise and is going to take that dog out each and every day for a walk, a jog, a bike ride, a trip to the dog park – because they don’t have the option of just opening the door and continuing about their business.

        Dogs with no fenced yard tend to get more interaction with the outside world as opposed to being trapped behind a fence. In fact, I could easily make an argument against fenced yards…

        But that’s not the point.

        The point is that each dog requires individual consideration. Some dogs, they fit anywhere. High rise, bungalow, Bel-Air or a ranch in Texas, they’d be happy anywhere you plopped them. Others require special concerns, which I think Erica detailed already quite nicely.

        But to rule out an entire group of people – young people, seniors, those without fenced yards, those who live in apartments, those who rent, etc. – is, as Anne points out, just sending them down the road or worse – to the internet puppy dealers.

  6. I donated dry dog and cat food to my (small) local shelter this Christmas, based on the “need list” on their web site. At the same time, I renewed my dogs’ licenses. As I walked up to the counter, after dropping off the food at the table that was literally overflowing with bags of food, I noticed there were re-packed bags of kibble for sale for $2 each.

    Now, why would a shelter be asking for food, when they have enough to sell? Fund raiser? I wouldn’t think the traffic at the shelter is large enough for this to be an effective fund raiser.

    I’m tempted *not* to donate next year, but maybe someone who has more shelter experience can shed light on this?

    1. Maybe they are doing it so that people adopting will have food to take with them?

      I understand your frustration at dropping off food and seeing something like that. I would be upset too – did you ask them why they are selling food when they are also asking for donations of it?

      1. No – it was one of those crazy pre-Christmas days, and the only person there was a teenager, who I assume either works part-time or was getting her required volunteer hours in.

        I have attempted to ask other questions before, and the communication leaves a lot to be desired. I should ask about this, though.

    2. My shelter does not re-bag food to sell (Purina kindly donates 100% of our food and litter- as long as it’s the onyl brand we sell) but we most certainly re-sell other recycled merchandise (crates, toys, beds etc). These items are 100% profit for us- the money from those sales can then be used to purchase supplies that we can’t get through donations (such as medication). And as an added bonus, we’re sending the new adopter home well prepared.

      I guess i’m not sure of why that would put you off, but maybe i’m too close

      On a related note, even though Purina donates all our food for in-shelter use, we still get food donations all the time from the public. We thank them for that and then send those food donations to other smaller rescue groups that can use it (or the local pet food shelf)

    3. One shelter I volunteered at used donated food first for the dogs in its care, and mixed/repackaged the excess and gave it to low income families with pets.

      In your case, I vote for it being a fund raiser. I bet there’s something else on their “need list” that they really DON’T have in excess.

  7. I am big on supporting local shelters & rescue – especially as you can see for yourself the good it does.

    Once a year I get together something that I call “Going Home Packages”. I did this while working with a rescue group that I found that supported pit bulls. While going to adoption events with them I noticed a common problem of people who wanted animals but they didn’t have the things at home to get the pet settled and talked about having to come bacck to get the animal. We have found historically that if something like that happens we normally don’t ever hear back from the person.

    So to prevent this I did the following –
    I contacted companies that sell dog food, cat food & cat litter. They sent out sample sized packages for me to use. I then went to a dollar store and purchased collars, leashes, litter boxes, food dishes, toys & treats. I also made a flyer with info on vets, training specialists, etc to include in the package.

    I put the packages together myself and labeled them with large breed dog, medium breed dog, small breed dog, and cat. Now when the rescue goes to adoption event they have ready made packages to go with each animal – that way it gives the new owner a chance to get a pet right then & there and gives them time to buy the items that they will need within the next few days or so.

    It was fun & helpful…and honestly didn’t cost me much more than my time. And the money I spent at the dollar store – which amounted to next to nothing compared to how many packages I was able to put together…Just to get a package for one animal all I spent was about $5 for each package!

    This is something that you can even use with a group (girl scouts, boy scouts, youth group, etc) and then the kids can go along to drop teh items off and play with a few animals while they are there. It’s a great activity to do with the family as well!

  8. It seems like a lot of the focus tends to be on dogs and cats, rabbits, horses and other animals are often overlooked. I heard a statistic that only 10 – 20% of cat owners get their animals from shelters – most people get them from friends/free to good homes ads and the like. If that is true what can be done to help shelter cats get adopted? A free kitten is preferable for many people to a $100 adult cat. I have joined a new group – the Kitty Rescue Club – who wants to try to get death row kitties out of kill shelters and into rescues or straight to their forever homes. It was just started over the holidays so advice and help are welcome. Our idea is that if we can get shelters and rescues to tell us what they need and what type of animals they can adopt we should be able to network the animals to the right places for them to get into homes. I included the link in case anyone is interested:



    1. We do parrot rescue on top of the work we do with dogs. The reason? No one else does!

      These birds had no where else to go. The local SPCA was the only place, and with no knowledge of how to care for them, the animals deteriorate quickly, both physically and mentally. From there, getting them adopted out is next to impossible. Who wants an animal that looks like it’s been half plucked for dinner and screams like a jet engine for several hours twice a day?

      Bringing them back from this is not for the faint of heart – or the easily annoyed. Screening for bird owners is also not easy to handle. For elderly birds, or even middle aged birds, it’s not too terrible, but most are given up for the first time between 1-2 years of age (most large parrots will experience 15 homes throughout their lifetimes) and trying to find someone willing and *capable* of committing to 60 years of caring for an animal is, well… the adoption statistics speak for themselves.

      Life is even harder if you’re a small animal. You’re likely going to be snake food, or simply released to starve to death/freeze to death/get eaten.

      The only birds we don’t handle at this point are Cockatoos – which in my opinion should not be sold as pets. They can chew through chain link fencing (and fingers, in case you were wondering), and trying to build a flight for one in the past proved impossible. A cockatoo will chew a hole through a wood door like it was a toothpick, and I don’t like to cage my birds. We rehomed that bird to a sanctuary, and unfortunately we still haven’t found a solution that would allow us to rescue the poor little souls. I’m not sure I want to – as I said, I don’t believe they should be kept as pets, at least not unless you live in a climate that is conducive to allowing them some kind of large outdoor enclosure.

      Of course, that doesn’t settle what to do with the ones who are already here. I just want to cry every time I see an advertisement for baby cockatoos…

    2. This year we lowered our cat adoption fees to $50 (kittens are still full price- $125 or so) to help the adults get adopted more easily. Also, we have a BOGO promotion that has been SUPER successful- adopt a kitten or cat at full adoption fee, and get a second Adult Cat for free. With these two programs our length of stay for cats has been cut in half, and for the first time in five years we’ve had less cats than dogs!

      1. That is a great idea – and one I’ve seen in many cat rescues. Especially given that many times the older cats have already been spayed/neutered and vaccinated. Plus there is no guarantee that they will live as long as a kitten would (even that isn’t guaranteed to have a long life). I love the orphaned kitten I take in to hand rear and parting with them is hard – but I do admit that people tend ot snatch them up a lot quicker than the older cats.

        Great suggestion to pass along…I wish more places were doing things like that – lower adoption cost and BOGO offers! I had never seen a place do any BOGO – and that would be wonderful because your kitty will be sharing the home with another new kitty. No one will be lonely! Love it!!!

      2. BOGO for cats – LOVE IT!

        Passing on this idea to my cat rescue pals. They already kinda do this with kittens, preferring to adopt them out in pairs (most people don’t realize how much stimulation a kitten requires) but love the adult adoption increase possibilities.

  9. To make a long story short I moved back home with my parents this spring with my dog. My parents cats didn’t take it too well and the one named Paulie ran away. He ended up living with the neighbor for awhile (and we knew and were cool with it) then got in a fight with a raccoon and the neighbor brought him home to us to get treated and recover. While he was recovering we ended up moving to a larger house where he adjusted just fine.

    Thing is we talked to the neighbor today and he is really missing Paulie. He asked that Paulie come back to live with him. Paulie is a 15+ year old ex tom who we love and adore but so does the neighbor. In fact the neighbor had bought him a litter box, special cat food and more then enough toys an old boy like him needs…

    I was wondering if we should consider letting our neighbor have our senior cat or if I should try to bring him a kitten he might like instead?

    FYI I’m the girl everyone contacts when they ignore my advice on spaying their cats and they need to get rid of kittens so I’m in no short supply of kittens…

    1. I should add that my neighbor would never go to a shelter to adopt a cat as his English isn’t great and is afraid of being embarrassed. I don’t blame him as the local shelter was rude enough to me, I can’t imagine how they would treat him.

      1. Tough to say but I know my old dogs resist change. How about offering up an alternative cat w/a similar type personality? Once he meets the cat, he may be sold.

      2. That is a tough one. If Paulie got into a scrap with a raccoon and the guy brought him back to you to get vetted – are you sure that he’ll be able & willing to do the same with another cats, or even Paulie?

        I also know that older cats are less comfortable with cahnge – and it could cause undue stress. I would think the kitten route might work better. But I’d make sure and talk to him about the needs of ANY cat that he does get. Just to make sure that you aren’t going to have to worry about the kitten not getting fixed or having (at least) it’s first round of shots. Good luck with that choice – it’s a hard one.

    2. Sounds to me like you have a flexible and open heart. If your neighbor loves Paulie, I say let him have Paulie! (Do you trust that he’ll take good care of him?) Or, how about going to a shelter with your neighbor and helping him pick out “the perfect pet”…a chance to educate and build connections?!?

  10. I think I’m having a nervous breakdown.

    The 2010 stats for our muni shelter were just posted. The kill rate for 2010 was 68 percent. This is four points lower than for 2009 so based on that alone, one would think improvements are being made, if only in very small steps. It was the other numbers that threw me. Of the animals killed, only 16 percent of them were classified as unhealthy and untreatable. 84 percent were healthy, treatable – rehabilitatable or treatable – manageable. I know the reporting form the shelter uses is based on the Asilomar Accords of which I am not a fan. It is easy to simply call an animal unhealthy or untreatable and no one will ever really know.

    I am made physically ill by the transparent admission that 84 of the animals killed using Fatal Plus were savable. I hate this. And starting tomorrow, the shelter vet will be holding her two day “training opportunity” to certify others on how to kill and animal and call it euthanasia.

    Someone tell me it won’t be this way in five years. Please.

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