36 thoughts on “Open Thread

  1. Last December, the Association of Shelter Veterinarioans released the “Guidelines for Standards of Care in Animal Shelters.”. The full document can be found here: http://www.sheltervet.org/displaycommon.cfm?an=1&subarticlenbr=29.

    Pg 22 states that spraying down cages while animals are inside is inhumane and unacceptable.

    Pg 39 states that routine use of catch poles for cats is inhumane and unacceptable.

    This document was approved by over 750 veterinarians and is being rolled out to shelters all over the world. If your shelter doesn’t know about it, give them a copy. Insist that they initiate programs to follow the recommendations.

  2. Community Animal Allies of Niagara (CAAN), a registered charity, has submitted an idea for A Community Pet Safe HOme for Cherished Friends the link is

    we need as many votes as we can to move on to the next round, so please have a look , and share if you will, and vote for us…you register once, and vote daily. round one goes until oct 19

    our website is http://www.caancatmobile.org and there is a link there too.
    thanks for your support.

  3. The rescue I volunteer at had an awesome pet adoption event but didn’t seem to get a good turnout. We prompted via press release, community calendars and community flyers – but it seems like we are missing our target audience. Where else can we advertise?


      1. Yes – the promotion is a first 50 cats adopted free so timing doesn’t seem to fit and it encompasses in site and off site adoptions.


      2. What I mean is, was the event in a high-traffic area (such as a thriving shopping mall)? Was it held during the Super Bowl? Those kinds of things.

      3. The event is at the shelter itself – which is right next to a grocery store mall type area. And any off site adoptions they have – which are in higher traffic areas. And it is for the entire month of October – so I would think those aren’t location/timing issues. Plus it does seem like any of the events they advertise are not well attended so it looks like we aren’t getting to the right people but aren’t sure how to fix that.


      4. Ah, gotcha. So a month long promotion at the shelter (with the offer extending to offsite events). Something Bonney Brown said at the No Kill Conference comes to mind. I’m paraphrasing here but she mentioned how shelters should advertise frequently and widely in order to plant their name and product in people’s minds. She said that people don’t often have a need for your product but when that need arises, you want them to think of you first.

        That said, for your October promotion, have you done any radio advertising? I hear spots on my local stations frequently for non-profit rescues. I think you can get those aired at no cost. How about a YouTube video that can be shared? Of course you have to get a production team to produce a fancy one like Wake Co did but maybe check with your local media types and see if anyone is willing to donate production. You might be able to get that aired for free late at night on local TV as a PSA. Also, what about partnering with a local business in a “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” kind of way for the promotion? A business related to something to do with the month of October – a Halloween costume store or a landscaping supply place?

      5. Something my local shelter(s) and many rescues use to promote adoption events like that is Craigslist. On the main Craigslist page for your area there is a “Community” section – in that section you will find an area specifically for “Pets”. You can post adoption events there to help promote them. I have actually seen a really good turn out at some events. We even had one rescue (it’s a cat rescue so kinda fits with your adoption event) and the gal has this big cook out where people come and get to hang out with all the cats. She does this once a month and has tried multiple ways of advertising the event. Since she didn’t know what method she was using that was the most successful in drawing people in we brainstormed together and came up with the idea of having people fill out a really quick and short ‘survey’ letting us know where they had heard about the event to give her a better idea of where her focus on promotion should be in the future. (It gets pretty costly running a rescue yourself and paying to advertise in the paper!) So when I had this idea of the survey I talked to a local company that supplied us with special offers – free massage, free ice cream cones, free dinner for 2…stuff like that – so that once they have filled out the short survey card with their name/address/phone number/e-mail AND where they heard about the event. They filled them out and dropped them into a box before they left – although most did it when they first got there because of the ‘prizes’ that they could win. At the end of the event I can’t even begin to tell you how surprised we both were to find out the little post I had thought to put on Craigslist had actually brought the highest number of people!

        I know that she also uses ‘specials’ to help – like if they bring cat litter, food, toys, etc they got a ‘discount’ on a cat. Helping her has been lots of fun and seeing the support that she has gotten doing this has been truly amazing. I’ve seen her do one event and get enough supplies to help 100+ cats for quite some time, while also getting their cats adopted for next to nothing. One very creative little girl did a donation drive and had her mom take her to the event and she brought so much stuff with her – newspaper, blankets, cat food, cat litter, toys, litter boxes…amazing amounts. Best part was that this little girl (she had to have been right around 10) ended up ‘adopting’ her cat for FREE. Her mom told her that she couldn’t afford the adoption fee right then and that the little girl would have to come up with the funds to adopt the cat herself if she really wanted it. It still amazes me how hard that girl worked to not only help a lot of cats, but also to get one that she wanted too! My friend running the event was so impressed with this little gal’s gumption at going so far and working so hard to get a cat that she sent supplies home to help get her started – a litter box, a couple bags of litter and some food.

        Sorry – I know that is long but thought that I would throw it out there and maybe it could help you. If you are having a hard time making event successful it might help you figure out what media type is most effective in drawing people in – both to adopt and to help with supplies.

      6. Thank you! Those are some good ideas – I will pass them on. Please let me know if there is anything else you can think of – there are some great animals here that need homes. We just need to let people know they exist.


  4. Does anyone have experience with dogs going off to die alone? My godmother’s 12yr old cancer ridden chihuahua wandered off two nights ago and didn’t come back. She believes Nina went to die alone.
    For some reason, I just cannot accept that…

    1. I have had many pets that have gone off to “hide” somewhere when it is time. I wish I could say differently but I’ve had anything from hamsters, cat and dogs do it. I’ve also read of cows in pasture doing it both when they are having a baby (which obviously isn’t the case here) and when it’s time to go. I have actually sat back and watched one of my cats while I was growing up do the same thing – while one of my other cats kept watch to make sure she wasn’t bothered. Any time I tried to go near the one that was dying the other cat did everything it could to get my attention and focus off of the dying cat.

      I wish I could be more positive about it…but I have seen it time and again with many types of animals. Almost like it’s “nature’s” way. Many times they will ‘wander’ off or go somewhere to be alone. They seem to go into a trance-like state and will go to sleep, then while they are sleeping you can slowly watch as their breathing slows until finally it stops. It is very peaceful for the animals that I have observed going through it – even though it’s been hard as hell on ME because I have always wanted to hold them and pet them while they are going. Just like I’ve been able to do when I’ve had to have an animal euthanized. I think it’s hard on the people than it is on the animals going through it.

      Regardless – I hope that you can find the dog….it sounds like you need closure one way or another. 12 yrs old and cancer ridden doesn’t sound like the ending is going to be what you desire…but it may have been what was supposed to happen. While it really sucks for those of us that love our animals and want to be ‘there’ with them while they are dying – it seems to be a natural thing that happens. At least from the animals I have been around. Maybe I’m weird, or maybe I read too much into what I have experienced. I would love to see some other people respond to this and find out if they have experienced the same thing.

      My prayers are with you and your godmother during this time. I hope you get the closure that you deserve. BUT on the off-chance that this isn’t what happened I would still put up fliers looking for the dog – and contact animal control in your area to make sure the dog wasn’t picked up. And, as awful as this is to write…if the area where you live has a department that is responsible for removing animals that have been hit by cars off the road I would contact them as well just to make sure Nina wasn’t hit by a car. Call local vet offices too in case someone found Nina and maybe something was wrong with her and she was taken in for help.

      1. When my Grandfather was dying of lung cancer the doctors made my Nana and Aunts leave. They said he wouldn’t pass with them there.

        Years earlier my Grandmother had cancer. My Aunt spent days at her bed. During the one hour she left to have a shower she passed away.

        My dog growing up had a heart defect from having whooping cough as a pup. She would get blood trapped going the wrong way in her heart or something like that, and needto cough to get it working proper. She was only expected to make it to five at the age of 13 One day the coughing didn’t stop. She went and hid, we took her to the vet where she was put down. There was nothing we could do.

        My aunts indoor Persian once returned after over a week lost outside, she was diabetic.

        Hopefully you find your dog alive and well. If not I am sorry for your loss.

      2. thank you so much. the day I found out about nina (the day after she walked off) i called all local shelters, animal control, vet offices, etc hoping that it would lead to her return.

        its so fascinating in a “i can’t get my head around this” way that animals choose that path when given the chance.

        my godmother has accepted nina’s decision, so i suppose she already has her closure.

        thank you

      3. @trouble – from the human perspective, i noticed that a lot when i worked in a nursing home. family would be around a terminal patient in obvious distress, and when they would leave that patient would pass. so much i do not understand about life, and death.

      4. I think most, humans anyway, don’t want there loved ones witnessing their death. It’s not how you want to be remembered and you don’t want to cause them more trauma. So you wait till they are not around. Our neighbor chose the opposite. Him and his wife thought it was important that their children and grandchildren witness death. To better prepare them. So when it was time for him to die he asked them to be there. So I think it depends on your views about how witnessing your passing will affect your loved ones.

    1. Morgana I have tried to find updates about this and have been unsuccessful. Do we (and I mean ANYONE) have an updated about what is going on with Lennox? I have Googled and checked the FB page and gone through all the normal “channels” I use to find info and I am hitting a wall…it’s still at the same point where it was a week or so ago. Which is NOT boding well for poor Lennox and his family! I HATE BSL!!!!!

      1. Erica:
        The last update I could find was right after the appeal hearing went bad, and Lennox was sentenced to die. HOWEVER: there is apparently no date set, and people should keep emailing those names and addresses all the way to the top, perhaps we can turn it over that way. Right now its the only option. I even spoke with Maria Daines and asked if we offered to take him here across the Pond would they spare his life, and she said offers had already been made, and so far, no dice. This is beginning to look like a personal vengeance against this family for some unknown reason. KEEP TRYING.

  5. Open threads are interesting to me. Such a mix of thoughts.

    I, for one, had an adventure inTNR yesterday. We have a small colony where I work and it seems landscapers disturbed a nest. Mom took 3 of her 5 and never came back for the other 2. Very young, very sweet. A local feral cat group helped get a nursing mom off of death row at the local “shelter” (yes, I use the word loosely) and we now have what I’m calliing the Brady Bunch at a local animal clinic/hospital for now. I’m sure I was a sight running into the local PetsMart to grab milk with a ratty looking box in my hand. Everyone goes to a foster home this weekend and the kids can grow and be homed. Still gotta trap Mom #1 in the next two weeks or so.

    I had my second phone interview with Pack People a couple weeks back and put both on my site on the Pawprints page. (Paws4Change.com) This second one was about no kill and while I was speaking to a particular audience (outside our circles) I hope I did the movement proud. At least I wasn’t breathing into the phone like I did in the first interview (ala slasher movie stalker type breathing….) Both interviews are on the Pack People site also. Yeah, I just know it all, don’t I? (heavy sarcasm)

    1. Wow – the cat story is so full of win! Thank you for brightening my day.

      You could have stuck with the slasher persona – make it kind of a trademark feature.

      1. I save that persona for meetings. More effective when they meet the “zealot” in person. I have such a reputation in this area and while I’m not sure how much good I’m doing, I really don’t plan to back down. Can’t.

  6. HELP! There are two husky dogs at the Desoto County Animal Shelter in Nesbit, MS, that I am trying to figure out a way to help. The Desoto County Shelter is one of the nicest and friendlies ones in the area and Meows & BowWows Animal Rescue takes in cats from there.

    The two huskies were turned in by a backyard breeder who went bankrupt before she could breed them. The dogs are 2 years old, one male and one female. They are gorgeous and they know commands, etc. Unfortunately the male dog, Zion, is heartworm possitive. There is a shortage of immiticide nationally and so the Desoto Shelter is having trouble placing the dogs. The female dogs is HW negative. Her name is Karma. The local husky rescue in Memphis is full and not able to take the dogs, but they have offered to help with treatment if a foster home is found.

    You can see pictures of these dogs and of other pets at the Desoto County Animal Shelter at http://www.petfinder.com/pet-search?shelterid=MS51

    This is a kill shelter, but they try very hard to help the animals and are very rescue-friendly. This shelter, which is in a poor, rural area puts MAS and its “Friends” to shame.

    1. According to Petfinder, the huskies don’t like cats. (If you go to look at them, also take a look at Daphne. She looks like she isn’t afraid to get into a little trouble.) On the HW treatment, I hope he would be a candidate for the slow kill method – just giving ivermectin once a month. I can’t imagine he’s built up a heavy load if he’s only 2.

    2. There was someone on the friends fb that was asking if they had any huskies just this morning. Maybe Villy can connet the two of them to get the dogs rescued.

      1. I saw that post and privately messaged the woman. (I’m blocked from posting or commenting on the FoMAS FB site :-). I have not heard back from her.

      2. Thank you, Arlene! Since Villy and I have been banned (like so many others) from FMAS, we both sent the woman a message. This is just one of the many reasons why it is so ludicrous to ban anyone from that fb page -we truly want to help….don’t get me started! :)

      3. Sometimes I wonder if that isn’t “friends” true intent – you obviously REALLY care so let’s ban you! Now you can’t post here and tell us what we’re doing wrong *sticks tongue out* AND best of all you can no longer HELP pets find homes *sticks tongue out again*! Sometimes adults can be more childish than children. At least with kids they get mad, say they’ll NEVER play with you again – or they don’t EVER want to be your friend. By the next day all is forgotten and they are best of friends again…so simple and uncomplicated! They still “work” together and accomplish great things without the forever ban!

        Sorry – NOW I FEEL BAD…I saw this yesterday and figured that you guys would get things figured out so I stayed out of it…I should have got in the middle of it…friends haven’t banned me yet, though I do rarely venture on their page as it never REALLY contains any useful info for me. BUT I can at least post on the dang page for others! If anyone needs to use me for this let me know…..I am on FB (Erica Eblin) and would love to help with stuff like this…make me feel like I’m “doing” something – especially right now when I’ve reached my limit on pets in the home and we’ve already fallen into a routine where I DO have extra time to help with some things like this, especially with the kiddos getting older and being able to help out more! So the next time anyone falls into this situation feel free to friend me on FB – or send me a message and let me know what I can do to help! (Shirley also has access to my e-mail and I give her permission to give it out in situations like this where I can be of any help! But, Shirley – if you give it to “patience” I may have to come find you! LOL)

  7. So, I have a question. How would you start a no kill shelter in your community? Are there grants to help you do that??

    1. Something to look at before you start – You will want to look into obtaining your 501(c)3. I have had many friends do this on their own, but some people prefer to use an lawyer because sometimes it is easier! That said – attorneys DO cost money and I do not know how much they’d charge to do it. I have never done that so I am not sure exactly what the whole process is, but I do know that it contains a LOT of paperwork. BUT doing the 501(c)3 status will also open you up to apply for grant both from the government and at other locations – sometimes businesses give out grants for causes….AND it also opens up the door so that potential donors will feel better donating to a ‘charity’ and their donations will be tax write offs – a win/win situation! You said a shelter…is that really what direction you are going or will it be a rescue? Either way I wish you luck! Such an aspiration! The pets will thank you!!!

  8. I hear you! I’m not a friend of the friends. I do fine info that isn’t anywhere else. Comes in handy at times! My eyeballs are usually sore from all the rolling they do but oh well. For the furkids it must be.

    1. That was an amazingly awesome video! I’m going to share it with some shelters in my neck of the woods. There are college and high school students who could help produce and film videos that would help the animals, the shelter staff and volunteers, and get class credit/experience all at the same time. Partnerships, building community goodwill, and having fun while helping lovely animals – I hope this idea spreads across the world!

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