40 thoughts on “Open Thread

  1. How many rescues or shelters do you know that have a Barn Buddy Feline Program? UPAWS gets cats in that are best suited for this type of lifestyle. How well is it received in your community? It took awhile at UPAWS but folks now understand the importance of this program. Here is the link: http://www.upaws.org/news.php?StoryID=637

      1. My shelter does too… before helping the four kittens I had taken two kittens from the landfill to the shelter.. (after just a few hours of handling they were very friendly) The shelter murdered them

    1. Our county animal control sells cat carcasses for $2.50 each. The sheriff, who is the head of animal control, recently received a $20,000 raise for making animal control profitable.

      1. Our shelter will not adopt to any person who mentions they are looking for a barn cat. No discussion. BTW, their cat euthanasia rate is through the roof

      2. I’m not sure if Whitesville, NC is the right shelter, but a while back I heard of a shelter that was selling their dead cats for $7 each

    2. King County, Washington has a Barn Cats program. One of the chief selling points is that barn cats are a pesticide-free approach to rodent control . . . on the Barn Cats page, the shelter links to stories about the dangers of pesticides to children and wildlife. (Yes, this is the same King County that is proposing to make vets report on rabies vaccinations so the county can enforce licensing.)

      The Barn Cats program predated the current shelter director, Gene Mueller. While the program IIRC used to be more prominently displayed on the shelter’s home page, I believe the treatment of the program is more thorough now. It’s under “Special Programs and Services.”


  2. I few weeks ago I took 4 baby kittens from the landfill and in just 4 days the kittens went to rescue. Now since they are safe, I put out pleas for help to get the feral cats spayed/neutered and then released back at the landfill. My county is not much help, but a group recently started has stepped forward and the trapping starts tomorrow. I recently found out this group just completed s/n on another feral cat colony. The landfill cats are next.

  3. I have two fosters that need forever homes. They love each-other but can be adopted separately.. Here’s”Dandy” I sure could use some help getting the word out and getting her into her perfect forever home. I also have lots of videos on Youtube. email me/message me on FB or ask here if you have any questions. Thanks for any help

  4. Why do people still believe in PETA, HSUS and ASPCA? PETA kills thousands of dogs and cats every year. HSUS helped Michael Vick get back his career, even after he had tortured and killed many Pit Bulls in the most horrific ways. ASPCA puts ads for donations in as many places as they can.

    What can we animal activists/bloggers do to spread the truth about these national animal “welfare” organizations, that collect millions of dollars every year from gullible people, only to ignore the unnecessary killing of millions of shelter animals every year?

    Thanks for the open thread.


  5. I was wondering if anyone is keeping track of how many K-9 officers have died in recent years from being left in police cars.. The reason I ask, My County has a brand new Sheriffs department and jail… but K-9 officers are not allowed in the building. While on tour of the new building I asked about this and the officer told me that all the cars have the so-called safe guards in place… and we all know that doesn’t work 100% of the time.

  6. New subject. A shelter/humane society in my area is in somewhat of a controversy. Euthanasia rates much higher than those in surrounding counties. A director who has sole say in who adopts and is pretty set in her ways. They receive 97% of their funding from the public (irs form 990) but will not allow public into their board meetings. There’s more but this is a good start.
    Any thoughts?

    1. Further information: Concerned citizens have gone before the county board who oversees this shelter. Two tv news stations in Madison, WI have covered the story, both the initial controversy and the closed meeting. There are quite a few anecdotal stories out there but the above is factual. The director seems to make decisions on adoption based on such things as if she thinks you have enough money or where you live or how you’re dressed (anecdotal) Most recently she has sent letters to donors who disagree with her returning their mondy and saying “you don’t fit our vision for the shelter”…all the while asking for funds. What a boondoggle!

  7. Lyanda Lynn Haupt, a Seattle nature writer and author of the awesome book “Crow Planet,” has a new book out, “The Urban Bestiary: Encountering the Everyday Wild.”


    From the Amazon description:

    ” . . . coyotes, raccoons, chickens, hawks, and humans live in closer proximity than ever before. Haupt’s observations bring compelling new questions to light: Whose “home” is this? Where does the wild end and the city begin? And what difference does it make to us as humans living our everyday lives? In this wholly original blend of science, story, myth, and memoir, Haupt draws us into the secret world of the wild creatures that dwell among us in our urban neighborhoods, whether we are aware of them or not. With beautiful illustrations and practical sidebars on everything from animal tracking to opossum removal, THE URBAN BESTIARY is a lyrical book that awakens wonder, delight, and respect for the urban wild, and our place within it.”

    In “Crow Planet,” Haupt showed she has a wonderful way of looking at the most ordinary things and explaining why they are meaningful. I already have the new book on reserve at the library and thought others might find it of interest.

  8. Does anyone have pet insurance? I don’t, but lately I have felt very strongly that I should have coverage on one of my dogs. The more I read about pet insurance, the more confused I am.

      1. That agrees with what I have found and I have used a comparison chart. I am leaning towards Trupanion, but I was hoping someone had experience with one of the companies.

  9. I used Care Credit when CJ was first hospitalized in 2006 and was lucky enough to pay it off before the high interest rates kicked in. I also used it for a couple of her surgeries. If you do that, be sure to read the fine print. If you end up making payments it can get VERY expensive. It was great for us because when she first got sick, they would’t keep her at MSU unless I could guarantee half of the estimate. I eventually raised my VISA limit to cover anything she might need so I wouldn’t get caught in a bind.

    1. I have a credit card just for pet emergencies. I want insurance for major illnesses so I don’t end up owing thousands of dollars. Someone I know just had hip surgery for their dog and it cost $5,000.. The dog needs the other hip done and it will be at least that amount at MSU. Several years ago I charged a dog’s back surgery and I can’t imagine what that surgery costs today.

      1. We, too, wanted catastrophic insurance. We insure our cats through Trupanion and have found their customer service to be prompt and clear. In the past year, one of our cats had resorptive lesions and two teeth were extracted. Trupanion wouldn’t cover the dental cleaning that was done while he was under anesthesia because that was classified as preventive care. And they never cover more than 90 percent.

        However . . . they were very good about providing payment for their portion directly to the vet, so we would not have to front the part that they did cover. (In the end it was about 1/3 because we hadn’t yet paid our deductible, otherwise it would have been about 75%.) Our vet, though wonderful, had had no experience working with insurance companies to receive payment directly, but they were willing to have us be their first case, and Trupanion was really good about communicating with us and with the vet. Something to keep in mind, given that fronting costs can be a big deal.

        Our premiums have gone up, but I had put that down to the fact that premiums tend to increase once the animal is past 6 years of age. I’ll have to ask Trupanion if the increase was due to the fact that we filed a claim. I had no idea a medical problem could be redefined as a pre-existing condition in the following year and will ask them about that, too.

        One thing to remember is that the deductible is per issue, not per year. So you can end up paying the deductible more than once for the same pet in the same year.

        Otherwise, in our experience so far, pet insurance is much like health insurance for people: there can be exclusions (including, wrongly IMO, pre-existing conditions), and there’s paperwork and project management and you have to track everything carefully . . . and yet, it’s important to have IMO if at all possible. Although we used the insurance for a dental procedure, we had it in the first place because we’ve been the people handing over a credit card because of an emergency, knowing we would pay the entire bill. We don’t want that to happen again.

      2. ” I had no idea a medical problem could be redefined as a pre-existing condition in the following year”

        Wow – a practice so sleazy even the human health insurance companies haven’t tried to get away with it! And they’ve tried to get away with just about everything. Pre-existing is normally defined as existing prior to the date insurance coverage took effect.

        It sounds like your pet insurance company is basically treating you as a brand new customer every year, pretending they never took your money before. So much for valuing your business.

      3. This concerned me, so I just got off the phone with Trupanion. They were clear:

        — They do not “reset” and redefine a problem that occurred for the first time in one year, as a pre-existing condition in the following year. I agree, that would be outrageous. The only time that would happen is if you left their coverage and then returned, say, a couple of years later. Under those circumstances, you would start over. But if you have continuing coverage with them, it does not.

        — Our premium increase was not due to the fact that we had filed a claim. Nor was it due, as I had believed, to the fact that our pets were a year older. It was due to the fact that the cost of care in our zip code had gone up . . . Trupanion bases its anticipated costs, and thus its rates, on veterinary costs in the client’s area.

  10. Geesh, I’ve been No-Kill for so long I cannot think with the mind of those who kill daily.
    I was recently asked by the head of AC to pick up a feral mom and newborn babies he had trapped at his home and get them homes- when the mom was fixed he would take her back.
    I drove the 2 hrs to AC and when I got there a staffer
    Told me she didn’t think the cat was the mom as she had not seen her with the kits all day. That the cat looked pregnant. I was afraid if i put her in a kennel with the babies and they were not hers and she was pregnant she might kill the babies. I did not want them to put the mom in a catch pole and stress her out- as that was the only option. So I just took the babies and called both the super and the head of AC as to what had transpired. I told the super to put the feral momma in a trap and determine if she was pregnant and that I would come back for her and get her either fixed (as I did not have a trap with me at the time I went to AC and they had taken her out of the trap) or if she was too far along let her have her babies. Also to look and see if she had the tell tale signs she had nursed which would indicate that yes she was the mom.
    I get half way home and get a call back from the AC head- and he was able to assure me it was the mom- so I told him I was turning around to go back and get the cat. I got half way back and got another call that it was “too late”-
    I literally thought it was because of being close to closing time.
    My lesson is to always take a trap with me anytime I go there from now on-and
    So in HIGH KILL scenarios not even cats from the boss will be spared.
    I can say my anger at this needless slaughter has still not abated.

    1. Holy shit, that’s depressing. All these places that go on and on about “how hard” it is on them to “have to kill” is clearly a lie – they kill because it’s easy. They kill because they are lazy and lack compassion. They kill because killing is so simple for them.

  11. I care for a feral cat colony that lives in a fairly safe, wooded area behind some local restaurants and I’ve been working on spaying/neutering them.

    Recently I noticed a young feral cat living in a storm drain in an unsafe area that I’d like to incorporate into my colony – has anyone very managed to do this? Any suggestions? Good idea or bad?

    1. You might go to Alley Cat Allies for some advice. They’ve been very helpful with my questions. I do know that a local rescue has a farm where ferals are sometimes relocated and the newbies are kept confined for a certain amount of time before being released. I don’t know if it’s for everyone to be used to the new smells or to prevent the newbie from trying to get home. I bet someone will be able to help.
      Bless your heart for taking care of these wonderful cats.

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