The Knox-Whitley County Animal Shelter in KY burned down last Friday. Only 3 of 37 cats survived but 23 of the 25 dogs made it out alive. The shelter is now looking for a new temporary building. (Thanks Luke for the link.)
The injectable canine castration drug introduced on the veterinary market in 2003 as Neutersol is set to be reintroduced very soon under the name Zeuterin. Whereas Neutersol failed to take off due to lack of veterinary training on proper injection techniques, Zeuterin will be sold only to vets who complete a 5 hour course on its use.
A student at Georgia Regents University intends to transfer schools after an undercover investigation by HSUS revealed what appears to be cruel vivisection practices conducted on dogs obtained by the university from a USDA Class B dealer.
KC Cat Advocates shared this graphic on an easily fabricated winter shelter for feral cats. (Thanks Arlene for the link.)
A damning investigation by The Hollywood Reporter alleges American Humane Association covers up animal suffering and death on the sets of motion pictures where they are supposed to be protecting animals. (Thanks Billy for the link.)
Ian Watkins, singer of the Welsh rock band Lostprophets, pleaded guilty last week to multiple counts of child sex offenses as well as one count “of possessing an extreme pornographic image involving a sex act on an animal,” illustrating once again the link between human abuse and animal abuse.
11 thoughts on “Treats on the Internets”
Regarding the winter cat shelters. I know the reason for two exits, but honestly, I don’t think it’s warm enough with two exits for those living in the colder regions. Also, raccoons are not a problem in the winter in the colder areas – those of you in the south may get raccoons out during the winter, though, I don’t know. The only way I can think of two exits working well in very cold regions is if you are building a two-level shelter where the cat can get up on a shelf above the entrances and out of any airflow that goes from one door to another.
The instructions are to make the doors high enough that the straw doesn’t spill out…ok, but also make them low enough that the cat is essentially climbing up onto the straw inside because heat rises and you want that cat up close to the ceiling to help keep him warm. The doors need to be low enough too to not let the heat out – to help you picture where the heat is in a shelter, imagine it turned upside down and filled with water. The water is the warmth and if you have your doors too high, the warmth is just going to pour out of them. The deeper your imaginary water can get, the better your shelter will hold warmth in.
I also am not inclined to use Reflectix – its R value is too low for our area, especially if the cat is pressing up against it and it’s pressing up against the outer wall of the shelter. Without airspace, its insulation properties are seriously diminished. It would be fine to use along the bottom of the shelter (with a few inches of straw on top of it), but I would not use it for walls or top. I’m in NE Ohio, so I’m using 2 in thick extruded foam board (the pink or blue sheets, depending on what brand you get). The foam board is harder to work with, but if you know your measurements ahead of time, Home Depot or Lowes will cut it up for you on their big plywood cutter. Use quality duct tape (NOT the stuff with the duck on it, go for the 3M) to put your foam pieces together.
See? I can go on and on about cat shelters and I don’t have to think about child rapists or vivisection. La la la la la la la! Cat shelters!
Just checked the 3 day weather forecast for Columbia, SC: 75, 79 and 81 degrees are the expected highs. I suspect any critters who feel like coming out certainly won’t be deterred by the weather.
Our next three day projected highs are 56, 33, 26 degrees F (lows are 31, 20, 20). We’ve had raccoons out when the weather warmed up enough to melt the snow, but then the cats aren’t as desperate for shelter during those times, either.
It’s going to hurt going from 56 to 33.
Perhaps you can provide a written tutorial, complete with photos, of the cat shelters you make? I would be happy to post it on the blog.
I was thinking I should do that. Ok, the next one I put together will get photographed as I go. I’ve never thought about shelter types being region-specific before, but yes, they probably are.
What kind of low temperatures do you see in the winters, Shirley? Do you ever get below zero?
I’ll be honest and admit I am terrible at monitoring the weather. Billy has been after me for years to get better at this but generally I go around expecting it to be somewhere between 40 and 110 degrees. So take my answer for what it’s worth but I don’t think we get below zero here. Snow/ice is a rarity. We just went through a cold snap last week and I think it got down to the 20s at night.
Ah. Our snow just melted yesterday (well, most of it – I was still able to make some snowballs to throw for the dogs, but that’s about it). And snow is a factor, too – wet cats are more at risk for hypothermia than dry cats. Which is why the straw is vital – not just for insulation, but to allow a cat to dry off, too.
Please do put together a photo series of your shelters! Every fall, I see questions crop up about very cold weather shelters on other forums I participate in – or, rather, people will ask what they ought to do, they’ve been feeding these cats, they’re wary of trying to bring them inside, and the regional ACC is no help at all. This especially seems to be the case in rural Canada … and the only shelters I’ve ever helped make are the foam box ones. Good enough for where I live in California, but not good enough for, say, Manitoba.
Manitoba is a whole ‘nother level of COLD. But it could be done – especially if you have multiple cats to help keep each other warm. That’s the case where a larger shelter is better than a smaller shelter (although if you only have one cat, you want the shelter small to keep the warm airspace right around the cat). I think key in that situation is to “shelter the shelter” – get it out of the wind as much as possible and keep the doorway clear of snow.
I will definitely take photos of my next one.
I tried to send a longer article to you Shirley regarding the Georgia Regents University use of animals….the longer article includes a quote from Charlie Powell, public information officer for the College of Veterinary Medicine at Washington State University in Pullman, Washington. “We do not deal with Class B dealers period.” Our local Animal Control that is Tri-City Animal Control in Pasco, Washington has had a contract to send “shelter” animals to WSU College of Veterinary Medicine since April, 2003. Why buy Class B dogs when “shelter” pets are available.