Monday, December 29, 2008

Minnesota Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act

Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act Begins Taking Form in Minnesota

On Friday, December 20 - just in time for the holiday season, the State of Minnesota began working on gift for thousands of dogs and cats currently trapped in puppy mills in the state: The Puppy/Kitten Mill Cruelty Prevention Act.

Unlike other failed attempts to regulate pet breeding in Minnesota, this bill will work to ensure large-scale breeders are in compliance with the all federal, State and local animal welfare and cruelty laws. Among the interesting provisions in the bill is a statement that will prevent anyone previously convicted of animal cruelty from owning a dog or cat breeding operation.

Mike Fry, Executive Director of Animal Ark, the largest no kill animal welfare organization in Minnesota, says that one of the beauties of this new approach is that it makes effective use of existing animal cruelty laws and law enforcement structures. He believes that if the bill becomes law, this will make it easier to enforce than previous bills.

Additionally, several small breeders have contributed to the development of the Puppy/Kitten Mill Cruelty Prevention Act, helping to ensure there will be no unintended consequences for smaller, responsible breeders.

The first draft of the official bill language is due the first week in December.

For more information, call (651) 772-8983.
Related Links:

Animal Ark's Puppy Mill Resource Center

Ask Your Senator and Representative to Support the Puppy and Kitten Mill Cruelty Prevention Act

Donate to Help

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Frozen dog

December 9, 2008
'Frozen' dog making a recovery

Pet's status on hold; owner faces ordinance violation

Gannett Wisconsin Media
SHEBOYGAN — The future home of an elderly dog found frozen to the sidewalk last week after its owner left it outside overnight won't be determined until late December when the owner appears in court, Humane Society officials said Monday.
The dog, a male 11- to 12-year-old border collie mix named Jiffy, doesn't appear to have suffered any lasting injuries from the incident and is recovering at the Sheboygan County Humane Society shelter.

The owner was issued an ordinance violation for animal neglect, and is scheduled for a Dec. 22 court appearance, according to the Sheboygan County District Attorney's Office. A criminal charge of misdemeanor animal neglect may be filed at that time.
The owner is accused of leaving the dog outside as temperatures plunged to the single digits Wednesday night into Thursday morning. She told police she tried to get the dog inside but was unable to, and instead checked on the dog every few hours, police said. The temperature dipped to 6 degrees overnight, according to the National Weather Service.
The woman would have to voluntarily surrender custody of the dog, or be ordered to do so by a judge in order for it to be put up for adoption, Shelter Manager Carey Payne said. Jiffy will remain with the Humane Society until a decision is made.
Payne said the dog can barely walk and is unable to stand up unassisted, but a veterinarian has concluded that the "morbidly obese" dog's mobility issues are a result of its weight, rather than prolonged exposure to extreme cold.
Officials have said that few dogs could survive a night outdoors at single-digit temperatures. However, the dog weighs 116 pounds — or roughly three times what it should — and it likely stayed alive due to layers of fat.
The dog has no signs of frostbite.
Jiffy was hardly able to move at all when first brought to the shelter on Thursday morning.
The dog was freed by Payne and two other Humane Society employees, who poured warm water over his back end.
"We're trying to get him up and walking a bit," Payne said. "But other than that, he's still the same."
The humane society has received more than 100 e-mails and phone calls from people as far away as Spain, who've offered to adopt Jiffy, according to Payne.
Payne said the shelter has incurred a high amount of medical costs in caring for the dog, and she's encouraging people who want to help to make a donation to the Sheboygan County Humane Society.
Despite everything that Jiffy has been through, the dog remains charming as can be, according to Payne.
"He is so sweet," Payne said. "There's not a mean bone in this dog's body."

Consider writing a letter or making a call on behalf of this dog. He absolutely should not be returned to this owner.

Sheboygan County District Attorney
Joe DeCecco
Courthouse - 1st Floor - North
615 N 6th ST
Sheboygan, WI 53081
PHONE: (920) 459-3040
FAX:: (920) 459-4383

Sheboygan County Humane Society
3107 North 20th Street
Sheboygan, WI 53083
Phone: (920) 458-2012

Monday, December 8, 2008

Rescue Barbie

*K-9 Rescue Barbie*

This Christmas season; give the latest, hottest new Barbie -- K-9 Rescue Barbie. She comes with her own SUV, and various size dog crates inside.

She has a cell phone that's barely working due to over use and underpayment.

Barbie herself is decked out in jeans, grungy athletic shoes, and a t-shirt that says "Dogs are Better Than Any Other Living Thing on Earth". She comes with a road atlas of every town and state in all of North America, and a GPS on the dashboard of the SUV. She also has a map of every McDonald's in the world.

Optional is the special Rescue Dog Barbie laptop computer with the names and addresses of every other dog rescue person on earth, in case she gets somewhere and a contact fails to show up.

Running buddy, "Lucky", the three-legged, blind Shih Tzu doll is available for an additional $49.95.

For $89.95, you can complete the set with "Pissed off husband at home, Ken," and the various foster dogs at $20 each.

Prices for accessories are:

Fake snow falling on Barbie's SUV: $12.95
Flat tire for Barbie's SUV: (see Barbie's Road Service")
Barbie's First Aid Kit: (human): $11.75, (canine): $69.50
Barbie's Speeding Ticket: $95 (Mississippi--$195)
Barbie's coat-that-she-had-to-buy-in-Minnesota: $85
Barbie's Vet Bill for Lucky in Isla Mujeres, New Mexico: $63.45
Barbie's contact, Rhonda, who she had to give gas money to in Mesa Verde, Texas: $20.
Barbie's bill to get her contact, Luis, out of jail in Bakersfield, California: $500.
Barbie's bill to get Luis's dogs out of the pound in Bakersfield, California: $265.
Barbie's hotel/kennel bill in Laughlin, Nevada, while she waits for her contact:$532.
Barbie's overalls that she has to buy while in Minden, Nebraska, hunting down lost coonhounds: $49.95
Pizza for suspicious looking hitch-hiker with sick puppy: $15
Vet bill for hitch-hikers sick puppy in Des Moines, Iowa: $143.29
Barbie's doggie wheelchair for "Klause" the rescue dachshund in Leavenworth, Kansas: $143.
And Barbie's van detailing/fumigation from hauling parvo/kennel cough puppies: $187.
Barbie's resume to get new job when she gets home from run: $29.95

And let us not forget her sister doll - Cat Rescue Barbie, who comes with the same equipment, (substitute "cat" for "dog"), also:

Folding ladder in vehicle: $129.95
Have-a-heart trap: $29.95
Cans of tuna for baiting trap: $11.95
Long handled fishing net: $39.95
Case of Simple Clean: $259.95
Black light (to detect cat urine): $29.95
Tee shirt that says "The More I Know About Men, The More I Love My Cat"
Running buddy "Jeep" - 3-legged tailless cat named after vehicle that claimed her missing appendages: $89.95
Vet bill for Jeep $397.95
Friend Edith, 87-year-old feral colony feeder, who calls begging favors when her arthritis acts up and she can't get out. $59.95
Food for Edith's colony cats (after all, Edith is on Social Security) $139.95
Friend Margie, do-gooder with pristine home and one spoiled cat, whose idea of being a rescuer is to pick up strays and take them to Barbie for rehab, vetting, fostering, and placement. $89.95
Vet bills for Margie's rescues $892.95
Mother Sadie, who calls weekly to ask Barbie when she is going to get rid of all those smelly cats and give her some grandchildren already $ 89.95 (telephone extra)
Shrink who talks Barbie out of killing above-mentioned persons each week $500

Vet who makes house calls and doesn't blink at unannounced visits and odd-hour consultations: *priceless*

*Blessed are the cracked, for they shall let in the light*

Friday, December 5, 2008

Not the dog's fault

Fat border collie survives freezing to sidewalk
Associated Press

December 5, 2008

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. - A dog weighing more than 120 pounds survived being frozen to a sidewalk overnight, probably because he was insulated by layers of fat, authorities said.

The "morbidly obese" dog, an aging border collie mix named Jiffy, froze to the sidewalk when he was left out overnight Wednesday, the Sheboygan County Humane Society said. Few dogs could survive the single-digit temperatures, and it was probably the fat that made the difference, shelter manager Carey Payne said.

Jiffy's 59-year-old owner was arrested Thursday morning on suspicion of animal neglect, Sheboygan Police Lt. Tim Eirich said. She told police she tried to get the dog inside but couldn't, and instead checked on him every few hours.

The dog is 11 or 12 years old, Eirich said. Shelter workers poured warm water over Jiffy's back end to unstick him from the sidewalk, Payne said, adding it was too soon to say whether he suffered any long-term effects.


Information from: The Sheboygan Press,

© 2008 Star Tribune. All rights reserved.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Reward offered for tips on animal fighting in MN

Updated: 11/17/2008 12:30:39 PM

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Various Minnesota law enforcement agencies are teaming up with the Humane Society of the United States to fight dogfighting and cockfighting.

The society is offering up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone involved in illegal animal fighting.

Jill Fritz is Minnesota state director for The Humane Society. She says cockfighting and dogfighting are cruel blood sports that hurt both animals and the surrounding communities.

They are also illegal. Cockfighting and dogfighting are felonies in Minnesota, punishable by imprisonment of at least one year and one day.

The new reward for information was announced at a news conference Friday at the state Capitol.

Organizers say the reward program has been made possible through a grant from the Holland M. Ware Charitable Foundation.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
All Material Copyright 2008 KARE-11. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, November 14, 2008

No Kill Nation

I second these remarks from Mike Fry of Animal Ark:

From: Animal Ark Outreach
Sent: Friday, November 14, 2008 2:13 PM
Subject: Closer to a No Kill Nation

Applause for Wayne Pacelle, CEO of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS)
A few months ago, I posted a blog about the CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, and his continued change in language in favor of no kill. When I posted that blog, I was hopeful that the change in language represented a seismic shift in the animal welfare community in the United States. Recent news suggests that my hopes have been realized, to a certain degree.

In a recent ad promoting adoptions from shelters, and launched by Maddie's Fund, HSUS and the Ad Council, Wayne Pacelle, CEO of HSUS states, "It will make a life-saving difference in securing loving homes for untold numbers of pets and get us closer to a no-kill nation."

Wow. That is a big deal.

But, perhaps more importantly, Pacelle goes on to suggest that the "needless" killing being done in animal shelters is, at least, in part, the fault of animal shelters that have not done enough to save the lives of dogs and cats in their care.

This is on the heals of the announcement by HSUS that Susanne Kogut and Bonney Brown will be speaking at HSUS Expo in 2009. Both of these animal welfare advocates manages shelters that maintain the no kill status of their entire community.

The importance of this shift cannot be understated. Locally, here in Minnesota, we have a very wealthy humane organization that continues to misrepresent and deride the no kill movement in the United States. Historically, HSUS has provided political cover for such organizations. This shift suggests that those days are gone forever.

Read what Nathan Winograd from the No Kill Advocacy Center has to say about this development on his blog.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

RAGOM receives 2008 Kodiak Award

Retrieve a Golden of Minnesota (RAGOM) Receives Award

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota – October 27, 2008

Friends of Flicka is pleased to announce that Retrieve a Golden of Minnesota (RAGOM) is the recipient of the 2008 Kodiak Award. This $5000 award is presented annually to a leading animal rescue organization or individual for their exceptional work in charitable animal rescue.

Friends of Flicka is particularly impressed and moved by RAGOM’s commitment to rescuing and re-homing senior Golden Retrievers and has requested that this award be used specifically for RAGOM’s senior Goldens. “RAGOM clearly lives and works its mission statement; Provide a high quality of life for Golden Retrievers who can no longer remain in their current environments.” Friends of Flicka appreciates RAGOM’s prompt response when they are asked to help a dog that is in danger of shelter euthanasia, often because of its age. Learn more about RAGOM at

Friends of Flicka is a 501(C)(3) tax exempt charitable organization created in memory of a beloved golden retriever for the purpose of providing funds to other qualified exempt organizations and individuals engaged in the rescue, adoption and care of animals that have been abandoned, lost, or abused. One hundred percent of Friends of Flicka funds are donated to needy animals; fifty percent are directed to Golden causes. All contributions made to Friends of Flicka are fully tax deductible. Learn more about Friends of Flicka at

The Kodiak award is appropriately named for Flicka's best friend, her brother Kodiak. It is awarded annually to the volunteer or organization whose efforts on behalf of abused or abandoned animals are so extraordinary that the Board of Friends of Flicka believes special recognition is deserved. “We don't expect this will ever be an easy decision - there are so many people making daily sacrifices to help animals that have been mistreated. But if, in addition to the other grants we make each year, we can provide special support and recognition to just one, perhaps it will give hope and inspiration to others.” Kodiak was a senior dog when he passed away this summer and it is in his memory that other dogs will be helped.


Friends of Flicka is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt charitable organization created in memory of a beloved golden retriever for the purpose of providing funds to other qualified exempt organizations and individuals engaged in the rescue, adoption and care of animals that have been abandoned, lost or abused.

FAX NUMBER: 612-332-7454
Friends of Flicka
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Shelters in trouble

Spay/neuter is the only way to get ahead of this problem!

Hard times create heartwrenching scene at local animal shelter
Bea Chang

At a time when many are struggling to put food on the table, many are also struggling to care for their pets.

"No one wants to talk about their financial situations," said Brenda Zelinka, the Executive Director of the Northwoods Humane Society.

And they don't have to. The fact that the shelter is now overloaded with cats, tells Zelinka that people are struggling.

"They're embarrassed. They'll say they are downsizing," Zelinka said about the recent increase in people surrending their pets to Northwoods.

Zelinka said some pet owners have been foreclosed on and no longer have space for their pet. Some, she said, simply can't afford to pay for food or vet bills anymore.

Zelinka said many people turning in their pets can't afford to pay the $30 surrender fee. The small shelter in Wyoming usually holds about 80 cats. It is now overloaded with about 117 cats and frequently must turn away people who want to drop off their pets.

Staff said in the past six weeks, 16 pets have been abandoned outside the shelter doors.

"We just had a dog last week in the rain that sat outside all night. It was soaking wet. No blanket, no covering," said staff member Denise Tauer.

Zelinka said about a dozen cats, also abandoned by their owners, are now living in the woods next to the shelter.

Northwoods does not euthanize its animals, so Zelinka said until more cats are adopted, they can't take anymore in.

"It's heartwrenching for the animals and it's very hard emotionally on the staff and volunteers," Zelinka said. "It's not good."

For more information on how to adopt a cat visit the Northwoods Humane Society's website,

By Julianna Olsen, KARE 11 News
(Copyright 2008 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Support moving elephants from zoo to sanctuary

Los Angeles councilman gets celebrity help in push to remove elephants from LA zoo

Associated Press
October 22, 2008

LOS ANGELES - Bob Barker, Alicia Silverstone and other celebrities are joining a city councilman's effort to move elephants from the Los Angeles Zoo to a massive sanctuary where they can roam free — or at least close to it.

Councilman Tony Cardenas, accompanied by several celebrities at a news conference Tuesday, announced his desire to halt construction of the zoo's elephant habitat and use the money to build a 60-acre sanctuary operated by the zoo.

"We need to get those elephants out of the LA Zoo," Cardenas said.

Cardenas filed two motions Tuesday at the City Council meeting to reallocate what's left of the $39 million approved for the elephant exhibit and open the sanctuary in the northern San Fernando Valley. He said the 3 1/2-acre "Pachyderm Forest" at the zoo will be too small to keep elephants happy and healthy.

Los Angeles Zoo officials said they intend to complete the project, which will house 11 African elephants and a breeding program. Zoo director John Lewis said construction is one-third complete and about $10.2 million has been spent.

Cardenas said he was one of the council members who approved the new facility in 2006, but "ever since then, it really hasn't set well with me."

Cardenas said he decided the city's elephant exhibit needed drastic changes after visiting Ruby, a former zoo elephant, at the Performing Animal Welfare Society sanctuary in Stockton.

"You could see in her eyes, she looked healthy. She was interacting with the other elephants," he said.

At the news conference, which included celebrity animal lovers Barker, Silverstone, Robert Culp and Esai Morales, the councilman played a video of the zoo's only pachyderm, Billy. The elephant was seen bobbing his head — a behavior that animal advocates say is caused by the psychological stress of living in confinement.

Barker said Cardenas' proposal is "the perfect solution" for Billy and other elephants scheduled to arrive at the zoo.

Lewis defended the zoo's care of the elephant, saying Billy bobs his head when zoo personnel come to feed or care for him.

"Is it a normal elephant behavior? No. Is it pathological? No. It's a Billy behavior," Lewis said.

Cardenas said a sanctuary would cost $10 million. The unfinished elephant habitat at the zoo could be turned over to giraffes, saving the city $20 million, he said.

A City Council panel will review the proposal Nov. 6.

© 2008 Star Tribune. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Young Tiger Cub Being Exploited at Corn Maze.

The October issue of The Wildcat Sanctuary Newletter:

What could be wrong with a cute little, local petting zoo? Isn’t that what Fall and Family Fun and Severs Corn Maze are all about? How could taking my child to enjoy getting up close and personal with these adorable animals make a difference in the scheme of things?

If you take a closer look and read more about the exhibits and exhibitors, there is so much that the general public doesn’t know. The animals that you have the opportunity to see spend thousands of hours and miles on the road being transported from venue to venue all year long. You are not their first stop and you certainly won’t be their last. That little pen you see them lying in at the fair might be the largest habitat they’ll ever see.

And what about the exhibitors who portray themselves as animal lovers who just want to share the joy of animals with you? These folks are businessmen and women whose livelihoods come from transporting these animals around the state and around the country, displaying them for profit. The animals are a product and displaying them is their profit center. When Minnesota voted to pass S.F. 1530 aimed at curbing the commercial trade in exotic animals, Kevin Vogel of Vogel Exotic Animal Shows fought against it vigorously saying “his family business travels extensively” with these animals. Is this something you want to promote with your attendance at Severs Corn Maze who has contracted Vogel Exotics?

And why do you see so many baby animals on display? Ask yourself and then ask them, where do they end up when they are fully grown? Will they continue to transport a fully grown 500 pound tiger? Doubtful…that tiger will end up sold off in the exotic animal industry where meeting the animals' needs is definitely secondary to profiting from them. Thankfully, Dateline, CNN, 60 Minutes, and so many other news organizations are beginning to shed light on the reality of what is behind these animal displays and the trade in exotics.

Please do the right thing and say “No” to animal abuse of this kind and please share this information to teach as many others as you possibly can. You can set a wonderful example by not attending exhibits like this one.

Hard times all around

Check out this New York Times article about the "trickle down effect" of the financial crisis on homes and rescues for companion animals.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Good News! Shandy found a home.

Thanks to everyone who made an effort or sent good thoughts her way!

I am so happy and thankful that we found a new loving family for Shandy! Thanks to Steve & Katrina, they are giving Shandy a second chance on having a healthy, happy and active life!

Thank you again for all of your thoughts and prayers...Shandy is very happy and extremely spoiled with love! Life is good for her now!


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Shandy needs a new home

This beautiful black lab was found wandering and was taken in by a kind family. They managed to find the dog's owner, but the owner didn't want her anymore. They have another dog and apparently this one is a bit of an escape artist. The rescue family loves this dog (Shandy), but already have a big dog and a cat and can't keep her.

She is 3-4 years young, spayed, up-to-date on shots with shiny white teeth. She is a love, but she'll need exercise and probably a fenced yard.

Please spread the word and contact Sherry or Jon at 612-382-0685 or if you interested or need more information.

I need to take this opportunity to comment on this kind of situation. The rescue family had taken Shandy to the one of the Animal Humane Society locations (Golden Valley, Coon Rapids, Buffalo, St. Paul or Woodbury) and they were told pointblank that the dog would be held for five days and then euthanized if the owner did not come to claim her.

They signed the surrender documents giving up all rights to the dog, but continued to look for the owner and to try to find a home. Incredibly, they managed to find the owners, but the owners were willing to let the dog be euthanized. Instead, they agreed to get the dog out of the Humane Society and give her to the rescue family which took Shandy and went to work to find a new home.

I appreciate the candor of AHS in letting these people know that the dog would be euthanized in five days if the owner did not claim her. It is a common misperception that animals brought into the Humane Society will be placed on the adoption floor to find new homes as long as they are healthy and socialized. Unfortunately, that is not the case.

Of the thousands of animals that are brought into the five AHS locations each year, about 40-50% are euthanized and many of those are healthy, adoptable animals. The facilities simply don't have room for all the abandoned and surrendered animals. They have an "open door" policy which means that they will take in any animal brought to them, but when the population exceeds their capacity, many pets are euthanized.

The AHS locations here are unusually full of dogs right now because they took in dogs from the areas in the southern United States that had hurricane damage. This is a noble cause, but it results in even more of our local animals being pushed aside. Puppies and young dogs with perfect health and excellent temperaments are the only ones that will ever even make it to the adoption floor. A black dog, especially a lab, is at the greatest disadvantage of all due to color and commonness.

Cats are in an even worse situation, because there are more of them. For at least six months of the year, any cat over one year of age coming into one of the AHS locations will be euthanized without ever making it to the adoption floor. I was sick at heart last week when the AHS was begging for cat adoptions. I know that means they are full to the point of having to euthanize even kittens and nursing moms. I know because I foster kittens and nursing moms for them.

I had a very similar situation to the one with Shandy a few years ago when a friend found a little black kitten and took it to the Humane Society, then called me -- she should have called me first. I told her we had to get it out immediately. I pulled all the strings I could and offered to foster the kitten, but it was too late. They admitted that they had euthanized the kitten within 24 hours of receiving it, probably because she had a little cold.

AHS is not the evil empire, but when all the "no-kill" shelters close their doors because they are full -- which happens for months every summer -- all that is left is the "open-door" and a likely death sentence at AHS. I truly believe that if people understood what really happens, they would make a greater effort to be responsible (spay and neuter your pets!) and demand greater accountability from AHS. It is possible to do so much better.

Just a few examples include
San Francisco which has been a leader in the "no-kill" movement and New York City which is on a ten-year plan to achieve citywide no-kill. Maricopa county in Arizona (which includes Phoenix) is also several years into a ten-year plan.

There is no reason the Twin Cities metropolitan area cannot achieve this goal, too, if AHS would join the effort already begun by the Homes For All Pets group here. Literally millions of dollars are available in grants from Maddie's Fund, but only for a joint effort to achieve "no-kill". The "no-kill" groups in Minnesota are aligned and ready to work together, but we can't move ahead without cooperation from AHS.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Please adopt a cat!

The largest animal rescue group in the state is begging for adopters and all the other rescue groups in the state are similarly overrun. What will it take to get people to spay/neuter their cats??

Cat overpopulation: Public asked to adopt

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. -- The Animal Humane Society in the Twin Cities is asking the public to adopt a cat.

The organization says it's overrun with stray cats and kittens that came in over the summer.

Nearly 10,000 cats came in from June through September. So far this year, the Animal Humane Society has received more than 16,000 cats. That's an increase of 6 percent from the same period a year ago.

Warmer weather in the spring and fall is increasing the number of litters produced each year by cats that have not been spayed or neutered.

Humane Society president and CEO Janelle Dixon says the organization has more than 350 cats at its five location ready for adoption right now.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Oct. 18 Vaccine & Microchip Clinic

Hi everybody!

The next Low Cost Vaccine & Microchip Clinic at NE Community Lutheran Church will be on Saturday, October 18th

from 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM.

Northeast Community Lutheran Church

697 13th Avenue NE

Minneapolis, MN 55413

Low-Cost Vaccine Clinic for Pets: OCTOBER 18 3PM TO 6PM!

Includes a basic exam if time allows, rabies shots and distemper combos for dogs and cats.

Veterinarian and vet techs on site, $20.00 suggested donation per pet. Low-cost microchipping available for $20 by the

Humane Society.

A portion of proceeds benefits the Animal Humane Society. Volunteers needed!

Please call me with any questions, or if you can volunteer!


-Cathie Witzel

mobile: 612 859 7284

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Animal Control Impound Updates

From: Pamela Freeman []
Sent: Saturday, September 20, 2008 4:30 PM
Subject: Animal Control Impound Updates From Hillcrest Animal Hospital

Rescue Volunteers,

I wanted to take a minute to fill you in and bring everyone up to speed. Some of you have heard from me before and others have not. My name is Pam and I'm the Impound Manager at Hillcrest Animal Hospital in Maplewood, MN. Hillcrest has had a working relationship with animal control for the past 20 years. We have always provided the veterinary care for Animal Control Services Inc which is owned by Rick Ruzicka. Our kennel has always been for back-up boarding and animals under medical care. Starting in June we became the primary impound facility. We now do the impound boarding for over 30 cities in the metro area. People looking for their pets in our cities or neighboring cities should be instructed to call us and file a lost pet report. Sometimes we take close to 25 of these calls a day. We evaluate every incoming animal upon intake and compare their description to our lost reports. We do not take, process or relay any complaint calls. Anyone interested in making an animal related complaint should be directed to their city or county non-emergency police services. The police will then dispatch an officer to handle the call and/or pick up the animal. We do not take owner-surrenders. The cities we impound for are:

Arden Hills



Center City


Coon Rapids

East Bethel

Falcon Heights

Forest Lake

Gem Lake




Lake Elmo


Little Canada




North Branch

North Oaks

North Saint Paul

Pine Springs

Rush CIty



Spring Lake Park

St. Anthony


Stillwater Township

Taylors Falls

Vadnais Heights

West Lakeland

White Bear Lake

White Bear Township



It is my job to process every animal that is impounded and try to track down their families. If an owner can not be located and they are un-claimed then it is my responsibility to fine rescue groups to take the adoptable pets. We also adopt out to families directly. There is no cost for the animal but we require that they are brought up to date on routine medical care before we release it to their new home. Every animal being adopted out also receives a physical exam. The price of the exam is worked into the cost of the distemper combination and they also receive a 30% discount. For those who are curious what the adoption fee works out to be:

DHLPP-C 53.95
Rabies 20.00
Heartworm Test 47.90
w/30% off 85.30

Cats under 5#:

FDR-C 51.75

Rabies 20.00

FeLu/FIV Test 54.85

Revolution 14.59


Total w/30% off 98.83

Cats over 5#

FDR-C 51.75

Rabies 20.00

FeLu/FIV Test 54.85

Revolution 16.50


Total w/30% off 100.17

We also require that they alter the animal. We give them the option of making an appointment with their family vet or doing the spay/neuter with us. To encourage families to do it through us before the animal goes home we offer them a 30% discount off of the spay/neuter. All adoptions are run by and approved by our clinics veterinary staff and doctors. Rescues that are taking animals from us are given a 15% discount on any veterinary care that they may want to do before they take the animal. We DO NOT require that rescues do any medical care through us. This is due to the fact that rescues usually have their own method of getting the necessary medical care at a very discounted price.

I really love my job and the animals I get to work with every day. I am willing to bend over backwards and go above and beyond to see that every adoptable animal makes it to a forever home. In addition to my job I make personal contributions every day towards the cause.

This past week has been insanely busy and I'd like to fill everyone in on what our situation currently looks like. I have almost a full kennel of dogs that are still under their 6 day impound. We will probably be full after this weekend. There was a high flow of dogs coming in this week that have no id or microchip and I've had a very low number of lost calls. Our claim rate is usually very good. I'm starting to think that people don't know where to look for their dogs! I'm working on contacting every veterinary clinic in/near our cities and making sure that they have the list of cities that we impound for. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we get some messages from owners over the weekend. Keep in mind that in a worse case scenario I am going to have over a dozen dogs that will be due out to rescue sometime late next week. Please keep us in mind if you think you'll have an open place in your program. I'll update everyone on Monday night and let you know what we still have un-claimed. Cats are always more difficult to place then dogs but with adoptions being unusually slow for many groups we are filling up fast. I have around 10 cats that need to go out to rescue ASAP. We're gonna be backed into a corner if this coming week is anything like this past one was. If you have room for even one of our cats please let me know and I'll fill you in on what we have. We have a very high rate of very friendly/healthy cats coming in and I'm doing my best to find rescues for all of them. If you can think of any rescues other then yourself whom you think might have room please forward them this e-mail or have them give us a call.

I'm down to my last resources on 2 dogs. I need to at least get rescues to commit to take them by Monday. I've had rotten luck with placing pits and am staffs in the past. Most of the pits we impound that go un-claimed are un-placeable. This makes it even more frustrating for me when I can't find places for the few that are adoptable. I've exhausted my resources on these dogs at this point. If anyone can help me out or knows of a rescue that would be able to let me know. The first is a neutered male Am Staff. He's right around a year old and he weighs about 55 lbs. He's red with white marking. He's just a big playful puppy. The other is an intact female Pit. She's brindle and only weighs about 30 lbs. She's definitely had at least on little of puppies and is around 2 years old. This zippy little girl is such a love bug. She would be the perfect Pit for someone living in a smaller house or town home. If you can help me I'd be willing to go snap photos of them and send them your way.

I'm looking forward to working together with local rescues to help re-home abandoned and un-claimed pets. I am going to do my best to provide e-mail updates to everyone on my contact list as often as possible. Some of this information may not apply to everyone but I wanted to make sure I answered as many questions as possible in advance.

If anyone has any questions about anything at all don't hesitate to give me a call or drop me an e-mail. Our office hours are Mon/Wed/Fri 8am - 6pm. Tues/Thurs 8am - 8pm. Sat 8am - Noon. If you want to leave a message for me on our voice mail after hours go ahead and I'll return your call in the morning the following business day. Keep in mind that I do all my on-line work from home and I return my e-mails in the evening.

Pam Freeman
Impound Manager, Hillcrest Animal Hospital
1320 East County Road D Circle
Maplewood, MN 55109
(651) 484-7211

Monday, September 22, 2008

Humane Society Endorses Obama/Biden

September 22, 2008
Dear Friend,
I wanted to let you know that today, on behalf of the Humane Society Legislative Fund, I announced our endorsement of Barack Obama for President. Please see my blog below for more information, and help spread the word to animal lovers across the country.

Mike Markarian
Humane Society Legislative Fund

Paid for by Humane Society Legislative Fund and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.
Humane Society Legislative Fund Endorses Obama-Biden
One of the guiding principles of the Humane Society Legislative Fund is that we evaluate candidates based on a single criterion: where they stand on animal protection policies. We don't make decisions based on party affiliation, or any other social issue, or even how many pets they have. We care about their views and actions on the major policy debates relating to animal welfare.
It stirs controversy to get involved in candidate elections. But we believe that candidates for office and current lawmakers must be held accountable, or they will see the animal protection movement as a largely irrelevant political constituency. In order to have good laws, we need good lawmakers, and involvement in elections is an essential strategy for any serious social movement, including our cause.
While we've endorsed hundreds of congressional candidates for election, both Democrats and Republicans, we've never before endorsed a presidential candidate. We have members on the left, in the center, and on the right, and we knew it could be controversial to choose either party's candidate for the top office in the nation. But in an era of sweeping presidential power, we must weigh in on this most important political race in the country. Standing on the sidelines is no longer an option for us.
I'm proud to announce today that the HSLF board of directors -- which is comprised of both Democrats and Republicans -- has voted unanimously to endorse Barack Obama for President. The Obama-Biden ticket is the better choice on animal protection, and we urge all voters who care about the humane treatment of animals, no matter what their party affiliation, to vote for them.
Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) has been a solid supporter of animal protection at both the state and federal levels. As an Illinois state senator, he backed at least a dozen animal protection laws, including those to strengthen the penalties for animal cruelty, to help animal shelters, to promote spaying and neutering, and to ban the slaughter of horses for human consumption. In the U.S. Senate, he has consistently co-sponsored multiple bills to combat animal fighting and horse slaughter, and has supported efforts to increase funding for adequate enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act, Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, and federal laws to combat animal fighting and puppy mills.
In his response to the HSLF questionnaire, he pledged support for nearly every animal protection bill currently pending in Congress, and said he will work with executive agencies such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of the Interior to make their policies more humane. He wrote of the important role animals play in our lives, as companions in our homes, as wildlife in their own environments, and as service animals working with law enforcement and assisting persons with disabilities. He also commented on the broader links between animal cruelty and violence in society.
Obama has even on occasion highlighted animal protection issues on the campaign trail, and has spoken publicly about his support for animal protection. In reaction to the investigation showing the abuse of sick and crippled cows which earlier this year led to the largest meat recall in U.S. history, he issued a statement saying "that the mistreatment of downed cows is unacceptable and poses a serious threat to public health." He is featured in Jana Kohl's book about puppy mills, A Rare Breed of Love, with a photo of Obama holding Baby (shown above), the three-legged poodle rescued from an abusive puppy mill operation, and his political mentor, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), is the author of the latest federal bill to crack down on puppy mills.
Importantly, Obama's running mate, Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) has been a stalwart friend of animal welfare advocates in the Senate, and has received high marks year after year on the Humane Scorecard. Biden has not only supported animal protection legislation during his career, but has also led the fight on important issues. He was the co-author with Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) in the 108th Congress on legislation to ban the netting of dolphins by commercial tuna fishermen. He was the lead author of a bill in the 107th Congress to prohibit trophy hunting of captive exotic mammals in fenced enclosures, and he successfully passed the bill through the Senate Judiciary Committee.
On the Republican ticket, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has also supported some animal protection bills in Congress, but has been inattentive or opposed to others. He has voted for and co-sponsored legislation to stop horse slaughter, and voted to eliminate a $2 million subsidy for the luxury fur coat industry. But he has largely been absent on other issues, and has failed to co-sponsor a large number of priority bills or sign onto animal protection letters that have had broad support in the Senate.
The McCain campaign did not fill out the HSLF presidential questionnaire, and has also not issued any public statements on animal welfare issues. He was silent during the downed animal scandal and beef recall, which played out during a high-point in the primary fight. Yet he did speak at the NRA convention earlier this year, and is the keynote speaker this weekend in Columbus, Ohio, at the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance rally—an extremist organization that defends the trophy hunting of threatened polar bears and captive shooting of tame animals inside fenced pens.
While McCain's positions on animal protection have been lukewarm, his choice of running mate cemented our decision to oppose his ticket. Gov. Sarah Palin's (R-Alaska) retrograde policies on animal welfare and conservation have led to an all-out war on Alaska's wolves and other creatures. Her record is so extreme that she has perhaps done more harm to animals than any other current governor in the United States.
Palin engineered a campaign of shooting predators from airplanes and helicopters, in order to artificially boost the populations of moose and caribou for trophy hunters. She offered a $150 bounty for the left foreleg of each dead wolf as an economic incentive for pilots and aerial gunners to kill more of the animals, even though Alaska voters had twice approved a ban on the practice. This year, the issue was up again for a vote of the people, and Palin led the fight against it -- in fact, she helped to spend $400,000 of public funds to defeat the initiative.
What's more, when the Bush Administration announced its decision to list the polar bear as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, Palin filed a lawsuit to reverse that decision. She said it's the "wrong move" to protect polar bears, even though their habitat is shrinking and ice floes are vanishing due to global warming.
The choice for animals is especially clear now that Palin is in the mix. If Palin is put in a position to succeed McCain, it could mean rolling back decades of progress on animal issues.
Voters who care about protecting wildlife from inhumane and unsporting abuses, enforcing the laws that combat large-scale cruelties like dogfighting and puppy mills, providing humane treatment of animals in agriculture, and addressing other challenges that face animals in our nation, must become active over the next six weeks to elect a president and vice president who share our values. Please spread the word, and tell friends and family members that an honest assessment of the records of the two presidential tickets leads to the inescapable conclusion that Obama-Biden is the choice for humane-minded voters.

Paid for by Humane Society Legislative Fund and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.

Contributions or gifts to the Humane Society Legislative Fund ("HSLF") are not tax deductible. Your donation may be used for lobbying to pass laws to protect animals, as well as for political purposes, such as supporting or opposing candidates. HSLF does not accept contributions from business corporations or labor organizations.

Copyright © 2008 Humane Society Legislative Fund (HSLF) All Rights Reserved.

Humane Society Legislative Fund
519 C Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Another Pet Food Recall

Salmonella Risk Prompts Pet Food Recall
Possible Contamination of Mars Petcare Products Could Pose Risk to People and Pets

By Caroline Wilbert
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD
Sept. 15, 2008 -- Mars Petcare is recalling pet food products manufactured at its Everson, Pa., facility because of a potential salmonella contamination. In addition to being dangerous for pets, the pet food could sicken people who handle the food.

Children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems are particularly vulnerable. If you think you may have been exposed, look for symptoms including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping, and fever.

On rare occasions, salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms. The FDA urges people with these symptoms who have come into contact with the pet products to contact a health care provider.

Some animals may have similar symptoms, but others may have minimal or no symptoms. Whether or not they have signs, they could infect other animals and humans.

Many pet food brands are produced at the plant, including several varieties of Pedigree and a number of flavors of Special Kitty Gourmet. A complete list of brands is posted on the FDA website.

Mars Petcare stopped production at the Everson facility July 29 after learning of a possible link between dry pet food produced at the plant and two isolated cases of people infected with salmonella. The company is now implementing a voluntary recall of all products produced at the facility between Feb. 18 and July 29; only the U.S. is affected.
View Article Sources

News release, Mars Petcare.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Discussion to end animal shelter killing in MPLS

This notice is from the Animal Ark blog:

Those following the goings on in and around Minneapolis may have found the following post on the web site of the 9th Ward.

Breakfast with Gary: Ending animal shelter killing
The largest no-kill shelter in the Twin Cities, Animal Ark serves more than a thousand pets each year. Click on the link to see pets up for adoption.
Over five million unwanted cats and dogs are killed in shelters across the United States every year, including thousands in Minnesota. Join Council Member Gary Schiff on Friday, September 26th to talk about making Minneapolis more animal friendly by following the lead of San Francisco <> and other cities, by instituting high volume, low cost spay and neuter programs and other no kill policies.
Guest speakers include Minneapolis Animal Control Director Dan Niziolek, Underdog Rescue <> Director Shannon McKenzie and Mike Fry from Animal Ark <> . To learn more about no killpolicies, click here. <>
Breakfast with Gary takes place from 7:30 to 9:00 a.m. the final Friday of every month at Mercado Central, 1515 East Lake St. $5 buys breakfast.

This is a very exciting time to be involved in animal welfare in Minnesota. Things are changing fast. Expect more exciting anouncements to be coming soon!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Country Cats

A couple of months ago, I was at the Animal Humane Society in Golden Valley with my foster kittens and I overheard a woman concerned about dropping off the stray cat she had been caring for. I told her I had a place for the indoor/outdoor cat with friends of mine and my matchmaking worked out. My friends also took in a pair of motherless kittens, so a blended family was created. You can read the whole story at "Arms Full of Love".

I got an update today.


Here are some updated pics of our young cat family.
Pebbles is the beautiful calico on the driveway. Alfie is our orange/white male. Enya is our gray female. Alfie & Enya are brother and sister and they were born on approx. May 14th. The kittens have grown so fast! Pebbles is approx. 15 months old.

Pebbles has been going outside pretty regularly now and she knows how to use the cat door on the garage. Alfie & Enya have gone outside a few times with our supervision. They are both still a little young to be left outdoors on their own.

Enjoy the pictures!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Guess Who is Ready for Playtime?

Wonderful news from Auntie S this morning:

Daisy greeted me this morning from on top the toilet seat. She is frantically full of energy and has regained the luster in her eyes, and though she still has occasional sneezing fits she is much less congested.
She took her medicine like a trooper, then 9 cc of formula, sucking it down from a 3 cc syringe almost as fast as a Vanalikalike. I brought her in a few toys, including her own purple mouse, and suspect she will stay out of the tub for a good part of the day. I think she is ready to return to her surrogate siblings for some real play time.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Daisy is feeling better!

I was so happy to hear from Auntie S this morning:

Still sneezing and a little congested, but no fever. Got her meds and 7 cc formula. Was shivering after the formula, but I heated her bean bag and left the lights on, and snuggled, of course. I expect she'll warm up pretty quickly. I expect she'll be ready to go home by tomorrow night.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Poor Daisy

I am fostering a tiny kitten for the Animal Humane Society in Golden Valley. She is only about four weeks old. She was healthy when she came to me, but her sibling had died at the shelter before finding a foster home.
Soon after Daisy arrived she came down with an upper respiratory infection. That's basically a cold with runny eyes and sneezing and congestion and a fever and the resulting loss of appetite and energy. A URI, while common, can quickly become deadly for a kitten. They dehydrate quickly and often need syringe feeding and antibiotics to treat the symptoms.
Daisy went to the vet yesterday and had a bad night last night, but is hanging in there today and seems to be feeling a little better. She is visiting at Auntie S's for a couple of days because she is home to check on her during the day.
Please send your best thoughts for Daisy's recovery!

Friday, August 22, 2008

In Memory of Kodiak, a friend's best dog

As he neared the ripe old age of 14, Kodiak had begun to show mild signs of breathing difficulties, so he was taken to the University of Minnesota Veterinary Hospital. An x-ray revealed advanced lung cancer and a blood test showed the cancer was spreading through his body. He came home, but his condition worsened and a return trip to the hospital was necessary. It was a terrible shock because it came on so suddenly, but a blessing because he did not have to suffer. Our thoughts are with his lonely and confused young friend Yogi and the family and friends that loved him.

Dear Denise:

As you may have heard, Gus' beloved Kodiak passed away late last night at the U of M Vet Hospital.

Thankfully he rested off to sleep peacefully gazing at Gus, while petted, hugged and kissed by both of us.

The King of Dogs is now reunited with his dear friend and sister Flicka, along with Gus' other Golden family members Bear, Grizzly, and Panda.

As painful as the decision was, as his condition worsened throughout the day and night, when Kody confirmed that he was ready, Gus and I recognized that he had lived his last good day and we knew that it was the right thing to let go before the pain overcame us all.

Thankfully, he left us in the majestic way he led his 14 years of healthy life.

Pure love. Pure joy. Pure golden boy.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Reward for Information about Animal Cruelty!

For the first time there is a reward for information about animal cruelty at Red Lake from the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) which recently sent a team of Rural Area Veterinarians (RAVS) to conduct a weeklong clinic at Red Lake. Who can look at this puppy and not believe that something must be done to stop this cruel behavior?

The HSUS Offers Reward in Torture of Ode, a Redby, MN Puppy (Aug. 19, 2008)-- The Humane Society of the United States is offering a reward up to $2,500 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible for burning the ears off of a puppy in Redby, Minn. in July.

The Case: Red Lake Rosie's Rescue animal shelter, at the Red Lake Indian Reservation, gives the following account: On July 8, a puppy was found wandering near a baseball field in Redby and was taken to the shelter by a local resident. The shelter's director took the puppy to a veterinarian, who treated him for burns on his ears. However, the burns were so severe that the puppy's ears flaked off. He also sustained burns to the top of his head and his whiskers. The puppy-who was named "Ode," for "heart" in the Ojibwa language of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians-is now recovering and has been taken into a foster program of Pet Haven, Inc. in the Minneapolis area.

Animal Cruelty: Getting the serious attention of law enforcement, prosecutors and the community in cases involving allegations of cruelty to animals is an essential step in protecting the community. The connection between animal cruelty and human violence is well documented. Studies show a correlation between animal cruelty and all manner of other crimes, from narcotics and firearms violations to battery and sexual assault. "Those who abuse animals can be dangerous to people," said Jill Fritz, The HSUS' Minnesota state director. "Anyone who would torture such an innocent creature may well be capable of doing more harm to other animals and people."

The Investigators: The Red Lake Police Department is investigating. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Capt. Gina Benson at 218-679-3313, ext. 1005.

Resources: The HSUS Animal Cruelty Campaign raises public awareness and educates communities about the connection between animal cruelty and human violence while providing a variety of resources to law enforcement agencies, social work professionals, educators, legislators and families. The HSUS offers rewards in animal cruelty cases across the country and works to strengthen laws against animal cruelty.

Media Contact: Pepper Ballard, 240-751-0232,
The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization - backed by 10.5 million Americans, or one of every 30. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs.

The Humane Society of the United States
2100 L Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20037

On the web at
Celebrating Animals, Confronting Cruelty

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Pins for Pets

You can sponsor me at to raise money for spay/neuter.

HELP STRIKE TO PREVENT HOMELESS PETS Several of the animal rescue organizations in which I am involved are members of the Homes For All Pets coalition, a group of Minnesota animal rescue organizations dedicated to working together to reduce pet overpopulation.

Chuck & Don's Pet Food Stores is planning a fundraising event whose goal is to raise $75,000 for spay/neuter activities. The money raised will be shared among participating rescues in the Homes for All Pets coalition.

WHAT IS THE EVENT? The event is Pins for Pets and it's scheduled for August 3rd from 4-6pm at Flaherty's Arden Bowl in Arden Hills. In short, it's a bowling party where up to 216 bowlers will roll strikes, spares and gutterballs to raise money to help spay and neuter animals. Check out http://www.pinsforpets/ for complete details.

Top fundraisers are eligible for some great prizes. The number one fundraiser will receive a $250 gift card and a trophy. Second place gets a $100 gift card; and third place a $75 gift card. There are also prizes for top bowling scores.

Plus there will be guest celebrities like Katie K-9, giveaways to all participants (canvas totes, towels), t-shirts and prizes. Door prizes include Chuck & Don's gift cards, a two-night stay at Madeline Island, puppy kindergarten classes, and a year's worth of free grooming.

HOW CAN YOU HELP? Register to bowl on August 3rd at The registration fee is $15 (non tax-deductible) and includes the cost of bowling, shoe rental, lunch and beverages. After registering you will be directed to the page to set up your fundraising page and start securing donations.

Bowling isn’t your strength? No problem! Social butterflies can just show up for the party. It will be a wonderful opportunity to mingle with other Twin Cities animal lovers. Some of the other rescues involved are; Pet Haven, Red Lake Rosie's Rescue, Friends of Flicka, Feline Rescue, Cause for Paws, MN Humane Society, RAGOM, Animal Ark and Minnesota Spay/Neuter Project.

Can’t make it on August 3? You can still help raise money. Go directly to to set up your own fundraising page.

Check out Start watching the media this week for other announcements and promotions for the event!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Downturn in economy tough on animals, too

Billy Bob the goat is feeling a little gruff: He's homeless
July 17, 2008

Until recently, Billy Bob led a comfortable life with a loving family on a farm in rural Minnesota.

Then his family lost its farm in the foreclosure mess that's sweeping the nation. Reluctantly, they sent their pet goat packing.

Today Billy Bob's life has truly gone to the dogs. The 5-year-old lives next to several canines in a kennel at an animal shelter in Woodbury.

"They said he's like a dog with horns," said Stacy Arvidson, manager of the Woodbury animal shelter.

Animal Humane Society officials said Billy Bob is the latest casualty of the economic downturn that's not only hurting humans but also leaving thousands of dogs, cats, birds and farm animals across the nation and the Upper Midwest without homes.

In recent months the Golden Valley-based shelter system -- it's the largest animal rescue organization in the Upper Midwest -- has become a magnet for animals from a network of rescue shelters in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and South Dakota. Many of those shelters are overcrowded.

"That's a strong indicator that shelters are struggling with animals that are coming in from smaller organizations that just don't have the resources to house them," said Cindy Johnson, who oversees the adoption and intake process for the Animal Humane Society's five shelters in Buffalo, Coon Rapids, Golden Valley, St. Paul and Woodbury.

In recent months the society has been getting more inquiries from hobby farm owners who are facing foreclosure or other economic hardships. Many can no longer afford to feed their horses or donkeys.

Unlike Billy Bob the goat or the occasional city-bred pet chicken, those animals are too large for most shelters, Johnson said, so their owners are steered to rescue groups such as the Minnesota Hooved Animal Rescue Foundation in Zimmerman.

More pets being given up
Last year, Animal Humane Society facilities made room for more than 300 animals from shelters in rural Minnesota and several neighboring states. So far this year the group has taken in more than 900 dogs, cats, birds, gerbils and farm animals from rescue groups.
Shelter officials said individual pet owners have also driven up the number of animals at their five metro area shelters. This year's total is up more than 7 percent to roughly 17,740 animals. Meanwhile, adoptions have fallen by almost 3 percent when compared to the same time last year, for a total of 9,782.

The shelters have so many cats and kittens this summer -- more than 2,000 a month are expected to arrive until fall -- that shelter officials are recruiting "foster parents" to help manage the volume. "Mission Meow" places adult cats in temporary homes for a few months and allows them to re-enter the shelter system when they have a better chance of being adopted.

Johnson said many owners, like Billy Bob's, who surrender pets have owned them several years. Many are embarrassed and typically don't admit they're facing foreclosure. Instead, they cite job loss or a need to downsize to an apartment. Making matters worse is that many families aren't able to leave a donation to help care for their former pets.

"People are feeling bad," Johnson said. "They feel bad about not being able to keep their pets and not being the type of owner they wanted to be."

Surrendering pets is tough
Billy Bob's former owners, a couple with two young children, told shelter officials that their farm was in foreclosure. They drove to the east metro area last week after making several calls to the center to ask about accommodations and euthanasia.

"They were all upset about it," said Stefanie Knutson, an Animal Humane Society employee.

They surrendered the goat to shelter officials with more than a month's worth of feed.

On Monday, Billy Bob calmly watched a shelter volunteer enter his kennel and rearrange the straw bed he's slept on for several days. He had just come back inside after a 30-minute walk and wore a blue dog collar his former owners had left for him.

Arvidson said she's not sure if Billy Bob is house-trained but she was told he hasn't had an accident in the hallways as he's escorted outside for his daily walks.

"It's an usual case," she said. "But our perspective is this is a beloved family pet."

Billy Bob is the first goat to be taken in by the five-shelter system, but he's not the first farm animal to enter one of the metro-area shelters.

There was a pot-bellied pig and a farm pig a few weeks ago, Arvidson said. Both have since found homes through agencies that specialize in farm animal adoptions. Shelter officials hope Billy Bob will follow in their paths soon.

Until then, shelter officials said it's no trouble to have him around. Arvidson said: "He's honestly one of the nicest animals I've ever met."

Patrice Relerford • 612-673-4395

© 2008 Star Tribune. All rights reserved.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Film at Mall of America tonight!

This fall, Hollywood is releasing a major feature film titled "All Roads Lead to Home". A private screening of this film is scheduled to be shown at the AMC Theater at the Mall of America on Monday the 21st at 6:00 PM.

My name is Dennis Fallon, of Waldo West Productions a major motion picture
company. I am writing you on behalf of our movie "All Roads Lead Home"
( to be released in Minneapolis, MN, Phoenix
and Tucson, AZ and Kansas City, MO in late September. We are currently
working with several No Kill Shelters in Kansas City, MO, including, No
Homeless Pet's KC, Animal Haven, Kansas City Area Humane Society, just to
name a few.

I wanted to contact your organization about the possibilities this movie
brings to your cause. We would love to work with you on promotions for the
movie and getting your cause to the public. Not very often do you have a
wonderful family film that has a cause of NO-KILL related issues.
"All Roads Lead Home" is a great story, about believing all things deserve
a chance no matter what. A great quote from the movie "All she sees, in
all living the potential. Why would anyone want her to see it
any other way".

This movie is a wonderful family film and a must see for
animal lovers. "All Roads Lead Home" is Peter Boyle's last film.
We recently worked with Safe Harbor Animal Shelter, Tri-County Humane
Society in the Palm Beach, FL area on a cross promotion with our movie in
The Palm Beach International Film Festival. They loved the film and are
excited about the message the movie brings to your cause of NO-Kill. Here
is a Channel 25 ABC story -

Below is the link to our website where you can view the trailer, and a
review from Entertainment Magazine online.
Link to the trailer and website:

Please see attached article from Entertainment Magazine:

In the style of "Because of Winn Dixie" , "Flicka" and "Dreamer" , ALL
ROADS LEAD HOME stars Vivien Cardone (Everwood. Beautiful Mind), Peter
Coyote (A Walk to Remember, Erin Brockovich), Jason London (A Man in the
Moon, Dazed and Confused), Vanessa Branch (Pirates of the Carribean A
World's end, Suburban Girl), Patton Oswalt (Ratatoulille, Reno 911) and
Peter Boyle's last movie (Young Frankenstein, Everybody Loves Raymond).

Short Synopsis:
12 year old Belle (Vivien Cardone) loses her mother in an automobile
accident. Her father Cody (Jason London) struggles to raise his daughter.
Her rebellious behavior forces Cody to send Belle to her grandfather
(Peter Coyote) farm to live with him. Belle learns that on a farm, it is
the survival of the fittest, but she cannot handle the thought of an
animal (or any life for that matter) not being worth saving unless it's
useful. Is she useful? Belle soon becomes the savior of all living
things. An old thoroughbred race horse and Atticus the dog change
Belle's life, and in turn Belle changes the lives of those who love

Like the films title, various sub-plots all lead back to a single
conclusion, and nature has a way of providing the direction.A single truth
about family, love, precious life and the detours along the way that can
and do lead us to a better place, eventually leading us back home.

Dennis Fallon
phone 816.309.7679
Fax 816-746-1744

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Gentle Giant -- URGENT

Labrador Retriever,ShepherdMix
Size: Extra Large
Age: Senior
Sex: Male
Levi, is a wonderful (approx) 7 yr old guy who can be described as a gentle giant, he weighs in at 126 lbs, but has a calm demeanor about him that makes him comforting to be around, and everyone that meets him says he is a true sweetheart. He tested well with other dogs and with cats, and loves being with people.
Levi , sadly, has found himself in a small rural animal control acility that does not have the luxury of giving the dogs there all the time they need to find wonderful homes - they truly wish they did, but as an animal control facility they are bound to accept all animals that come their way, an when more dogs arrive there than get adopted out, sad decisions have to be made to free up space. Staff and volunteers alike, really rate Levi and hope there is a family out there that will feel the same way and open their home and hearts to Levi, and give him the forever home he deserves. If you feel Levi may be the boy for you PLEASE NOT DELAY. Time is of the essence and Levi needs help quickly. Please submit an application form .
Q.C. Lab Rescue
Davenport, IA
563 343 7319

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Obama petition

Note from Best Friends Animal Society:

Dear Members and Friends,

You probably heard in the news that Senator Obama has promised his family they’ll get a new family dog after the November election.

The American Kennel Club jumped on this announcement with a list of possible “pure” breeds that the Obamas could buy from a pet store or breeder.

We’d like to propose something different to the senator and his family:
“With millions of homeless pets still being killed in shelters every year, please adopt your dog from a shelter or rescue group. Don’t buy from a pet store or breeder.”
It’s the same thing we say to people everywhere.

So we’ve launched a new website – – where you can sign a petition encouraging the senator to save a life by adopting a homeless pet.

Whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican, left-wing, right-wing or any other wing, please sign the petition, and encourage all your friends and family to sign it, too.

It’s a great opportunity to promote the cause of homeless pets everywhere.

So, please sign the petition and read the story.

Thanks, and good wishes,

Michael Mountain

Best Friends

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Lovely Lady needs a home!

I saw Lady on Petfinder today

English Springer Spaniel
Size: Medium
Age: Senior
Sex: Female

Meet Lady...she is our special girl! Lady is about 7 years old and was left abandoned by her owner. Lady was seized by Animal Control. Lady had to be shaved due to the extreme neglect of her coat. This dog may be a senior but is VERY sweet and deserves a loving home she can finish out her days in! Lady is great with other animals and loves children. She is house trained and very well behaved. If you have room in your heart and home please consider giving Lady a 2nd chance at life....she has had her share of hardship and is hoping for a forever home where she can be pampered and loved for the rest of her days! This dog is a SWEET girl and still has a lot to offer!

This pet is up to date with routine shots.
This pet is already house trained.
Cedar Bend Humane Society
Waterloo, IA

Friday, June 20, 2008

Arms full of love

The picture shows the happy ending, but it was work, luck and perhaps divine intervention to get there!

My friends D & S from work were looking for a friendly, "working" cat that preferred to live outside at their rural home to keep the littlest varmints at bay. Their outdoor cat of many years had recently died of cancer and this time they wanted to get a pair to keep other company. I immediately started asking around, but couldn't find just the right pair. D&S also went looking but hadn't found the right pair either.

I had taken a spur-of-the-moment vacation day last week and decided to take my Golden Valley Animal Humane Society feline foster family (Calliope and the May flowers) in for a routine check-up. While I was waiting there, a couple came in with two cats carriers bearing a mom cat who was a calico (that looked astonishingly like my Calliope) and her big kittens. I heard the woman explain that while she fostered for Golden Valley, this cat was a neighborhood stray that she took in and raised her kittens on her own. The kittens were ready for adoption, but she couldn't keep mom and couldn't bear to just put her out again. She said the cat would really prefer to live outdoors.

I jumped up and offered to take her for my friends. I couldn't reach them, so I had to pray it would work out. The woman cried she was so happy and we exchanged information. Turned out we lived near each other. My friends called as I was driving home and they would stop by after work to pick up the cat. She was called Squeekers for her funny meow.

Here's where it really gets interesting. My friends had already offered to take in some orphaned kittens from an acquaintance who had been bottlefeeding them. I told them that Squeekers had just weaned her batch of kittens, but was extremely maternal, according to her rescuer. I thought she might just take over care of those little kittens.

Well, as you can see in the photo. They are one big happy family now. Squeekers has a new name, Pebbles, and she is scheduled for her spay surgery in about a week. She is taking great care of the kittens and will teach them all they need to know. They have a cat door to come and go from the garage where they have a beautiful cat shelter that's heated in the winter. Until the kittens are older and Pebbles has had her surgery, they are just staying in the garage and the cars stay outside.

Since D&S's indoor cats are elderly now, they have not had kittens around in 15 years and are really enjoying the young family. Happy ending for Pebbles, the kittens, the two sets of rescuers, my friends and me. I was glad I was there to help put it together.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Animals need help in flooded areas

Communicating during disasters to mobilize volunteers, supplies, and other
resources for animal victims.

6/15/08: IOWA FLOOD: Emergency Volunteers Needed
KINSHIP CIRCLE is working with Iowa Dept. of Agriculture Veterinary Response
Coordinator, Mark Shearer, and Iowa State Veterinarian David Schmitt. We
have been asked to coordinate out-of-state volunteers at key counties where
flooding has occurred or is anticipated. Anyone willing to deploy must be
flexible and realize we have no control over how floods proceed.


PHONE NUMBER (cell you'll have with you):


They can answer questions about specific driving directions to staging area.


Have them with you in Iowa and be prepared to "float" from site to site.
They are fairly close-by and emergencies are expected.

'This is our version of Katrina,' Iowa residents say. Cedar Rapids:
Firefighter Jeremy Wagner saves a cat from a flooded attic on 6/13/08.

At least 24,000 evacuations so far
83 of Iowa's 99 counties are declared disaster zones

1. VOLUNTEER NOW: Johnson County Fairgrounds

CONTACT MISHA GOODMAN when your travel plans are firm: 319-621-3274
-- Staging area for evacuated Iowa City Shelter animals + flood rescues/drop-offs
-- Could need volunteers up to 3 WEEKS from today (6/14), depending upon floods.

Johnson County Fairgrounds; 4265 Oakcrest Hill Road; Iowa City, Iowa 52246

-- Indoor area to sleep + cooking facility at Johnson County Fairgrounds.
-- Recommended bring sleeping bags or pads (they might get cots).
-- Can bring a tent, but not mandatory.

CONTACT MISHA GOODMAN to find alternate routes to road closures: 319-621-3274

From CR airport, get on Hwy 380 south
380 just south of I-80 turns into Hwy 218
Exit on Riverside Drive (rt) and will be traveling north
Johnson County Fairgrounds is 1/4 mile on left side of road

Take I-80 to Hwy 218
Exit on Riverside Drive (rt) and will be traveling north
Johnson County Fairgrounds is 1/4 mile on left side of road

I-80 between Iowa City and Tipton is washed over


Cedar Rapids, Iowa: A rescue worker brings a dog to dry land after rescuing
him and his owner from their home 6/12/08. Getty Images

Large, collapsible dog crates * Large wire dog crates
Small cat litter pans * Cat toys
Vaccine (dog and cat)
Ceramic bowls (prefer large rodent food bowls for cat food/water)
C/D cat food * I/D dog food
Leather gloves * Shampoo

DROP-OFF: Johnson County 4-H Fairgrounds, BARN #1
Contact Misha Goodman, if you intend to deliver supplies: 319-621-3274
MAIL: Johnson County Agricultural Association
4261 Oak Crest Hill Road SE; Iowa City, IA 52246
MARK PACKAGE: Iowa City Animal Shelter, Misha Goodman

Friends of the Animal Center Foundation
(Support group for Iowa City Animal Care and Adoption Center)
PO Box 1345; Iowa City, Iowa 52244
ph: 319-887-6083; email:

2. VOUNTEER: Washington, Iowa Staging Area

GROUND CONTACT IS AMBER TALBOTT: 319-461-9708, 319-653-6713
-- DO NOT CONTACT HER YET. Bring her phone numbers with you to Iowa.
-- She is setting up a staging area at WASHINGTON COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS
-- ANTICIPATED: Overflow of animals from Columbus Junction (18 miles east
of Washington), where a levee broke.
-- ANTICIPATED: Animals from Oakville (44 miles east of Washington) and Fredonia.
-- Columbus Junction, Oakville and Fredonia have been evacuated. Latter two
towns are only accessible by boat and under National Guard protection. We
have conflicting reports that evacuees were ordered to release animals.

-- Be prepared to MOVE from staging area in Johnson County to Washington County Fairgrounds.
-- Have a working cell phone with you.

PAWS & More Animal Shelter
1004 1/2 West Madison Street; Washington, Iowa 52353

AMBER TALBOTT, 319-461-9708

Brandon Smith carries his cats Fry and Bender to dry land from their flooded
home 6/11/08. Getty Images. Evacuations ordered in Columbus Junction,

3. VOLUNTEER: Lee County Fairgrounds

-- THIS STAGING AREA IS NOT YET SET-UP. Iowa Ag Dept. officials are
assessing flood course and ANTICIPATE heavy flooding here.
-- Donnelson, Iowa is on the southern border, near Missouri.

-- IF ALREADY IN IOWA, you may check about needs at this potential staging area
by contacting Rich Crook: 435-689-1162
-- Please DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT call Rich on the ground unless you are
already in Iowa on standby to move to these expected emergency zones.

Hwy. 218, Lee County Fairgrounds
(North edge of Donnellson, Iowa, on Highway 218)
City: Fort Madison, Iowa

4. Possible Volunteers Needed Week Of June 23

-- Overflow staging area for CEDAR RAPIDS ANIMAL CONTROL
-- UAN/EARS and HSUS are already here. DO NOT NEED VOLUNTEERS WEEK OF 6/17.
** May need volunteers following WEEK OF JUNE 23. **
-- I am in touch with head coordinator there and will keep you posted.

Kirkwood Foundation
C/O Friends Of Cedar Rapids Shelters
6301 Kirkwood Blvd. SW; Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52406
From I-380, take Exit 13 and go East to Kirkwood Blvd. Then turn left and go
North until 76th Ave. and turn right.

5. NEWS: Cedar Rapids Animal Shelter Evacuated

Cats await transport from evacuated Cedar Rapids Animal Shelter..

6/13/08: The evacuation of the Cedar Rapids Animal Shelter began around
1:30pm Wednesday (6/11). Staff had been boated in for days previously by the
CR Fire Department to care for the animals... Volunteers were alerted and
streamed down the only road left to access the area laden with carriers. At
this time, cats were brought by boat to a raised piece of road where trucks
waited to take them the rest of the way through a channel of water crossing
the road. From there they were put in a stock trailer and transported to KCC
who had offered their beef cattle barn as a make-shift shelter.

Next came the small dogs. With 27 big dogs left to bring out, the fire
department decided that the water crossing the road was too deep for animal
control trucks to drive through safely. Hearts sank with the fear that
animals would be left behind, but...CRFD and CRAS staff new it was time to
get creative. The rest of the dogs were boated out through a neighboring
farm field that was now part of the river. It was slow going even with 3
boats operating non-stop as the larger dogs had to be brought out virtually
one by one so as not to cause an incident between two animals...

6. NEWS: Indiana Flood Dogs "Pour" Into Wisconsin

Indiana flood survivors arrive at Wisconsin Humane Society for baths, kisses and comfort.

Forty canine flood victims arrived this week at the Wisconsin Humane Society
from areas in Indiana. Due to heavy storms, Indiana shelters have been
inundated with victims displaced by the flooding. Some shelters are
surrounded by flooded streets that have become impassable, as well.

Like all the dogs at WHS, the puppies will be vaccinated, microchipped and
sterilized... As soon as they are ready, they will be featured on our
adoptable dogs web page:

7. NEWS: Indiana/Help Morgan County Humane

Monetary donations are needed for veterinary costs, medication, and grooming
of animals that are displaced due to Indiana flooding.

BY MAIL: Morgan County Humane Society
690 West Mitchell Ave.; Martinsville, IN 46151


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Kinship Circle Animal Disaster Aid Network:
Animal rescue coordination/news in disasters + companion animal alert