Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Cats will be euthanized this week

PUPS (Pets Under Police Security)has scheduled a euthanization date for the cats in the attached photos. They need to get out by Wednesday (12/30/2009) of this week! PUPS does not do public adoptions, so the only way out is through rescue groups. Please help if you can!

I am happy to assist with pulling and transporting!
If you can help, please contact Danielle at:

Danielle Conway  
dconway@ci.maple-grove.mn.us

Animal Containment Coordinator
Pets Under Police Security
11350 89th Ave. N.
Maple Grove, MN 55369
763-424-5257

Cat 1=intact maleCat 2=intact maleCat 3=neutered male, front declawedCat 4=intact maleCat 5=neutered male
Cat 6=intact male
Cat 7=Female
Cat 8=intact male

Animal Wise Radio receives award

Animal Ark's Animal Wise Radio Receives Henry Bergh Leadership Award

In recognition for their unwavering committement to helping animals, Animal Ark's Mike Fry and Beth Nelson received one of the top animal welfare achievements of the year. They were recognized as leaders in the no kill movement, and for giving a national voice to many others working to save animals. Mike and Beth were included with five others who were presented with this presigious award by the nations top animal advocacy agency, the No Kill Advocacy Center.

"It is with pride and humility that we stand side-by-side with our own heros as we recieve this award," said Fry.

Other recipients of the Henry Bergh Leadership Award included Bonney Brown, Executive Director of the Nevada Humane Society, Susanne Kogut, Executive Director of the Charlottesville SPCA, Ryan Clinton from FixAustin, Joan Shaffner, Director of the Animal Law Program at George Washington University Law School and Claire Davis, President of the Coalition for a No Kill King County.

About Henry Bergh
Henry Bergh was a 19th Century animal advocate who launched the humane movement in North America. He gave the first speach on animal protection in the U.S., founded the nation's first humane society, and succeeded in passing the nation's first anti-cruelty law. Every night, Bergh would patrol the streets of his native New York City looking for animals in need of protection. Upon his death, the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote of him:
Among the nobelest of the land; Though he may count himself the least; That man I honor and revere; Who, without favor, without fear; In the great city dares to stand; The friend of every friendless beast

Henry Bergh, we remember you with passion and light. It is in good company that Animal Ark and Animal Wise Radio stand this holiday season! Read More.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

New law needed to control MN puppy mills

Breaking News: Federal Judge Terminates Kathy Bauck’s USDA License

Animal Welfare Advocates Express Concern for Several Hundred Dogs Remaining in Her Care

Kathy Bauck, a Minnesota-based dog breeder, is arguably one of the nation's most notorious puppy mill operators. For years, Bauck has been making headlines all around the United States. She has been accused of selling sick puppies, of misrepresenting her animals, and of practicing veterinary medicine without a licence. She has also been convicted multiple times of animal cruelty and animal torture.

Bauck’s most recent conviction included 4 counts of animal cruelty and torture – a verdict that was handed down in March of 2009. At that time, most Minnesotans believed that would be the end of Bauck’s operation. They were wrong. Bauck has continued to operate two businesses, “Pick of the Litter” and “Puppies on Wheels” ever since.

“Most people are shocked to find out that a puppy mill operator in Minnesota can be convicted of cruelty and torture of animals, and continue operating,” said Mike Fry, Executive Director of Animal Ark, Minnesota’s largest no kill animal welfare organization, and a nationally recognized expert on puppy mills.

“People think that a cruelty conviction would automatically put an operation like this out of business. That is simply not the case, because the State of Minnesota has no means whatsoever available to regulate puppy mills,” Fry said.

This week, a federal judge responded to a request for summary judgment to revoke Bauck’s USDA license. The USDA itself made that request. In its request to have Bauck’s license terminated, the USDA stated that Bauck and her family were “unfit” to operate a breeding operation. On December 2, the judge announced their decision, in favor of the USDA’s request, and allowing Bauck 10 days for appeal.

“The irony is that if the revocation of Bauck’s USDA license stands, she will still be able to keep her dogs,” said Dr. Linda Wolf a veterinarian who served as one of the key expert witnesses in the most recent animal cruelty case against Bauck.

“The USDA only regulates the sale of dogs to commercial sources, like pet shops, brokers and wholesalers. They have no say as to whether or not Bauck gets to keep her dogs,” Wolf added.

A strange, disconnected patchwork of laws allows Bauck to keep hundreds of breeding dogs without a USDA license and after having been convicted of animal cruelty and torture and of practicing veterinary medicine without a license.

“A key piece of legislation is missing from the regulatory and enforcement scheme in Minnesota,” said Fry. “There is no State law allowing intervention or enforcement at all.”

Fry adds that the judge could have ordered the confiscation of her dogs when she was convicted of animal cruelty and torture. However, because she – like most other large-scale puppy mills – lives in a very small rural county, taking this action would have been nearly impossible.

“During her career, Bauck has held up to 1,200 breeding dogs at one time, plus puppies,” said Fry. “State law requires that animals confiscated due to cruelty charges be impounded for a minimum of 10 days. If the puppy mill operator appeals, the impoundment period could drag on for months and cost the county millions of dollars.”

In other words, Fry says, the State of Minnesota, due to its failure to regulate the large-scale, commercial dog breeding industry, has allowed businesses to grow to a size where the counties simply cannot regulate them. Some counties have fixed this problem by enacting local ordinances that limit the number of breeding animals an operator may own. However, according to Fry, and a growing number of breeders, veterinarians and animal welfare advocates, that is simply not enough.

“We need a State-level law that provides for regulation and enforcement of this industry,” said Dr. Wolf.

Fry, Wolf and many others have been working for several years to draft and pass legislation that would close this gaping loophole in the animal welfare statutes. As a result, two companion bills were introduced in the Minnesota House and Senate last year. Senate File 7 and House File 253 would help the State to enforce existing animal welfare statutes, and would prevent people who have been convicted of animal cruelty and animal torture from operating puppy mills, something that seems pretty common-sense to most Minnesotans.

Last year, Senate File 7 and House File 253 made good progress moving through the legislature. After passing several committees, both bills landed in the Agriculture Committees in the House and Senate, where they are expected to receive hearings early in 2010.

“The little opposition to these bills that has been seen at the legislature has almost all come from the people in the Ag Industry,” said Fry. “So, while there is widespread support for this urgently needed legislation, we need supporters to show up and let their voices be heard at the legislature in 2010.”

In the meantime, animal welfare advocates are concerned with the plight of the dogs remaining on Bauck’s property.

“The termination of Bauck’s USDA license prevents her from selling dogs to her normal sales channels,” added Wolf. “Without the ability to sell the dogs, and to make money, her ability to care for several hundred dogs is seriously in question.”

According to estimates, there are several hundred dogs remaining on the property. If closed, it could be one of the largest puppy mill closures in US history. She has been in operation for approximately 20 years.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Shelter for pets in domestic violence

Mpls. to shelter other victims of domestic violence: Pets

Minneapolis police will let people who fear for their pets board them at Animal Control.

By DAVID CHANEN, Star Tribune
Last update: December 7, 2009 - 11:24 PM

As a Minneapolis woman planned to leave her abusive boyfriend a few months ago, she made a desperate call to the Animal Humane Society in Golden Valley.

She feared she wasn't the only one in danger.

"She's my sweetheart -- I love that cat," she cried into the phone, according to a recording investigators saved. "He said he will kill it and put it in a bag. I'm taking this very seriously."

Senior investigator Keith Streff of the Humane Society said the woman was one of many who have delayed leaving an abusive situation out of fear for their beloved pet's safety.

As part of its continuing domestic violence prevention initiative, the Minneapolis Police Department will start a program next month to allow people to board pets at the city's Animal Control facility for five days at no charge while the owners find a new home.

Only a handful of law enforcement agencies in the United States offer such a service, even though several studies now show that up to 75 percent of victims reported that their abusers threatened, hurt or killed family pets.

Carol Arthur, executive director of the Minneapolis based Domestic Abuse Project, said the research has "finally caught up to what we've been hearing anecdotally for years." A pet is often the sole emotional support for a person in an abusive relationship, she said, giving the victim unconditional love.

Link in chain of violence

"This is why the abuser will threaten to harm the animal to get compliance," she said. "This is one big barrier preventing a person from leaving."

Only a couple of domestic violence organizations in Minnesota, including a woman's shelter in Brainerd, have a program to help victims with pets. Cornerstone, a domestic violence agency in Bloomington, partners with a veterinarian to house pets. They average about a dozen each year, including gerbils and snakes.

Under the new Minneapolis program, police officers who respond to domestics can immediately bring a victim's pet to Animal Control.

Several animal rescue groups have volunteered to foster the pets if the owner needs more than five days. Only the person who placed the pet will be allowed to visit, but they have to sign a form establishing ownership.

"This program is ahead of the curve and definitely should be a model for police departments, to recognize the link between animal and domestic abuse," said Allie Phillips, vice president of public policy for the American Humane Association in Denver.

She estimated that about 700 groups in the United States have some kind of pet kenneling option for domestic violence victims.

Minneapolis doesn't expect to be overwhelmed with kennel requests, so costs for the program are expected to be minimal, said Dan Niziolek, manager of Animal Care And Control. The program will be available 24 hours a day.

"We look at violence in the community, and it starts at home," he said. "We can curb some of it through this program."

The Police Department's domestic violence prevention pilot initiative started in the Fifth Precinct in 2008. The department investigated 18,500 domestic calls in 2007, but many didn't result in arrests. To build better cases, officers began putting suspects in squad cars, reading them their rights and asking questions with the squad camera rolling.

Officers also began doing extensive interviews with alleged victims at the scene and asking them to write a report.

In a year, convictions rose 25 percent. The program, developed by a coalition of social workers and law enforcement and animal humane officials, is now used in all five precincts.

"Cops are pretty astute about what's going on in a home and [while] talking to the victim can pick up fears," said First Precinct Inspector Kris Arneson, who headed up the initiative. "That includes concerns about animals and children."

The Green Bay, Wis., police department has helped assure the safety of more than 50 pets since it started a kenneling program four years ago, said officer Sharon Hensen.

She said she's heard horrific stories, including one involving a man who threw a cat against a wall, breaking all four legs. In a survey of the victims in that city, 80 percent said the abuser hurt or threatened to hurt their pets.

The Minneapolis City Council approved the kennel program last month, with several members praising Niziolek, Arneson and others for their proactive approach to domestic violence. Arthur said Minnesota continues to be a leader in violence intervention since state residents built the first women's shelter in the United States.

Streff, of the Humane Society, shook his head as he listened again last week to the telephone call from the woman pleading on behalf of her cat. He said it was the most chilling domestic abuse-related call he's heard in 22 years as an investigator. But two weeks ago he received an e-mail from a woman whose abuser had kicked her miniature pinscher, breaking its back.

"When they reach out for help about their pets, they are usually right at the brink," he said. "But who knows what might happen after that?"

David Chanen • 612-673-4465

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Police dog euthanized at pound

Howard Lake mourns mistaken death of police dog

Felony, a valued member of the Howard Lake Police Department and a friend to its officers, was nearly 11 years old when he escaped his kennel, ended up at the Animal Humane Society and was destroyed.

By KATIE HUMPHREY, Star Tribune

Last update: November 27, 2009 - 11:42 PM

Most nights, Felony the black Lab rode in the back of a squad car.

As the canine member of the Howard Lake Police Department, he tracked criminals and sniffed for drugs in the lakeside town in rural Wright County. Since 2002, his nose had helped the department uncover narcotics valued at $25,000.

But Felony's career, already slowing as he approached 11 years of age, came to an abrupt end this month.

In a case of mistaken identity and miscommunication, Felony was destroyed by the Animal Humane Society in Buffalo after escaping from his kennel at the city water treatment plant.

"He was nearing the end of his service career with his age getting up there," Police Chief Tracy Vetruba said. "We just didn't expect it to end quite like this."

On Oct. 30, an officer noticed that Felony had broken out of his kennel. Vetruba said police searched but didn't find a trace of the elderly black lab with graying muzzle and paws.

That day, Tammy Bren, of Howard Lake, found a scrawny, spiritless black Lab in her back yard.

"I thought it was an old farm dog that had wandered to town and had been walking for days," Bren said. He was wearing a plain collar without any tags or other identification.

Bren gave him some dog treats, then dumped out a birdbath and filled it with food. "It was eating like crazy," Bren said. "But still, it never wagged its tail or acted happy."

Bren said she turned Felony over to the city dogcatcher, who also didn't recognize the police dog.

Vetruba said police called the dogcatcher and the Animal Humane Society the day Felony disappeared. He said the dogcatcher reported picking up a mixed breed dog, and the Humane Society said it didn't have Felony, either. Humane Society officials said they did not have a record of receiving that call from the police on Oct. 30.

Felony did arrive at the Animal Humane Society in Buffalo on Oct. 31, and his picture was posted online.

Ray Aboyan, the chief operating officer of the society, said its veterinary staff rated Felony's body as a three on a scale of one to nine and described him as bony.

"We concur with the Howard Lake woman who found him and described the dog's description as 'thin and in poor condition,'" he said.

Felony went unclaimed. He was also aggressive, snapping and growling, and was therefore deemed unfit for adoption.

After a five-day hold, he was destroyed Nov. 6.

"Had we any way to know this was a police dog, the outcome would have been quite different," Aboyan said.

'A working dog'

Vetruba disagrees with claims that Felony might have been underfed or neglected.

Felony lived in an outdoor kennel with two doghouses at the water treatment plant, and officers fed him daily and took him on patrol almost every evening, Vetruba said.

"He was a working dog, so he didn't have a lot of extra fat on him," Vetruba said. "He was losing body mass mainly because of his age."

Felony was also growing cranky as he aged.

In one incident in May, he got sick in the back of a squad car and bit an officer. "We were a little bit concerned about his behavior," Vetruba said. "I can't say I'm terribly surprised he showed some aggression."

But officers had not witnessed any more aggressive behavior since that incident.

Vetruba said officers still don't know what happened to the identification tags Felony always wore.

The Police Department learned of Felony's demise when Bren called the department after seeing the dog's picture in a local newspaper around mid-November.

The department had arranged for the picture to appear in the paper, hoping someone had seen the dog.

"We couldn't believe it," Vetruba said.

The department hasn't decided if it will replace Felony.

"Our evening officers loved having him along," Vetruba said. "He was kind of like a mascot for our department."

Katie Humphrey • 952-882-9056


Lots of comments on this story. What can I say? I am saddened, but not shocked. This poor dog deserved so much better from the humans on whom he depended and that includes not only his police department owners, but also the woman who found him and the shelter people who euthanized him.

Friday, November 20, 2009

November is Adopt-A-Senior-Pet Month

PetsMatter: Nov/Dec 09 - Volume 4 Issue 6
From the American Animal Hospital Association

Older Pets May Be a Better Fit

A bouncy, clear-eyed puppy would have been the easy choice for Darryl and Katie Jockers of Northglenn, Colo.

Instead, the couple is drawn to the misfits and the unwanted. Their house is already home to a yellow Labrador mix found in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, a black Lab retired from his job as a guide dog, a golden tabby cat and a 10-year-old Siamese.

In October 2008 they took in 16-year-old Stewart, a cocker spaniel with a long list of health problems, the worst of which was renal (kidney) failure.

The Jockers felt that they owed something to a dog like Stewart, who has already lived a long life and needs a comfortable, loving home to enjoy for the rest of his days.

“The way I see it, none of our animals get to choose us, and when we get to choose them, we owe it to them to give them the life they would have picked if they were able to choose,” says Katie, who adopted Stewart through the adoption organization The Max Fund.

Stewart needed almost constant care from the moment he walked through the Jockers’ door. Besides his kidney problems, he is also deaf and suffers from arthritis and a weak heart.

The Jockers feed Stewart nutrients and keep him constantly hydrated. Their reward has been a renewed older dog that is lively and gets along well with his new roommates.

“He’s great; he’s ornery and loves to be the center of attention,” Katie says.

A puppy, she adds, would have been fine. But she prefers a dog like Stewart because he provides an education just by living.

“They teach you to slow down and enjoy the simple things in life,” explains Katie. “Besides, they are quirky and funny.”

Other pet owners and organizations hope that prospective owners will take a more serious look at taking home an older dog or cat during November, which is Adopt-A-Senior-Pet Month, sponsored by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).

Older pets have a huge advantage over puppies and kittens, simply because of their maturity level, states the ASPCA.

“I simply could not live through another puppyhood,” says Gayle Buchwald, senior vice president who oversees the ASPCA’s adoption center in New York City.

“Kittens are rambunctious and are always zooming here and there and tearing off the covers of your bed in the middle of the night,” Buchwald explains. “Older pets are like people — they’ve been around the block and their energy level is a lot more stable.”

Today’s busy lifestyles are also more conducive to older pets, Buchwald believes. An older pet is less high-maintenance than a puppy or kitten and can be left alone for longer periods of time. She adds, “Their personalities are already formed, and what you see is what you get; you can plan around that. Puppies and kittens are still forming their personalities.”

To help those who want to adopt an older pet make an informed decision, the ASPCA developed the Meet Your Match Program, which helps match an animal’s behavior and interests with potential pet owners.

Dogs are tested on their friendliness, playfulness, energy level, motivation, and drive and are placed in one of nine color-coded “canine-alities.”

Depending on their color code, some dogs are classified as laid-back couch potatoes, while others are more curious busy bees.

Cats are similarly categorized. Green cats (which are relatively new on the scene) are savvy and adventurous, while orange cats make amiable companions.

Adopting an older pet can also have drawbacks, and owners need to be aware of those potential complications.

Many older pets have health problems and often need special diets or medications. Older pets also may need modifications to get around, such as stepladders to get into cars or wider dog and cat doors.

At the Peninsula Humane Society and SPCA in San Mateo, Calif., medical staff members spend a lot of time with an older pet to check for physical problems, while other staffers concentrate on any problems in behavior, comments Scott Delucchi, vice president and spokesman for the shelter.

“If a dog or cat is older than five or six we do a lot of work with them before we allow them to be adopted,” Delucchi says.

Still, the shelter does not do blood work or X-rays on most of the animals. Therefore, it is often the prospective owners who must take responsibility for making sure that an animal is a good match, he explains.

To get a better idea of why older pets would make good housemates and some tips on what to look for in an older pet, here are some helpful links:
http://www.aspca.org/adoption/meet-your-match
http://www.aspca.org/adoption/adoption-tips/adopting-the-perfect-family-pet.html
http://peninsulaspca.blogspot.com/2009/05/why-adopt-senior-pet.html

Sometimes small children are not good matches for an older dog or cat, says Adam Goldfarb, director of the Pets at Risk Program for the Humane Society of the United States.

“Some animals are not fond of children and all the grabbing they do,” Goldfarb says.

Still, a mature pet probably has been around a toddler and knows what to expect, he adds. “They’ve seen the world, and they know what to expect when it comes to a child. Younger dogs and cats may not see it that way and won’t get along with a child.”

Older dogs need their exercise, too. But like an older person, their days of running a marathon or chasing squirrels are, thankfully, long gone, Goldfarb says. “A nice walk in a park on a sunny day suits many older dogs just fine. That’s the beauty of older dogs — they have their own rhythm of life.”

Monte Whaley is a writer from Denver, Colo. He writes for the Denver Post.


© 2009 American Animal Hospital Association. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Dog and Cat food rating

Here is some helpful info about choosing dog & cat food.
The original is in on-line at http://www.paws.org/cas/resources/fact_sheets_general/foodrating.php

Dog and Cat Food Rating

The following guide is provided by Dr. Michael Lemmon of Highlands Veterinary Hospital in Renton, Washington.

Foods are rated from 10 (the most nutritious) to 0 (the least nutritious)

10-9 For wild animals in nature: wild food
Source: hunting, foraging.
Characteristics: study wild animals to learn best diet for domesticated species.

8 The best you can do: balanced, fresh food made by you
Source: Dogs – ⅓ meat, eggs, diary; 2/3 grains, vegetables. Cats – ½ meat, eggs, dairy; ½ grains, vegetables.
Characteristics: ecological, inexpensive, easy, healthy (includes healthy leftovers)

7-6 Not a bad compromise: “health food” brands
Source: Precise, Wysong, Nature’s Recipe, Dynamite, Flint River, ABADY, Avo-Derm, Sensible Choice, Solid Gold, Pinnacle, Pet Guard, Nature’s Variety.
Characteristics: few or no preservatives, few or no by-products, dates on the bags, more nutrients retained, disease prevention design.

5-4 Getting the idea: “upscale” brands
Source: Science Diet, ANF, Tamiami, Cornucopia, Lick Your Chops, Nutro, Waynes, Old Mother Hubbard.
Characteristics: digestible, very concentrated, easily available, actually less costly, could be improved.

3 Just mucking along: all grocery store brands
Source: IAMS, Ol’Roy, Purina (all), Gaines, Friskies, Alpo, Ken’l Ration, Kal-Kan, Tuffys, Tyrells, Attaboy, Pedigree.
Characteristics: Not very digestible, additives, preservatives, chemicals, no date on bags, addictive flavorings added.

2 You get what you pay for: generic brands
Source: Holiday, Super-America, Houles, Fromms.
Characteristics: Ultra-cheap ingredients, irregular batch cooking, products are not tested, no reputation to lose.

1 Let them eat cake: soft –moist, gourmet cans, “treat” foods
Source: Tender Vittles, Gaines Burgers, Kibbles and Chunks, Pounce, Crave, Snausages, Jerky Sticks, Happy Cat, Mighty Dog.
Characteristics: Fake, plastic, junk food, addictive and deadly, rots teeth and intestines, expensive.

0 We warned you: poorly balanced, randomly-offered, people food
Source: Excess meat, fat, ice cream, candy, sugar, white flour products, tuna, steak, bones, anything microwaved.
Characteristics: Cause of obesity, picky-eaters, behavior problems, diabetes, allergies, shedding and dandruff.

© Progressive Animal Welfare Society
Reprinted with permission
http://www.paws.org

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Red Lake Rosie's Rescue video: Before and After

I maintain the blog for Red Lake Rosie's Rescue and am happy to share with you this video of some of the good work done there. The video was created by Sarah a young woman who lives on the reservation and has seen the sad beginnings for these animals.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

New cat drink technique

People who live with cats know that they LOVE fresh water. I've seen them drink from the sink, the tub, the faucet, but I had never seen this technique! Made me smile.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Lost & Found System

NOTE FROM MIKE FRY AT ANIMAL ARK:

Hi All,

It has been a while since we have talked about the Lost & Found system, long enough that some of you may not even remember that it exists! Some exciting and important changes are being made to provide more services for people and animals in our community. But, first a quick recap of the system and how you can use it on your web sites to help animals:

The Lost & Found provides a shared, open, Internet-based resource for people in Minnesota to post photos and descriptions of animals they have either found or lost. In the last 2 years alone 1,499 lost or found pet records have been added to this system, helping countless pets in our community to be reunited with their families.

The Lost & Found system is designed to be integrated into any web site, so that organizations using it can direct people to their own web sites to make use of this important functionality. Links to PetFinder and to information about where to find impound centers are also provided in the system. Impound center information is provided by Second Chance Animal Rescue.

There are a variety of different ways an organization can incorporate the Lost & Found functionality to their web site, including:

Direct Linking: Simply add a link to the following URL to your web site:

http://internet7.4tdomino.com/animal/LostFound.nsf/PublicLostFound!OpenForm

You may also integrate this same URL into a frame or iframe on any web page on your site.

Free customization of the screen is also available to help match colors and fonts of existing web pages.

Now - On to the exciting news!

Beginning sometime today, new features to the system will include:

Email notifications of Lost & Found pets. To assist animal control centers and shelters that accept stray animals, the system will begin sending email notification to key staff at these organizations to be on the lookout for lost pets, or to help cross-reference stray animals they have picked up with notifications of lost pets.

To ensure the correct person within your organization is receiving these notices, please respond to this email with the email of the address to which you would like these notices sent.

Beginning sometime within the next month, people who post lost pets will be able to subscribe to a Twitter feed that will direct emails to them about posted found pets in the system. They will be able to direct these messages to their email address, or have text messages sent directly to their cell phones. They may also opt to have notices sent to both places.

Posting a description of a found pet, or a stray animal taken in, will then automatically notify those people receiving these messages. Eventually, using TwitPix technology, we plan to be able to transmit photos of found pets to the cell phones of people who are looking for their lost pets.

For more information about this system, call Mike Fry at (651) 964-3140.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Abandoned pets

It is the dog days of summer and the cat rescuers are weary. Every pound and shelter and rescue is full of cats. These are friendly cats, so we know they had a home and someone abandoned them. There are cats waiting for homes wherever you live. If you can give one a home, think about doing it now.

I received a note yesterday about the cats pictured here. They are still alive because they are fortunate enough to be at a kind pound. Workers there want to give them every chance to find a home because they are so nice and adoptable, but they’ve been at the pound too long. More cats are coming in and euthanasia is next.

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Impounds
Date: Wed, 02 Sep 2009 11:38:30 -0500
From: mollywood4.0408@yahoo.com

We are an impound facility in princeton mn who have a number of cats they
have been here approx month or so. we arent having the best luck finding
homes, and our facility is getting full. If you can help at all let us no
763-389-2440

Fe dsh calico approx 1-2 yrs very friendly and easy going

dsh grey m/i friendly and likes other cats


We were contacted about four cats and I am taking in one of them. Can you take another?

U of M med. school to stop using live animals

DENISE SAYS: Too bad we lagged behind 95% of the med schools in the country in doing so...

Updated: 9/3/2009 10:38:25 AM

MINNEAPOLIS -- The University of Minnesota plans to stop using live animals to teach emergency medicine to doctors in training. The Medical School will instead switch to high-tech simulations.

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine alleged the university was violating the federal Animal Welfare Act.

A letter from the head of emergency medicine, Dr. Joseph Clinton, says the university significantly reduced the use of live animals on July 1, and will eliminate their use by the end of the year.

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine says more than 95 percent of U.S. medical schools now use human simulations instead of live animals.




(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
All Material Copyright 2009 KARE-11. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Secondhand Cats

Once upon a time, not long ago, there were two cats named Apollo and Bagheera. Apollo and Bagheera were brothers and they had been raised together since they were kittens. Now they are ten years old and somehow circumstances changed for their human family and they weren't wanted any more.

They were fortunate that their family contacted a rescue group that would even give them a chance -- most organizations that would have taken them in would have euthanized them due to their age without any evaluation as to adoptability. That is a sad part of the story because indoor cats can easily live until they are 15 or 20 years old and these boys had no health or behavior problems. The family locked the boys in the basement while they waited for them to be adopted.

APOLLOA very nice family was looking for a cat (or maybe a pair of cats) because their 17-year-old cat had recently died. They searched on Petfinder.com and came across Apollo & Bagheera. The boys were older than they had planned, but they seemed like a good match and they needed a new home as soon as possible. Apollo was described as "an outgoing, affectionate cat who purrs when their two year old daughter "wrestles" with him. He craves companionship: when he finds himself alone in the house, he cries out until someone calls his name." Bagheera "is the caretaker of the family: if his human family members are sick or sad, he immediately knows it and stays close by, preferring to be in their lap. He is also very tolerant of small children."

The family visited the cats and were very sad to see them living alone in the basement, so they brought them home as soon as possible.

BAGHEERAAs is often the case with a pair of cats, one is more outgoing and the other is more shy. Apollo is the bolder and braver of these two brothers and Bagheera is shy, but doesn't let himself get left behind. The former family and rescue organization had been prepared to split up these boys. That would have been so traumatic for them, especially Bagheera, after living together for their whole lives.

Two cats are better than one anyway. They keep each other entertained and comforted. It is always a good idea to start out with a pair because sometimes adding a cat to your household later can be difficult.

EVAN AND THE BOYSApollo and Bagheera have a new best friend. His name is Evan and he is a very small boy. Cats who aren't used to children are often frightened of their quick movements and louder, higher-pitched noises. Apollo and Bagheera were already experienced with children. The family reports that "Apollo adores Evan. Follows him and plops down at his feet-- even when Ev is being a noisy little boy. Bagheera is a little less sure, but he is devoted to Apollo and so follows along." As you can see, they all sleep together in Evan's little bed.

Think of all the happy endings out there just waiting to happen if we can work a little harder to put the right people and pets together. A purebred pet is no guarantee of the good health, good behavior and love you expect from your pet.

When you are thinking about getting a pet, always consider fostering to see if you are ready to make the commitment. And, you just might get a free trial on your perfect pet!

Friday, July 31, 2009

New State-Wide Phone Directory for Spay/Neuter Services

An exciting new service is going to be available to Minnesota residents very soon. A Minnesota state-wide directory of spay/neuter services, this directory will be a valuable service for residents of Minnesota, as well as animal welfare advocates looking to promote spay/neuter services.

This service will be broken down into two primary categories: TNR programs for feral cats and Low-cost/no-cost spay/neuter services for companion pets.

Programs in these categories will then be broken down into different areas of the state, and different service types.

Even more importantly, this new directory will be able to accept toll-free calls from anywhere in the state, and to connect callers to the programs in their area that best fit their needs. Think of it as a centralized, "411" for spay/neuter services.

Currently, there are about a dozen programs around the state that are to be included. Your assistance is requested to help ensure that no program is left out. There is no cost for being listed.

To ensure a program is listed, simply send me an email titled "Spay/Neuter Directory"

In the body of the email, include the phone number used to accept calls from the public regarding spay/neuter services.

Include the name of the organization. Also include a general description of the program including relevant information, geographic area served and other relevant information as you deem appropriate for example, is there an income requirement and, if so, what is it. The information you provide will be used to help ensure that callers directed to your program are somewhat pre-screened for compatibility.

Please share this email with others in the Minnesota animal welfare community to help ensure the directory does not leave anyone out!

--
Mike Fry
Executive Director of Animal Ark

Monday, July 6, 2009

Bev Kauth's memorial service is Tuesday, July 7

Bev Kauth was dedicated to rescuing animals in Minnesota.

Beverly Ann Kauth of Richfield, MN, died suddenly Sat., June 27, 2009.

Preceded by father, Charles; brother, Bruce. Survived by mother, Jeanne; brother, Gary (René); nieces, Nicole & Pamela; loving extended family & many friends.

Her memorial service is Tues., July 7th at St. Joan of Arc Church, 4500 Clinton Ave S., Mpls. 55409, visitation at 11 AM, service at 12 Noon.

Memorials if desired to donor's choice or Midwest Animal Rescue & Services, 4112 83rd Ave North, Brooklyn Park, MN 55443.


Link to her Minneapolis StarTribune obituary and guestbook.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Thank you to everyone aiding discarded pets

I was very touched by this notice on PetFinder.com today

Freda **RIP
Tabby - Grey
Size: Small
Age: Senior
Sex: Female

Notes:
JUNE 2009 UPDATE: FREDA WAS IN HER FOSTER HOME FOR ABOUT 2 MONTHS. SHE PASSED AWAY PEACEFULLY IN HER SLEEP. WE ARE GLAD FREDA GOT TO SPEND HER LAST DAYS IN A HOME WITH LOVE.
Freda lived a good life with a family but when one of the children ended up allergic to her, they dumped her at a kill shelter. On her last day to live, Waverly Pet Rescue stepped in so that she would not die. She is now living in a foster home. She is up-to-date on shots, spayed, and declawed.

Freda is about 12-years-old. That is still young because cats can live to be 20+! She is a very nice quiet lady. Very soft and cuddly. She likes to have her fur brushed, but will tell you when she has had enough. Loves to sleep close to me at night and can be found napping in bed during the day too. She would be a great pet for an older pet owner as she isn't always running under my feet. Gets along fine with other kitties and has wonderful manners.

This pet is up to date with routine shots.
This pet is already house trained.
This pet has been altered.

Waverly Pet Rescue
Waverly, IA

waverlypetrescue@mchsi.com

Monday, June 15, 2009

Annual summer crisis of homeless cats & kittens

Can't afford the cat anymore? Neither can the shelter.
More animals. Smaller donations. Wrenching stories of homes and jobs gone. The economy's toll mounts for those who care for abandoned felines.


By Bob Shaw
PIONEER PRESS
Updated: 06/13/2009 01:58:53 PM CDT

In good times, there are lots of clicks in Vickie Lachelt's office.

It is the sound of people hanging up after hearing the recorded message that Feline Rescue's cat-saving programs are only for low-income families.

Now, the hang-up clicks are gone. Thanks to the recession, the callers have less money and qualify for help. Day after day, they leave a stream of messages about their unwanted cats.

"It is never-ending," said volunteer Lachelt, "and it is heartbreaking."

Cats — and the groups that rescue them — are victims of the economic downturn. Animal rescue groups are staggering under the burden of thousands of cats, turned in by people who have lost jobs or houses.

At the same time, donations to the cat-saving groups are dropping. Several groups are pulling back or failing — making more work for those that remain. This, in turn, increases stress on those who love cats.

After 31 years of caring for dogs and cats, Rita Knudson recently shuttered the Brooklyn Park-based Lucky Dog Rescue. "We just couldn't take it anymore," she said.

"I do not want to drop dead with a leash in my hand. It's stressful when the phone is ringing seven days a week, night and day."

For shelter workers, the cat glut isn't just about money.

It rattles their faith in humanity. It makes them bitter to think that kindness to animals only prevails when the stock market is up.

"There is so much more neglect now. So much more cruelty. I don't understand it," said Laura Johnson, president of the cat-rescue group SCRAM, based in Shoreview.
"I get these calls. I say, 'We only have so many hands. Can't you put this animal in your garage? Is there any way you can help?' " Johnson said. "Nine out of 10 say no.

"The suffering I have seen in the last nine months ... I have nightmares."

ABANDONMENT BURNOUT

Johnson saw a Siamese cat that had been set ablaze with lighter fluid. She has seen several cats turned loose after having been declawed on all paws, which renders a cat unable to feed itself.

"A cat like that doesn't have a chance in hell," Johnson said.

"People get mad because (cats) are killing songbirds. That is sad but true. Nature is cruel. But how are these cats supposed to survive?"

One reason Knudson quit was burnout over the increase in abandonment and cruelty.

She was called after kids in Minneapolis shot guns near a chained-up dog — as a training exercise.

"They said they were making it a police dog," Knudson said. "It was the stupidest thing I have ever seen."

Other times, stress comes from listening to owners abandoning pets they love.

"A young gal called me to see if any assistance was out here," said Erin Hauer, director of Our Paws Cat Sanctuary in Wyoming. "She said her cat was hungry. She said she was hungry."

This June is a perfect storm for unwanted cats, said Deb Balzer, spokeswoman for the Animal Humane Society in Golden Valley.

Winters are steadily becoming milder, so the cat-breeding seasons are longer. "They used to have one or two litters a year. Now they have multiple litters," Balzer said.

The recession compounds the problem. The river of unwanted cats is swamping the Humane Society.

"We average 75 cats a day, more than 500 cats a week," Balzer said. Last summer, the Humane Society took in 10,000 cats. About half were adopted. The other half — old, diseased or unadoptable — were euthanized.

The national average of cats euthanized after being admitted to shelters is 71 percent, according to the Humane Society.

FEWER CATS OR MORE HOMES

SCRAM's Johnson said calls for help have doubled in nine months. "We are averaging 30 to 40 calls a day, because of this economy," she said.

The economic downturn hurts other animals, too.

Because of a foreclosure, the Humane Society recently received an entire petting zoo. Later, a goat named Billy was taken from a foreclosed farm in Woodbury.

But cats are by far the most common abandoned animals. The ultimate solution to an abundance of cats, rescue groups agree, is an aggressive and cheap spay-neuter program.

Many such programs already are in force. For some cat owners, SCRAM charges a rock-bottom $33 for neutering and $69 for spaying — procedures that normally can cost $300.

The Humane Society's Balzer said people need to learn that they have a responsibility to spay and neuter their cats.

"We hear people say, 'Oh, I never got around to spaying and neutering them.' Then it's 'Oh, look at all the cats running around here,' " she fumed. "Pretty soon they are giving away free kittens at their kid's lemonade stand."

Another solution?

"People need to open their homes," Johnson said, "and take in another cat."

Bob Shaw can be reached at 651-228-5433.

Animal welfare groups need money and volunteers to help with the rise in abandoned cats.

The Animal Humane Society, five metro locations; animalhumanesociety.org, 763-522-4325. Its programs include spaying/neutering, placing cats in foster homes and offering one cat free to anyone who adopts a cat during the summer (for most cat adoptions, fees are $80-$120).

Animal Ark No-Kill Shelter in Hastings; animalarkshelter.org. Programs include spaying/neutering.

Pet Haven of Minneapolis (pethavenmn.org), Feline Rescue of St. Paul (felinerescue.org) and SCRAM of Shoreview (petfinder.com/shelters/MN178.html) match cats and dogs with foster homes.

10th Anniversary Celebration at the Wildcat Sanctuary

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Rescued dog alerts family to intruder

Dog alerts family about intruder in home
Updated: 6/9/2009 9:05:27 AM

The Treichel family of Cambridge didn't need convincing. They'd already fallen in love with Izzy, the Australian Shepherd they adopted in February.

But what Izzy did at 3:00 Sunday morning has earned her family's gratitude for life.

"She just jumped up on our bed and started growling," says Maggie Treichel about the unexpected wake-up that greeted her and husband Tom.

Their bedroom door was closed, but Izzy seemed to sense something on the other side.

"She knew something was wrong," says Maggie.

Within seconds Tom was standing at his daughter's doorway staring that something in the face. "It was a silhouette of a man sitting in a chair next to my daughter's bed."

The stranger had pulled a small chair alongside the bed of now awake and freighted six-year-old Allyson.
"He said how old are you and what your name was and he shook hands with me," she recalled shyly on Monday afternoon.

Tom turned on the light and soon realized the man seemed pretty scared himself. "I just kept asking him 'What are you doing in my daughter's bedroom? What are you doing in my daughter's bedroom?' and he just didn't have anything to say.

Maggie called 9-1-1, while Tom made sure the intruder would be waiting when police arrived. "He made a quick dart for the door but I was standing right by him and I was able to grab him and put him onto the ground and told him he wasn't going anywhere."

Officers arrived at the Treichel home within minutes and found Maggie's camera in the man's pocket along with some checks stolen from a neighbor.

A charge of 1st degree burglary was filed Monday again Joseph Reinhardt, 20, who is listed as homeless in court papers. Police believe he gained entrance to the home through a garage door accidentally left open.

An Isanti County official says Reinhardt is originally from Maple Grove. He is also wanted on a burglary warrant in South Dakota.

"I had no clue why he was there," says Tom Treichel, "and that's what bothers me the most is why are you sitting next to a six-year-old."

The Treichels are counting their blessings.

"Obviously God's watching out for us," says Maggie.

God and the dog they took in from Aussie Rescue of Minnesota.

The rescued Australian Shepherd that early Sunday morning evened the score.


(Copyright 2009 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)
All Material Copyright 2009 KARE-11. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Home Sweet Home

I made an unusual rescue last year. I was at AHS with some foster kittens and a couple came in with a mother cat and kittens they were going to turn in. I knew the mother cat, who was a very nice calico, would be at risk of euthanasia at AHS in prime kitten season, so I offered to take her on the spot before she got into the system. This cat had been living outdoors with no owner and I knew friends who were looking for an indoor/outdoor cat at their rural home and who would provide wonderful care. Here is an update.
Hi All,

We’re a little overdue on this but wanted to include pics of our newest cat family members. All three joined us last year, June of 2008.

Names as follows: Incidentally, we give all our cats middle names.

Female Calico: Pebbles
(middle name “Denise”) for our friend Denise who found Pebbles for us.
History: Pebbles aka “Squeakers” had been living in Richfield on 74th and Lyndale Avenue. She was shuffled between the neighbors and had given birth to her own litter of kitties in the Spring of 2008. The woman who had been watching her could no longer care for her and she took her to the Golden Valley Humane Society. Denise happened to be at the humane society that very same day. She overheard Terry say that the cat was very friendly; however, she needed to be an outside cat. Denise said “I know someone who will take her” and that’s how Pebbles joined our family.

However, before Pebbles joined us, we had committed to taking 2 abandoned kittens in Beldenville, WI. The kittens mother was lost and the family thought that the mother may have been hit by a car. Therefore, the kittens (brother & sister) were being bottle fed. We brought them home when they were only 4 weeks old and continued to bottle feed them for a couple more weeks. Then they were ready for regular food. Boy, did they grow fast!!
Male: Orange & White Tabby: Alfie
(middle name “Dickens”) He’s a little Dickens and we thought it suited him for a middle name.
Female: Gray: Enya (named after Irish singer Enya)
(middle name “Selai”)
Selai was a close friend of ours who was our neighbor when we lived in White Bear Lake. She was from the Fiji Islands and had moved to Minnesota from Hawaii. Sadly, we had found out just a few weeks before getting the kittens that Selai had passed away from ovarian cancer. She was living in New York at the time. We thought it was a fitting middle name for Enya since she is so sweet and Selai was a generous giving person.
Yeah, we really get into this name thing because our cats are our children. So…we have fun with it! All three cats are adjusting well to country living and loving it. They want to be with us when we’re outside and follow us everywhere.

Have a great day!

S&D


NOTE: All three cats are spayed or neutered and receive regular vet care.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Stop importing animals in need; MN has plenty!

I feel terrible about dogs waiting for homes in other states, but I don't agree with going to the time and expense of tranporting them here, when we are euthanizing adoptable dogs and cats (by the hundreds!) right here in Minnesota. We need to get our own problems solved and then reach out.

AHS: Have you no shame?

25 Oklahoma dogs arrive in Minnesota looking for a second chance
Updated: 5/20/2009 2:16:05 PM

Twenty five adult dogs from Oklahoma arrived at the Animal Humane Society Wednesday morning looking for families that will give them a new home.

The dogs are part of an effort called "Save Our Strays" operated by a group in Oklahoma. These are healthy dogs that would have likely been euthanized due to a lack of space to house them.

Since April, more than 140 dogs have been transported from from Oklahoma by the "Save our Strays" rescue group. The dogs have a few days to get acclimated and be checked out by the AHS vet team. They will then be available for adoption at various Animal Humane Society locations.


(Copyright 2009 by KARE, All Rights Reserved.)
All Material Copyright 2009 KARE-11. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Vets for puppy mills beware!

A veterinarian for a controversial Minnesota puppy mill has given up their license in order to avoid legal action by the Minnesota Veterinary Board. Minnesota Animal Welfare Advocates are suggesting the case should put other vets who support puppy mills on notice.

More information is available at Animal Ark's website.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Safe journey to the river's edge

Hutchinson, MN is my hometown and I was so pleased to see this story in the local newspaper, the Hutchinson Leader, online today:

SLIDESHOW: A walk to the river with Mom

Hutchinson animal control officer Bob Loehrer escorted a mother duck and her 10 ducklings to the Crow River on Wednesday morning. The ducklings were hatched just a few hours earlier behind a bush in front of the Hutchinson Police Station along Franklin Street. The two-block trek to the river included a visit to the alley behind several Main Street businesses and a large jump up two curbs. It was all in a day’s work for Loehrer, who said it’s not unusual for him to be called to rescue ducklings after they have fallen into storm sewer drains.
Staff photos by Doug Hanneman.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Legacy of the St. Anthony Cats

The fall-out continues over the swift euthanasia of the 100+ cats rescued from a trailer in St. Anthony. These photos were taken by the Animal Humane Society and posted on their website. Within 48 hours, AHS had killed every cat.
I first saw the photos on the Animal Ark blog where Mike Fry asked,

"Is the place gross? Yup. Disgusting, actually. But, take a look at the cats. Take a really good look at the cats and ask yourself the following question, how many cats look to be in such severe medical trouble they need to be humanely euthanized?

My count? Zero. In any of the pictures."

I would go a step further and say that these cats don't look dirty or skinny or even scared despite having a stranger in their space taking photos. I was physically sickened to think that these cats were euthanized without being given a chance.
The AHS board has sent out a letter to those who complained about the needless killing of these cats:

Consider Mike Fry's response on the Animal Ark blog :

Dear members of the Board of Directors of the Animal Humane Society,

As you all know, there was a recent uproar in Minnesota related to the reported "rescue" and the subsequent killing of about 130 felines the Animal Humane Society acquired from a mobile home in St. Anthony Minnesota. Multiple complaints were filed with the board of AHS over the killing of these felines.

On April 6, 2009 a form letter response from Nic Pifer, the AHS Board Chair, was sent to those who complained. In case you have not yet seen the official AHS response, a copy is attached for your convenience.

Generally, the response from the AHS Board regarding this unfortunate and unnecessary tragedy appears to have been to simply recite the talking points staff members at AHS had made publicly to justify the killing of these felines, in spite of the fact that the basic premise of these statements have been widely discredited by experts in the field of veterinary medicine and shelter management.

Basically, the argument in favor of killing the cats goes something like this: the cats posed a health risk to people and animals at AHS, and in the community at large, and so needed to be killed.

Note that nowhere in the response from Mr. Pifer was there any indication that animals were terminally ill, suffering or in need of humane euthanasia. The entire argument in favor of the killings is summarized by the above statement. Unfortunately, this statement is not supported by sound veterinary medicine.

Multiple veterinarians who are nationally recognized as experts in this subject matter have already written me saying things like, "there is no veterinary basis for this decision [to kill the cats]."

A quick review of the diseases referenced as the rationale for killing these cats is provided below:

"Upper Respiratory" or URI - This is common in felines in shelters. One of the most common causes of this condition is a virus known as feline herpes. This is not the same virus that is considered a sexually-transmitted disease in humans, which is why most animal welfare advocates avoid using the "feline herpes" term when discussing URI in cats. Some estimate suggest that between 70% and 80% of all felines already carry the feline herpes virus. Symptoms of the virus are generally comparable to a "common cold" in humans. URI is generally considered to be a stress-related ailment in cats, common in animal shelters, or other situations where housing less than ideal. All animal shelters should be prepared to isolate and treat cats suffering from URI.

Ringworm - this is a contagious fungal infection that is common in stressed cats. The fungus responsible for ringworm in cats is basically the same as the fungus responsible for athlete's foot in humans. The fungus is ubiquitous and common. When cats become stressed, they become more susceptible to this condition, which is why it is common in shelters or animal hoarding situations. It is inexpensive to treat, if proper isolation and quarantine practices are in place. All animal shelters should be prepared to isolate and treat cats suffering from this condition.

FIV - Feline Immunodeficiency Virus is sometimes, incorrectly, referred to as "feline AIDS". This virus is not related to HIV in humans, though its behavior in cats is somewhat similar to the behavior of the HIV virus in humans. FIV is only transmitted from cat to cat through close, intimate contact - generally through deep bite wounds that result when intact male cats fight. However, unlike HIV, FIV in cats often resolves itself without treatment. Additionally, simple tests available in shelters are highly inaccurate, generating large numbers of false-positive results. Additionally, cats infected with this disease usually live long, healthy lives. They are more likely to die from unrelated causes than from the disease itself. Because the tests for this disease are inaccurate; because the spread of the disease is easily prevented in a shelter setting; and since the implications of a positive test are not considered very serious, testing of shelter animals is considered, at best, controversial. Those that recommend testing also recommend confirmatory tests, which can take weeks to process.

It is worth pointing out here that the timeline uncovered and reported by KSTP Eyewitness News indicates AHS began killing these unfortunate felines within about 24 hours of arrival at your shelter. Confirmatory tests for none of these diseases was possible in that time frame.

Of these diseases, the only one that is potentially transmissible to humans is Ringworm. However, as mentioned earlier, proper isolation and treatment protocols are available for managing that condition in a shelter. For this, and the other reasons I have mentioned, the rationale that these felines represented a risk to other animals at AHS and the public seems highly flawed.

Perhaps more troubling than the questions raise by the above is the fact that several serious questions had been posed to the AHS board which were not, in any way, addressed by the form-letter response signed by Mr. Pifer and dated April 6. Some of those questions include, but are not limited to the following:

1) Has AHS Board interviewed the veterinarian in charge of the case?

2) Has the AHS Board of Directors asked for, or been given, a full briefing by the veterinarian in charge of the case?

3) Have reporters investigated the credentials of the Director of Veterinary Services, Kathie Johnson, who is not a veterinarian? Why is Ms. Johnson allowed to make life or death decisions for animals when she is not a veterinarian?

4) The 2/17 press release issued by AHS said that the cats were euthanized because "Clinical diagnosis and medical testing provided evidence of multiple health issues within the group of cats. The issues included upper respiratory infection (URI), ringworm, the herpes virus, and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV)." Why have no reporters questioned whether there is an accurate veterinary basis for this statement? For example, it is not possible to definitively diagnose ringworm within 24 hours. A ringworm culture must be done and it takes at least 10 days to obtain results from this culture. Another example, a positive FIV test result does not indicate that a cat has FIV, only that a cat has been exposed to the virus. How many cats were tested and how many positives were there?

5) If the St. Anthony cats were as unsocialized as AHS claimed, how was it possible to thoroughly examine 130 cats in a matter of a few hours before the cats were killed?

None of these concerns were addressed by the simplistic response from your board. If there are answers to these questions, I believe the animals in Minnesota, and your members and donors all deserve a substantive response that addresses them.

Mike Fry, Executive Director of Animal Ark
It is my sincere hope that these innocent cats did not die in vain. I hope that their legacy is the beginning of increased awareness by the public and increased cooperation and communication among rescue groups in the future.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Kittens inspired by Kittens video

Need a laugh? Check out this little girl's interpretation of a picture book of kittens!

Friday, March 27, 2009

ABC TV Nightline on puppy mills TONIGHT

This Friday night, March 27, ABC's Nightline will be investigating puppy mills!

ABC Correspondent Sharyn Alfonsi and investigators from Nightline travel the byways and back roads of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania - visiting numerous puppy mills and filming Main Line Animal Rescue's volunteers as they rescue breeding dogs and puppies from Lancaster County's notorious Amish commercial breeding facilities.

This promises to be a very special program. If you are involved in rescue, advocate on behalf of the millions of puppy mill dogs interned in our nation's commercial dog breeding facilities, or if you just simply love animals, you will not want to miss this.

Sharyn Alfonsi interviewed, on camera, an Amish breeder while touring his facility - a first for network television. With approximately 500 dogs housed on his property, this commercial breeder speaks openly about an industry cloaked in secrecy and suspicion - the cruel factory farming of man's best friend.

PLEASE tell your friends, your family, your coworkers - ABC Nightline investigates puppy mills - this Friday at 11:35 pm (Eastern Standard Time). Please take the time to forward this to all the rescues, shelters, and legislators in your area.

It has been almost one year since Oprah's puppy mill show aired. That program received the highest viewer response of any Oprah Show in years. Now we need to spread the word about this very special Nightline. Only by educating as many people as we can, will we be able to help these animals. And after you watch the program, please don't hesitate to contact ABC and Nightline to thank them for casting such a strong light on the plight of our nation's puppy mill dogs.

Emergency Animal Rescue Service

UAN Encourages Red River Valley Residents Threatened by Flooding to Include Pets in Evacuation Plans

Animals left behind can be injured, fall ill, starve and hamper human evacuation and rescue efforts

SACRAMENTO, CA (March 23, 2009) – As severe flooding threatens the Red River Valley in North Dakota and Minnesota, United Animal Nations (UAN) encourages residents to include their pets in their evacuation plans. Animals left behind during floods can get injured, fall ill, starve, die, and hamper human evacuation and rescue efforts.

Families that may have to evacuate are encouraged to:

Identify a place where you can evacuate with your pets. Many hotels and motels are pet-friendly, and those that aren’t often make exceptions during natural disasters. A searchable database of pet-friendly accommodations is available at www.petswelcome.com or www.petfriendlyhotelsandtravel.com .

If you are planning to stay with friends or family, confirm beforehand that your pets will be welcome or find a professional kennel safely out of the flood’s reach where you can board them.

Assemble an animal disaster kit that includes food, water, medications, a leash or cat carrier for each pet, and photos of each animal with family members to prove ownership if they are lost.

Affix an identification tag to each pet’s collar so he or she can be more easily reunited with you if you are separated.

Visit www.uan.org/disastertips for more information.
"Animals left to fend for themselves during floods suffer terribly, and evacuees can compound their own stress by worrying about the pets they left behind,” said UAN president Nicole Forsyth. “For both human and animal safety, it is vital that every family include their pets in their evacuation plans.”

Through its volunteer-driven Emergency Animal Rescue Service (EARS), UAN provides free temporary sheltering for communities that become overwhelmed by natural disasters or other crises. EARS volunteers are specially trained to set up and operate temporary animal shelters, where they feed and care for displaced animals until they can be reunited with their families or placed in new homes.

Emergency management and animal control agencies in the Red River Valley can call UAN at (916) 429-2457 for temporary sheltering assistance.

Founded in 1987, United Animal Nations focuses on bringing animals out of crisis and into care through a variety of programs, including emergency animal sheltering and disaster relief services, financial assistance for urgent veterinary care and humane education.

# # #

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Animals displaced by flooding in NW Minnesota

Animal Ark Called to Help Animals Displaced by Flooding

Emergency response for animals in the Red River Valley flood zone is officially underway, with animal rescue organizations preparing for the evacuation of at least 200 - 300 animals from the area.

According to rescue workers at least one animal shelter is potentially in the area of concern and needs to be evacuated. Additionally, as residents in the area begin evacuating, more animals have started arriving at animal shelters, increasing the demand.

A team from Animal Ark will be leaving for the flood zone early in the morning on Thursday, March 26 and expects to be deployed for about 72 hours.

A site has been designated to serve as an animal evacuation center. Donations, supplies and volunteers are needed. Additionally, depending on the amount of damage that results from possible flooding, foster homes for affected animals may be needed.
Show Your Support:

Donate to Help

And/Or

Bring donated items to Animal Ark Shelter. Needed items include:
Pet Food
Kitty Litter
Blankets & Towels
Pet Toys
Bring these items by 7 pm March 25 to:
Animal Ark
2600 Industrial Ct.
Hastings, MN 55033

Sign up to Volunteer

Sign up to Foster a Pet

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

MN puppy mill legislation needs your support

Breaking News and Urgent Action Alert
House File 253 Passes Civil Justice Committee, Hearing Scheduled in Agriculture, Rural Economies and Veterans Affairs Committee - Your Voice is Needed

On Monday, March 23, 2009 House File 253 easily passed out of the Civil Justice Committee in the Minnesota House of Representatives. The bill was then referred to the Agriculture, Rural Economies and Veterans Affairs Committee. A hearing was immediately scheduled for Friday, March 27 at 8:30 AM.

Please contact the members of the Agriculture, Rural Economies and Veterans Affairs Committee and ask that they support HF 253.

On Tuesday, March 24, the Minnesota Senate Committee on Agriculture and Veterans will hold a hearing on Senate File 7, the companion bill to HF 253.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

WI deer killers face more charges

Snowmobile deer-slaughter suspect faces new charges
Associated Press

March 11, 2009

WAUPACA, Wis. - One of the men accused in the Waupaca County snowmobile deer-slaughter case now faces additional charges related to hunting violations.

Twenty-four-year-old Rory Kuenzi was charged Tuesday with six counts of taking a deer during the closed season.

He's also accused of possessing wild game during a closed season and resisting a conservation warden.

Kuenzi already faces six counts of felony mistreatment of animals. Those charges stem from a January incident in which he and two others allegedly ran down and killed several deer with their snowmobiles.

One co-defendant also had charges of taking deer during the closed season added to his own charges. Prosecutors say they plan to do the same with the third co-defendant.

Kuenzi's attorney didn't immediately return a message Tuesday evening.

___

Information from: The Post-Crescent, http://www.postcrescent.com

© 2009 Star Tribune. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Letter to the editor

The euthanasia of the St. Anthony cats removed from a hoarding situation without taking time to properly evaluate their condition or the options for their care is, unfortunately, just another instance of the death of adoptable pets given over to the care of the Animal Humane Society.

Organizations and individuals were offering their assistance as soon as they were aware of the problem. No effort was made by AHS to even contact their own foster caregivers to see if they could help with these cats in this lightest cat season of the year.

It is very clear that these cats were used as a vehicle for advertising AHS and raising funds. My hope is that these cats have not died in vain and will finally reveal to the public at large the policies of AHS.

There are numerous misconceptions about the Animal Humane Society. Many mistakenly believe that AHS is associated with a larger national organization such as the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) or the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). Many also mistakenly believe that AHS is an “official” or governmental controlled or approved organization. Many would be shocked at the percentage of the funds they donate to you in the multiple millions of dollars each year that are spent on highly paid administrators.

Finally, most assume that AHS is a “humane” organization and that the stray, sick, and unwanted animals that come in to you will be evaluated, cared for and adoptable animals will be offered for adoption. The public is not aware that 40-60% of the animals surrendered to AHS are euthanized immediately. Only the young and healthy and desirable even get a chance. Occasionally, a young and desirable injured animal gets special treatment with a dramatic surgery like removal of an infected eye or amputation of an injured limb, but I have come to believe that those acts of seeming generosity are simply fundraising gimmicks like the St. Anthony cats. Wonderful rescue stories keep those donations rolling in.

It's time the Twin Cities became a "no-kill" zone which simply means all adoptable animals go up for adoption. Only suffering and truly unsocialized animals are euthanized. Much larger metropolitan areas than the Twin Cities (New York City, for instance) have already made the commitment. It won’t happen overnight, but it's time for all the animal rescue organizations to work together to make the changes necessary to achieve that goal.

"Humane" Society board meeting tomorrow--Thursday

From: Andrea Lee Lambrecht [mailto:andreal@umn.edu]
Sent: Wednesday, February 25, 2009 3:53 PM
Subject: Animal "Humane" Society Board meeting tomorrow-Thursday

Most of you are well informed about the St. Anthony cat situation. I just got off the phone after a very upsetting conversation with Deb Balser, HS public relations. When I inquired, she said every single cat had ringworm AND UR and FIV was present. I had many questions and she had no sane response. When I asked her if any rescue groups or individuals familiar with hoarding and rescue offered to take some of the cats, she said “No, not until after they were euthanized.” I was outraged. When I told her I didn’t believe all the cats were beyond help and that the HS did not appropriately consider options. She told me I was entitled to my opinion and hung up on me when I asked for her last name.

Please consider the following:

The 26 board members will be meeting tomorrow (Thursday, Feb. 26 at noon) in Golden Valley. The next board meeting will not be held until April. The meeting is NOT open to the public.

However, people can call (763-522-4325) and register their outrage at how this situation was handled and the tragic result.

You may also e-mail your comments to board members to Megan Pelka (mpelka@animalhumanesociety.org), who is the assistant to Janelle Dixon, CEO/President. I was told by Megan e-mails she receives that are directed to board members will be forwarded to those board members. Considering the meeting is less than 24 hours away, I asked if she would also print out a hard copy to distribute to the board members at the meeting tomorrow. She said that would be done.

In spite of my anger, I feel it is important to not only state my thoughts on the matter, but also to say a new protocol should be established regarding contacting rescue organizations and individuals when decisions are being made to destroy EVERY animal.

Also, be sure to state your experience with cats, animals, feline disorders/diseases, hoarding and rescue, so they know you are well informed on the issues. Otherwise, they may think you are clueless and doing a knee-jerk to the bad publicity.

Right now I am too mad to carry on, but I ask you to please flood the HS office phone & board member e-mails. This is especially important they hear from the public prior to the meeting.

Pass the word and carry on.

Andrea Lee Lambrecht

Animal Humane Society: "Humane" in name only

Dear friends:

You've probably heard about the Animal Humane Society's recent "rescue" of 130 cats in St. Anthony, Minnesota. This was a case of a couple hoarding a ridiculous number of cats in a small trailer. However, pictures released by the AHS show cats who appeared to be pretty well socialized and well fed. Various people who have been involved in seizures of hoarders' cats say these were in better shape than they expected.

The AHS invited all the media to come see the cats in their cages at the Golden Valley site. Their press person said they would spend 2-3 weeks evaluating the cats for illness and socialization. The AHS later admitted that they killed them within 48 hours. Every single one. As people and organizations from all over started contacting them to offer help, they were already busy killing cats. They say now it was a public health issue, but have not explained: 1) why the timeline was changed; 2) whether they actually tested cats for illness; and 3) if the cats were so critically ill, why they even brought them to the shelter. (Hint: the Star Tribune article didn't ask people to volunteer, but did ask for money.)

This Saturday, 2/28, we will be protesting at the Humane Socy in Golden Valley -- 1 p.m. to 2 or 2:30 (depending on how cold!) at Highway 55 and Meadow Lane North. Please join us and wear thermal underwear & bring signs! It is one exit west of Theodore Wirth Parkway. There are several parking lots nearby. Note that this protest is not sponsored by any organization, but just an ad-hoc group of extremely pissed off citizens!

Can't make it? Can make it & want to be even more helpful? Here is a link for more information & a list of contacts for AHS board members. Please ask them to investigate thoroughly and make necessary personnel changes. (That would be a polite way of saying that they need to fire CEO Janelle Dixon, who has presided comfortably over the deaths of tens of thousands of animals, first at the St. Paul shelter & then at the head of the 5-shelter AHS system.)

Feel free to share this with anyone interested. If anyone outside the area has a moment to write a few board members, it would be very helpful. Let them know there are people watching everywhere.

Thanks so much!
Ellen Weinstock
St. Paul, MN

More info: http://animalarkshelter.org/animal/ArkArticles.nsf/EmailArticle/58760A421FF6284386257560005A2E8F

Jeff Ament
Smith Barney
445 E. Lake Street, Ste. 320
Wayzata, MN 55391
(952) 475-4304
(800) 433-0147

Emilie Buchwald
6808 Margaret’s Ln
Edina, MN 55439
(952) 941-5993

Ed Clausman, DVM
Southdale Pet Hospital
3910 W 70th St
Minneapolis, MN 55435
(952) 926-1831

Barb Colombo, Esq.
Hamline University
1536 Hewitt Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55104
(651) 523-2800
bcolombo01@hamline.edu

Kerry D’Amato
502 Grand Hill
St. Paul, MN 55102-2613
(651) 222-6441

Lisa Goodman
Minneapolis City Council
350 S 5th Street, Room 307
Minneapolis, MN 55415
(612) 673-2207
http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/contact/email-form-goodman.asp

Dean Hedstrom, VP Engineering
Aetrium, Inc.
2350 Helen Street
North St. Paul, MN 55109
(651) 770-2000
info@aetrium.com

Cyndi Lesher, President
Xcel Energy, Inc.
800 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis, MN 55402
(800) 328-8226


Teresa Morrow, Senior VP
Bremer Financial Services
445 Minnesota Street, Ste. 2000
St. Paul, MN 55101-2135
(651) 227-7621

Ned Patterson, DVM
C339 Veterinary Medical Center
1352 Boyd Avenue
University of Minnesota
Saint Paul, MN 56345
patte037@umn.edu

Nicholas S. Pifer, CFA
RiverSource Investments
70100 Ameriprise Financial Center
Minneapolis, MN 55474
(800) 817-4647

Wayne Popham, Esq.
Popham Law Office
33 S. 6th Street, #4100
Minneapolis, MN 55402-3601
(612) 333-7680
wpopham@pophamlaw.net

Boyd Ratchye, Esq.
970 Wagon Wheel Trail
Mendota Heights, MN 55120-1316

Damon Schramm, Esq.
Lakes Entertainment, Inc.
130 Cheshire Lane
Minnetonka, MN 55305 US
dschramm@lakesentertainment.com
(952)449-7069

Kristi Skordahl, Esq.
Family Law Services
2139 Carroll Ave
St. Paul, MN 55104-5043
(651) 644-1443
Kristi@kristiskordahl.com

Robert Washabau, DVM
1352 Boyd Avenue
College of Veterinary Medicine
University of Minnesota
Saint Paul, MN 55108

You can contact the following board members c/o Animal Humane Society, 845 Meadow Lane N., Golden Valley, MN 55422. (763) 522-4325
Don Jacobsen

Sheila Kennedy

James Lane

Linda Lee

Walt McCarthy

Murphy McKee

Lia Melrose

Deborah Patterson

Carolyn Smith

Stephanie Swanson


You may also wish to contact the Humane Society’s sponsors. All of them have links here: http://www.animalhumanesociety.org/aboutus/sponsors

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

More bad snowmobilers in Wisconsin

57 ducks run over by snowmobile in Wisconsin
Updated: 1/14/2009 5:36:39 PM

FOND DU LAC, Wis. -- Investigators are trying to find a snowmobiler who ran over and killed 57 mallard ducks on a river near Fond du Lac.

The Department of Natural Resources says the ducks were killed Tuesday and found in a hole in the ice and on both sides of it in the Fond du Lac River.

Warden Supervisor George Protogere says it appears a single snowmobiler performed two passes of water skipping over the ice hole and hit the ducks. The warden calls the killer a person with no concern for life.

The incident comes as public outrage grows about another thrill killing near Waupaca. A group of snowmobilers herded and ran over five deer last weekend. Four were killed, and one was euthanized.


(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
All Material Copyright 2009 KARE-11. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Appalling attack on deer in Wisconsin

Snowmobilers round up and run over deer
By ROBERT IMRIE , Associated Press

January 12, 2009

WAUSAU, Wis. - A group of snowmobilers in central Wisconsin herded and killed four deer and severely injured a fifth in what a warden called a senseless act of cruelty on Monday.

No arrests have been made in the Saturday morning incident about five miles south of Waupaca, said Ted Dremel, a state Department of Natural Resources warden.

There's talk of closing all snowmobile trails in Waupaca County until the "rogue snowmobilers" are caught, he said.

"It is senseless. I don't know how else to describe it," Dremel said. "It is probably something they thought was fun or humorous at the time. They did purposely run over these deer. The tracks in the snow were in a circular manner, almost looking like they were chasing the deer back to other snowmobile partners."

Randy Yorkson, who farms the land, said people cannot believe what happened.

"I am going to guess it is somebody who left a bar. They probably had been using that trail before, knowing the deer were out there," he said. "This is just some yahoos who don't have any common sense."

Landowner Virginia Niemuth, 80, immediately shut off access to her property, closing five miles of the main snowmobile trail across Waupaca County.

"There's sick people out there," Niemuth said. "I used to love to snowmobile, but this is too much."

Dremel believes three or four snowmobiles were involved in a roundup of deer in a moonlit alfalfa field where 30 to 40 animals were known to feed. Witnesses reported hearing snowmobiles in the area about 3:30 a.m., he said.

Three deer were found dead in the field. A snowmobile stopped atop one and ripped open its stomach, Dremel said. A fourth deer with broken legs was euthanized.

The fifth deer was dragged from the field and tied to a tree about 25 feet from a road. Investigators think someone may have planned to return for that deer, Dremel said.

"It looked like the deer wrapped itself around the tree and choked itself to death," he said.

Dremel said he has never heard of this kind of "cowboy-style" attack on deer with snowmobiles.

"Usually, it is an accident — a deer standing in a trail and a snowmobiler can't avoid it," he said.

The dead deer included two bucks and three does. One was a fawn.

Investigators have no suspects. Some snowmobile clubs have offered $4,000 in rewards for information leading to arrests, Dremel said. Information can be phoned into the DNR's tip line at 1-800-TIP-WDNR.

"This is not characteristic of the snowmobile community in Wisconsin," DNR Chief Warden Randy Stark said in Madison. "Obviously, we are looking to get any public assistance we can in identifying who is responsible for this."

___

On the Net:

Department of Natural Resources: http://www.dnr.state.wi.us/

© 2009 Star Tribune. All rights reserved.