Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Thank you to everyone aiding discarded pets

I was very touched by this notice on today

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

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

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
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."


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.


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;, 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; Programs include spaying/neutering.

Pet Haven of Minneapolis (, Feline Rescue of St. Paul ( and SCRAM of Shoreview ( 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!


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