Friday, November 9, 2012

Sometimes the internet has to be your world

My friend and high school classmate, Jeri Jo Redman, suffers from rheumatoid arthritis and is confined to a motorized wheelchair. She greatly enjoys keeping in touch with friends and playing games on Facebook, but following a recent hospitalization and surgery, she has been unable to afford internet service in her apartment.

I thought it would be great if her Facebook friends could all contribute a few dollars to help get Jeri Jo back online by Christmas, so I created this ChipIn to make it easy. I know I am not the only one missing my renewed contact with Jeri Jo and I know it will mean so much to her.

By the way, I didn't tell her I was going to do this. The "Thank You" on the quilt was for something else, but I liked the photo and stole it from her Facebook page :-)

If you prefer, you can send a check made out to Jeri Jo Redman to me at my address below.

Thanks everyone,

Denise Luke
6621 Knox Ave. S.
Richfield, MN  55423

Monday, May 21, 2012

Dog food sold in MN recalled

11:57 AM, May 19, 2012
Written by
The Associated Press

META, Mo. - Missouri-based Diamond Pet Foods is voluntarily recalling another type of dog food because of potential exposure to salmonella.

The recall announced Friday applies to samples, 6-pound bags and 18-pound bags of Diamond Naturals Small Breed Adult Dog Lamb & Rice Formula dry dog food manufactured on Aug. 26, 2011.

The company says it has received no reports of illnesses among dogs who consumed the food or people who handled it.

The product was distributed in Minnesota, Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin.

Diamond Pet Foods' voluntary recalls earlier this spring included batches of Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's Soul Adult Light Formula and Diamond Naturals Lamb Meal & Rice.

The latest recall covers the following production codes and best-before dates:

•DSL0801, 26-Aug-2012
•DSL0801, 27-Sept-2012
•DSL0801, 18-Oct-2012
•DSL0801 (samples)

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.)

Monday, May 14, 2012

No more death camp for dolphins at MN Zoo :-)

Minnesota Zoo will end its dolphin exhibit
Article by: PAUL WALSH
Star Tribune
May 14, 2012 - 12:16 PM
One of the Minnesota Zoo's most popular species will no longer be on exhibit.

The two remaining dolphins are moving within a few months and will not be replaced, the zoo in Apple Valley announced Monday.

Zoo Director Lee Ehmke said Semo and Allie must be relocated because extensive repairs are needed to the 15-year-old Discovery Bay building and the dolphin tank, where the two are housed.

The refurbishment, combined with the species' low availability, means there will be no dolphins at the Minnesota Zoo "in the foreseeable future," Ehmke said.

Ehmke acknowledges that losing dolphins as an attraction will be disappointing to visitors. Except for a few brief interruptions, dolphins have been exhibited at the zoo since it opened in 1978.

"People love dolphins," he said. "It has consistently been one of the favorite animals. They have a lot of charisma, and people find them fascinating and love them, as do we."

Ehmke said that removing 24-year-old Allie and 46-year-old Semo from the zoo is "a done deal" that is not connected to a series of recent deaths among the species at the zoo nor influenced by the debate over whether the marine mammal should even be held in captivity.

The zoo, in a statement Monday, emphasized that it will "continue to support ... the public display of dolphins, marine mammal care programs, and the science and research that is such a critical part of the mission of accredited zoos and aquariums across North America."

Taijah, an Atlantic bottlenose dolphin born at the zoo in 2010 to Allie and Semo, died in February of complications from a stomach ulcer. It was the sixth dolphin to have died at the zoo since 2006.

Allie and Semo's departure will occur "sometime in the fall," Ehmke said, noting that there is a lot of planning to do.

"We will certainly let people know," he said, "and give people the chance to see them before they leave."

Discovery Bay's makeover is being financed through $4 million appropriated by the state through the bonding bill passed last week. The building has been significantly damaged by salt water in the pools and atmosphere. The work will include resealing the pools and reinforcing the building where there is salt water damage.

Ehmke characterized Semo's relocation as a "retirement move." He is currently the oldest male dolphin living in human care, a testament to the quality husbandry he's received for over 40 years.

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Another happy update on Dutch in his new home

Hi you guys---Just thought I'd let you know a month in that our regal old man is rapidly becoming one of the favorites at work.
He knows the routine, greets everyone, guards his food and bones from younger, rapscallion dogs, and is all around just terrific! He is so confident, it blows the mind.

I know there isn't much to report, but sometimes its nice to hear. Hope everyone is well, thanks for giving this fab old guy a new start.

Everyone who meets him cannot believe there wasn't a list of people clambering to adopt him! I won...:)


Friday, April 13, 2012

Orphaned Doxie & Poodle pals need home

A Vietnam vet who lived alone with his two small dogs died. No one even noticed he had died for at least a week when the mail started accumulating. Animal Control was called to pick up the dogs. With no family and no where else for the dogs to go, they were taken to the local shelter that is trying to rehome them together. The dogs were microchipped so we got some information from that.

BEARThe gray poodle's name is Bear and he is estimated to be 10-12 years old. He was matted and smelly, so the shelter took him to a groomer where he was shaved and bathed. Bear is outgoing and likes to explore the fenced back yard. His back legs are stiff which could be from the matting or his age, but he gets around just fine.

PEANUTThe red dachshund is a purebred female, tattoo in ear. She has a very long registered name, but the owner called her Peanut. She will turn 10 in June. She is very active and a little busybody, can't stay in one place for too long, unless of course it's for a back scratching.

The shelter has vaccinated them with DA2PPV, nasal bordetella and Strongit dewormer

Do you know of anyone that could give these two seniors a home? Please contact Carla at

Monday, April 9, 2012

Dutch arrives in his retirement home!

Just a note to say how well our old man Dutch has adjusted to his new home!

He strolls--that is the word--around the property, pees on scent posts, says hello to dogs, and then seeks out the human component.

DUTCH & NEW FRIENDWhen he wants inside he is clear--he huffs and clicks at the window until he is noticed. He found several comforters that he has claimed, knows where the waterers are, and acts like he has been there forever.

He is at work with me today, same deal..Just strolled around the compound, didn't care about the wolves or cougars, and is now in my office shoving his nose under my arm while I type this so that I pet him.

He is one of those "teflon" dogs, the type that other dogs simply do not get upset about---it makes life easier on all of us! He rides like a champ in the car on the way to work--we love him!!

Thanks again for sending this little light into our lives!


I am so happy to share this update on Dutch. He was transported from Davenport, Iowa, to Hinckley, Minnesota, on Saturday, March 31. Thanks to everyone who contributed in any way toward making this happen!

Dutch now lives with a family at a small home-based sanctuary called Home at Last -- "A forever-home for abused, abandoned and neglected animals" ( His new mom, Peggy, works at the Wildlife Science Center -- "Inspiring Relationships with the Wild" (

I got a positive referral on Peggy from someone in animal rescue that I trust and requested more information from Peggy before deciding this was a good placement for Dutch. Carla in Iowa took care of vet visits for Dutch before transport so he was updated on his shots and started a new medication for a stubborn ear infection.

Peggy sent this response to my questions: "Dutch will indeed be indoors as much as he chooses, and at my home where the dogs live with me we also have a building that is heated and cooled so if we leave him for a short while he will never have to be out longer than he wants. All of our dogs live with us in a family setting, and we have other old dogs, lots of comforters and mattresses for old bones, and some of them come to work with me, if they are up for it."

I'm so happy for Dutch!

Please remember the adult and senior animals when you are looking to adopt!! It sickens me how many healthy socialized pets are euthanized simply because they are not as desirable as the young.

And, spay/neuter your pets to avoid overpopulation, in the first place. We can only hope to make a difference in the problem if we get ahead of it.


Friday, March 23, 2012

Dutch needs help

Dutch is a very sweet old chocolate lab who needs a retirement setting.

We have found sanctuary for him in Hinckley, MN, but he requires transport from Davenport, Iowa.

We have filled most of the legs of the transport, but we need to be able to reimburse gas costs.

Can you donate a few dollars to our Chip-In account?

I’m still hoping this guy could find love in a real home…

Denise (

Trying to find a place for a Senior chocolate lab who hasn't had much of a life to life out whatever is left of it in peace and comfort....

So I was looking at the Best Friends Network here and in surrounding states, looking for a rescue but more so a sanctuary as I don't think this dog would ever be adopted because of age, and he's not going to be placed up from adoption here...

He's at the shelter because of an abatement order. The owner has an ACO file going back to '05. He was listed as an adult back then, so even if he was 2 or 3 back then, that would make him 9 or 10 now.

REALLY sweet, gentle, VERY housebroke...

Carla (

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Study ties GMO corn, soybeans to butterfly losses

Star Tribune - March 16, 2012 - 9:37 PM

Genetically engineered corn and soybeans make it easy for farmers to eradicate weeds, including the long-lived and unruly milkweed.

But they might be putting the monarch butterfly in peril.

The rapid spread of herbicide-resistant crops has coincided with -- and may explain -- the dramatic decline in monarch numbers that has troubled some naturalists over the past decade, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Minnesota and Iowa State University.

Between 1999 and 2010, the same period in which so-called GMO crops became the norm for farmers, the number of monarch eggs declined by an estimated 81 percent across the Midwest, the researchers say. That's because milkweed -- the host plant for the eggs and caterpillars produced by one of one of the most gaudy and widely recognized of all North American butterflies -- has nearly disappeared from farm fields, they found.

It is one of the clearest examples yet of unintended consequences from the widespread use of genetically modified seeds, said John Pleasants, a monarch researcher from Iowa State in Ames, Iowa.

"When we put something out there, we don't know always what the consequences are," he said.

Pleasants and Karen Oberhauser, of the University of Minnesota, published their findings online last week in the journal Insect Conservation and Diversity.

"It is quite an extraordinary paper," said Chip Taylor, an insect ecologist at the University of Kansas and the director of research at Monarch Watch, a conservation group. He noted that Oberhauser and Pleasants were able to tie the loss of habitat to a decline in numbers across the country.

But the evidence they present -- estimates of the number of milkweed plants across the Corn Belt and a decade's worth of butterfly egg counts by an army of volunteer citizens -- is indirect, say others.

"It does not resolve the debate," said Leslie Ries, a University of Maryland professor who studies monarchs.

Butterflies in decline

The orange and black butterflies migrate every year to the mountains of Mexico, where they collect in fluttering clouds in trees, an extraordinary event that has inspired festivals and tourism.

But for reasons that are not well understood, the number of butterflies that make it to Mexico -- half of which come from the Midwest -- has been on the decline. This year, according to a report released Thursday, the butterflies occupied seven acres of trees in their refuge west of Mexico City -- 28 percent less than last year and a fraction of the 45 acres they occupied in 1996, a peak year.

Experts said last year's drought probably had a serious effect on the insects. Others say damage to the wintering grounds from logging and development are also playing a part, and that the number that make it to Mexico does not necessarily reflect the health of the species.

But some scientists have for years wondered whether the use of genetically modified crops is affecting the spring and summer reproduction in this country.

Earlier studies suggested that monarch caterpillars would die if they ate milkweed dusted with pollen from another kind of engineered seed known as BT corn. It contains a gene that produces a toxin that kills corn-eating pests.

That theory was disproved, but it led scientists to take a hard look at milkweed plants in corn and soybean fields, said Pleasants. "Surprisingly, monarchs use those milkweeds more heavily than milkweed outside [farm fields]," he said. The butterflies lay nearly four times as many eggs on farm field plants as on those in pastures or on roadsides, the researchers said.

More important, they also found "that milkweed in the fields was disappearing," he said. That's because more farmers are using a new kind of genetically modified seed developed by Monsanto, Roundup-ready corn and soybeans, that contain a gene allowing the plants to withstand Roundup, or glyphosate. That allows farmers to spray their fields without harming the crop.

Monsanto, which did not respond to a request for comment, says on its website the seeds help farmers increase yield. Today, it's used by 94 percent of soybean farmers and 72 percent of corn farmers, according to federal data.

Assessing the effect on milkweed plants both in and out of farm fields, was difficult, researchers said -- never mind the challenge of counting butterfly eggs.

Pleasants said he used data on the change in milkweed density in Iowa, and extrapolated those numbers to landscape use data across the Midwest. That showed an estimated 58 percent decline in milkweed plants throughout the Corn Belt, primarily on agricultural lands.

Oberhauser supplied data she has been collecting for years through the Monarch Larva Monitoring Project. Every week during the monarch breeding season, volunteers across the country go to the same patches of non-agricultural milkweed in their communities and count all the eggs they can find.

That showed two things: Butterflies were not flocking to breed on plants outside agricultural fields; those numbers remained the same. And overall production, measured in eggs, declined 81 percent between 1999 and 2010.

Taylor said the new study should help make the case that increasing monarch habitat along roads in pastures, gardens and on conservation lands must become a national priority because the milkweed will never come back to farm fields, he said.

"The scale of the loss of habitat is so big that unless we compensate for it in some way, the population will decline to the point where it will disappear," he said.

Josephine Marcotty • 612-673-7394

© 2011 Star Tribune

Thursday, March 15, 2012

No "Luck" for the horses on HBO

LOS ANGELES - The horseracing series "Luck" was canceled by HBO after a third thoroughbred died during production of the drama starring Dustin Hoffman and Nick Nolte, the channel said Wednesday.

"Luck," about the seedier side of racing, will air the final two episodes of its first season now in progress, HBO said. But the series won't return for the second season that began production last month, it said.

"While we maintained the highest safety standards possible, accidents unfortunately happen and it is impossible to guarantee they won't in the future," the channel said. "Accordingly, we have reached this difficult decision."

The move was made with David Milch, the show's creator, and Michael Mann, his fellow executive producer on the drama that brought film actor Hoffman to series TV. It was a high-profile project for the premium channel that stakes its reputation on such fare.

HBO said it was "immensely proud" of the series and those involved in it, and the producers said in a joint statement that they "loved this series, loved the cast, crew and writers."

Retired jockey Gary Stevens, who co-stars on "Luck" and was in the racehorse movie "Seabiscuit," tweeted his support to the HBO series: "So bummed. Peace out to all my family in (hash)luck."

The American Humane Association, which oversees animal welfare on Hollywood productions, said that in light of the three deaths "this is arguably the best decision HBO could have made."

The group said it will work with HBO to ensure that horses used on "Luck" are "retired properly."

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which had been sharply critical of the production, welcomed the cancellation and offered advice to HBO and the producers if they decide to resume it.

"PETA will be calling on them, as we have done from the start, to use stock racing footage instead of endangering horses for entertainment purposes," the group said in a statement.

On Tuesday, a horse was injured and euthanized at Santa Anita Park racetrack, and HBO agreed to suspend filming with the animals after the American Humane Association issued an immediate demand "that all production involving horses shut down" pending an investigation.

The animal was being led to a stable by a groom when it reared and fell back, suffering a head injury, according to HBO. The horse was euthanized at the track in suburban Arcadia.

During season-one filming in 2010 and 2011, two horses were hurt during racing scenes and euthanized. HBO defended its treatment of the animals, saying it's worked with the humane association and racing industry experts to implement safety protocols that exceed film and TV industry standards.

The humane association had called for a production halt at Santa Anita after the second horse's death. Racing resumed after new protocols were put in place and proved effective, Karen Rosa, the AHA unit's senior vice president, said in February.

On Tuesday, Dr. Gary Beck, a California Horse Racing Board veterinarian, said he had just examined the horse as part of routine health and safety procedures before it was to race later in the day. The horse passed the inspection, the AHA said.

When the horse was injured, an attending veterinarian determined that euthanasia was appropriate, he said.

Dr. Rick Arthur, medical director of the state racing board, said such injuries occur in stable areas every year and are more common than thought. A necropsy will be conducted, he said, which is routine with all fatalities at racing board enclosures.

The necropsy and toxicology testing will be done despite the show's cancellation, the board said.

The first two horse deaths drew criticism from PETA, which said that safety guidelines used in filming failed to prevent the deaths "so clearly they were inadequate."

Kathy Guillermo, a PETA vice president, said at the time the group didn't consider the matter closed.

"Racing itself is dangerous enough. This is a fictional representation of something and horses are still dying, and that to me is outrageous," she said.

On Tuesday, Guillermo said PETA sent complaints about "Luck" to Arcadia police and an animal humane society in nearby Pasadena.


Associated Press Sports Writer Beth Harris contributed to this report.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Cats purr to your heart's content

A new study suggests cat owners are less likely to die of a heart attack.

Chicago Tribune
March 12, 2012 - 11:04 AM

We know that pets are beneficial to our health -- they can lower a person's blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and provide opportunities for exercise and socialization.

In some cases, the source of the benefits is obvious. You walk a dog for 2 miles; you'll be in better shape. But some of the reported benefits are baffling.

A 10-year study at the University of Minnesota Stroke Center found that cat owners were 40 percent less likely to have heart attacks than non-cat owners.

Could a cat's purr be the reason?

"Cats will purr when they're content, but also they'll purr when they're about to be euthanized. It's thought they purr to communicate with their kittens," says author and animal behavior consultant Steve Dale. "It's thought to be a calming mechanism.

"If that's the case ... maybe they calm themselves or other cats, but maybe there's a fallout and there's another mammal species, us, that's impacted."

In another study, conducted at Kean University in New Jersey, subjects watched a "Lassie" movie. Their levels of cortisol -- a chemical associated with stress -- were checked before and after the film, and showed a decline after the movie.

This animal connection, Dale explained, "alters our neurochemistry. Not just the physiology, the blood pressure change, which is significant, but also the neurochemistry. The scientists are discovering there really is a difference here."

© 2011 Star Tribune

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Farmer fined $12.5K for decimating pelican nests

Star Tribune
February 28, 2012 - 6:09 AM

A southern Minnesota farmer has been fined $12,500 and ordered to perform 100 hours of community service in a wildlife program for a rampage last spring in which he destroyed thousands of white pelican eggs and chicks.

Craig Staloch, 59, of Minnesota Lake, was also placed on two years' probation. The fine, which was near the maximum, will go into a wetland conservation fund.

A remorseful Staloch said at a sentencing hearing on Monday that the act was "the stupidest, stupidest thing I've ever done in my life. And I've defaced my family name.'' In pleading guilty to the federal misdemeanor last spring, Staloch said he flew into a rage because the birds had damaged his corn crop.

Federal Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Keyes noted Monday that Staloch, who is also employed as a postal worker in Easton, Minn., "has a stellar record" in his community. But a federal wildlife agent said the incident was one of the largest "illegal bird takes'' in the nation. It was almost certainly the most serious violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act ever to have occurred in Minnesota, said Pat Lund, resident agent in charge of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Minnesota.

"You caused an enormous amount of damage," the judge said.

Within the space of a few hours last May, Staloch smashed thousands of American White pelican chicks and eggs -- all of the offspring in one of the state's largest colonies -- even though a state wildlife officer had told him the previous day that they were protected by federal law.

Staloch pleaded guilty to the federal misdemeanor, which carries a maximum sentence of $15,000 and six months in jail. Staloch said he had been frustrated because the giant birds, which nested along the shore of Minnesota Lake, had cost him $20,000 in damage and expenses on about seven acres he rented to grow corn. He apparently did not know that the Department of Natural Resource wildlife official would return the next day to do a survey of the colony.

Staloch and his attorney declined to comment after Monday's hearing.

More complaints

Linda Wires, an expert on water birds at the University of Minnesota who was among those who discovered the destroyed colony, said the penalty was unusually stiff for such cases. But it's important, she said, because the number of complaints about birds has increased dramatically in recent years as the species, once nearly extinct, has recovered. The same is true of other fish-eating birds, cormorants in particular, she said.

"Now that the number has really escalated, there is a backward trend in attitudes about fish-eating birds," she said.

Minnesota is the summer home to about 20,000 pairs of the striking pelicans, with their orange beaks and black-tipped wings, far more than any other state. The 3,000 birds on Minnesota Lake make up one of 16 colonies in Minnesota, places where the birds return to nest year after year.

Until the mid-1990s, the birds had nested on an island in the lake. But as their population grew and the island shrank because of rising water, the birds have moved to the shore.

People who live near or on the lake said in letters sent to the judge on Staloch's behalf that the birds have become a nuisance.

"The island became a guano dump," said one former resident. Another said all the farmers around the lake have lost crops to pelicans and geese, and suggested that if the state would compensate them "there would not be such negative feelings" toward wildlife agencies that enforce protection laws.

Josephine Marcotty • 612-673-7394

© 2011 Star Tribune

Monday, February 27, 2012

Free Cat Claw Clipping Clinics

Need a manicure for your feline friend? Visit one of Feline Rescue's free cat claw clipping clinics, hosted by Chuck and Don's Pet Food Outlets.

In addition to a trim for your cat, you'll learn why cats scratch, get tips on doing the clipping yourself, and get information on the best scratching surfaces for your cat.

Saturdays, 11:00 am - 1:00 pm at the following Chuck and Don's:

March 10 - Shakopee - 1270 Vierling Drive E (by Cub)
March 10 - Roseville - 1661 County Road C West (by Byerly's)
March 17 - Calhoun Village - 3246 West Lake, Minneapolis
March 17 - NE Minneapolis - 335 Central SE
March 24 - Highland Crossing, 2114 Highland Parkway, St. Paul

Friday, January 20, 2012

Help needed for animals rescued from hoarders in Warroad

WARROAD, Minn. - Twenty eight dogs and two cats are being housed at the Pennington County Humane Society after they were rescued from the home of alleged dog hoarders in Warroad.

Police Chief Wade Steinbring confirmed to the Warroad Pioneer that the animals had been kept indoors for nearly 3 years, and that the basement of the home occupied by a male owner and his female companion was filled with an estimated two to three feet of feces.

There was also feces on the walls, stairs, countertops, and just about every surface in the home, according to Steinbring.

The animals were rescued from the home on January 10 by humane volunteers, who took them to the Pennington County Humane Society for care and evaulation.
Neighbors were reportedly not aware of the situation because there was no odor, little noise, and they never saw any of the animals outside.

The Warroad City Council met last week to declare the home a public nuisance and health hazard, and ordered board-up operations to begin.

Please send donations to:

Pennington County Humane Society
15598 U.S. Hwy 59 NE
P.O. Box 64
Thief River Falls, MN 56701

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Bill Banning Undercover Video Is Back

Two critical bills from last year’s legislative session, S.F. 1118/HF 1369, are expected to come up for a hearing very soon at the legislature. These bills criminalize anyone blowing the whistle (taking video) on animal cruelty, food and worker safety, labor abuses, and environmental crimes at puppy/kitten mills or factory farms in Minnesota. These bills even make the possession and distribution of this information (images) a crime, including possession and distribution by the news media.

It is because of such undercover investigation that breeder Kathy Bauck was charged and convicted of animal cruelty and, acts of cruelty occurring at Sparboe Farms in Litchfield, MN were revealed to the public. These bills would shield commercial breeders and agri- business from public scrutiny. Please call your State Representative and Senator to express your opposition to these bills (Find out who represents you).

Click on the following links for contact information for your Representative and Senator:

We must speak for the animals. Thank you for caring.

The Minnesota Humane Society is an education, advocacy and rescue organization dedicated to protecting the lives and interests of Minnesota's animals. Please help us continue our important work. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, all donations are tax deductible.

475 North Cleveland Avenue Suite 100B | St. Paul, MN 55104 US

Friday, January 13, 2012

Feline Rescue's Free Cat Claw Clipping Clinics at Chuck & Don's Pet Food Outlets

Need a manicure for your fuzzy feline? Visit one of Feline Rescue's FREE cat claw clipping clinics, hosted by Chuck & Don's Pet Food Outlets around the Twin Cities.

In addition to a trim for your cat, you'll learn why cats scratch, get tips on doing the clipping yourself, and get information on the best scratching surfaces for your cat.

Clinics are Saturdays, 11:00 am - 1:00 pm at the following Chuck & Don's:

January 14 - Roseville - 1661 County Road C West (by Byerly's)
January 14 - Shakopee - 1270 Vierling Drive E (by Cub)
January 21 - Calhoun Village - 3246 West Lake, Minneapolis
January 21 - NE Minneapolis - 335 Central SE
January 28 - Highland Crossing, 2114 Highland Parkway, St. Paul
February 11 - Shakopee - 1270 Vierling Drive E (by Cub)
February 11 - Roseville - 1661 County Road C West (by Byerly's)

If you are interested in volunteering at a clinic, contact Marie at

For more information about Feline Rescue, Inc. check out their website ( and blog (

Monday, January 9, 2012

Cat issue at Wed. City Council mtg in Woodbury

Woodbury pet advocates decry cat's killing after owner's death
Article by: TIM HARLOW , Star Tribune
Updated: January 9, 2012 - 7:24 PM

Humane Society euthanized diabetic gray tabby in December. Advocates contend the city and the society did not follow state law.

Woodbury police took Jimmy to the Humane Society on Dec. 7.

. The death of a cat named Jimmy has pet advocates in Woodbury demanding changes in how the city deals with pets who have no one to look after them after their owners die.

They plan to speak out at Wednesday's City Council meeting because, they say, the city and the Animal Humane Society are not following state law.

"Jimmy would still be alive if Minnesota state statutes were followed," said Woodbury resident Debbie Long, who is organizing the rally. "We need these statutes enforced to protect animals to be sure they are taken care of."

The outcry stems from a December case in which the Humane Society euthanized a diabetic gray tabby cat whose owner had died. Her will stated that the cat should have gone to a no-kill shelter in Hastings.

Woodbury police took the cat to the Humane Society on Dec. 7. Police identified the deceased woman's estranged daughter as the rightful owner, and the society called her four days later. Ray Aboyan, the society's CEO, says the daughter gave the society permission to euthanize the cat, which the society could not place because of its condition.

Meanwhile, the executive director of Hastings' Animal Ark Shelter learned of the cat owner's death and called police to find out where Jimmy was. Mike Fry said he was concerned because the cat needed insulin. He also was its new guardian, according to the woman's will.

Fry contacted the Humane Society on Dec. 14 to learn that Jimmy had been killed.

State law requires shelters to hold stray animals for five days or until the owner comes forward, or 10 days if animals are victims of abuse, neglect or cruelty. Here, semantics come into play.

Aboyan said the Humane Society viewed Jimmy as a stray and held him for the required five days. Fry disagreed, saying Jimmy was a victim of neglect, which "can sometimes be unintentional," such as in the case of an owner's death, and thus should have been held 10 days. That would have been long enough for Fry, who was authorized by the woman's will to make decisions about Jimmy.

"Woodbury residents are upset because [the woman's] wishes were not carried out and the law was not followed," Fry said.

Aboyan said the Humane Society didn't know that Animal Ark was the cat's rightful owner. If it had known, "we would not have killed the cat," he said. "This is an unfortunate outcome. We were acting with the information we had. We followed the law."

Tim Harlow • 651-925-5039 Twitter: @timstrib

More on Woodbury cat

Woodbury woman left her estate to a "no-kill" shelter, but the cat was euthanized after a possible miscommunication.

By Zac Farber

Woodbury resident Mary Ray knew what she wanted to happen to her cat when she died.

Ray’s will left her entire estate, including power of attorney over the cat—Jimmy, a gray-striped tabby—to Animal Ark, a “no-kill” Hastings pet shelter she had admired since touring the facility in 2004, Animal Ark executive director Mike Fry said.

When Ray died on Dec. 7 from diabetes at the age of 71, Woodbury police took Jimmy to the local Animal Humane Society. After a telephone conversation with one of Ray’s daughters, Humane Society officials decided to euthanize Jimmy, said Laurie Brickley, Humane Society vice president of marketing.

By Dec. 9, Jimmy was dead.

“It was all done really poorly and unprofessionally, and I would assign responsibility with the city of Woodbury and the Humane Society,” Fry said.

It’s a sequence of events that both Animal Ark and the Animal Humane Society are calling unusual, and many facts are in dispute about whether the proper procedures were followed, whether the humane society needed legal paperwork to prove ownership and even whether Ray’s daughter wanted Jimmy killed.

Fry said that he went to Ray’s house and told her daughter, Susan White, that Jimmy was dead.

“She had this shocked look on her face and immediately started crying, saying ‘The Humane Society killed him’ and saying ‘Oh my god, she loved that cat so much, oh my god she loved that cat so much,’” Fry said. “What information may or may not have been exchanged in that phone conversation, I don’t know.”

The Humane Society defended the action, saying Woodbury police gave them the daughter’s name and they “did everything the way our protocol calls for,” Brickley said.

“We contacted this person and she made a decision based on the cat’s medical care, being a diabetic cat, that no one in the family would be able to care for that cat, so she requested our euthanasia and pet cremation services,” she said.

In response to a complaint from Fry, Woodbury Police Sgt. Neil Bauer wrote that Jimmy “was placed in the care of the Animal Humane Society until the next of kin could make further arrangements.”

“It is unfortunate that the decedent’s wishes were not implemented upon her death,” he wrote. “However, considering the information that was available at the time, the City made reasonable efforts to provide care for the cat until next of kin could act upon the decedent’s wishes.”

A Cat’s Journey
Marlene Foote, a co-founder of Animal Ark, met Mary Ray, who lived at the 6800 block Sherwood Road in Woodbury, in 2004 and spoke with her about her decision to leave her estate to the shelter.

Foote, who voiced her concerns during a recent Woodbury City Council meeting, said Ray was adamant on the point of not wanting either of her daughters to benefit from her will.

“She told me she had broken up with the man she was going to marry, and she wanted to leave her estate to Animal Ark, and she specifically mentioned that she didn’t want either of her daughters—and she mentioned them by name—to have anything to do with her estate,” Foote said. “She said, ‘I’m not omitting them accidentally, I’m omitting them purposefully.’ But her wishes simply were not carried out.”

(Fry said he does not place blame for Jimmy’s death on Ray’s family.)

Foote said she discovered that Ray was dead when she called her house on Sunday, Dec. 11, and a police officer answered. (Ray had called Foote on Dec. 4 to discuss getting a new pet.)

“She must have been feeling reasonably well because the Sunday before she had called me and said, ‘Marlene, I just really need to get a dog, I love dogs so much.’ And so I found a dog that she would have been willing to take care of—a dog we had that had diabetes,” Foote said.

The next day, Dec. 12, Fry started making calls to find out what had happened to Jimmy.

“I could tell early on that things were getting a little weird,” Fry said.

Fry decided to record a phone call with a Woodbury officer who explained why Jimmy was put down. The message says that police were under the impression that the cat wouldn’t have anyone to look after it. The officer said the Humane Society doesn’t provide insulin for cats, which was needed in Jimmy’s case.

“Jimmy can’t come back to life,” Foote said. “All he needed was a shot of insulin and the police said, ‘Well, the Animal Humane Society doesn’t give insulin.’ Insulin is cheaper than a shot of Fatal-Plus, but they chose to give him the Fatal-Plus.”

Brickley, the Humane Society official, said that there was no way they could have known that Animal Ark would be involved in the matter.

“Animal Ark contacted us three days later, saying they were the authorized power of attorney to make decisions about this cat, but unfortunately we could not be psychic and know that was the case,” she said. “We used the information the Woodbury police gave us to contact the appropriate family member to make a decision about the cat.”

Asking For Action
Foote and Fry said the Humane Society is required by law to hold impounded pets for a minimum of five business days, and Fry has written an open letter to the city of Woodbury asking it to bring its “contracted impound center into compliance with law.”

“We’re asking the city of Woodbury to look at who they’re using for impound because it’s really horrible for people who make a will thinking their animals are going to be cared for, and then having them killed,” Foote said.

Brickley said the five-day holding period applies only to stray pets and is not applicable in Jimmy’s case.

“This is an owner-surrender, this was not a stray, this was a family member making a choice about their individual cat on behalf of the mother,” she said. “There is no legal hold required.”

Brickley said that there is conflict between Animal Ark and Mary Ray’s family and that the Humane Society is waiting for the verdict of a probate hearing to find out who gets to possess the remains of the cat.

Cat euthanized despite will directing care

No-kill proponents, Humane Society clash over cat
9:09 AM, Jan 9, 2012 |

WOODBURY, Minn. - A euthanized cat has no-kill proponents and the Humane Society at odds in Woodbury.

When Mary Ray died last month, the Woodbury woman had willed her cat and personal belongings to the Animal Ark No-Kill Shelter in Hastings. But, the Humane Society and Woodbury police say they didn't know about the will.

Humane Society executive Ray Aboyan tells the St. Paul Pioneer Press the cat had no prospects for adoption since it was diabetic and in poor health. Ray's daughter, Susan White, agreed to have the cat put down because she knew it was in poor health and none of their relatives would want it.

No-kill proponents are planning to protest at Wednesday's Woodbury City Council meeting.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)