Saturday, January 31, 2009

Sundance was adopted on Wednesday and the other two, Cassidy and Huck, were adopted on Thursday. So, we're kitten free and the house seems a little empty. The classic edition cats (as Alan calls them) are all getting more attention than they have in while even if it is unwelcome attention at times.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Tonight is our last night with the current three foster kittens. The girls had the run of the house with Alan while I was at work today and now the boy has some outside the bathroom time. I've really enjoyed having lap cats for the past month. Because they're older, it's a pretty good bet they'll continue to be cuddly. Lucky adopters! The highlight of the day today was an e-mail with pictures from Lodi's adoptive mom. It reminded us of why we foster and took some of the sting out of returning the kittens tomorrow. Since we started this fall, we've fostered 12 kittens (11 of them sick with upper respiratory infections) and lost 5 of them. Sometimes it's felt like we've been fighting a losing battle. Knowing that the 6 that made it are in good homes really helps.
If you live in Minnesota, please take the time to make a call or two supporting puppy mill legislation making its way through the state house. There is more information below and on the Animal Humane Society's website at:

Good afternoon,

Animal Humane Society is working with 32 Minnesota animal welfare organizations, the Humane Society of the United States and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals on the Puppy and Kitten Mill bill (S.F. 7 and H.F. 253) which has been introduced in Minnesota's current legislative session. The bill will give the Minnesota Board of Animal Health the authority to license breeders and hold them accountable to comply with existing applicable care standards under federal and state laws and regulations. In turn, this will allow our humane investigators the statutory authority to more effectively help reduce the suffering of animals confined and living in inhumane conditions. More specifically, the proposed bill will:

Improve the ability to regulate breeding facilities of cats and dogs and ensure that breeders comply with existing laws and regulations and meet specific standards of care,
Provide licensing and regulatory authority to a single unit of government
Provide corrective orders, and administrative and criminal penalties for violations
In our work, we see the tragic results of animals coming out of these facilities
Many states have enacted legislation that regulates puppy mills in this country.

How you can help
Time is critical. Lend your voice to animals today.

The bill will be heard in the Senate Agriculture Committee on Tuesday, January 27. Below is a list of the committee members. If you live in one of their districts, please call before Tuesday. (Notes on what to say are listed below.)

Jim Vickerman - Chair (District 22) - 651.296.5650
Sharon L. Erickson Ropes - Vice Chair (District 31) - 651.296.5649
Satveer S. Chaudhary (District 50) - 651.296.4334
Steve Dille (District 18) - 651.296.4131
Lisa A. Fobbe (District 16) - 651.296.8075
Joe Gimse (District 13) - 651.296.3826
David W. Hann (District 42) - 651.296.1749
Bill G. Ingebrigtsen (District 11) - 651.297.8063
Paul E. Koering (District 12) - 651.296.4875
Gary W. Kubly (District 20) - 651.296.5094
Keith Langseth (District 9) - 651.296.3205
Tony Lourey (District 8) - 651.296.0293
Steve Murphy (District 28) - 651.296.4264
Rod Skoe (District 2) - 651.296.4196
Dan Skogen (District 10) - 651.296.5655

For all others, please contact your State Senator and Representative and ask them to support the Puppy and Kitten Mill bill. Be sure to ask them not to support a weaker bill that may be heard.

Click here to locate your representatives and their contact information.

Notes on what to say
Ask committee members to vote in favor of the bill (S.F. 7 and H.F. 253) and to not accept any amendments that would weaken it. (Be sure to state the bill numbers.)

Minnesota is among the top producers of puppies and kittens in the United States, yet there is no State oversight of this multi-million dollar industry. The problem is not the size of the breeding facility; the problem is inhumane breeding practices that lead to horrific conditions.

The bill will give the State of Minnesota the authority to regulate the dog and cat breeding industry in the state (hobby breeders are exempt), protecting both animals and consumers from unscrupulous breeders and inhumane breeding practices.

Please support S.F. 7 and H.F. 253. Minnesota can no longer turn its back on animal cruelty.

Other ways you can help
Be a voice for the animals and become an Animal Advocate.

Spread the word. Ask your friends and family to support the bill by becoming an Animal Advocate and contacting their legislators.

Thank you,

Tracie Jacobson Media Relations Associate Animal Humane Society Buffalo - Coon Rapids - Golden Valley - St. Paul - Woodbury (763) 489-2251

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Okay, it's more like trilling cats rather than yowling.
Come Out and Play

Arggh. I'm regretting my decision to keep the kittens another week. They were still sneezing ocassionally so I thought an extra week would be good for them. Our spay/neuter surgery list was really long and although they'd have priority as foster returns, they'd bump some other animals further down the line. I figured kittens waiting in a foster home was better than cats sitting in the shelter risky getting sick for another week. (Besides these kittens (almost cats) are really, really great and we are going to miss having snugglers in the house. The male was already showing some neck biting behavior but it never led to anything. Unfortunately, now the female tabby (new name Cassidy--the tortie is named Sundance) is showing symptoms of heat. Looking forward to a weekend of yowling, crying cats. Yay! Gotta keep 'em separated.

Friday, January 23, 2009

It was a very long week but much less stressful than it would have been a few weeks ago. My job has now been officially divided into two different positions and half of my duties, the customer service side of things has been passed on to Jenney, CS Supervisor extraordinaire. I'll be able to focus on the Animal Care side of things. Yay!

The toughest part of the week was that we lost another little foster kitten who we had nicknamed Button. I brought her home last week because she'd stopped eating while fighting upper respiratory infection and was no longer a good candidate for our regular foster program. Losing them doesn't get any easier and this one was particularly hard because she was eating on her own (like a little piggy!) and seemed to be getting better. She started doing a kind of half sneeze/half cough Saturday night but ate normally and seemed fine otherwise. In the morning, she was a little listless and was wheezing, so I brought her into work with me. She died before we could do anything for her. I think it might have been pneumonia. I thought we were safe because she was eating on her own again and had a good body weight for her size but it just shows how fragile cats can be because they are so small. The other three who were being kept separate because they're from another litter are doing great. Except for the shaved spot, you can't even tell where the abscess was on the tabby female, Pickford. They'll be going back to shelter on Monday for surgery on Tuesday. We've renamed Chaplin to Huck. Chaplin was a fine name but didn't really fit him. We're still working on renaming the two girls, Pickford and Marion.

Alan smelled natural gas at the end of our driveway when he was bringing in the trash can a couple days ago. You never want to waste anyone's time but with gas it's worth a phone call. Xcel Energy, our gas and electric company, sent someone out that night to look for a leak. They were there until late at night going back and forth up the two streets (we're on a corner) and it looks like they were checking furnaces and gas lines for some of our neighbors, too. All of them are early to bed so I think they had to be woken up. The next day, they were back again in late morning and when I got home that night, they'd rigged up some generators and gas tanks and those horses with the blinking lights on the edge of our lawn around the corner from the driveway. We never heard what happened but it looks like it's on our lot. Eek.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Was it worth it to sit through two nights of the 100 Greatest Hard Rock Songs on VH1? I don't know but it definitely fit my mental speed after a few long days at work. Allowed me to hot compress the sick kitten. Could have done without all the Bret Michaels, though. Never was one for hair bands... except for maybe Def Leppard. Were they a hair band?
Happy New Year!

After losing most of New Year's Eve to an emergency clinic visit with one of the foster kittens, Alan and I finally celebrated by going to see a matinee of Slumdog Millionaire. Great movie with beautiful cinematography! I love the way the story was told in flashbacks with 3 different actors portraying the kids as they grew up. It was sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes funny, and sometimes heart warming--a wonderful mixture.

Pickford the kitten will be okay. She's staggering around the bathroom right now with her soft blue e-collar on and purring and calling out for attention. She's awake but still coming out of the anesthesia. I came home from work New Year's Eve to find her lethargic, very warm and with a new lump on her side. Things like this always happen at night and on holidays. She didn't have the lump in the morning. She lays on her back so I can rub her belly and I had just done it that morning before work. I took her in and they thought it was a hernia so they recommend x-rays (of course) and then they aspirated it to find it was an abscess. She had old claws wounds that had healed in that spot and so she must have had an injury prior to her coming home with me. The claws were adult sized so it probably happened before they came into the shelter. They made a little opening for it to drain and gave her an antibiotic shot. We got through New Year's Day with hot compresses and some new medication from the shelter. Today, our vet knocked her out and put in a drain. If things go well, it will come out tomorrow or the next day. The other two kittens, Marion and Chaplin, are in the bedroom now and should have a lot of fun exploring. Gambit the dog will have to sleep on the couch for a few days.