Animal Advocacy

Missing Cat!

posted February 21st, 2016 by
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Missing Cat!

By Dolores Proubasta

 

Instead of panicking, enlist an action plan.

Cats don’t like to roam; most would rather stay home on a favorite armchair or window sill looking out, feeling wrongfully imprisoned.

Forced to “enjoy freedom” by guardians blissfully unaware of traffic, poisons, dogs, aggressive toms, pregnancy, neighbors who don’t like cats and other dangers, a cat will stake his territory, usually very close to home, and fend for himself as well as he can. For entertainment, he will do exactly what he would do in the safety of a living room (observe, sleep, chase, groom…) with the occasional kill of a songbird as a bonus. In fact, there is not much out there to do for an animal that has no place in the wild, and much less in the city, except as a “companion.”

Outdoor-access cats develop a check-in routine for feedings or human companionship. When they fail to show up at the usual time, guardians should presume their pet is in trouble and start an immediate search, following the recommendations stated below. Intact males and females are even more at risk because, even if able to return, the males may be wounded, and the females will be pregnant.

For cats to live long, healthy lives, the only alternative is to adhere to the indoor-only plan. However, a door is left ajar or a screen comes off the window frame, and before you know it, the cat is out.

Given a chance, most indoor cats will heed the call of the wild only to discover there is danger all around. Faced with strange smells, noises, and creatures, the errant cat, instead of high-tailing it back to safety, may go into hiding. If vocal, he’ll be quiet; if friendly, he’ll avoid people; and movement will be under the cover of bushes, night and shadows.

Back home, the cat’s absence is met with justifiable panic. The first impulse is to send out search parties in different directions to cover as much ground as possible and to plaster every utility pole in town with “Lost” posters. This M.O. is the correct one… if a dog goes missing. However, if a cat goes missing it requires subtle adjustments explained below. The first thing to remember to recover your cat is that he will rarely stray beyond three or four houses in either direction from where he ran out. Of course, a cat cared for enough to be kept indoors is presumed to be spayed and neutered; if not, all bets are off.

Quick action, a good plan and perseverance are imperative. Don’t ever think “He’ll find his way back,” because there are at least as many chances he will not. Waste no time and do the following:

  1. Put food and water by the door the cat exited.

Keep it fresh. Alternatively, set a humane trap (see 7 below).

  1. Search for the cat right away.

Don’t be discouraged if the first attempt fails; the cat may still be enjoying the newly gained freedom. Walk the immediate neighborhood at least twice a day without fail (preferably in the quiet hours of the early morning and late evening—take a flashlight). Search for the cat alone; only the cat’s closest people should be involved because un-familiar voices and smells will send him into deeper hiding. Don’t send a child to do the job unless it’s the cat’s primary friend.

Your personal and steady involvement in the search helps remind your neighbors that the missing pet is not a passing concern to you, but a serious one. Don’t expect them to do your job for you, but they can be your eyes when you are not there (see 4 below).

Call your cat in gentle reassuring tones so that he may realize he is still near you, and, therefore, safe; this may keep him from wandering farther away.

Ask permission from the neighbors in a five-house radius to access their backyards, even when they are at work. Don’t bother to ask for access to yards with dogs, because no cat would hide there. Obtaining permission to enter other people’s yards (without being mistaken by a prowler) is a huge tactical ad-vantage because tool sheds, decks, porches, and access to crawl spaces are behind, not in front of, houses. Look under structures, behind bushes, up trees, around wood-fence runners and window ledges… Leave no place unchecked.

Carry an unopened can of fishy food. If the cat is spotted, he may respond to the temp-ting sound and smell of a freshly opened can.

Take a pet carrier with you if you think the cat may walk into it or if he may be difficult to restrain in your arms once caught.

  1. Post laminated “Lost” signs in the intersections around your address.

Use packaging-strength clear tape to affix the sign to utility poles — unlike staples it works on metal too. Place the signs at lower than eye level for car drivers to see. (Remember to remove all signs after your pet is found as a courtesy to your neighbors and a signal that the search is over.)

  1. Distribute flyers, i.e., paper copies of the “Lost” sign, to each house or apartment near yours.

If the resident is not in, do not insert the flyer in the mailbox, which is unlawful, but tape the flyer to the storm door or another visible spot by the entrance. Individual flyers give your neighbors a sense of how important your cat is to you; give contact information, a visual description of the missing cat and additional pertinent information. (Keep it short.)

  1. Take a copy of the flyer to the city shelters, humane societies, and neighborhood veterinarians in the event the cat is trapped by animal control or someone else and taken there.

Do not use this wide coverage, however, as an excuse to stop looking. The cat is most likely only yards away from you.

  1. Search online.

Post your missing cat’s description, photo and last location on all social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter. While your general news feed is a great place to gain leads, there are specific lost and found pet pages for most towns or areas.

  1. If your cat is hard to catch, set one or two humane traps.

A raccoon-sized trap is most comfortable for an average-size cat. Put one by the house entrance or where your cat was last spotted. Be prepared, however, to catch other cats before yours. Carefully release the unwanted (and angry) guest and start again. But first you will have to wash and disinfect the trap thoroughly to avoid contamination if the previous animal was sick and also because your cat will not walk into a place where another may have urinated or left the scent of fear.

For a baited trap to be effective, remove any other feeding stations. Ask your neighbors to refrain from trying to be kind by feeding your cat. Only hunger will drive the cat into the trap. A pinch of catnip next to the food may make it more enticing.

Also, covering the trap with a towel or blanket makes it more inviting and provides shelter once the cat is inside. Traps must be checked frequently to avoid exposure and prolonged fear of any animal inside.

With the plan outlined above, a cat should be recovered within hours or days of the escape, but be prepared to persevere longer. The search has to be aggressive and methodical. The life of a feral cat is short and hard; death is usually painful. Most feral cats were once owned by people who either abandoned them or “lost them,” which simply means they failed to look for them under the mistaken belief that “Tom will come back when he’s ready.”

Success – Redefined

posted February 14th, 2016 by
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Success – Redefined

 

SuccessThe Peaceful Animal Adoption Shelter opened in late April of 2015.  At that time the goal was to find new homes in northeastern Oklahoma for the dogs and cats who would come through our doors.  Six weeks later we realized we needed to redefine our mission.

 

In August we made our first transport to the Cheyenne Animal Shelter in Wyoming. This was quickly followed by transports to Boulder Valley Humane Society and Denver Dumb Friends League.  As of today, 340+ dogs and 85+ cats have found their forever homes – – almost exclusively out-of-state.  The hand writing is on the wall – we save lives via transport.

 

Sooo, when you read this (and share it with your friends), by all means do look at our web and facebook pages to see if we have available dogs and cats.  Don’t be surprised if we only have a few – if any.  However, do visit your local shelters and rescues.  In our area, they include:  Miami Animal Alliance, Second Chance Pet Rescue of Grand Lake and Pryor Animal League.  I know there are others – – the point is one of us will have the pet you are looking for – – please give all of us in rescue a chance.

 

As the Executive Director at PAAS, it is exciting and rewarding to now reach out to area municipal pounds and rescues.  Working with them, we will make a significant impact on the homeless dogs and cats in northeastern Oklahoma.  States with good (and enforced) spay/neuter laws will welcome our dogs and cats.  It’s a win for PAAS, a win for the area and a home run for the families in Colorado and Wyoming who want, need, and adopt.

 

Yes, we’ve redefined success – and it took less than one year!!!!!!

Kay Stout, Director   PAAS Vinita  [email protected]  918-256-7227

 

OKC Animal Welfare

posted February 13th, 2016 by
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OKC Animal Welfare

OKC Animal Welfare Shelter

OKC Pets Magazine toured the OKC Animal Welfare Shelter and took these pictures of adorable animals available for adoption. If you are thinking about a new family member, please consider saving the life of a homeless animal!

Visit the shelter and take home a new best friend!

OKC Animal Welfare

Make a difference – adopt a shelter animal!

All of these pictures were taken February 12th, by Madalyn Llewellyn

The shelter is open for adopting or reclaiming pets from noon to 5:45 p.m. every day except holidays

(The OKC Animal Welfare Shelter opens at 2:00 pm every third Wednesday of the month)

See us on Facebook

More Information about the OKC Animal Welfare Shelter

Our Wish list

Lost and Found in OKC

Dog & Cat adoptions are $60

2811 SE 29th St.  Oklahoma City, OK  73129

(405) 297-3100

A special reduced rate of $30 will be charged to adopt animals that meet any of the following criteria:

  • eligible for adoption more than 14 days

  • two or more pets adopted together ($30 each)

  • pets four years of age or older

  • pets with serious medical conditions, such as untreated heartworm, pets in need of major surgery or medical care expected to cost $100 or more, or feline leukemia-positive cats

  • pets needing medical care expected to cost $100 or more

  • pets adopted during special promotional events

  • pets neutered by private veterinarians at the adopter’s expense

Spay and neuter your pets for FREE!

Community Spay Neuter Program

Oklahoma City Animal Welfare sponsors the Community Spay Neuter Program.

We provide FREE spay and neuter for cats and dogs of Oklahoma City residents.

Leave us a message to schedule your appointment!

405.297.3100

[email protected]

Support this program by donating at www.okc.gov/animalwelfare

*Your pet must pass a pre-surgery health exam

This Week’s Wednesday’s Children are available through the OKC Animal Welfare Shelter.   There are some beautiful dogs and cats for adoption so please go rescue one today! Rescued pets make the best companions!!!  A big “THANKS” is owed to Madalyn Llewellyn for doing what she does every week!

Here We Go Again

posted January 15th, 2016 by
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Coconut Oil

Here We Go Again! – A Cat Tale

by Camille Hulen
As I sit here and watch this kitten gaze into my eyes, I cannot help but think: “Here we go again!” This little girl came to me on Thanksgiving Day from a litter of three orphans. One kitten was already dead, with mama cat nowhere to be found. As spring approaches, this scenario will play out all too often. Fortunately, this girl and her brother were in good shape and readily took a bottle. Others will not be so lucky.
What can you do? Spay and neuter now before the major mating season begins!
You, the TulsaPets reader, probably think I sound like a broken record because you care about your pets. However, the Tulsa area still has a problem with pet overpopulation. Statistics for 2014 are incomplete as of this writing, but here is the depressing news for 2013 from Tulsa Animal Welfare: 3,785 cats were taken in, and 2,562 were euthanized! This doesn’t even include dogs or animals from suburbs such as Broken Arrow, Sapulpa or Owasso.
Nationally, some progress is being made on pet sterilization. I was excited to read recently in a Wall Street Journal article, “Too Many Dogs: A Simple Solution,” about a new chemical method for males which could be significantly cheaper—as low as $1 per animal. It consists of an injection of calcium chloride into the testicles and requires only a light sedative with no need for anesthesia or incisions. This method has been studied primarily on dogs but could be applicable to cats as well. An extensive study was done in India, and calcium chloride has been used on dogs on the Sioux Indian reservation in South Dakota. Closer to home, an animal shelter in Lawton, Okla., has been using it since last spring.
Although the calcium chloride research goes back to the 1970s, it has not been approved by the FDA. It is such a common chemical that it cannot be patented, so drug companies have no motivation to invest the money ($10 million, according to the Wall Street Journal) for FDA approved trials. A few local veterinarians with whom I spoke seemed somewhat ambivalent.
Ruth Steinberger of SpayFirst! says her organization uses calcium chloride, but did not run blindly into the method without first conducting research. They had testosterone tests run at the endocrine lab at Colorado State University. After reading all of the already conclusive research, they still worked on this for months before feeling that they had enough data to support using it in the field. On another front, an approved sterilant called Zeuterin should be available for about $20 per animal to nonprofits.
Regarding feral cats specifically, most experts feel that sterilizing females is more effective than working on males. If a female goes into season, it doesn’t matter how many males in the colony are fixed; one from somewhere will likely find her. Neutering colony males only stops that particular male from being the father; it may not prevent a litter. But another chemical, megestrol acetate, is being tested on female cats. This is added to canned food on a weekly basis. It could be beneficial when a feral colony is being fed but cannot be captured. Apparently this method has been known about for decades, but is being ignored because there is no profit in it.
While a few dedicated researchers continue their studies in new methods, education of the public is the biggest challenge. Not everyone knows about the low-cost spay and neuter clinics available. What’s worse, not enough people care! My hope in writing this article is to bring this problem to your attention once again. When I tell people the sad story of how many cats are euthanized (I prefer the word “killed”) everyday, they are shocked. They cite rescue societies without realizing that they are always overloaded.
Locally, SpayOK is a great resource, with two locations in Tulsa, and StreetCats issues vouchers for low-cost spay/neuters. Both Oklahoma Alliance for Animals and StreetCats have traps available for loan. Please spread the word. We do not need more homeless orphans like the kitten pictured here. Let’s continue to speak out for her and others who cannot speak for themselves.

Dumped to Die

posted January 11th, 2016 by
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Dumped to die is something that no one who loves animals will ever understand!  How can people can drive to a deserted place and put a box of puppies on the side of the road …then drive away.  Or leave them next to a mailbox……by the railroad tracks……or in a dumpster.  For those who are in rescue, it causes high blood pressure, insomnia and anger management issues to name a few.

It may not be an epidemic in rural, northeastern, Oklahoma, but it sure feels and looks like it is.  How someone can look at themselves in the mirror, face their family and live with the memory that they sentenced innocent puppies to death – – – puppies who had no voice – – who were born because oh dear lord we can’t spay our momma dog and we sure aren’t going to neuter our male.  SERIOUSLY!!!!  Then you take care of the offspring, raise them yourself and provide for them.  But do not dump them!!!!

There is an organization,  The Link Coalition, which tracks animal, child and spousal abuse.  There is a connection between the three.  Oklahoma has a high percentage of child abuse and spousal abuse per capita ratios.  If we tracked dumped, abandoned dogs we would be shocked.

The answer – is spay/neuter.  If you have a litter of puppies that need a home and you’re not willing to get the mother dog fixed, I have no words to describe how angry/sad that makes all of us who, every day, look into the eyes of scared, homeless dogs and work tirelessly to find them new homes.

I’ve said it before – I’ll say it again.  Oklahomans make a difference!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kay Stout, Director 

PAAS Vinita

[email protected]

918-256-7227

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Going to the Dogs

posted January 3rd, 2016 by
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Going to the Dogs

Pet Amenities Aren’t a Luxury Anymore

From Multi-Housing News

by Keith Loria

Pet amenities aren’t a luxury anymore—they’re expected.

The American Pet Products Association estimates that approximately 60 percent of all Americans own at least one pet, with nearly 80 million dogs and 96 million cats as part of that lofty figure.

“That’s a significant amount of prospective renters,” said Gina Bertagnolli Slater, regional property manager for Pinnacle, Las Vegas. “For our pet owners their furry friends are family. Our ability to provide an extraordinary experience for the entire family is paramount in fulfilling our mission of consistently exceeding our customers’ expectations—and that includes their pets.”

The rental housing market adapted to the fact that people consider their pets as family members, and property owners are focusing more and more each year on pet-friendly amenities and services to attract and retain residents with pets. It’s a view shared by many in the multifamily business today, with developers doing all they can to attract people (especially Millennials) with pets, and companies adding a host of pet-friendly services and amenities to their communities.

Features like pet parks, pet spas, pet concierge services, and even pet welcome gifts are becoming more common for people moving into apartments. Plus, with the number of Millennials moving into urban cores where there are fewer opportunities to care for a pet, it makes it even more vital to cater to the pet lover.

“In most growing and developed urban markets around the United States, pets, specifically dogs, are the children of condominium and multifamily building residents,” said Scott Leventhal, president & CEO of The Trillist Companies. “Failing to cater to the needs of the full extension of someone’s family provides a shortfall in services. That is why we see the importance to provide those services to our residents.”

That’s why the Trillist Companies installed Pet Respite into its buildings, which provides pet grooming facilities that call to mind mini-spas for four-legged friends. Some even include indoor pet relief areas. Lisa Newton, Hines’ vice president of multifamily, said trends show people continue to spend a significant amount of time and money on their fur-babies and savvy pet owners will seek out apartment communities that provide the amenities needed to cater to their pets. “At a minimum, we are seeing pet waste stations, outdoor dog runs and indoor washing facilities,” she said. “However, pet spas/grooming services, doggie day cares, rooftop dog parks, and personalized walking services are becoming more popular—especially in urban areas where there may be limited amounts of grassy areas.”

Kevin Sheehan, senior managing director of real estate for Greystar, Charleston, S.C., said many of the Greystar communities host pet-friendly events such as “Yappy Hours,” pet costume contests, and other get-togethers to encourage responsible pet adoption from area shelters. “Some communities sponsor pet training seminars, and coordinate dog walking services as well as bringing in mobile pet groomers that visit the community on a regular basis,” he said. “Owners are taking advantage of underutilized areas within the community to create dog parks and pet washing stations to help attract this renter demographic.”

Stephen Santola, executive vice president and general counsel for Woodmont Properties, noted that about 10 years ago, a number of high-end luxury rental communities were not allowing pets. “Since the entire Woodmont executive team is filled with dog owners, we were surprised at this ‘pet discrimination,’” he said. So the company has added amenities designed to make pet care easy and fun. Now, dog runs and “pooper scooper stations” are included in every Woodmont community.

Additionally, indoor pet washing stations have been added to each over the last year.
“Dog owners have a safe, clean and free place to wash their dog, thus saving them time and frustration of an outdoor hose or money with a professional pet groomer,” Santola said. “As apartment owners, we prefer clean pets in our apartments, so making a quick shampoo easy on our residents means more clean and happy dogs in our communities. It also helps prevent residents from using our bathroom sinks or tubs for pet shampoos.”

Something different
Thinking outside the box is often a way to attract pet owners. At Avana Alexandria, for instance, Greystar recently added a dog park with an agility course that has been a huge hit with its residents.

The Aphora at Marina San Pablo in Jacksonville, Fla., has a designated pet elevator to better accommodate those with pets, as well as a pet spa and grooming station. The Oaks of Vernon Hills, Northbrook, Ill., is a 304-unit rental community that has a dog park and hosts monthly “Yappy Hours,” held the first Saturday of each month. “We know that pet amenities are an important consideration for renters in a lifestyle community like The Oaks,” said Matt Nix, principal of REVA Development Partners, developer of The Oaks. “We wanted to go beyond just allotting space for a dog park and provide a place for our residents, both two-legged and four-legged, to get out and get to know their neighbors.”

Darren Pierce, director of asset management for Crescent Communities, noted creative programming and events that cater to pets and innovative, integrated spaces are some ways to stand out to pet lovers. For example, one of its communities in Atlanta has an artistic water feature where dogs can play, and it’s bordered by tables with WiFi so owners can watch their pets and get work done.

Over the last few years, Camden, Houston, Texas, invested in creating outdoor spaces that pet-loving residents can use, including gated pet parks where dogs can be off-leash. Some properties include agility equipment and washing stations.

In development
Next summer, YOO on the Park in Atlanta, rising above midtown Atlanta’s Piedmont Park, will open and include indoor pet facilities as well as dog grooming and a pet spa.
The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Miami Beach, slated for delivery in 2016, will house an elite pet spa suite, where residents can bring their pets for grooming and bathing at self-serve stations or arrange for a specialized grooming service or dog-walking appointment with an experienced professional.

Coming in 2018, Paramount’s 60-story Miami Worldcenter will include an expansive six-acre upper deck, spanning 120 feet above downtown Miami and will include a designated dog park and a 0.5 km jogging path that will allow residents to take an invigorating run with their pet without leaving the confinements of their home.
An increased amount of pet amenity offerings are also providing an opportunity for residents to mix and mingle, as many who are pet owners have forged new friendships in dog parks or at the pet events.

“As a way to further enhance the resident experience, we are leveraging technology to foster the pet owner community within the communities that we manage,” Sheehan said. “We are able to establish pet-walking and play groups at our properties that provide a way for our residents with pets (and their four-legged companions) to interact and get to know each other.” In today’s world, pet amenities aren’t just a luxury, they’re expected.