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Help Achieve One Million Signatures for Animals!

November 10, 2007

On November 7, 2007, Best Friends Animal Society hosted a historic gathering of people of many diverse faiths in Washington, D.C. United by their compassion for animals, the diverse group came together to witness the unveiling and signing of ‘A Religious Proclamation for Animal Compassion.’ This important document, created by a group of clergy representing […]

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Disasterous Fires, but Nothing Like Katrina

October 25, 2007

I know I mentioned volunteering to help with the California wildfires, possibly with my friend Cat. I wanted to give you all an update on that. I’ve rolled it over and over in my head and weighed the options, and at this point, I have decided that it would not be a good idea for […]

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Hurricane Katrina Pet Remembrance Day – 8/29

August 28, 2007

In an effort to remember all the pets that were left behind after Hurricane Katrina made landfall two years ago, I would like to share several disaster readiness tips for pet parents that I found beneficial to follow. I hope these assist you when setting a plan for coping with the effects of disasters of any kind to remember to provide for your beloved pets’ health and safety needs, in addition to any you have in place for your human family members.

Emergency and Disaster Animal Preparedness

As a conscientious animal owner you probably consider your pets as members of the family. In the event that a natural disaster hits your neck of the woods, are you prepared to take your pets with you and provide for all their needs during the evacuation time? If not, here are some guidelines:

Food and Water: Stock up on dry or canned food, being sure to include a mechanical can opener.  When putting down a water supply, remember to have plenty available or your pet as well as a drinking bowl.  A good rule is to pack a 5-7 day supply.

Medications: Be certain to have a sufficient supply on hand. Keep a photocopy of essential or life-supporting pet prescriptions in your emergency kit.

Identification: Microchipping your dog or cat will increase your chances of reuniting in case of separation during an emergency. By embedding a microchip with your contact information under your pet’s skin, a veterinarian or animal facility, with a simple scan, will be able to identify an animal’s owners.  In some evacuation cases, a pet may have to go to a separate shelter or veterinary kennel since human shelters frequently prohibit animals for health and space reasons. If you reside in an area where evacuations are likely, be informed about pet shelter options before disaster strikes. In addition to microchipping, if you and your animals must be separated, be certain you also have your pets securely tagged and keep photocopies of the tags (and rabies tags as well) in your emergency kit. Also, have recent photos of your pets to make identifications easy and swift.

Transporting: If you must evacuate, make every effort to bring your pet.  To ensure safe evacuation for a pet who may be stressed or agitated by the situation, use tagged leashes, collars and/or harnesses and keep the animal close by family members for both comfort and security. Smaller pets, especially felines, are best transported in well-ventilated wire crates or carriers.

Sanitation, First Aid: Pads, paper towels, rags, a litter supply, and pet-safe disinfectant will come in handy.  Add some over-sized bandages and gauze strips to your family first aid kit if you have a larger animal. 

Comfort Zone: A favorite blanket or chew toy can be just the thing to provide a sense of security for an animal under stress. In such times, take a moment to reassure your best friend that you are there, protecting him or her.

Credit: North Shore Animal League

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A “Typical” Day

January 7, 2006

Someone asked what an average day is like here for us in “Kitty City” at Celebration Station. The simple answer is: there is no such thing as an average day here. There are set routines that we follow for the daily AM and PM feedings and meds, but other than that, most of the day is very fly by the seat of your pants.

However, with that said, I will attempt to describe an “average” day here. We begin at 7:00 am, when Mike and I get cats (both feral and domestic) crated for their vet visit. By the time we get them loaded and out the door, an hour has passed. Next, we intake and find cages for all the cats that trappers bring to us throughout the evening. When that’s done, it’s about lunch time. After lunch, I make sure all the intake forms are entered into the system and all the new cats have what they need and are happy and content. Lately, we’ve been receiving several owner relinquished cats per day and they come at all hours of the day, so those are intaked and found cages at that time.

Throughout the day, we both handle visits from the public looking for their lost cats, stealth volunteers wanting more specific information, Celebration Station volunteers, questions from staff and other requests. We also oversee the food/water volunteers and the volunteers who help out by cleaning dirty cages, crates, litterpans and food bowls.

Around or after dinner time, the cats that were at the vet return and we check all their paperwork and put them back into their cages, which takes on average an hour and a half. Some of the cats come back FIV and FELV positive, so they are moved into their respective isolation room. At this time, the volunteers come back to start the PM feeding/watering on all of the cats. This is also about the time that I sit down at the computer and finish all the intake forms, update my “Master Cat List” and file everything away.

Mike and I make the rounds before bed figuring out who needs to go to the vet in the morning and which feral cats are ready for release. There are usually a lot of people coming in and out around this time and we usually have to push back our duties until it quiets down. By the time we are done with everything for the day it’s about 1:00 am. Some nights, when trappers (both dog and cat) are out late, we receive quite a few cats who have been trapped in dog traps, and we are up later intaking them and getting them comfortable for the evening.

The days are very busy, but are fun and enjoyable despite the high stress levels. We crack jokes to keep our spirits up and take small breaks while we eat to chit chat. I am never bored and I learn something new every day. Very, very soon I should have my laptop and will start adding photos with my posts, along with updating my photo albums. 🙂

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