Thursday, March 31, 2011

It only took a year

When the trainer was killed in Orlando by the killer whale, everyone had an opinion. These ranged from those who felt the whale should be destroyed to those who felt Sea World should simply be closed down because the animals were in captivity. The history on this particular whale showed the trainer he killed had advised her employers she was uncomfortable working with this whale and when he was purchased by Sea World it was to be for breeding purposes only. The gist is, he is now back at work, performing, after Sea World expressly said he would not be placed back in the public's eye again. A year later, he is back in the news. So, after everything is said and done, it really is all about the money.

A new member of my extended family


I am pleased to welcome a new member to my extended family in North Georgia. His name is Tobi and he is a rescued dog from Gwinnett County. He is big and black and just the kind of dog who seems to spend a lot of time in a kennel before finding a forever home. I know my cousin and his wife did their research and am sure they and their two girls are going to enjoy their new family member. By adopting a rescued dog, they saved two lives, Tobi's and the dog who will replace him in the kennel.

Congratulations Devon and Emily.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Where does time go?

Just when I think I am going to get everything which is going on in my life caught up, I realize another week has gone by and I am still playing catchup from the week before. Or perhaps the week before that. Working a shift while everyone else is sleeping should afford me plenty of time to do everything else I do with no problem. Wrong. Between work, volunteering, having a boyfriend, albeit one who spends more time out of town than in, keeping up with the family, the blog, the ongoing battle against Rick Scott and the Florida Legislature, I find the weeks continue to fly by and I am not accomplishing half of what I set out to accomplish. I am supposed to be taking it easy, relaxing on my days off, lounging out by the pool with the boyfriend, eating steak and lobster cooked on the grill, or hanging in Key West or the mountains of North Georgia with the cousins. Instead I spend more time with everyone on the phone because trying to plan anything is next to impossible. Just when I think some time is going to be freed up, the totally inept government does something which necessitates me writing more letters and making more phone calls which eats into more of my spare time. Arghhhhh! If someone can explain to me why I am more busy the older I get, please email me the answer. I am having a very hard time figuring out where time has gone and a happy, belated birthday to my love. Next year belongs to us.

Still fighting the good fight

Although I post more information about dogs than cats, the problem of dumping cats is still a major one for this area. Several groups conduct TNR on a monthly basis to try and get the population of feral cat colonies under control. They do a good job, but it saddens me to think it is a job which must be continued on a monthly basis. We have an old, orange tom cat hanging around my new place of employment. Someone has been feeding him here, even after receiving strict orders not to feed the ferals who climb over our wall. He is very thin and lays around on my truck in the wee hours watching life go by. Tonight I noticed he had ventured over on the sidewalk, laying just far enough from the residents to view what they were doing but keeping his escape route close. I figured then he was not a true feral because he did not run away when approached. He was wary, but I felt it was due more to having things thrown at him or other animals come at him than fear of humans. He was probably, at one time in his life, someone's pet. They must have decided he was not worth having around and either threw him out, dumped him or simply moved away and left him here. One of our residents decided she would take him with her when she left and as I approached him, I noticed his ear had been clipped and he was missing his dangling parts. This means he had been part of a TNR program which made me feel better. At least he won't be procreating all over the place. Hopefully, all will work out with this big tom and our resident. Otherwise, I may be sneaking a little cat chow under the truck when I come to work each night.

Dog dragged behind car and left for dead now fighting severe infection

You know, I see these stories every day and they never get any easier to digest. I continue to be disgusted by the acts of humans and wonder how we can be of the same species. Check out this heartbreaking story here.

Gainesville firefighters risk lives to save dogs

Read this great story out of Gainesville and remember these are some to the public servants our new governor and legislature want to cut benefits from.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Looking for common sense

My parents blessed me with many things. One of the most valuable, was letting me fail. That's right, my parents allowed me and my siblings to fail. Then they were proponets of making us get up, dust ourselves off and try again.
I believe allowing children to fail promotes common sense. It makes kids think of other options when they do fail, instead of teaching them they can't fail or if they fail the world will end.
Common sense comes into place when dealing with animals and I continue to be amazed at the number of people who have none.
Animal hoarders do not have common sense. People who treat dogs and cats like their children and are then horrified when they won't listen do not have common sense.
People who drag their pets to the vet for every squeak or meow do not have common sense.
People who spend tons of money on Craig's list for a scam do not have common sense.
I have been looking around for it in my house and although my memory isn't what it used to be, the common sense is still there.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Saturday is Save the Florida Panther Day

I got this press release in an email and thought it sounded like a fabulous way to spend a Saturday. The weather should be perfect and the kids should have a ball being out in the woods.
Check this out.+

Saturday is Save the Florida Panther Day, come celebrate at the Florida Panther Refuge in Immokalee.
Defenders of Wildlife and our partners at Friends of the Florida Panther Refuge and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service are hosting a unique open house at the Florida Panther Refuge in Immokalee, FL to celebrate this special occasion on Saturday -- and we hope you can join us!
What: Save the Panther Day at the Florida Panther Refuge!
When: Saturday, March 19th from 7:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Where: Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge, 13233 State Road 29, Immokalee, FL 34142
Let us know that you are planning to show up!
With only about 100 left in the wild, Florida panthers are one of the most endangered animals on Earth. Panthers are an umbrella species -- so when we protect our Florida panthers, we’re also protecting all the other animals that call their habitat home, including other imperiled species like the Florida black bear, gopher tortoise, indigo snake and wood stork.
There will be FREE swamp buggy tours, guided bird and plant identification hikes, orchid swamp walks and much, much more -- so bring the whole family and make it a day you won’t soon forget!
Join us Saturday in Immokale. Defenders of Wildlife will have a booth set up at the Refuge throughout the day -- so don’t forget to stop by and say hello! We hope you can attend this special event with us to celebrate Florida panthers, learn more about the wildlife and habitat that can found on the refuge and find out what you can do to help defend our beloved and beleaguered state animal.See you soon!

HSLWR volunteer organizational meeting

We're excited to announce our first HSLWR All-Volunteer Meeting which will be held starting at 6 PM on Wednesday, March 30th, at the
Northern Trust Building,
6320 Ventura Drive
Lakewood Ranch .
We have so much to share with you--all the wonderful things we have underway and how our plans are becoming reality! We know that with better insight into what we're doing--both short and long term--you'll be better prepared to identify where you might want to become involved in helping our "furry friends" find forever homes. We'll describe a number of areas where we need you and where you can make a difference such as: Services - where we need folks to work with the animals in rescuing, sheltering, fostering, transporting, adoption, etc.
Revenues - where we need volunteers to participate in fund raising and events, grant writing, finding sponsors, etc.
Marketing/Communications - where we want help in managing all the avenues--on-line and in print--for getting our message out, advertising our events, preparing news articles and letters, etc.
Administration - where we need help with our IT processes/databases and infrastructure, managing/scheduling our volunteer requirements, etc.
So please set aside March 30th at 6 PM--and RSVP so we can get an estimate of how many to expect.
Also, if you let us know you're coming, we'll get a copy of our Volunteer Questionnaire out to you in advance so you'll have time to review it, fill it out and identify any questions you might want to raise at the meeting.
If you can attend or even if you can't but would still LOVE to volunteer please email us at info@hslwr.org or call 941-840-4055.

HSLWR needs supplies for new surgical suite

Please read the release below and help if you can.
Thanks,
Jean
The Humane Society at Lakewood Ranch is establishing itself as a major source of animal rescue and shelter in the eastern areas of Sarasota and Manatee counties. With a veterinarian, Dr. Walker, who provides free care for our animals, we are in a unique position to operate at greatly reduced expenses which in turn, allow us to bring in more animals and save them. Every animal, dog, cat, puppy and kitten must be spayed/neutered and vaccinated (plus microchipped) before it is adopted to its new family. We have been given a great Adoption Facility in LWR Corporate Park and are working on our Grand Opening.
This space allows us to develop a single surgical / medical room that will provide spaying and neutering of our animals on a regular basis in addition to any medical care the animals might need. Animals will not be held until they can be transported to another location for altering. This provides a faster turnaround on the animals which in turn, allows for more adoptions. More saving of lives. We need your help.
We are working to set up our Surgical Suite for spaying/neutering our animals at our new Adoption / Administration Center in LWR Corporate Park, 7334 Trade Court. If we purchase used or new equipment, the cost can be from $7500 to $15K. Donations of the items below and money donations will help us set up this room.
Everything is operated under the highest medical protocols and procedures established by our Veterinarian. We welcome you to come and see our progress.
We are in need of a surgical table, lights, autoclave, surgical gowns, masks and gloves and a host of instruments, etc. - please see below.
If you could help us with getting any of the items, we would be so grateful. It would allow us to get more dogs and cats through our shelter and into new adoptive homes. It would save more lives....

Items in RED are one time purchases, can you help? If so, please advise. These RED items are MUST HAVES so if you can help, let me know. Item in GREEN, we already have.Items in BLACK, on going need - please donate now and keep on our Wish List. Hospitals and Medical Practices may donate the ongoing items. ??? Who do you know?
Surgery table and light
Cages/ carriers (for cats) and squeeze cage for anesthetizing feral cats
Water supply
Miscellaneous drugs including anesthesia, analgesics, antibiotics, and vaccines (human dosages of these items, even expired can be used for our animals - our Vet will evaluate all and we thank you)
Refrigerator
Cleaning equipment, Clippers, Autoclave, Scale, Spay packs and pack storage area
Instrument trays and stand, Suture material, Drapes, gowns and gloves, masks
Locking cabinet for drug storage, Animal emergency kit, Gas Anesthesia Machine
We are currently getting some donations but we need more. If you know anyone in the medical or veterinary industry who might donate any of these items, please forward to them, we need help. Expired 'human' items will be well used on some very needy dogs and cats. All care is under the highest levels of procedures, protocols and standards for HSLWR animals.
Please contact me for pickup/delivery...or any questions.
We thank you so much.
Best regards,
Cindy Morton 941.773.7737

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Critter comments on state of the state

It is true. I admit it. I am a liberal. I have always been a liberal and have supported many different, traditional causes since the day I turned 18 years old and registered to vote. (you see, I could not wait to register to vote so I would have a say in government.)
In the last several years, I have turned most of my attention away from the causes I have always supported and worked mainly on the plight of homeless animals. I have donated money and time to this cause and have asked, begged, cajoled each and every one of my friends and aquaintances for money, homes, auction items and numerous other favors. I do not regret doing this.
My attention now is still focused on the animals, but I have now begun to fight the mind-boggling, crap which is going on in my state and seems to have everyone split down the middle as far as how to make Florida work again.
In the space of several months, we could lose all our gains in the areas of personal freedoms (separation of church and state, abortion etc), the environment (the Everglades, the state park system), not to mention the destruction of many civil service gains for education, fire and police protection and traffic snafus (Rick Scott wants to do away with the Florida Highway Patrol), funding for our neediest citizens, the poor and elderly, funding for our Veterans all the while increasing his department's budget to over $300 million.
Rick Scott is not a politician. I will give you that. He also does not see the destruction upon the state I love as being important. (he talks of jobs but hasn't shown me any so far)
Florida has always been a state where salaries were low, but cost of living was also low. We depended on much of our agricultural to bring money in the state and despite the fact many who live here now believe Florida had nothing of value until the last 10 years, I am here to tell you they are wrong.
We had it all. Being a child of Florida who can trace her lineage back to about 1813, my family helped the state grow and prosper. They owned groves and farms. They mined phospate and taught school. They were police chiefs and ministers. They were housewives and soldiers. One helped bring the Atlantic Coastline Railroad to Fort Myers in the 1880's. Several served in the state government in Tallahassee and all are buried in this state. I believe the atrocities Rick Scott and the Florida legislature are trying to heap upon this state will cause them to roll over in their graves.
I am only one person. I can only hope there are like-minded people out there who are concerned about not only one cause, but all these causes which could be lost to the budget ax Rick Scott and the Florida legislature are trying to swing.
I can only hope their aim is off and they slice through empty air.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Off on new adventures

Every once in a while, opportunities present themselves and we must take advantage of them. I have been working with a new humane society, The Humane Society at Lakewood Ranch, and still volunteering with Satchel's Last Resort, started a new job with a domestic violence shelter and have made the decision to go back to school.
All of this, plus having 4 new roommates, a boyfriend and my own dog keeps me so busy sometimes I don't have time to turn around.
So, if you are reading this, you can normally tell when I am not around to report on the happenings in the animal world. I may have taken a mental health day to spend with my boyfriend in an isolated cabin. I could be on a plane going to visit friends in another state or I could be in Lakeland for the weekend staying with my Mom.
Although I am going to be very, very busy for the next year, I plan on keeping up as best I can. I will continue to bring you the adventures of Boris and Natasha from Satchel's, the continued progress on the Humane Society at Lakewood Ranch, the ins and outs of having roommates and my progress on my Master's degree.
If you have any ideas for more news, please pass them my way and I will get them posted as quickly as possible.
Remember, we have thousands of unwanted pets in the area who are searching for a new home. They come in all shapes and sizes and simply want a human to love. Please continue to adopt and support your local rescues. The alternative for many of these animals is death. Let's try to change those statistics.

Room with a view by Boris and Natasha

Good morning to all of our fans.
Boris and Natasha here with the latest and greatest from Satchel's Last Resort.
Well, we had quite the talk with our ghostwriter yesterday. She felt quite chastised by the time we had finished talking to her and promised she would not let so much time pass before she came out to see us again.
She did explain she was going to start back to something called college and was going to be pretty busy because she was going to become a Master or see a Master or get a Master. I thought only pets had master's but hey, I am a dog. What do I know?
We had so much fun romping and playing while she was there. Natasha even got a football and played chase and if you know Natasha, she can stand to get a little more exercise.
I, on the other hand, was running and jumping but not playing ball. I don't like to get my feet wet and I have an allergy to grass so I must watch where I walk.
Now, on to the Satchel news. We have dogs, lots of dogs. We have dogs in kennels and dogs in crates. I do believe if we could figure out how to hang kennels from the ceiling, we would have dogs up there, too. They need is very great right now and the scene is the same at all rescue groups.
I can tell you we are adopting the adoptables out, it just seems like we are getting more and more in who need that little bit of extra special care. We have dogs who must be treated for heartworm. We have dogs who need a little behavior guidance. We also have dogs who are perfect if we can find the perfect adoptor. It is simply in finding the right fit.
We ae not sure which are available for adoption so we aren't going to list anyone here since we don't want to get their hopes up.
Our best friend, Michal Ann up and left for New Zealand. What the heck is in New Zealand? She wants to be a vet and I guess gets to go to school there. We will definitely miss her.
Well, that is it for the week. We will try and keep in touch a little better, but we can't type and must depend on our friend so keep your fingers crossed.
Love,
Boris & Natasha
The Turbos

Dumping senior pets for the 2nd time

I am the spokesperson for the adoption of senior pets. I cannot imagine how you could keep a dog or cat for years and then dump them on a rescue at 10 or 12 years old and expect they will find a new home. They go from having a comfortable bed and humans to love to a concrete cage where they may get a hour or so of playtime if they are lucky.
While I was associated with the Humane Society of Sarasota County, I started a fund for senior animals named after my old rottweiler, Jessie.
Jessie's Fund has sponsored hundreds of adoptions for senior dogs and cats and is still active today, even with me being gone from there.
Imagine how I felt when I saw not one, but two senior animals back on the website looking for a home again. Imagine how heartbroken I was in not being able to bring these animals home myself.
Buster Brown and Deva Raja are both senior dogs who got adopted out and now they are back, each at about 12 years old. Buster is an old Florida Brown Dog and Deva is a husky mix. They are both wonderful dogs with none of the habits which go along with puppies. Both would do well in a home with no other pets or small children.
Please, please, please, if you have room in your home and are looking to give a wonderful senior pet a chance for the rest of their lives, check out both these dogs at http://www.hssc.org/ and drop by for a visit. They deserve that.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The more things change

I have been remiss in the blog this week. It has been a very busy week, culminating in my decision to return to college to get my MA. This fact should not have kept me from the blog, but sometimes things like that happen.
I did read where Michael Vick signed a million dollar contract with the Eagles. I keep telling everyone his past will come back on him. It may not be right now, but it will happen.
They have also busted several hoarding situations in the area, most which began as backyard breeders. The last one was in Lakeland, my hometown, with the seizure of 184 dogs. Check it out here. If any of my readers can help in Polk County, please call the Polk County Animal Services Department and see what you can do.
No mishaps with the new residents. Buzz seems to be getting along quite well with Hazel and Kinsey. I have suggested to their Mom she take Kinsey to obedience class since she tends to create the problems.
I promise I will speak to Boris and Natasha this week and see about getting them to do a column. With my new job and all that has been going on, I have not been in touch with them but that is going to change today.
Significant other is still out of town, doing what he does and until he returns, I will be hanging around the house a little more.
Adios for the time being. I will return shortly.
Jean