Category Archives: Pet Abuse

I have a dream for cats

I have a dream for cats going beyond MLK Day and Black History Month

  • I have a dream for cats – that all cats are free of discrimination, and have a right to economic equality, no matter what their background, whether wild or domestic; their color (black, white or calico), or national origin.
I have a dream for cats

Martin Luther King, Jr. was famous for his I have a dream speech

We have a dream that all cats have freedom and have:

  • Equality no matter where they came from
  • Discrimination whether feral, domestic, or pure bread
  • Freedom of Choice reducing the horrendous cat overpopulation problem
  • Responsible owners who treat their cats like kids, not like garbage to be thrown away on a whim
  • Freedom to have a furever home
  • A life that does not lead to euthanasia from too many shelter cats

(more…)

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Cats have real STAR power. And that power brings more leverage for negotiations and money when it comes to Hollywood.

CatNews Friday reports that Waterman Entertainment, known for blockbusters “Stuart Little” and “Alvin and the Chipmunks” is finding out just how much STAR power internet feline superstars have when they started looking for cats to use in supporting roles in their planned “Heathcliff” movie, scheduled to be released in 2014.

Now that cats have gone viral, they know they’ve got more to offer than nine lives. They’ve got a built-in audience. And that means viewers and followers, which translates into bargaining chips and money. Words has it that Waterman is negotiating with Mau, a Japanese-owned prankster cat, whose been viewed 160 million times on the Internet. With that kind of popularity, he’s got real CAT Power and CAT Clout.

Reports are that Sparta, the California kitty known for Mean Kitty Song,” is in. But it was money up front that sunk the deal. Sparta is way to important to wait for the typical deal – the full fee being when the movie is released.  Waterman is said to be discussing Sparta recording a new music video for the film. His representative is Sparta’s owner, Cory Williams.

Negotiations haven’t been any roll over with piano playing Keyboard Cat  or the newest internet craze, Grumpy Cat, both managed by representative, Ben Lashe. who was working on a deal possibly more lucrative ventures with a  cat toy company and a pop-up store in Times Square.

The actors will be partially animated and partially live action, similar to Alvin and the Chipmunks movies. Actors will give voice to the Internet cats. For more on this story, check out the following link.

** Herding Cats for Hollywood
Yahoo! News (blog)
Sparta, a California-based cat known for his “Mean Kitty Song,” is in. But that took a holding deal, meaning money up front, against a full fee to be paid when the “Heathcliff” movie is released, probably in 2014. Mr. Waterman said he had also been …

CatNews Friday finds lots of abuse, hoarding and just plain horrendous stories. The one that tops the list this week is the nine cats may have been tortured – swung by their tails and thrown into a hard surface in Lawrence, Ma., about 30 miles north of Boston. The MSPCA is offering a $1,000 reward for any information. For more on this story, click on the following link.

** Nine cats found dead in Mass. city, likely swung by tails, tortured say cops
CBS News
Robin Halpin of the MSPCA, a non-profit organization which protects animals, tells CBS Boston that veterinarians believe the cats may have been swung by their tails and thrown onto a hard surface. The MSPCA is offering a $1,000 reward for information

Cats routinely pick a diet that is consistent in protein, fat and carbs – if
AnnArbor.com
A recent study on a group of felines by the Waltham Center for Pet Nutrition indicates that cats – if given the chance – are mindful of what they were eating instead of just consuming whatever food is plunked down in front of them. In the experiments

2 rare spotted cats photographed in southern Ariz.
MyFox Phoenix
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) – Wildlife monitoring cameras recently snapped photos of 2 endangered spotted cats in mountain ranges in southern Arizona. Images of an adult male jaguar were taken last month in the Santa Rita Mountains, while a photo of an adult

Home buyer embraces feral cats
San Antonio Express
Dear Cathy: I wanted to share a happy story with you as I know you must hear many unfortunate ones through your column and blog. Prayers and kind people do make a difference. We needed someone to care for my mother’s nine feral cats after she passed

Diane Carle, Crazy Palm Beach Cat Lady, Imprisoned More Than 140 Cats In
New Times Broward-Palm Beach (blog)
It took more than six months to coax Diane Carle out of her home. Authorities had heard complaints for weeks about all the filthy cats roaming her front porch, and no one had seen inside her house — not ever. But when authorities finally obtained .

Once More, With Felines
New York Times
ALEXANDRA CUNNINGHAM, the 31-year-old director of exhibitions at the Design Miami furniture fairs in Florida and Switzerland, has three loves: artistic furniture; Seth Cameron, 30, her boyfriend of two years; and their three cats. Each has been vital .

 ** Most Important And Influential Cats Of 2012 (VIDEOS, PHOTOS)
Huffington Post
Last week, Buzzfeed released its list of the “30 Most Important Cats of 2012″ — and we, like feline fans everywhere, looked back at the year that was with sighs of nostalgic joy. Remember Shishi-Maru, the Instagram superstar? The Hedgehog Mom Cat?

The 30 Most Important Cats Of 2012
Warning: Some of these cats will break your heart. ..
www.buzzfeed.com/expresident/most-important-cats-of-2012

Nine cats die in Chesapeake fire
Daily Press
A residential fire in the Great Bridge section of Chesapeake Wednesday night killed nine cats, injured 16 cats and injured one dog, a fire spokesman said. Crews arrived just after 7 p.m. to see smoking coming from a one-story home in the 200 block of

16 cats injured, 9 dead in house fire
WAVY-TV
CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) – Officials say 16 cats were injured and nine passed away in a Chesapeake house fire Wednesday evening. According to Capt. Scott Saunders with the Chesapeake Fire Department, crews were dispatched to a home in the 200 ..

More than 140 sick cats taken from Lake Worth home
Sun-Sentinel
Most of the cats were very sick with upper respiratory issues, pneumonia, eye infections, ringworm, fleas, broken teeth and tooth abscesses, and more. Related; Man accused of keeping kittens inside freezer · Pompano man accused of stabbing pet python

At least 140 cats, most sick and deceased, removed from Lake Worth home
Palm Beach Post
Officials estimated they removed over 140 cats from the home of Diane Carle in Lake Worth Wednesday, December 19, 2012. According to Captain Dave Walesky (not pictured), Animal Care & Control’s field services operations manager, a search warrant was

 ** Owner of exotic cats cited in Los Alamitos
OCRegister
Owner of exotic cats cited in Los Alamitos. The woman kept the serval cats, which look like small cheetahs, in her apartment as pets. Tweet. ADVERTISEMENT. More from this story. Last of escaped wild cats is caught in Los Alamitos · 1 of 3 escaped

Officials seek homes for 8 cats taken from Sioux City home
Sioux City Journal
All but a dozen of the cats taken from the home were euthanized shortly after their capture due to upper respiratory illnesses, including feline leukemia, or because they were deemed too unsocial for adoption. Three female cats were later euthanized

More Than 200 Cats Seized in Casper
Sheridan Media (press release)
CASPER, Wyo. (AP) – More than 200 cats are in the custody of Casper authorities after being seized over the weekend. The manager of Casper’s Metro Animal Control and Welfare Agency, Rick Sulzen, told KTWO-AM that details about where the animal

Do Dogs and Cats Have Different Blood Types, Like Humans Do
By Kara Kovalchik
Yes. And our pets sometimes need transfusions, too, so it’s always handy to know what type of blood Spot or Fluffy has (if he or she has had any blood work done, the vet will have this information). Feline blood types are divided into three

 20 cats removed from Hamilton County trailer in hoarding case
Fox 59
The Humane Society for Hamilton County helped the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department and Cicero police capture the cats. Officials with the humane society said the cats had been living with a 73-year-old man who got sick and moved to a nursing home.

** Pet Connection Q&A: Chocolate is rarely a hazard to finicky cats
Sacramento Bee
Yes, chocolate as well as goodies sweetened with xylitol are toxic to cats, but veterinarians don’t see as many cases of these substances poisoning cats as we do with dogs. That’s because dogs are far more likely to eat sweets than cats are. People

 ** Woman Cited for Keeping Small Cheetah-Like Cats in Her Apartment
Patch.com
After her three African cats escaped into the city this weekend, a Los Alamitos woman was cited with allegedly keeping wild animals in her apartment, a state spokesman said today. The woman, who has not been named, was allegedly harboring the animals

 ** Cats are able to navigate complex combinations of wet and dry foods to achieve
EurekAlert (press release)
Even when provided with complex combinations of different wet and dry foods, cats are able to select and combine the foods in different amounts to achieve a consistent intake of protein, fat and carbohydrate, i.e. macronutrient intake. Published this

Local felines featured in “Bad Cat” and “365 Cats” calendars – Lowcountry Life
Hilton Head Island Packet
Workman Publishing Company’s 2013 “Bad Cat” and “365 Cats” calendars can be found at Barnes & Noble and www.amazon.com. Melissa and Rob Hallbeck’s Tortie Point Siamese is a bad cat. But that’s a good thing. Melissa said 3-year-old Hope is very

Animal hospital responds Defends billing practices for town’s shelter cats and
The Hudson Reporter
When a cat was brought in for spaying and neutering, it was often released into the wild if feral, or returned to the shelter if it was socialized, healthy, and adoptable, according to the hospital. However, in the past two years the shelter has been

** How Cats See The World (CHART)
Cats see the world much, much different than we do. Here’s a handy chart to track your cat’s point of view in the scary human (note: cats are actually not scared
www.huffingtonpost.com/…/how-cats-see-the-world_n_23023…

Group is an angel to the stray cat population – Local/State – NewsObserver.com
News & Observer
The gray cat was a feral at a home in Spring Hope that had almost 60 cats outside. 59 cats were trapped over 3 weeks and all were spayed/neutered and vaccinated. All of the kittens were taken for adoption, along with two friendly adults. The homeowner .

**Today in DC Living: Cats and Prostitutes, Eagles and Kids
DCist.com
While pulling out of RiteAid at 14th and Rhode Island this evening, I saw a long-haired orange adult cat wearing what looked like a green and white striped collar. I stopped and tried to coax the cat to me, and it got close until I was propositioned by

Windsor Dead Cats: 124 Deceased Animals Found In Apartments
Huffington Post Canada
WINDSOR, Ont. – Police and animal welfare officials are investigating after more than 140 dead cats were found in two downtown apartments in Windsor, Ont. Sgt. Matt D’Asti says 124 dead cats were found in a freezer and refrigerator in one apartment

140 dead cats found in Windsor apartments – Need to know
By The Canadian Press
WINDSOR, Ont. – Police and animal welfare officials are investigating after more than 140 dead cats were found in two downtown apartments in Windsor, Ont. Sgt. Matt D’Asti says 124 dead cats were found in a freezer and refrigerator in one ..

What do you think about all these cats with STAR Power? Do you have a favorite Internet cat star? Who would you like to see cast in Heathcliff?

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Will the U.S. Supreme Court be asked to weigh in on the fate of the 40 plus six toed cats that are an integral part of Ernest Hemingway’s Key West House and Museum?  CatNews Friday highlights the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling on Friday, Dec. 7, upholding federal jurisdiction over the cats.

The Federal District Court’s had ruled that because the museum’s advertising attracts 250,000 visitors each year from all over the country, it falls under federal jurisdiction, interstate commerce laws, and the Animal Welfare Act, a law that regulates zoos, circuses, and traveling dog and pony shows.

Will the case be appealed? That decision has yet to be made.

Ernest Hemingway House and MuseumErnest Hemingway Home and Museum catsCatNews Friday looks at this issue, one that has gained a host of attention for years. The sad part is that the cats have been allowed to lounge around the house and grounds at will. This ruling could put quite a crimp in their free roaming style. It’s also likely to leave visitors a bit disappointed.

The District Court had ruled against the museum, stating the cats fall under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and are subject to it federal rules, and the cats could not be regulated by agencies in Key West, Monroe County, or the State of Florida.

The whole cat fight began about ten years ago, a visitor to the Hemingway home and museum visitor complained about the treatment of the cats. The museum countered they were being treated well.

USDA officials claimed because the museum charges admission to see Hemingway’s artifacts and the cats,  it needed an exhibitor’s license as required by the federal Animal Welfare Act to continue to show the cats.  The AWA regulates circuses, zoos, and traveling dog and pony shows.

Federal officials advised the museum that it also needed to take action to:

  • Confine the cats in individual cages each night or construct a higher fence around the property
  • Install an electric wire atop the existing brick wall or hire a night watchman to keep an eye on the cats.
  • Tag each cat for identification, and add additional elevated resting surfaces within the cat’s enclosures.

USDA officials also advised that the museum would face fines for noncompliance

In 2009, the museum asked a federal judge to rule that the USDA did not have authority over the Hemingway cats. Their lawyers argued this was not a federal issue, and it would be better for local agencies to regulate the cats. But the District Court judge ruled against the museum, and in favor of the USDA regulating the cats.

Hemingway wrote some of his best known works at the Key West home in the 1930’s. The cats descend from his beloved six toed white cat, Snowball, that a sailor gave him. Hemingway died in 1961.  While alive, Snowball and his descendents have roamed at will throughout the home and grounds. Over 250,000 people visit the museum each year to see the cats as well as visit the  author’s home. To read more about this issue, check out the links below.

Appeals court finds that mass of cats at Ernest Hemingway’s Key West home …
al.com (blog)
KEY WEST,Fla. — The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum is subject to federal regulations, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last week, governing its large cat population at the po…

The Feds Can Tell Ernest Hemingway’s Cats What To Do; Here’s Why
NPR (blog)
Now, as Christian Science Monitor correspondent Warren Richey tells NPR’s Robert Siegel, a ruling has come down: The U.S. Department of Agriculture can regulate how the cats are treated, judges say. The museum gets visitors from out-of-state. It …

How Ernest Hemingway’s cats became a federal case (+video)
Christian Science Monitor
So it is more than a bit ironic that Key West is also the location of a knock-down, drag-out fight over the federal government’s power under the US
Constitution’s Commerce Clause to regulate… cats. And not just any cats, either. The cats being …

Court: USDA can regulate Ernest Hemingway museum’s cats
Daily Caller
Hemingway fell in love with the cat, and ever since, generations of six-toed descendants of Papa’s cherished companion have resided peacefully on the grounds of Hemingway’s former home, now a museum. The Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum reports …

Cats are cats, not tricksters
KeysNews.com (registration)
The Hemingway Museum lost its legal cat fight with federal bureaucrats over the future of the famed six-toed felines Friday, but whether fur is done flying remains unclear as lawyers ponder taking the matter before the U.S. Supreme Court. The U.S. 11th …

In a bizarre twist, CatNews Friday finds someone abandoned 24 black and white cats in 14 boxes in the early morning hours of Nov. 25 in Marin County, California. Eight days later, the same person, identified from security cameras, dropped off of 12 similarly colored cats during the wee hours of the morning. The cats range from three months to two years old. A note said the owner couldn’t keep the cats anymore. CatNews Friday wonders why would anyone have 32 tuxedo cats? For more on this story, check out the following link.

Marin Humane Society receives influx of tuxedo cats, reduces adoption fees
Marin Independent-Journal
Someone abandoned 24 black and white cats in 14 boxes in the early morning hours of Nov. 25, officials said. Eight days later, the same person — identified from security cameras — made another early-morning drop-off of 12 similarly colored cats. All .

And CatNews Friday would be neglectful if we didn’t mention the 78-year-old woman from Biloxi,MI, that was sentenced to 100 hours of community service for feeding up to 27 stray and feral cats. It’s likely CatNews will see more of these cases as communities are taking penal measures, rather than endorsing Trap, Neuter, Return programs to control mushrooming cat numbers. For more on the Biloxi story, check out the links below.

Biloxi woman in feral cats case tells how controversy began
SunHerald.com
Summers, 78, didn’t realize an officer had set up the trap because of a neighbor’s complaints about stray animals, and police didn’t know Summers had been feeding as many as 27 cats as the manager of a feral cat colony. Her sentencing Tuesday to 100 …

Sentencing of Biloxi woman in feral cats case draws national attention
SunHerald.com
0 Comments E-mail Print. Advertisement. ROBIN FITZGERALD/SUN HERALD Dawn Summers, 78, ofBiloxi, was sentenced to 100 hours of community service for hoarding cats inBiloxi Community Court on Tuesday. She is appealing the case.

There’s plenty more cat news this week. Check out the following links to find out what’s happening with cats around the world this week.

Breeder agrees to give up cats
The Register-Guard
SPRINGFIELD — A Persian cat breeder who stands accused of throwing two of her animals into the Willamette River has agreed to work with police to find homes for her other cats. Betty Ann Gould, 62, “is being extremely cooperative now” with police, …

Hurricane Sandy Cats Arrive in GJ
KREX News Channel 5
Claws, (Cat’s League and Assistance of the Western Slope,) Rescue and Adoption Center is a nonprofit organization that’s been collecting MesaCounty rescue cats for five years. Claws volunteered to take in nine cats who became strays during Hurricane …

In re Ditto (Fed. Cir. 2012) – Cats and the Federal Circuit
JD Supra (press release)
Pixie bob cats Unlike dog breeds that tend to be of ancient vintage (Labra-doodles and Yorkie-poos to the contrary), many cat breeds are of relatively recent parentage. While there are many naturally occurring breeds (such as Maine Coons and Norwegian …

Feral Cats Slaughtered To Save Endangered Birds
Care2.com (blog)
Good news: The frigatebird, one of the world’ rarest seabirds, has returned to remote Ascension Island in the south Atlantic Ocean after 150 years. At the start of December, ornithologists sighted frigatebirds guarding two nests with eggs, the first …

Cats seized now up for adoption
Andalusia Star-News
The 14 cats seized from an Andalusia home last month are well and ready to be adopted. The Andalusia Area Humane Society is assisting the City of Andalusia Animal Shelter in finding new homes for the animals acquired Nov. 28 after the arrest of a woman …

Siobhan Meow, New York City Artist, Paints With Her Cats’ Poop, Urine And Fur …
Huffington Post
But that’s all right with Siobhan Meow, a New York City artist who uses her cats’ feces, urine and fur in some of her artwork. Meow sat down with The Local East Village blog to chat about how paintings of the 20 cats in her apartment went from the …

Photos: Colony of Feral Cats Living Along South Platte River Drive
Denver Post
A conflict has been growing in urban settings over what to do about feral cats. One side advocates neutering these “community cats”, building them homes and providing them daily feedings. Another side says the wild cats should be trapped and taken to …

Cats freezing to death in Beijing Zoo, claim volunteers
Global Times
Beijing Zoo has moved or dismantled the cat shelters three times since October, but it promised to allow the cats to live in the north part and also built some shelters after they first moved them. But it then broke its promises and demolished the …

Cats On The Internet: A Psychological Explanation
Forbes
“Most of us would simply plead that we happen to think of cats, and their various digital reproductions, as ‘cute,’” Stein wrote, “but the sheer magnitude of their popularity suggests that there’s something more than a purely subjective phenomenon at …

Volunteers seeking more assistance to relocate cats
nwitimes.com
MERRILLVILLE | Efforts to relocate cats from a Merrillville home are progressing, but volunteers assisting in the process are seeking additional help. After a bench trial last month is Merrillville Town Court, David Kotulak was found in violation of …

Neighbor accused of shooting other’s cats
Jacksonville Daily News
DEEP RUN — A Deep Run couple alleges their neighbor killed three of their cats, with the latest feline victim placed on display in a tree. Wednesday afternoon, Roy Perry told the responding Lenoir County Sheriff’s Office deputy that his neighbor …

Branford trailer park residents complain about cats; advocates worry animals …
New Haven Register
BRANFORD — Dedicated animal lovers are fearful for the fate of their feline friends after being told they can no longer feed the cats they have cared for over the past 15 years in a mobile home park. The founder of the Compassion Club, Eunice Lasala …

‘Crazy cat ladies’ to get a new clinical definition
Mother Nature Network
Among their treasures were human organs pickled in jars, live cats, the chassis of an old Model T, tapestries, hundreds of yards of unused silks and other fabrics, clocks, fourteen pianos, a clavichord, countless other instruments, and a human skeleton …

10th person exposed to rabid Chatham County cat
Savannah Morning News
Public health officials continue to encourage anyone who may have been bitten or scratched by a rabid feral cat found in the TowneLakearea of Godley Station to get in touch with the Environmental Health Division of the Chatham County Health Department …

**Cat burglar’: Neighbourhood moggy with a magnetic collar responsible for …
Telegraph.co.uk
The neighbors discovered that Milo the neighborhood moggy was stealing the keys – attached to his magnetic collar. The nine-year-old cat had been fitted with the collar to operate her cat flap and stop other cats sneaking into her home to steal her food.

Cat problem tough to solve in rural areas
LaSalle News Tribune
Nancy Bland, a Bureau County Animal Control Officer and volunteer since 2006, believes that Princeton’s city ordinance that requires cat owners, at their own cost, to vaccinate, tag, spay and neuter cats who are allowed outside goes a long way to help

Crews remove 13 dogs, 2 cats from Arlington home
WPXI Pittsburgh
Police executed a search warrant at a home in Arlington Friday and discovered 13 dogs and two cats inside. Channel 11’s Jodine Costanzo reported that some neighbors have complained about the woman who rescued the animals, while others defend her.

Cats on camera craze
The Clause
Cats have found a bigger stage- the Internet. These feline creatures are growing in popularity on the Internet. Every now and then there will be other animals that have a short stint of fame in the online world, but none of them will ever come close to …

Amazing Acro-Cats
The Advocate
For two-thirds of the year, the Chicago trainer is on the road with The Amazing Acro-Cats — her one dozen felines plus a few extras — who can climb up ladders, jump through hoops, walk a high-wire, push a cart, roll on a barrel, ride on a ball, and …

What do you think about the Hemingway Museum cats? Do you think this case should go before the Supreme Court? Do you think that by confining the cats, it will take away from the appeal of the museum? Please weigh in with your thoughts.

 

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Defending the Defenseless, A Guide to Protecting and Advocating for Pets is almost several books in one, one telling the story of author Allie Phillips’ knowledge of animal laws and regulations, another outlining effective advocacy, marketing and public relations strategies that shelters and animal rescue organizations should use; another advising shelters and animal rescue organizations how to avoid compassion fatigue, success stories of various organizations, and the culmination in each chapter “You Can Do More”, whether it’s parents, kids, shelter workers, teachers, shelter and rescue workers or the general public.

Defending the Defenseless, a book by Allie Phillips

Defending the Defenseless

The 278-page-book, published in 2011 by Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc. is not a quick read. It is loaded, and loaded with tons of information that would be useful to anyone in the shelter world. There’s also segments sprinkled in throughout the book where youths or adults aspiring to work in animal related professions can look beyond the world of veterinary science to animal care education, animal therapy, and more.

In Chapter 1, she starts off citing statistics on how Americans feel about animal welfare, she cites that 28 percent strongly support and 41 percent somewhat support the goal of minimizing and eventually eliminating all forms of animal cruelty and suffering. She goes into great detail to explain the difference between animal rights and animal welfare. The first eliminates any idea that there’s some appropriateness for certain actions. Whereas animal welfare advocates understand that animals should be protected from harm but not equal to humans. The Animal Defense Fund has created an Animal bill of Rights that it has submitted to Congress which includes the right of animals to live free from exploitation, cruelty, neglect and abuse.

Establishing goals and understanding that those in shelters and rescue organizations cannot help every animal. They can only help one animal at a time is key to avoiding compassion fatigue.

This book is so full of information that it’s difficult to cite specifics. Allie Phillips is an attorney by profession, and her path that led her from criminal prosecution to defending the animals.

In Chapter 6, she deals with Models for Thriving Animal Organizations: Saving More Lives through Innovation. She quotes Tracy Coppola, former policy and government affairs associate for the American Humane Society, who spent two years, 2008-2009 researching a paper Examining America’s Pet Overpopulation Crisis, Controversy and Solutions. She says a no-kill shelter ideally is a shelter that is able to save all the healthy, adoptable and/or treatable animals from euthanasia.

Phillips continue on saying that shelters in the United States take in 8 to 9 million animals every year with about four million being euthanized. That’s about half. With the financial crisis of 2008 – 2010 those number have most likely increased because so many surrendered their animals to shelters because of economics.

The No Kill Advocacy Center was started to help shelters re-think housing and re-homing animals. The Center has created a model for change the No Kill Equation, education no-kill legislation through conferences and books including Redemption, Irreconcilable Differences: The Battle for the Heart & Soul of America’s Animal Shelters.

While Americans are becoming less tolerant of senseless euthanasia and an epidemic of pet overpopulation, they are at the root of the problem because they don’t spay/neuter their pets, and treat them like disposable objects. The shelters aren’t creating the problem. People are. Yet shelters are left to deal with the problem. The unpredictability of the numbers of animals going to shelters every day is a daunting problem.

San Diego Humane Society President Dr. Mark Goldstein has an innovative theory on the dilemma. Much of it is messaging, the core of a good public relations campaign. They have not euthanized a healthy, treatable animal since 2001, and they’ve helped more than 38,000 animals a year. He believes in first improving the lives of animals in the community, rather than focusing on adoptions and euthanasia.

  • Adopting out of love rather than desperation.
  • People taking better care of their pets
  • People keeping their pets
  • To help people cope with and address social and behavior issues, reasons for surrendering their animals to shelters.
  • Making spaying/neutering commonplace, regardless of where someone resides.
  • Working towards a day when the only animals coming to shelters are seriously ill or dangerous.

The San Diego Humane Society and SPCA talk about changing how our messages are packaged. They recommend:

  • Low cost spay/neuter programs should be affordable or subsidized, Low cost has no value and sends the wrong message.
  • Animal control should be called animal services, to stop focusing on control aspect if animal welfare and focus on the services that people can provide to help animals.
  • The term euthanasia should replace kill because no shelter wants to kill animals, but for some reason or another, they must end that animals’ life
  • Shifting terminology from rescue to adopt, not saying rescued a cat from a shelter, but adopting a cat from a shelter. When animals need to be rescued it conjures up thoughts that it’s a bad place.

What they’ve done differently?

They’ve created a welcoming environment and showcasing animals. They have become the San Diego Campus for Animal Care, going from the pound which infers going to jail, to shelter inferring they only shelter animals, to village, which infers community involvement, and finally to a campus, a place that signifies education, learning, excitement and a place people want to visit. The County of San Diego Department of Animal Services (formerly animal control) is on one side of the campus, and the Humane Society is on the other.

One thing that stuck with me was his statement about people’s attitudes that shelters were depressing. He creates positive energy, with a waterfall and Rocky’s Café greeting people as they enter the campus. The staff wear name tags and are smiling, projecting the el of a place where people come to fall in love with their furever pet, not just take an animal to save it’s life.

As a communication, public relations professional, I can’t emphasize this paradigm enough. Pathos works to raise money, but does it work to re-home animals? If people are reluctant to adopt from shelters, they’ll look elsewhere, and perpetuate the myth: Why spay/neuter my pet when I can always find a home for the new kittens or puppies…..

One blog entry or book review cannot scratch the surface of the incredulous amount of information in this book. She talks about setting up a rescue organization, effective advocacy, educational resources, emergency preparedness, laws, transporting animals to areas where they could be more readily adoptable.

Two issues that deserve mention that she specifically takes on in the book are:

  • Ending pound seizure where Class A dealers that buy animals from shelters to be used for animal research which sometimes take animals before the required waiting period before an animal can be euthanized. She devoted an entire book to the subject, How Shelter Animals are Brokered for Exploitation.”
  • Eliminating euthanasia in gas chambers, which can take up to 30 minutes for the animal to die, and using the more humane injections by … which only takes a few minutes. by injection which can take up to 30 minutes for the animal to die. The ensuring screams and tearing wear at shelter workers or anyone that witnesses this horror, saying it is inhumane and cruel. Yet … states still allow euthanasia in a gas chamber.  

This book is extensively informative, uses some challenging vocabulary at times, and is full of legal information. However, it should be a must read for anyone serious about animal rescue, dedicating their career or volunteer efforts to bettering the lives of animals and curtailing abuse, neglect, hoarding, puppy mills, and reducing the number of animals that are surrendered to shelters every day.

What do you think about changing your messaging? Have you been affected by these inhumane practices like pound seizure or untimely euthanization? What do you think can be done to defend the defenseless? Take a few minutes to share your thoughts and experiences.

 

 

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It wasn’t all pomp and circumstances for these top Brit cats when paws clashed in recent sparring contest between the cats at Number 10 and Number 11 Downing Street.

Cat News Friday finds all kinds of interesting twists this week, from these felines getting into more than a neighborly skirmish. It took a serious twist when, Larry, Prime Minister David Cameron’s cat, taking a claw to the throat from Freya, Chancellor George Osborne’s pet..

Freya didn’t take that paws down, and she managed to send Larry (perhaps with his tail between his legs) retreating to the safety of his own home.

Larry joined the Prime Minister’s household about two years ago for his mousing prowess. Only it was a rat that was the culprit, seen scurrying past the front door. Larry was adopted from the  Battersea Dogs and Cats Home in southwest London.

For more on this, visit:

**Top cats snap: Fur flies outside UK PM’s home
NBCNews.com (blog)
But the fur flew for real Tuesday when two cats from each official residence — known colloquially as Number 10 and Number 11 — traded paws in a brief bout of feline fury. Larry, Prime Minister David Cameron’s cat, was pictured taking a claw to the …

**Downing Street denies Cameron and Osborne cat feud
BBC News
Downing Street has denied rumours of a feud between cats belonging to the chancellor and prime minister after they were pictured fighting. George Osborne’s Freya was photographed slugging David Cameron’s Larry with a nasty-looking left claw, the …

Across the pond, the cats and dogs got into another skirmish, in the political race for Attorney General in Pennsylvania. While both candidates come out in favor of animal rights, Democrat Kathleen Kane made a faux pau when answering a reporter’s questions about enforcement of the state’s Puppy Lemon Law. She was proud to have the endorsement of the Humane Society of the United States. She had meant to say Humane PA,  , a political action committee that endorses candidates in statewide and local House and Senate elections and advocates for pro-animal legislation.

Her opponent is having a heyday with this, accusing her of lying about endorsements. You see, the Humane Society of the United States, the national non profit animal advocacy group, is not allowed to endorse candidates.

For more on this, visit the following link:

**It’s a cat fight! Attorney General candidates scrap over endorsement
Philadelphia Inquirer (blog)
Candidates in the attorney general’s race are fighting, well, like cats and dogs, over cats and dogs. At their one and only debate Monday night, Democrat Kathleen Kane in response to a question from this reporter about enforcement of the state’s Puppy ..

Stray free-roaming cats may get a bad rap, but this Italian cat discovered an ancient Roman Catacomb within a residential neighborhood. A man, Mirko Curti, spotted the stray near his apartment. He and a friend followed the sound of the cat that had gone into a cavern near a limestone rock cliff. They followed him into a cave complete with human bones surrounded by ancient Roman funeral urns.

Word has it, Rome is full of ancient ruins, and who knows, this cat on the prowl might be the series of a new mystery series. For more on this, visit:

**Stray cat discovers ancient Roman catacomb in a residential neighborhood
SlashGear
There so many ruins, ancient constructions, and grave sites in Rome that it’s hard to do any construction project without running into some sort of priceless archaeological artifact. In fact, there are apparently so many yet undiscovered Roman …

And as we come upon Halloween, thoughts turn to black cats. Is it their color, their personality, superstition or what that causes them to languish in shelters much longer than their colorful counterparts.

Researchers at University of California at Berkeley conducted a study to find a link between cat color and people’s perception of cat personality. They found people do judge feline personalities by color, but don’t assess black cats negatively relative to other cats.

The online survey of 49 statements paired five cat colorings (black, white, orange, bi-colored, and tri-colored) with 10 personality traits (active, aloof, bold, calm, friendly, intolerant, shy, stubborn, tolerant, and trainable.)

The study found:

  • Orange and bi-colored cats rated as friendly high in friendliness,
  • Tri-colored cats, rated high in  intolerance,
  • White cats rated high in aloofness.
  • Black cats weren’t rated significantly higher or lower in any trait than other color groups.

People perceived black cats as having neutral personalities compared to other cat

It could be that people don’t think black cats are pretty enough. The researchers suggest that if shelters had empirically reviewed tools to assess cat personality, they could better match them to potential owners and try to work around their color bias. For more on this, visit:

Furry Racism At The Pound: Why Is It Harder For Black Cats To Find Homes?
Popular Science
Are people spooked by black cats? Darker felines sure seem to get the short end of the stick when it comes to adoption. Black cats stay in shelters longer and are more likely to be euthanized than their lighter-colored counterparts. Researchers at …

Cats News Friday finds feline news all over the map, including this interesting twist. We all know that us cat lovers require our beloved dates to be cat people. Check out this debate involving Bachelorette couple Emily Maynard and Jef Holm.

Did cats come between ‘Bachelorette’ couple Emily Maynard and Jef Holm?
Examiner.com
“Bachelorette” star Emily Maynard is working hard to move on from her failed engagement to Jef Holm, but more details are coming out as to why things didn’t work out, according to a new “Hollywood Life” report released on Oct. 23. Of course, Emily has …

For more Cat News Friday, check out the following links:

Herhold: After six decades, the ‘Cats Estate’ in Los Gatos is being sold
San Jose Mercury News
Just south of Los Gatos, on the western edge of Highway 17, two 8-foot-tall white concrete cats serve as sentinels of mystery, guarding a road that winds up the hill. Now, at least for a select few, that mystery is disappearing. The historic 75-acre

Santa Ana police remove 49 cats from ‘animal hoarder’
Contra Costa Times
Nancy Richling had taken in multiple strays into her home on the 1200 block of South Rosewood Avenue and had a habit of feeding wild cats from the neighborhood, Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said. “I think it’s a case of a woman trying to do …

Cat videos make the Web their perch
Los Angeles Times
The award, a statuette of a fat golden cat, sits on a shelf next to the filmmaker’s desk. Videos: A sampler of cats on YouTube. He has signed his first book deal. “Henrí Le Chat Noir: The Existentialist Musings of an Angst-Filled Cat” will be published …

63 cats rescued from Central Hillside home
Duluth News Tribune
Punkadoo, an undernourished male cat, looks out from his cage at the Duluth Animal Shelter on Tuesday afternoon. Punkadoo was one of 63 cats taken in a major hoarding case at a home in Duluth’s Central Hillside.

Nanaimo cats bound with duct tape
Calgary Herald
Neighbours say they are afraid to let their cats out, with one woman who moved recently from Errington stating that she would be sending her cat back to ensure its safety. Officials say they are concerned with both the mindset of an individual who …

Dogs, cats, ferrets and iguana dead in Chesapeake fire
The Virginian-Pilot
Three dogs, four cats, two birds, multiple ferrets and an iguana all died in a house fire in South Norfolk this morning. But firefighters managed to rescue and resuscitate a cat in the 2200 block of Ardmore Ave., said Capt. Scott Saunders, a fire …

The Internet Cat Video Festival to debut at UMass Boston Tuesday
Boston.com
An actual cat video, Henri 2, Paw de Deux, from the Walker Open Field site. It’s in French, but don’t worry, there are English subtitles. By Patrick D. Rosso, Town Correspondent. The University of Massachusetts Boston will be invaded by cats, or at …

Shelter takes steps to reduce euthanization rate
San Francisco Chronicle
Most of animals that come to the shelter are cats, which means some cats still must be euthanized to make room for others, but the shelter has had to euthanize only four dogs in the past year because of space issues, Fults said. Few of the …

Local family owns cats from furless breed
Pittsburg Morning Sun
They are Sphynx cats, mutants descended from about five hairless cats born in the 1970s, and they make their home with Leigh and Adam Niegsch, Pittsburg. Niegsch is a lifelong cat lover raised in a family of cat lovers and always had cats at home. His ..

**High school class builds houses for feral cats
San Francisco Chronicle
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — These cat houses are smaller than the doghouses Steve Whitaker’s construction class at Clay High School built last year. Smaller, however, doesn’t measure out to be easier, not with a slanted roof put on for drainage. “That was …

October Black Cat Giveaway Has Animal Advocates Hissing
Paw Nation
By Catster Oct 22nd 2012. The annual Pumpkin Junction fall festival in Barrington, RI, featured some unusual guests. Barrington Animal Control hosted a black cat adoption event at the site on Oct. 13, offering free adoptions to anyone who was interested.

**Busting black cat myths: Shelters say most fears unfounded
CTV News
TORONTO — Don’t judge these felines by the color of their fur. Bans on the adoption of black cats at Halloween were commonplace until a few years ago as many worried the animals would be harmed by pranksters or animal abusers. But animal welfare …

Hot dogs and hula cats: Halloween costumes let pets come as they aren’t
Dallas Morning News
Dressing up for Halloween isn’t just for kids anymore. The family pet can have a howling good time in fanciful costumes, too. Options are plentiful, from pirates to pumpkins and superheroes to superstars. There’s the traditional Halloween garb of …

Shelter for older cats hopes to pair some with senior citizens
Omaha World-Herald
She hopes to match some of the older cats who just want to sit on someone’s lap and be petted with senior citizens who might go without a pet because they are on a fixed income. The program will allow the senior who wants a cat to have one; the cost of …

**Palm Coast Neighbors: Fur Ball was cat’s meow
St. Augustine Record
Flagler Cats held their annual Fur-Ball Oct. 6 at the Pine Lakes Golf Club in Palm Coast. The event is a major fundraiser for the 501(c)3 organization that has a mission to raise awareness and provide protection and humane treatment of cats. The ball …

Cherry’s Second Chance: Cat Captures the Heart of a Good Samaritan
Huffington Post (blog)
There never seems to be a lack of news stories highlighting the sad reality of abuse, neglect and abandonment to which companion animals are subjected. Some incidents are so horrifying they could cause a reasonable person to question other’s humanity.

**1000 Street Cats in Jerusalem Get Better Lives
Care2.com
Judith Weaver was working for the U.S. Department of State and assigned to the American Consulate in Jerusalem where she became acquainted with not only the history of this fascinating city, but also of the multitude of feral cats. What started as a …

Cat Cams: New virtual playroom inside Midlands animal shelter
WIS
Inside the walls of the ‘Lake Purray’ cat condo at Pawmetto Lifeline in Columbia, you’ll find a new interactive virtual cat playroom called iPet Companion. It’s the first of its kind in the Southeast, and there are only twelve other shelters that have …

2 admit felony mischief in house overrun by cats
Fort Wayne Journal Gazette
In June, Constance J. Anderson, 50, and Jeffrey G. Tourney, 45, both of the 600 block of Irene Avenue, were charged with two Class D felony counts of criminal mischief for damaging the two homes they rented by accumulating so many cats. To reach a …

Help trap, neuter feral cats
Arizona Daily Sun
Oct. 16 was National Feral Cat Day — a day for us to think about the outdoor cats in our neighborhood. We often see these cats scurrying behind a restaurant, or sunning in our backyards. Many of us leave food out for them. Who are these cats and how ..

**Comic Strip Cat Heathcliff Getting His Own Movie
Cinema Blend
First they announced they would be bringing back The Brave Little Toaster with an iPhone as a character. Then it was revealed that they were working on a new version of the television series Mister Ed that would be a CGI/live-action hybrid. And today …

**Campaigning From a Cat’s Perspective
Huffington Post
For eight months now, I’ve been running my campaign for the U.S. Senate seat in Virginia against George Allen and Tim Kaine. During that time, I have learned a great deal about how campaigns work, and more importantly, why we as a people have become …

**Cat myths explained
Pittsburg Morning Sun (blog)
Fact: According to the Humane Society of the U.S., Americans have 86 million cat pets and 78 million dog pets. Myth 2: Cats who don’t scratch more than usual don’t have fleas. Fact: Even if cats don’t itch or scratch more than normal, they may still …

Laurel advocates help neuter dozens of feral cats
Baltimore Sun
The mass trap-neuter-return, or TNR, effort was the first in the area, said Rebecca Katz, program manager for the Feral Friends Network of Alley Cat Allies, a feral cat advocacy group based in Bethesda working in partnership with Laurel Cats, another …

Apartment complexes see more than their fair share of feral cats
San Antonio Express (blog)
Working at apartment complexes in San Antonio, Texas, she has seen cats left behind when tenants move away, cats breeding on the properties, abandoned cats giving birth to kittens in attics, kittens falling from attics into the walls of apartment …

Cat-adoption spree is a smashing success
Mail Tribune
More than 100 spayed and neutered felines found new homes during free, adult-cat adoption programs over the weekend. The cat lovers responded in a big way to the three major county shelters’ adoption plea, said Kenn Altine, executive director of the …

What was your favorite story this week? Do you have some news to share? Please leave your paw-gestions in the comments form.

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Catpersonable BJ Bangs



At Paws for Reflection, we're serious about cats, writing about cat health, cat rescue and cat news. We delve into why cats are the absolute best soul mates. We spring in a little humor with lots of travel tips, photos and a few feline tales, making Paws for Reflection a must stop for cat information on the cat crazed Internet. BJ is an award-winning blogger/journalist, communications professional and photographer.

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