BJ Bangs recipient of 2017 Winn Feline Foundation Media Award

BJ Bangs knows cats matter, and this year, Paws for Reflection founder and author was honored with the 2017 Winn Feline Foundation Media Award, which recognizes journalists and editors who publicly support promote awareness of feline health.

This is a huge deal as Paws for Reflection is serious about cat issues, and educating people about feline health issues is one of our top priorities.

Vicki Thayer, DVM, DABVP (Feline) Executive Director of the Winn Feline Foundation, presented the award via video conference before over 450 people at BlogPaws 2017, thanking BJ for her tireless advocacy, supporting the health and well-being of all cats. Thayer commended BJ for her endless support to promote Feline Fix by Five Month’s initiative to have all cats spay/neutered by five-months.

BJ Bangs recipient of 2017 Winn Feline Foundation's 2017 Media Appreciation Award

BJ Bangs received the Winn Feline Foundation’s 2017 Media Appreciation Award at BlogPaws 2017. Pictured with her is Steve Dale, host of two nationally syndicated radio shows, and member of WFF Board of Directors.

BJ Bangs recipient of 2017 Winn Feline Foundation Media Award

BJ Bangs received 2017 Winn Feline Foundation Media Appreciation Award. Pictured with her is Vicki Thayer, Executive Director Winn Feline Foundation, center; and Teresa Keiger, editor of CFA’s Cat Talk and CFA judge.

BJ connected withSpay USA founder Esther Mechler, who spearheaded the Feline Fix by Five Month’s Initiative earlier this year, and is working on a media campaign to help spread the word to veterinarians and the general public about why early spay/neuter is so important. BJ has written a number of posts about cat overpopulation, and Feline Fix by Five could be revolutionary in helping reduce the numbers. By reducing the number of ‘oops’ litters, the number of kittens entering shelters could be dramatically curtailed.

BJ is thrilled to be recognized as she joins the ranks of some of the top feline writers in the country, including Steve Dale, pet columnist, host of two nationally syndicated radio shows, Steve Dale’s Pet World and The Pet Minute, who sits on the Winn Feline Foundations Board of Directors, and Amy Shojai, who has authored over 30 pet care books and one of the original founders of the International Cat Writers Association.

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Category: Cat Health, Cats

Healing Whiskers – Oliver, a pet therapy rat, brings smiles to people’s faces

Healing Whiskers – Oliver, a therapy pet rat, brings smiles on people’s faces

June is Post Traumatic Stress Awareness Month, and Paws for Reflection is devoting several posts to the benefits of pet therapy for those with PTSD, as well as others. At BlogPaws 2017, Paws for Reflection met Oliver, a therapy pet rat, and we reached out to Healing Whiskers for an Q&A interview.

Oliver, a pet therapy rat

 

The release of the move Meghan Leavy this month highlights the special bond between service dogs and people with PTSD. At Paws for Reflection, we know all animals can be beneficial as therapy pets, including cats. Here, we highlight, how Oliver, a pet rat, is a perfect therapy pet.

Oliver, a pet therapy rat

 

Tell me about you, Oliver and any other pets you have?

My name is Abby Chesnut, I have two blogs: Healing Whiskers and The Chesnut Mutts. I have two part-time jobs as a merchandiser and a postal carrier, and I’m also a volunteer photographer for our local animal control and rescues.

I live in Rome, Georgia with my boyfriend, Johnny, where we have two small mixed breed dogs, two fancy rats, and an aquatic snail. Jada and Bailey are the dogs, Oliver and Jasper are the rats, and Tyrone is the name of our snail.

Abby Chesnut with her pet therapy rat, Oliver. Abby has two blogs: Healing Whiskers and The Chesnut Mutts.

 

Oliver, a therapy pet rat

Oliver, a therapy pet rat, brings smiles to those he visits.

Teen and young adults love Oliver

How long have you had Oliver? Did you adopt him? How did you center upon him as a therapy pet? How long has he been a therapy pet? What types of places (hospitals, nursing homes, schools) do you visit?

Oliver just turned one years old in April. I actually got both him and his brother Oliver from a breeder in South Carolina. There isn’t an epidemic of unwanted pet rats so breeders are actually a great asset to the rat community to keep healthy rats in the gene pool for pets.

I was looking for a beautiful color and calm temperamenttraining. Jasper was originally going to be trained, but shortly after getting him he started to get seizures, so I picked up his brother Oliver to start training.

His training started as him being out of his cage, being outside, different environments. If he pottied he went back in, but if he held it he got a really great treat. So we took baby steps and I monitored to see if he could handle being a therapy animal. The environment is one thing, but people would be petting him too. So lots of work went into the rat he is today.

Registered as a therapy team in January

We just got registered as a therapy team in January and started doing a lot of finals week de-stress events at local colleges. Teens and young adults love Oliver! We are hoping to expand more into other venues, but public events and schools seem to work well for us.

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Conspicuously Absent: Tech issues and more

Conspicuously Absent: Tech issues and more is what Paws has been dealing with since returning from an absolutely fabulous BlogPaws 2017. I was thrilled to have a chance to meet members of the Sunday Selfie Blog Hop, including Kitty Blue of The Cat on My Head, who hosts this fantabulous group.

Sunday Selfie Blog Hop

This Sunday Selfies Blog Hop is being hosted by Cat on My Head

Paws also had the pleasure of meeting bloggers from Mama and her Bear Cat, Brian, and Erin, the Cay (Princess), and Sweet Perfections. We even shared a room with Mama and her Bear Cat. That certainly helped defray expenses.

We can’t even say how much we learned from BlogPaws 2017; however, on my return home, my web hosting site decided Paws had too much spam, and shut down my site. After spending about a week getting it migrated over the SiteGround, and getting the SSL certificate finally working right (something my old host just couldn’t get right) and MailChimp installed (If anyone would like to sign up for my mailings to tests it out, that would be awesome!) Low and behold, my phone and Internet service went down, just in time for the weekend when I have time to catch up on my blogging.

Conspicuously Absent: Tech issues and more

Technological issues slow down Paws’ blogging efforts.

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Category: Cats
Evidence suggests cats help people cope with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Evidence suggests cats help people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

cats help people cope with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

There’s growing evidence that cats can help alleviate anxiety, depression and loneliness associated with PTSD.

Evidence suggests cats help people cope with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Admittedly, most research has centered on dogs, but there’s no reason other pets, including cats, would not be great companions because the unconditional love factor is huge when it comes to anxiety, depression, and loneliness.

Paws addressed this subject in an article written for a national pet magazine, and we wanted to revisit the subject because it is an important topic, one that impacts the millions dealing with PTSD.

We had first-hand experience with cats helping a dear friend with PTSD, and that’s what lead us to doing the research for the article. It wasn’t all that easy to find anything about cats helping people with PTSD.
Cat line

This subject is particularly timely With the release of the movie Megan Leavey (Kate Mara) featuring the bond between Marine Marine Cpl. Megan Leavey (Kate Mara) with a particularly aggressive dog, Rex. She trains him, and they complete more than 100 missions. An IED explosion injures them and puts their fate in jeopardy.This blog post is for informational and educational purposes, and is not designed to replace medical advise offered by your physician.

Cat line

Our research took us to Cheryl A Krause-Parello, associate professor and director, C-P.A.W.W. (Canines Providing Assistance to Wounded  Warriors) at the University of Colorado, Denver, saying while there are numerous studies correlating the benefits of pets to people with PTSD, there is insufficient funding to sponsor well-designed clinically controlled trials needed to provide the hard-core medical scientific evidence to prove it.

She suggested we speak with Nora Mund, a Marine injured while serving in Afghanistan, then working as a research assistant at C.P.A.W.W. as she was one of the hands-on person doing the research. Mund told us that dogs, with their keen sense of smell, are helpful to people with PTSD, because they can be trained much more quickly. They can be trained to tune into when someone is going to have nightmares or a flashback.

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Category: Cat News, Cats

The Cat Rescuers: a documentary that needs to be told

The Cat Rescuers, tells the story of efforts to deal with over a million cats roaming the streets of New York City.

As many of the cats are feral, you won’t see them during the day. They are hiding underneath cars and in alleys, but they are there.

The Cat Rescuers

The Cat Rescuer is a documentary that could have a huge impact on feral cats.

There are so many the city can’t handle the problem, and that’s where the Cat Rescuers have stepped in. The feature-length documentary tells the story of Sassee, Claire, Stu and Tar, four of the dedicated, street-smart volunteers making a difference in the homeless cats of Brooklyn.

No cat should have to live on the brink of starvation, outside, in the cold. The upcoming documentary profiles four dedicated cat rescuers in Brooklyn, New York working to improve the lives of NYC’s one million estimated abandoned and feral cats. To view the Kickstarter trailer, visit

The documentary is looking for the funds to help finish the film, which can make a huge difference to the homeless cats in New York City. They are hoping to meet their stretch goal of $62K! By helping spread the word about our Kickstarter (helpthecatrescuers.com), you’d not only be helping them finish the film faster, but help spread awareness of this issue more effectively. Tag the cat lovers you know. With everyone’s help, this film will make a difference.

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Category: Cats, Feral Cats, Rescue, TNR

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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.

2017 Winn Feline Foundation Media Appreciation Award



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