by Jackie Dale
Jackie is a part of Cat House On The Kings in Parlier and does a monthly column on the Cat House here at KRL.
As I mentioned in last month’s column, the Cat House was the beneficiary of a very large grant to provide low cost spays, neuters and vaccines. With assistance from the SNIP team, we are now partnering up with local vets in Fresno, Kings and Tulare counties to provide these services to both cats and dogs. Normally the Cat House only does small dogs, but this money is allowing us to offer services to dogs of all sizes. Cats are a mere $15 and dogs are $30. Special pricing is available to caretakers of feral colonies. Vaccines purchased at the same time are only $5. For appointments call the Cat House at 559-638-0490 or SNIP at 559-961-7647.
The San Joaquin Valley is approaching third world-like conditions in its treatment and disposition of stray/homeless animals, which makes the need to promote and provide spay/neuter services even more urgent. Fresno County residents have no options as far as cats are concerned. The Humane Society only accepts cats from city residents and the county animal control services do not accept cats. Clovis Animal Control has recently decided to stop accepting cats and personally, I would not be surprised if the City of Fresno soon follows suit.With our unusually mild winter, the kitten season has not had any sort of let up whatsoever. The Cat House recently was able to ship out 15 cats and kittens to two other rescues down south. Mirian Hasani, (she designs our newsletter headers), drove up from So Cal and provided the transport so these kitties could get to these rescues. Some went to Meowzz ResQ in the Los Angeles area and some went to Rescue Me Pet in Santa Monica. Mirian met up with the Rescue Me Pet people at the local PetSmart and one kitten was adopted within 20 minutes of arrival! We are so grateful when someone is so willing to donate his or her time and efforts. This can make a world of difference in finding homes for our kittens.
Another of our dedicated supporters is Martin Papaleo. He is one of Tammy Barker’s longtime foster parents and volunteers. One day Lynea received a frantic call from a woman in Fresno. The woman was frantically screaming that some young men were trying to set some kittens on fire. Lynea immediately called Tammy. Tammy called Martin after determining that he was not far from where the woman was calling. Martin jumped into action. He practically flew to the destination to discover that four young men had trapped some kittens under a milk crate, sprayed them with lighter fluid and throwing matches at them. The men had already injured the mother cat that was nearby.
Martin sent the men running for their lives, scooped up the kittens and brought them to Tammy who immediately took them to the Cat House for treatment. Martin later returned to capture the injured mother cat. The kittens had some minor burns, but were otherwise okay. Martin is surely in the running for our volunteer of the year award. Do we even have an award for that? If not, then we really should have one. I only wish I could have been there when Martin arrived to rescue the kittens. Oh, what a formidable sight that must have been! Martin, you are a real hero!Petco adoptions are off to a good start for the New Year. In 2013 we adopted out a total of 478 kittens, 91 adult cats and 23 dogs. The majority of the adoptions were at our Petco adoption center. They happen to be in a very good location for foot traffic. I love to see the pictures of the cats and kittens (or doggies) in the arms of their new “furever” families posted on our Facebook page. It really warms my heart! Facebook “Likes” currently stands at 91,913 fans and counting. We are looking forward to hitting six figures so share, share, share! And visit our page daily!
While the Cat House is always dealing with abandoned animals, we often have to take back a ‘returned” cat or dog. We have been getting a few returns of late. One person who adopted two cats decided to return one because “two cats were just too much.”Another poor kitty’s owner died and the relatives brought the cat back. They just shoved the cat through the car window, with no carrier and with an untreated injury. One elderly lady was forced to surrender her two Persians. She had to move in with her daughter who refused to allow her to bring her pets with her. It is always a sad situation.
Trap-neuter release is slow, but it will pick up as the weather gets warmer and the days begin to get longer. I continue to feed my colonies but one has become a real effort. The people at this one spot don’t want me leaving food. I have to sneak around and several times have nearly been caught. I am not doing anything illegal mind you; they just don’t want me to feed the cats. I imagine they don’t mind the fact that I am preventing them from reproducing. I was a bit taken aback to discover a couple of newcomers though. Either someone dumped them there or the elusive female is in heat. I managed to catch and neuter one of the newcomers. I will keep trying to catch what I believe is the female before she becomes pregnant again. The river colony is currently stable and we will re-evaluate once the weather warms up. A shelter has been constructed in the back of the fenced area for housing during inclement weather. Although the nights have been cold, we have yet to have any significant rain this season.
The Animal Rescue Site has issued the new 2014 Shelter Challenge. The Cat House did not do so well in the last challenge, so we are hoping to do better this time. It literally, only takes a minute to vote. Our grant money was substantial, but it can only be used for spay and neuter services. We still have lots of bills to pay and improvements to make. Please vote for us every single day!!
And also, please remember to use your S.H.A.R.E.S. card. It costs you nothing, nada, zip, zilch, nein; but we can really reap the rewards because everyone has to buy groceries! I keep mine right by my debit card so that I always remember to use it. Drop by the Cat House or Petco and pick one up. Or send a SASE to 7120 S. Kings River Rd. Parlier, CA 93648 and we will mail you one.
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Check out more animal rescue & pet related articles, including more Cat House columns, in our Pet Perspective section.