Wednesday, December 29, 2010

You make a difference! Thank you!

Every year since 2005, Pet Haven has awarded grants to non-profit rescue organizations throughout the state with the goal of increasing the number of spays/neuters they can perform, which in turn will help reduce the number of unwanted litters.

The participating groups submit an application explaining their plans for the grant funds, along with verification of their 501c3 status and financial health. Out-of-state non-profit rescue groups that partner with Pet Haven are also eligible to apply.

Some of the groups are trying to reach barn cat populations or stray cat colonies, while others use the funds to help low income families meet the cost of spay/neuter for their dog or cat.

In these difficult economic times, Pet Haven is proud to be able to continue this grant program and through our partnership with these groups, to continue to meet the need for spay/neuter funding in partner communities.

In 2010, eight groups received grants (totaling $13,165) which resulted in 208 cats, 38 dogs and one bunny being altered. In addition, 143 low income owners were able to receive assistance for their spay/neuter costs. All of these funds came directly from Pet Haven's budget.

We hope to increase this amount by $5,000 this year. That is a huge increase but we feel that we can do it with the help of all of you.

Our most recent grant awards are being processed, and 7 groups will receive their funding soon (totaling $13,200).

This year there's an incentive program for groups to get an early start . Groups who submit documentation of their early start with spay/neuter activity will be entered into a drawing for a share of additional incentive money for their program (up to 4 qualifying groups will split the $2000 incentive pool).

We hope this incentive will encourage all groups to start early in the year to prevent litters. Every spring litter we prevent means that many fewer animals needing spay or neuter later in the year.

You can donate to Pet Haven and indicate that you specifically want your funds to help sponsor this or other Pet Haven efforts.

Not very exciting? Perhaps not, but spay/neuter efforts are the only way to cut down on the homeless animal population. An incredible number of cats are euthanized every month in our community. Every kitten that is born displaces an older cat who is well socialized and loving from getting a home because most of the public prefers to adopt a cute kitten.

We hear daily of adults - males and females, with kittens and without, who have been tossed out the door, abandoned in a neighborhood or on a rural road - even in the weather we have been seeing the last two months. When we are able to reduce the severe overpopulation in the cat and large breed dog world, every animal will be more valued. We will be closer to finding a home for every adoptable animal.

You are the ones who are helping us take action. Pet Haven and other organizations are putting effort and funds into improving life for all of those born.

Too many are born homeless or are cast off to live homeless or to land in a shelter or rescue; some to be adopted, too many to be euthanized for a lack of homes. The success of programs like these could mean that one day, every puppy or kitten would be born into a loving home, cared for and cherished.

Any help is greatly appreciated! Together we will make a difference.

Friday, December 24, 2010


It is the time of year when we enjoy things in abundance: opportunities to see old friends and family, to reconnect, to eat special foods, to show how we care for each other.

Sometimes travel is involved, or others travel to you, we make an extra effort to see those who are shut-in and whom visiting brings back happy and sad memories of years gone-by.

This year we are even enjoying an abundance of snow which brings all sorts of havoc to our schedules and little ease in moving about.

Cherish those you see, call those you cannot see, be thankful for those companions who make your house a home. Remember what it is about a person or pet that makes your day complete.
Our pets bring richness and respite to our lives. We celebrate those who are in homes this year, loved and cared for.

The foster home your pet came from has extended themselves beyond most imaginings. They work, play, have home responsibilities, have families and relatives, have pets of their own and they open their homes again and again to make another pet safe until it can find a forever home.

Some of the cats we celebrate having new lives this year are:

Tilly - mother of 8, 1 kitten yet unadopted

Litters of kittens - unplanned, unwanted - too numerous to name

Nick - a bit of a rough-neck but a social, endearing boy

Emmett and Mr. Brown - boys who had not known much people love prior to Pet Haven but who loved what they received from people

Margie - adopted years ago, allowed and encouraged to learn to be closer to her owner and come for lap time and snuggles - two women who form a rich family

Smokey Joe - living in a hoarder house, middle aged, needing dental care and a chance to have a person to love without the competition and crowding

Dolly - picked on by other cats at another shelter - secure as an only cat, greatly loved

Teasle, now Coco - for the rich comfort this upper middle aged girl has brought to her owner

Wendy who came from another hoarder house where she had suffered with ulcers and infection in her eyes for the first 6 months of her life - healthy, chubby, one eye removed, scarring removed from the other one and now known as Saga as she truly begins a new part of her life.

We celebrate all these animals and more - those unnamed and others waiting for their chance at a secure life.

We celebrate our donors who step forward to help with medical care which is sometimes extraordinary and who give to help spay and neuter cats and dogs none of us know in order to conquer the overpopulation of cats, especially.

We celebrate our fosters and other volunteers. They have the biggest hearts and reach out over and over again.

Thank you!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Chilly days and lots of strays....
This time of year, when the temps dip low, we get a flurry of people calling the phone line about strays in their neighborhood. People are worried about these cats, but unsure how best to help. Maybe they belong to someone, maybe they carry a disease that could spread to other pets, maybe they will bite. All of these are valid concerns. But here are your options.

Could there be an owner? Sure there could. But if you've seen the cat around frequently and you're worried about it having shelter, you really should try and catch it, then assess the likelihood of an owner. Once the cat is warm and safe and fed, you can post flyers around the area, talk to neighbors, and have a vet clinic scan for an identity chip. If those efforts turn up no clues, you have done your best. What's best for the animal at this point, is being off the streets.

Could there be diseases? Sure. Diseases, parasites, infections, any cat living by its wits is susceptible to any number of things, and yes, these can be passed to your pets. So its best to keep the stray isolated from your pets until basic vet screening has been done. Screenings for Feline Leukemia and FIV, shots for distemper and rabies, screenings for fleas, earmites and worms. It can get very involved. If you're not looking to add a new pet to your own household, and you don't know of a friend or neighbor that would consider adopting your stray, then you have another set of decisions to consider. How to find your stray a home. Rescue groups like Pet Haven, who operate through a foster network, aren't often able to help with immediate surrender of an animal. Our foster volunteers care for rescued animals, plus their own pets, and adoptions don't happen on a predictable schedule. Pet Haven can help owners/finders of cats to find adoptive homes if the current owner/finder is willing to house and care for the animal and bring it to adoption events. Vet work needs to be up to date to be eligible to attend an adoption day. When you can't keep the stray and can't house it even temporarily, then you need a shelter option. The Humane Society or other rescue group with a shelter facility can often help.
If its not a "no kill" shelter, yes there's a chance the cat could be euthanized at some point, but there's also a good chance at adoption if the cat is basically healthy and friendly. If you contact a "no kill" shelter, don't be surprised if they're full. They can only house a limited number of animals, and there's usually a waiting list. There just aren't any easy answers to the stray over-population problem. But in the winter here in Mn, letting a stray cat try to fend for itself and possibly lose ears or tail tip to frost bite and slowly starve just isn't the responsible thing to do. Getting it off the streets and giving it a chance at adoption is wonderful, and getting it off the streets and humanely putting it out of its misery is better than the frosty alternative.

What about being bitten? Not all strays are feral cats. Many began as a pet and were turned out at some point. Sometimes owners have moved away and the cat remained on its own. But even a friendly cat can panic if you are restraining it or trying to put it in a carrier or box. So take precautions. Wear gloves, move cautiously and try not to startle the cat. Speak to it in a soothing voice. Have someone help you by holding the box or carrier to keep things stable as you move the cat into the container. If the cat won't approach you or dashes away if you step in its direction, you'll need a live trap. These are cages designed to close once the cat is inside. In this weather, you'll want to set it up somewhere out of the wind, and cover it with a couple heavy blankets to give the cat shelter until you retrieve it. Bait the live trap with food. Be sure to check the trap frequently, and don't set the trap if you won't be home to monitor it. Cats are frequently active at night, so that's a good time to set the trap, and be sure to check it right away in the morning.

This time of year, you don't have to be worried that a female stray has a nest of kittens somewhere. This isn't kitten season. And getting females off the streets now prevents stray litters of kittens born into a life of scavenging and dodging danger in the spring.

We have a few cats in our foster system right now that were live trapped and have a second chance. They are still settling into foster homes and going through treatment for parasites, etc but they are hoping for happy landings in a cozy home of their own. The orange fellow at the top of this blog is Otis. He'll be out poster child for coming in from the cold.

We will have an adoption event on Sunday Dec 19th from 1 to 3pm at the Petco store in Richfield (66th and Lyndale). A few new kittens have been posted on the website! Come and see the fuzzy faces who are waiting for homes. We can help you find a personality that will fit into your household. We have older kittens, young adults and mature adults of all colors and dispositions. Our foster volunteers can tell you all about them and share some of their favorite activities and toys. Hope you can stop by-- and better yet, bring a friend!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Pet Project Needs Our Help!

The Pet Project is in the running for a $250,000 grant from Pepsi. We can help them win this grant and expand their much needed services (providing pet food to food shelves for the pets of struggling families, and providing assistance with Vet services for low income pet owners).

Sidewalk Dog has a wonderful blog on this with all the info, so I'll include their link.

Please help. You don't even have to leave your chair. Here is the link on the Pet Project site that will tell you just how to vote! Everyone needs to vote once a day until the end of Dec.

In other news, we're in the process of working with rescue efforts on the Lake Traverse reservation. Changes in the housing policy on the reservation have led to animals being surrendered or "set free" at alarming rates. A number of Metro rescues are making room to take animals in an effort to help with the sudden overload.

The transport was scheduled for today, but with the weather that hit the state, efforts have been postponed until to
morrow (keep your fingers crossed!)

We'll post pictures as soon as we can of the new intakes who come our way. They won't be on the website or eligible for adoption until their vet screening, immunizations, spay/neuter, and de-worming have been completed, and then we wait to see if any health issues crop up. New intakes are always a process. And we like the cats to have settled into a foster home (where we assess appetite, litter box status, and overall personality)before we post them as eligible for adoption. So I guess the blog can give you a sneak preview.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Going shopping?

Stop by Chuck and Don's in Highland and visit with Arrow.

This is a busy, affectionate (he seeks you out for attention) fellow who will follow you around the house and keep you entertained with his playful ways.

Arrow was born in June 2010. He has two sisters, Amber and Sweet Adeline who are bonded to each other and would love to go to a new home together!

Interested in adopting him or another Pet Haven cat? Click here to get to our on-line cat adoption application!

Stay warm, stay safe in the snow and cold this weekend. Keep your pets safe inside and be on the watch for abandoned strays who are trying to make it on their own.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Available kittens

Most of our kittens are from 5-8 months of age. They'd love to come and help you put up holiday decorations and take them down, too, of course.

Tanner was having a ball the day his foster family decorated! He's a gray tabby and loves the big greyhound mix dog in his foster home, choosing to take naps on top of him on occasion!

Arrow, Sweet Adeline and Amber also promise to be a lot of help and find toys around your home that you didn't realize were 'toys'! They do sleep on occasion too - and come for attention from you. They were previously in a foster home with a small dog they enjoyed.

Life is good when you are a kitten and warm, safe inside and healthy!

Arrow is black and white, Sweet Adeline is a calico and Amber is a 'cow' cat - white with orange spots.

Friday, December 3, 2010

2 Adoptions, Sat. 12/4 and Sun. 12/5

We'll have two adoptions this weekend. Both at the PetCo in Richfield at 66th and Lyndale Ave. S.

Sat. from 11-1 p.m.

Sun. from 1-3 p.m.

Who is coming?

Different cats each day - Tom, Ross, Derrick, Wilma, Tanner, Jumbalaya, Penelope, LingLing, to name a few!