This year, millions of people around the world saw messages on social media advocating for pet adoption on Remember Me Thursday®. We were proud to be a part of this and thanks to all of you who purrticipated, it was another success!
People from around the world..India, Nambibia, Croatia, Guatemala and more shared their love for rescue pets. Celebrities (two-legged and four legged) joined in and more than 300 animal advocates registered for the first ever virtual candle lighting ceremony.
Here are some of the favorite moments from the #RememberMeThursday team:
We purrticipated in the Lola the Cat #RememberMeThursdayBlog Hop and you can visit it here.
Watch the #RememberMeThursday highlight video
Watch the #RememberMeThursday Virtual Candle Lighting Ceremony.
A big paws up for all our furiends who support and promote adoption and we are especially thankful for our amazing shelter Panhandle Animal Shelter and the ground breaking work they’ve done in our community and around the country!
Today, September 24, 2020, the entire world will share the importance of pet adoption, and shine a light on all orphan pets waiting in shelters and rescues. In 2017, people using #RememberMeThursday reached nearly 330 million people on social media.
On #RememberMeThursday, love your rescue and help others #SeeTheLight. It’s up to you to spread the word! We are so proud of our local animal shelter and their innovative efforts to keep animals out of shelters and in furever homes! Panhandle Animal Shelter is the former home of all of The Tribe.
By MANDY EVANS Contributing Writer | September 23, 2020 1:00 AM
Over the past decade, Panhandle Animal Shelter has been on a mission to transform animal sheltering in our region. PAS has gone from serving just 1,200 animals per year to serving over 8,400 in 2019. We had big plans for 2020 and were on track to expand our programs to serve even more animals and the people who love them.
Then, enter a pandemic that closed businesses, stalled supply chains, and threatened the safety of our community. Even the best laid plans quickly became rewrites.
To shelter animals, find new adoptive homes, and care for animals in the community, PAS interacts with the public, collaborates with local and national organizations, requires staff and volunteers, and relies on specialized equipment and supplies. There isn’t much of this model that the pandemic hasn’t challenged. Maintaining staff when a suspected exposure occurs is a challenge. Finding medical supplies is a challenge. Facilitating adoptions, intake, and clinics are a challenge. Adhering to consistent hours of operation is a challenge. Finding ways to safely engage volunteers is a challenge. Meeting with donors is a challenge. For a while, even finding a place to buy cleaning supplies was a major hurdle.
Our greatest challenge has been being able to continue spay and neuter surgeries at the level we feel is necessary for our community. Many medical supplies are limited due to the crossover use with human medicine and during the pandemic, human medicine has taken priority. Following veterinary medicine guidelines and guidance from shelter medicine professionals we have limited our spay and neuter surgeries. Additionally, veterinary medicine is a highly specialized skill, and when a team member is unavailable due to COVID-19 exposure or testing, we can’t perform surgeries or other necessary medical procedures to protect our animal population. These supplies and staffing shortages significantly limit our ability to meet our goals for the year.
Just like the community, we want things to go back to normal. Our team is tired and stressed and we miss seeing our community, working with our volunteers, and visiting at Yappy Hour. But be assured, our priorities have not changed. We are still as dedicated to supporting our community as ever before. We ask that you be patient with our staff and volunteers, hours of operation, and modifications to how our programs are operated. We are doing the best we can and we need your support.
During the past few months, we’ve been receiving questions like, “Where donations are going now that there are fewer animals in the shelter?”, “What does the future holds for PAS?”, and the most common question of all, “Where are all the cats?” We hope this article helps answer some of these questions – but if you’re curious about something related to the work PAS does, we invite you to email us at email@example.com.
With fewer animals in the shelter, where are my donations going?
There’s no better way to answer this question than to share more about our programs and the efforts underway to, by design, keep animals out of the shelter.
PAS operates robust owner support programs that exist to help keep animals out of the shelter. These supportive services are offered through a multitude of programs like our Pets for Life program which supports pet owners by going door-to-door in specific neighborhoods providing services to people and their pets for free. Services may include pet food, advice, spay and neuter, medical, dental, or general pet supplies. Another key to keeping people and pets together has been the PAS helpline, which now serves over 1,800 people each year, and provides services to people to help prevent the need for a pet to be surrendered to the shelter. Services may include medical care, spay and neuter, training, free pet supplies, or connecting callers with PAS’s pet food bank which provides seven tons of dog and cat food to the community each year on a no-questions-asked basis.
Increasing in demand is our Temporary Loving Care program, which provides free temporary pet boarding for people in transition. The program, provided on a case-by-case basis, originated to assist pets while their owners sought mental health care from Bonner General Health, but the economic impacts of the pandemic have increased the need for this program to provide pet boarding for people who are homeless or struggling to find pet-friendly housing. By providing short-term boarding, PAS helps prevent unnecessary surrender.
One of our most popular owner support programs is Home to Home, a rehoming program developed at PAS in 2016, provides support to families who need to surrender their pet with the option to rehome on their own with help from the shelter.
As you may have guessed, these programs come with a cost. Despite having fewer animals in the shelter, donations are still needed to support this work. We’re investing into these programs because it’s part of our mission to support both ends of the human animal bond and we believe sheltering an animal should be the last option. Before PAS takes in an animal, have we offered other solutions like advice for an unruly dog? What about supporting a person and their pet by offering free pet food? Does the pet have a medical issue we can help with? Could the issue be as simple as a pet owner needing help with vaccines so they can keep their pet in their apartment? If these simple questions – a hierarchy of needs for the pet owner – haven’t been asked, then there’s options on the table that could help keep a pet with its family. Your donations help make it possible for people to keep their pets during their time of need, help shelter animals who have no place else to go, and make it possible for PAS to support people and animals across our region.
Where are all the cats?
PAS is a no-kill shelter, and is proud to be a part of a national movement to prevent the euthanasia of healthy cats. For shelters to be no-kill and prevent overcrowding, multiple strategies are needed.
For owned cats, PAS assists owners as much as possible so they can keep their cat and avoid surrendering it to the shelter. This may include providing medical care, supplies, or food. If it’s not possible for a person to keep their cat, PAS will take the cat into the shelter, space permitting. PAS is a no-kill shelter, but the number of cats who need to be sheltered can be so high that the shelter must maintain an intake waitlist. By PAS monitoring the number of cats allowed in the building, cats in the shelter stay healthy. Too many cats crowded together creates stress and stress leads to illness. Illness means cats need to stay in the facility longer to get treated and recover. By practicing managed intake techniques, PAS has decreased the length of stay for cats by 62 days and the number of cats in the building at any given time from 105 cats to 53. This change increased the number of cats assisted each year in the building from 600 to 1,400.
For community cats, also known as unowned cats, PAS operates a “Trap, Neuter, Return” program through partnering with the community to trap cats, bring them to the shelter for spay or neuter, and return them to the location they were found. Due to limited staffing and supplies capacity, this program has been placed on pause during the pandemic, which is also why there are not a lot of kittens in the shelter.
This year, PAS implemented a new methodology provided by University of Florida, University of Wisconsin Shelter Medicine program, and UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program. This program challenges what people believe is a stray cat. When a healthy, friendly, neutered cat is brought to the shelter as a stray, PAS asks the finder to go place it back where it was found. This is because 39% of cats are indoor/outdoor and when lost they are normally found three to four houses down from their home. When an owned cat is brought to our shelter it has a less than 2% chance of being reclaimed by its owner, a rate in line with national average for cats, despite PAS’s best efforts to reunite the cat with its owner. This means the cat has a much higher likelihood of finding its home without intervention. Although kind-hearted, well-meaning people bring the cat to the shelter out of concern, it’s important to highlight that they might be taking someone’s cat from right in front of their home. If a cat is brought to PAS that is in need of medical care, has a low body mass or circumstances that demonstrate the need for intervention, the cat is admitted into the PAS for care and may be adopted or returned to where it was found after it recovers. If you still have questions about managing cat populations, we’ve updated our website, pasidaho.org with more information.
What does the future hold for PAS?
Like many nonprofits, PAS has experienced setbacks due to the pandemic. Thankfully, because of our community centered and progressive owner support programs, we quickly adapted to accommodate the unique challenges of the pandemic. We relied more heavily on Home to Home, our online rehoming program, to help prevent animals entering the shelter. We made our foodbank available for curbside pick-up. We shifted our outreach approach for our Pets for Life program to phone calls instead of door-to-door visits. When many shelters around the country closed, PAS was proud to have maintained its services and as a result helped save lives of animals in need and helped to prevent owners from being forced to surrender their pets due to economic hardship.
While we can’t predict the future, we can anticipate the needs of our community and we can plan for how we’ll respond.
Internally, we are investing in hiring optimistic problem solvers who view the community as their number one partner and we’re continuing to implement prevention-focused, evidence-based, and best practice programs that help people keep their pets. Even during the height of the pandemic, PAS is proud to have hired its first full-time veterinarian who was trained in shelter medicine and management practices from the University of Wisconsin Shelter Medicine Program.
We’ve experienced higher than usual medical needs through our helpline and we expect this to continue. We are also expecting an increased demand by owners who need to surrender their pets due to housing instability, and planning for higher demand for owner support services in case of recession. This means PAS will be providing more boarding, more medical care, more pet food, and more support to pet owners so they can keep their pets and avoid surrendering them to the shelter whenever possible.
PAS will also continue investing time in growing the Home To Home program, a PAS-founded rehoming tool that helps prevent animals from ever entering the shelter. The program is now in 39 shelters around the nation. We have plans to expand the services offered through this program to support local pet owners with rehoming and to include tools to support fostering and increased access for under resourced shelters around the country.
It’s impossible to know what the future holds, but we’re committed to our mission, and we’re proud to serve our region. We continue to receive support from national animal welfare organizations like the Humane Society of the United States, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Best Friends Animal Society and Maddie’s Fund. We’re also honored to receive donations from local businesses and supporters who generously support people and animals with their giving and we’re thankful for the community support we continue to receive in the form of donations to our thrift store and donations of pet food and supplies to the shelter.
If you still have questions about PAS, or any of its programs and services, just ask. Staff are proud to talk about the shelter and what they are working on. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hello Furiends, You have all been so supportive of this innovative and wonderful program to help pets go from one home to another home and never have to spend a day in a shelter. The Home to Home program began at our local shelter and now they are looking to add every shelter around the country. The Female Human just got an update and it’s thanks to all of you that the program is in 22 shelters in 16 states!
On behalf of The Tribe (and The Female Human who is a staunch supporter of the program) we say “Fangs a lot” for your support!
Hello Home to Home™ Backers,
Thank you for believing in Home to Home™ and backing it with your pledge!
We’ve got BIG news. A national PR firm is sharing our campaign with news media outlets, bloggers, and other influencers across the country potentially reaching 81 million people! If a tiny percentage of them make a pledge, we could reach our goal! This would mean all backers (including you!) would get the swag that comes with your pledge!
Other BIG news is that since we launched, we’ve welcomed another 5 shelters to the Home to Home™ network. The program is now in 22 shelters in 16 states…and counting!
Wondering how you can help support this campaign? Share it with friends and family and help us reach our goal!
Hey There Furiends, This post is very important to the Tribe, especially Alberto, Lily and myself since it started at the shelter where we came from.
The Female Human has been a big supporter of theHome To Home program.ever since it started here in our little part of the world of North Idaho. She even wrote an article about it that earned her a Certificate of Excellence from the Cat Writers Association, called “When Forever Isn’t Forever”. Since the start of the program so many felines (and canines and even some rabbits and guinea pigs) have found new homes without ever having to be taken to a shelter. The animals go from one home to another home and skip all that scary shelter stuff.
Now that shelters are forced to close and are unable to accept new pets there is a bit of a crisis. The good news is, Home To Home can help! There are many shelters around the country that are already purrticipating and, now you can help even more come on board to save more pets. Our Human has donated and she’s hoping your humans will too. They have until May 9th to fund this project or it will not happen. Please take a moment to watch the video and learn more about Home to Home and consider helping pets all across the country.
How has your week been going? The Tribe of Five is celebrating #RememberMeThursdayall week and we’re reminiscing about when we were adopted because we want to shine a light on adoption. All five of us were adopted. Tucker and Jasmine from a kind lady that rescued cats and Lily, myself and Oliver came from Panhandle Animal Shelter. Our shelter has a fantastic program called “Home to Home” which helps pets get adopted from their homes so they don’t have to ever be in a shelter. The Female Human wrote an articleabout how well this program works and how it helps the animals and the humans. And guess what, this program is being implemented by shelters all over the country so, if your local shelter wants to get involved, have them click on this link to learn more.
The Female Human is part of a large group of pet bloggers and writers who purrticipate in the Helen Woodward Animal Center’s #RememberMeThursday program. You can visit the website and find all kinds of cool stuff, even a song to download by Stevie Woodward called, This Candle Burns Bright. It’s 99 cents well spent!
Here is our #RememberMeThursday slide show, enjoy! And now for some feline news.
Lily is the shyest cat in The Tribe and she loves our Human. Don’t pick her up unless you don’t mind being slashed but when The Female Human sits quietly at her desk, Lily is in her lap.
I hate to even have to feature this article but there are still humans out there who think we felines are not as loving as canines. I guess we just have to let science prove how wrong they are!
There’s a lot of science in this article so I’ll give you the feline, Alberto version. The scientists who did this study replicated a test that was created in the 1970’s that measured parent-infant bonds. That test placed a mother and baby in an unfamiliar room, where they would stay together for a few minutes, and then the mother would leave. Researchers watched to see how the baby reacted, and what his or her response was upon the mother’s return. Scientists have used this test with dogs but never us felines.
They brought in 79 kittens and had them each spend two minutes in a new space with their owner. Then the owner would leave for two minutes, followed by a two minute reunion period.
Many kittens did show signs of distress—like unhappy vocalizations—when their humans left. In fact, 70 of them fit the distinct attachment style. They found that about 64.3% were “securely attached” to their owner.
What did they learn? The test outcomes followed the pattern seen with children and dogs. So humans, we are as loving as kids and dogs, we just show our affection differently and in our own way.
Oliver always has a lot to say, here he’s telling me off ,but our feline communications is not so simple as you humans may think. Every one of The Tribe has a different way of meowing and our human has learned what they all mean. The pet expert in this article says a short, high-pitched meow means that we are saying hello. This may be true but it also means, when Oliver speaks this way, “I can see the bottom of my kibble bowl, please fix this problem post haste.”
A drawn out meow means we are trying to get your attention. This is true. Alberto sits outside The Female Human’s bedroom door and sings the song of his people this way as an attempt to gain access.
As for the other 8 sounds, I leave it to my feline furiends to discuss this with your humans and see if you think they are right.
I seem to be all “sciency” this week but this is a question The Female Human often asks. The Tribe is constantly choosing different sleeping spots. As the article notes, sometimes it has to do with the temperature., You don’t see Tucker and Lily cuddling like they are in this photo on hot summer days but as soon as things cool off, cuddling begins.
What I think is very cool is that we domesticated felines are exhibiting habits from our wilder days. Our ancient ancestors changed their sleeping locations as protection from predators. There are some other interesting tidbits in the article about how fascinating we felines are.
The Moscow Cat Theatre has been using feline actors for 30 years. The talented felines in this troupe ride bikes, walk on wires and perform acrobatic and aerial acts. How do they get these feline thespians to learn their roles? Dmitry Kuklachev, The theatre’s Art Director, said “A cat will never do anything under constraint. But it is possible to make an arrangement with cats, using their natural abilities and needs. And, if there is love and mutual understanding. In general, love and respect give more than banal training. It is impossible to punish a cat backstage, and then, make her perform tricks onstage. With cats it doesn’t work.” Dmitry is a wise man!
The circus began when a circus clown’s son found a kitten who was “very communicative and cheerful”. During a curtain call, he came out with the kitten on his shoulder. And he saw that the spectators warmly reacted to this. So he started developing the tricks with cats and after 20 years in the circus established his own theatre.
This is no small theater troupe; there are about 200 feline performers, most of them acting in 12 performances. There are about 30 who are “pensioners” now and have retired from performing.
It takes about a year to prepare a new performer, from its first appearance in the theatre to the entrance upon the stage. The cats have to go through two castings, first, talent and then, tests, confirming that they are healthy.
Some of this troupe have gone on to more fame and fortune like Boris, a tomcat who works in cat food commercials.
Hmm, maybe I have what it takes to be an actor cat, I’m certainly handsome enough!
A Las Vegas Review-Journal employee was approached with a strange question. “Do you own the green or blue car parked outside the newsroom? Because there’s definitely a cat stuck inside of your bumper,”
People immediately ran to the car to check on the cat. He was breathing and seemed to be okay but getting him out of the bumper was another story. Animal control came to the rescue and dislodged the cat’s tail, then his rear legs and after wrapping the cat in a towel pulled him out of the bumper to safety.
The poor cat was dehydrated and panting but very much alive. He was cared for at the Animal Foundation by veterinarians and after he received a clean bill of health he was neutered and ear tipped as part of the “Community Cats” program. He was released back to his neighborhood and “Bumper” as they named him, took off in a hurry.
It’s still a mystery as to how Bumper got stuck in the bumper of the car but this is a cautionary tale for all you humans. Check your cars before you drive off because you could have a feline hitchhiker.
Hello There Furiends,
It’s that time again for me to sniff out some of the less publicized and more interesting feline related postings on the information highway. IO hope you enjoy this week’s finds.
Purrs & Head Bonks,
Please understand that I am not promoting over imbibing for you humans. I am a cat of moderation and think you humans should be the same. I do have to say this article is clever, even if it does take some digs at us felines. But I say, if you can’t laugh at yourself, you’re going to be pretty miserable. After the author says that “cats are grumpy, they really only care about themselves, and boy, do they judge you. ” He redeems himself with, ” Once they’re on your side, however, they’re loyal. Feline camaraderie feels infinitely more meaningful than its barking equivalent.”
I love stories about the creativity of humans when it comes to shelter kitties. This was a new one and it’s great. The good folks at the SPCA of Florida discovered that a warm laptop and the glow of the screen captivates felines. They decided they’d play kitten friendly videos on laptops and the results were purrfect.
The kittens watch videos like “Barnyard Buffet” where mice run through pieces of cheese, birds flutter by and bugs are all over the screen. The kittens are reacting with the videos and their environment is enriched greatly. Human experts say that the visual stimulation is good for the cats and that they love the computers because they are a nice place to snuggle and warm up. When Oliver and I were kittens, we had an iPad mini to play with and we loved the Friskies app Jitterbug. Maybe you humans should start donating your old laptops to your local shelter.
Photographer Andrew Marttila is a photographer famous for capturing the awesomeness of us felines. His latest project is “Cats on Catnip,” which allows you humans in to the realm of feline nip addiction. Now I realize I said earlier that I am a feline of moderation but I forgot to mention that does not include catnip! Each member of The Tribe of Five has a different reaction to nip but we all agree, Tucker can be a mean drunk!
You humans keep on debating this issue and I decided I’d put this issue to rest because science has proved it! For instance, a 2009 study published in the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Neurology found that having a cat can — get this — reduce your risk of having a stroke or heart attack by a third. Professor Adnan Qureshi, a researcher from the University of Minnesota who led the study, told The Telegraph that even he and his team were amazed by the numbers in their findings. He also said that he believes that “stroking the pet could cut the level of stress-related hormones in the blood.”
So can we put this ridiculous argument to rest finally? Cats are good for your health humans. My Humans think insurance companies should offer a discount for those who live with felines.
Only a Few More Days to Celebrate June as Adopt A Cat Month
I’m sharing this ad from our local Panhandle Animal Shelter. All of The Tribe of Five were adopted and Oliver, Lily and I came from Panhandle Animal shelter. Please consider giving a feline a furever home this month. If you’re in doubt, just ask our Humans. They love their furry family! I’m sharing pics from our feline family album. Now go adopt a cat!
Oliver here. Oh my whiskers! Our purrsonal assistant was busy doing other things (non of which are as important as our blog) and did not get the Friendly Fill ins posted yesterday,. Meowza it’s hard to find good help!
As I say, better late than never so here they are. The blog hop is sponsored and created by our furiends at 15andmeowing and McGuffy’s Reader. Head on over and enter the “hop” at McGuffy’s reader or you can post your fill ins in our comments (we love to hear you opine!)
Purrs & Head Bonks,
Here are the fill in questions:
1. I could really use ____________________.
2. ________________________ is a charity that I like to support.
3. One time, I broke , and .
4. I wish that I had , when I was young(er).
Here are my answers:
The struggle is real
1.I could really use another Dharma Dog Karma Cat bed. The female human won a beautiful bed for us and Alberto seems to have claimed it as his own. I quite like it too. Come to think of it though, if the Humans get another bed, I’d prefer something a bit wider as getting into this one is a tight squeeze.
2.The Panhandle Animal Shelteris a charity I like to support. Well, actually we send the female human out to do a table at the annual fund raiser and to share some of our pawsome swag with the shelter cats there. But I am a big supporter as this is where my brother Alberto and I came from as well as Lily,
Check out his tail, wasn’t much left to glue. MOL
3. One time I broke one of The Female Human’s favorite pottery birds and The Male Human hid it so I wouldn’t get in trouble. She found it eventually and attempted to glue the tail back on but it’s never been the same.
4. I wish that I had known what a great cuddle buddy Tucker is when I was younger.
Lilly here. I’m another happy Tribe of Five Member who was adopted from our local shelter (Panhandle Animal Shelter). They do lots of great things there but this is one of my favorites. It’s called the Home to Home program and what it does is allow the shelter to help dogs and cats find new furever homes.
Now why, you may ask, would a dog or cat need a NEW home if they already have a home? Here’s what the PAS website has to say about it:
“With an increase in owner surrenders in the past few years, Home to Home was developed to assist in rehoming pets in a manner that causes less stress. As much as we like to think our shelter is a happy place, it isn’t a home and can be stressful for the animals.
The number one reason for surrendering pets is an unavoidable change in living situations. A perfect opportunity to use the Home to Home website would be within the time frame of finding out that relocation is necessary and the actual moving date. Of course, if a suitable new home is not found in time, bringing the animal to the shelter is always an option.”
Sometimes life happens, and with this program, there can be a happy ending for all, the humans who get to meet the new humans that will be loving their pets and the dogs and cats who will go to a new home without every having to stay in the shelter. Two paws up for a win-win situation!
No one ever wants to say goodbye to their fur kids but when things happen, it’s good to know that there is a program like Home to Home.
When we sent the feline human to #BlogPaws in May she had a mission, to obtain signed copies of books from her fellow members of the Cat Writer Association to decorate her table and donate to the auction for our local shelter, The Panhandle Animal Shelter’sannual fund raiser, Hodge Podge at The Lodge. Well those cat writers are generous people and we felt it important to highlight each author who generously donated to our cause.
A note of explanation about the event. Humans sponsor and decorate a table at the event and then invite their human friends to come and bid on auction items and even the tables. Our human is doing a “Litter-Ary Cat table, complete with signed copies of cat books (thanks to the generosity of the human’s fellow Cat Writer’s Association members, cat wines, catnip cigars, cat bookends and other cat-themed library stuff. The human will post pictures after the August 29th event.
I was purrrrticularily excited to learn about Mollie Hunt’s books as she writes a series of cat mysteries and we love mysteries, especially when cats are involved! Mollie generously donated a copy of each of her books in the Crazy Cat Lady series , Cat’s Eyes, Copy Cats and Cat Paw. Mollie’s books feature a heroine, Lynley Cannon who is a cat shelter volunteer and a woman who manages to get tangled in dicey situations. And, the thread that runs through this book series is, of course cats!
Mollie has written other wonderful cat-related books and pieces and she received the prestigious Muse Award in the Health and General Care Blog Category for her blog post, “Life Stages” at this year’s Cat Writer’s Association conference. You can wander on over to her blog and see what Mollie is up to.
The female human enjoyed meeting Mollie and she and The Tribe of Five are very grateful for her contribution to our fund raiser so that we can help shelter kitties in our community find furever homes.
Until my next Litter-Ary feline book review from the other generous authors, grab your copy of Mollie’s books and enjoy.