You Made It Happen!

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!

Remember Me Thursday. See The Light for Pet Adoption.

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.

Panhandle Animal shelter Executive Director Mandy Evans, photo from Bonner County Daily Bee

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 info@pasidaho.org.

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 info@pasidaho.org

What You Can Do Today

Light a candle for a beloved pet you rescued from a shelter

Visit the candle gallery

Meet the sponsors and spokespeople

Every member of The Tribe, past and present were adopted.

Walk Through The Web Wednesday 8/26

siamese cat on a leash walking through a garden

Happy Wednesday Furiends,
I hope your week is going well. Here at Tribe Headquarters we are getting ready for one of our favorite events of the year Remember Me Thursday This world wide event was initiated by Helen Woodward Animal Center and is a time to see the light on animal adoption.

Each year bloggers purrticipate in this event and, as feline bloggers, I feel it’s important that we purrticipate too. The first thing we did was send The Human over to enter her story (about us of course) in the Remember Me Thursday contest. We encourage all our furiends to enter as the three top prizes go the shelter the winners choose. This year they are adding something exciting and that is the public will be voting on the finalists! We sure would love to win any of these prizes for our local shelter Panhandle Animal Shelter:

1st place – $5,000 monetary prize, 1,000 pounds of Blue Buffalo pet food and 100 Kong toys
2nd Place – $2,500 monetary prize, 1,000 pounds of Blue Buffalo pet food and 100 Kong toys
3rd place – $1,000 monetary prize, 1,000 pounds of Blue Buffalo pet food and 100 Kong toys

So tell your humans to get out their cameras and enter your “rescued self” in the contest.

You’ll be seeing lots more fun stuff from us about this wonderful event.





But now it it’s time for us to get to the best of feline news on the web.

UK’s first dedicated ophthalmology referral clinic for cats

Our Angel Tucker had vision issues

Lots of kitties l have eye issues. Our Angel Tucker had some serious depth perception issues that resulted in him plunging 35 feet down into a ravine, which is why we were thrilled to hear that the London Cat Clinic is launching the UK’s first and only dedicated ophthalmology clinic for cats. I sent our Purrsonal Assistant to google to see if there was such a dedicated feline ophthalmic clinic in the US but she could only find “animal eye clinics”, nothing specifically for felines.

The clinic will be headed up by Dr Ursula Dietrich, an RCVS Specialist in Veterinary Ophthalmology, who will be stepping down as senior lecturer in veterinary ophthalmology at The Royal Veterinary College to take up her new post. Dr. Dietrich has some impressive credentials!  She said, “ “I am thrilled to take on this new role, heading up The London Cat Clinic’s new opthalmology centre. The clinic is doing wonderful things in feline veterinary care as the largest specialist practice devoted solely to cats in the UK. The ophthalmology service is the next exciting development in achieving our goal of being a centre of excellence in feline veterinary medicine.”

This is very exciting and for our readers in the UK, if you are interested in finding out about referring a case you can get information at their website.

Some states have official state pets

Cowboy Cat Alberto ready to represent for Idaho

Not every state has a state dog and fewer have state cats. I think this is a travesty that should be corrected posthaste!

Some states have even designated rescue dogs or shelter dogs but cats have been, for the most part ignored.  The state of Maine is enlightened and their state cat is….you guessed it…the Maine Coon. Maryland selected the calico cat because the cat’s colors (orange, black and white) match the colors of the state bird, the oriole, and the state insect, the Baltimore checkerspot butterfly.

Massachusetts chose the Tabby as their state representative. The choice was given over to school children in 1998.  Now there are some states that recognize shelter cats as their state cats but they are few.

My furiends, I call you to action! If your state does not have a state cat you need to start clawing a note to your elected officials!

Saved by a whisker: Cat charity’s helping hand to owners in crisis

The director of our local shelter (Panhandle Animal Shelter), Mandy Evans would love to see our facility emptied of animals because she believes there is so much more shelters can do than just house dogs and cats. Maneki Neko, a cat rescue charity in Preston, Australia felt the same way when a young woman preparing to enter drug rehab faced the dilemma of having nowhere for her two cats Brittany and Don to stay while she was away and rehoming them was not an option. She said, “They’ve been loyal through all the stuff that I’ve been through. They’re there when I’m upset. They’re steady and a comfort. They haven’t given up on me yet.”

The woman had no close family and couldn’t afford commercial boarding. Friends’ promises to look after her cats did not come through. In a “last-ditch effort”, the day before rehab started in March, she contacted Maneki Neko rescue.

The charity housed and fed her pets for two months, for free, while Karli went to rehab. Today she lives in a new home with her beloved felines. She said that Brittany and Don meant everything to her and she wouldn’t have gone into rehab if they hadn’t been looked after.

Crisis accommodation, or the Feline Friends Assistance Program, is a new arm of Maneki Neko Cat Rescue, which also offers adoptions and has a cat cafe, which is closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. A crowdfunding appeal aims to raise $15,000 for its Preston headquarters to continue boarding up to six cats at a time in cases such as Karli’s.

Paws Up award by FelineOpines.net for humans who do amazing things for cats

Other humans who are fleeing domestic violence, facing eviction or going into the hospital would be able to temporarily board their feline fur kids at Maneki Neko and help fund their cat café that had to be closed due to the shutdown.

We give the good folks at Maneki Neko our Paws Up award and hope other rescues and shelters will create a Feline Friends Assistance Program in their cities.

Tower library in Tianjin is cat’s meow

A visitor to the library in Tianjin, China had a pleasant surprise when visiting. The library is located inside Tianjin Tower, which rises to 415.2 meters (over 1362 feet).  He found seven cats prowling amongst the bookshelves.

These seven cats began their duties as “intern curators” at the tower library on August 24th.  The cats represent a variety of breeds-ragdoll, exotic shorthair and chinchilla, to name a few and all are about a year old.

After reopening the library recently,  with the addition of the felines, the staff noted that it will be a place where lonely people can find feline friendship and encourage people to read more.

The library will be hosting activities, including some for the fans of the library cats such as photo ops, reader events with the cats and an event to celebrate the Chinese holiday Double Seven Day, which is similar to our Valentine’s Day.

Mittens the cat could become New Zealander of the Year

Well I say it’s about time felines received some of these prestigious honors. Mittens, a feline from Wellington is in the running to be voted New Zealander of the Year, going up against Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Director-General of Health Dr. Ashley Bloomfield.

The feline joins a host of nominees for the annual Kiwibank award, including figures from sectors such as politics, media, health, music and design.

Mittens, a handsome Turkish Angora, has his own private Facebook group with more than   52,000 followers. 

The Wellington Museum has also dedicated a mini exhibition to Mittens and his adventures, named “Floofy and Famous.” And as if all this fame isn’t enough, the Mayor of Wellington gave Mittens the key to the city in May. The last key given went to “The Lord of the Rings” director Peter Jackson.

And how did Mittens earn this honor? The proclamation stated it was presented “in recognition of bringing happiness, laughter and coolness to the capital — and putting the city on the map internationally with his feline antics,”

Nominations close on August 30 and judging panels will evaluate the merits of all the candidates. Overall winners will be announced on March 18 2021.

I don’t know about  you but this feline believes Mittens is a shoe in.

Walk Through The Web Wednesday 9/25

siamese cat on a leash walking through a garden

Hello There Furiends,

How has your week been going? The Tribe of Five is celebrating #RememberMeThursday all 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 article about 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.

RMT18_Blogger_badge

 

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.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

img_0739

Even shy cats are bonded to their human caregivers. 

final

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.

10 Noises your cat makes and what they all mean

final-1

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.

Why house cats change their sleeping spots so often

final-2

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.

Moscow cat theater turns felines into thespians

ActingCats

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!

Cat survives 15-mile Las Vegas commute in car’s bumper

CatBumper

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Celebrate With Us on Thursday!

Hello,
RMT18_Blogger_badge

It’s The Female Human here and the Tribe gave me some space on this post to tell you that this coming Thursday is one of our favorite days. Please come back on Thursday and join us in celebrating and please share your photos of your adopted kitties on our Facebook page. And don’t forget to check out all the awesome things at the Remember Me Thursday Links. Now I’ll turn it over to The Tribe.

 

 

 

img_2365

final-4

final-3

img_2370

final-1

final