Archive | February, 2014

Critter Events for March 1st-7th

Henrytheblackcat

As the days start to get longer, more animal events are getting added to the schedule as well! Here’s what’s on tap for this week that I was able to find. In honor of the Diamonds Are Furever Whiskers and Wags Jubilee this weekend, I decided to feature an adoptable from the Fort Collins Spay and Neuter Clinic. Henry is 8 years old and a very loyal, loving cat. He would be best as the only cat in the house with calm, older children. A family with dogs could be an option if introduced slowly.

Saturday, March 1st

Rocky Mountain Raptor Program – New Volunteer Orientation

When: 10 a.m. – 11:15

Where: 720 East Vine Drive, Fort Collins, CO 80524

Cost: Free

Contact: Lisa Winta, lisa@rmrp.org or call 970-484-7756

The orientation is designed to be informational only and give you an overview of what is expected of you and what you can expect of the RMRP. We will also outline the next steps involved to progress in volunteer training at the RMRP. Everyone wishing to work in direct contact with the birds should attend this orientation.

Sunday March 2nd

Animal Afternoon at the Library

When: 3 – 4 p.m.

Where: Old Town Library, 201 Peterson Street, Fort Collins, CO

Join Larimer Animal People Partnership volunteers and their special story-loving critters. Enjoy good books and the opportunity to read to friendly animals. For children in grades K-5. 40-60 minutes.

Tuesday March 4th and March 11th

Home School Farm Class at Laughing Buck Farm: Learn All About Chickens! 

When: 12 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Where: At the farm

Cost: $20 per session. Sibling discount is available.

The focus for March is CHICKENS. Learn about chicken behavior, breeds, care and feeding. Together we will clean the chicken coop and paint the coop, creating an interactive art piece that the kids work on together. Sign up for 2 Tuesdays. See the site for more details and sign up.

Save the Same Date for These Two Events: 

Saturday March 8th 

Animal Rescue of the Rockies Adoption Event 

When: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Where: Petco, Fort Collins 2211 S.College Avenue

Come check out the animals up for adoption and take home your next family member!

Frozen Dead Guys through the Rocky Mountain Raptor Program 

When: 10:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Saturday and on on Sunday from 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Where: Wild Bear Mountain Ecology Center, 20 Lakeview Drive, Roosevelt National Forest,Nederland,CO 80466

The Rocky Mountain Raptor Program will be on display during this great Colorado Mountain Tradition.  Frozen Dead Guy Days is held in Nederland Colorado.  We will  have raptors on display in the Wild Bear Nature Center.  Formal presentation times will be 2pm on Saturday and 11am on Sunday. Take this beautiful drive into the Colorado mountains and visit us!

If you have any upcoming events you want to tell me about, shoot me an email at katrina@tailsoffortcollins.com. Have an event that missed the post, shoot me an email anyway and I will share it on social media. Thanks for reading!

Can Legislation Help Curb the Unplanned Pet Population?

straydogpuppies

Spring is just around the corner in Fort Collins, which also means puppy and kitten season is not far behind. The cuteness of “critter babies” is intoxicating at first, but after that surge of serotonin, it’s easy to forget that almost half of the animals born in the United States are unplanned.

This number includes abandoned animals on the side of the road, relinquished litters born from animals that “got out” or animals that simply are never fixed at all. According to the Humane Society of the United States , “there are an estimated 6-8 million homeless animals entering animal shelters every year, and barely half of these animals are adopted.” An estimated 70,000 puppies and kittens are born in the United States every day, compared to approximately 11,000 humans born. I saw this statistic on many online sites, but was unable to get a clear source for it. Even if it’s remotely true, that is insane!

When you think of the overall population numbers, efforts to get ahead of animal sterilization are kind of like trying to catch up to someone on a hiking trail that has a two hour head start. This got me thinking. We just celebrated World Spay Day focused on educating people on the value of spay and neuter and the challenges it creates for the animals and the community, but what if more was done at the legislative level?

I recently saw an article about a proposed ordinance in Chicago called the Companion Animal and Consumer Protection Ordinance. It would prevent pet stores from selling dogs or cats. Instead they would only be able to get available animals from shelters to feature in the store. Would this type of legislation be a better way to go?

straycat

What are Northern Colorado Pet Stores Doing?

In many ways our local chain pet stores in Northern Colorado like PetCo already have very strong relationships with local shelters. They frequently host local non-profits like Fort Collins Cat Rescue and Spay/Neuter Clinic, Animal House Rescue and Grooming, Larimer Humane Society and countless other non-profits, inviting them to bring animals into the store to help with adoption efforts.

I chatted with Brandie Sadian, General Manager from the PetCo in Fort Collins, and she said that PetCo only features pets that come from approved shelters and non-profits. “Our goal is to find forever homes for unwanted animals in shelters and we want to help however we can. Any animals featured in the store have been to the vet and gotten the required shots and most are spayed and neutered,” said Sadian.

Sadian added that if an animal is not already fixed, their purchase contract specifically stipulates that the animal needs to be fixed within a certain time frame. The process to follow up on compliance is determined by the organization adopting out the animal, but can range from a cash deposit that is returned to the owner once proof of spay or neuter is provided or through a follow-up visit. If the animal remains “in tact”, the organization can take it back.

In comparison, competitor PetSmart has a non-profit arm of their company, PetSmart charities, that funds adoption and spay/neuter programs (Fort Collins Cat Rescue gets funding from them) to help do their part regarding animal control. Their efforts help at a local level through grants, however, there are a lot of non-profit organizations fighting for the same dollars nationwide.

But what about the local mom and pop pet stores, or people who set up shop in a parking lot selling critters in the warm weather or on Craigslist? How can you be sure about the health and breeding conditions and health of these animals? Sadian told me that the process followed by PetCo is a corporate one, not a legislative one state-wide. That means you, as a potential pet owner, need to do your due diligence and research who you are buying a pet from and the source of their animals.

straydog

Doing Your Part to Help Curb the Birth of Unplanned Pets

At this point in writing this post, my thoughts drifted to my cat, Monty. I have no idea what happened to the rest of the kittens in his litter or if his barn cat mother ever got fixed. I will never know the papa. At the time I didn’t even think to ask any details – I was just so happy to get my first kitten and welcome him into my home. Because I trusted the person who cared for and trained him I didn’t think much of it, but it doesn’t mean I shouldn’t have been more thorough.

In my personal opinion, legislation would be a great idea. It would take some of the burden off the shelters, help get a better handle on the pet population problem and force all pet stores to adhere to more standardized requirements, similar to the ones outlined by Sadian. But the challenge still lies in the sheer numbers of pets that are not cared for and end up in shelters in the first place. The only way to manage that is to keep on keeping on until more strict legislation or other solutions can help.

What are your thoughts? Would you vote for legislation that puts stronger regulations on the sale of pets in Colorado, specifically how businesses obtain animals for sale and restricting them to collaborating with shelter pets only?

Please note: The photos in this post are not mine, as it would be hard to find timely stray animals. Photos were sourced from Rachid H, cat (unsourced),  Manatari respectively. Sadly, there were many online photos I could have chosen.

Critter Events for February 21st – 28th

CaptainJackCat

Are you ready to brave the wind? If so, here are the upcoming events for this week! Looks like Saturday is an action packed day.

If you are interested in adopting this little cutie, Captain Jack, he’s available through the Fort Collins Cat Rescue and Spay/Neuter Clinic. Captain Jack is a male, adult domestic short hair that really loves other cats. He also does well with dogs and has such an amazing personality. Captain Jack is on a few medications a day to help him with his allergies, but he takes them easily and does not seem bothered by them. He’s currently living in a foster home, so e-mail Carey at carey@fccrsnc.org to find out more information and to visit this wonderful guy.

Saturday, February 22nd 

Rocky Mountain Raptor Program’s Second Chance at Freedom 21st Annual Gala Dinner and Auction 

Join RMRP staff, volunteers, and supporters in an elegant evening of fun to celebrate our work with birds of prey.  Our 21st Annual Auction will prove to be a night of excellent dining, great auction items, fun entertainment, and, of course, the birds!   If you would like to donate an item or be a sponsor, give us a call at 970-484-7756 or send an email to Judy Scherpelz at judy@rmrp.org. Check the website for more details.

When: 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Where: Fort Collins Hilton, 425 East Prospect Road, Fort Collins, CO 80525

Cost: Tickets available at the door for $60

Animal House Rescue and Grooming Adoption Event 

When: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where: Hanks’ Pet Food Market in Loveland from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Low Cost Vaccine Clinic Hosted by the Fort Collins Cat Rescue & Spay/Neuter Clinic 

This clinic includes rabies vaccines and all other vaccines for only $15 – no appointment needed.

When: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Where: 2321 E. Mulberry Street, Fort Collins, CO 805024

Ticket Deadlines on February 22nd! 

Fort Collins Cat Rescue and Spay/Neuter Clinic’s 7th Annual Whisker and Wags Jubilee: Diamonds Are Furever 

Don’t miss the glitz and glamour of the Fort Collins Cat Rescue and Spay/Neuter Clinic’s largest annual fundraiser and the opportunity to dress up and don your diamonds! For more details on the event, including the silent auction, food and the art available for purchase, check out their website.

When: Event is March 1st, but registration deadline is February 22nd! Event starts at 5:30 p.m.

Where: Marriott in Fort Collins, 350 East Horsetooth Road, Fort Collins

Cost: $65 per person

Sunday, February 23rd

Animal Afternoon at the Poudre River Library — Council Tree on Harmony

When: 3 – 4 p.m.

Where: Community Room

Cost: Free

Tuesday, February 25th

It’s World Spay Day! 

Fort Collins Cat Rescue and Spay/Neuter Clinic is offering a special — $20 for up to 25 dogs and 30 cats. Call now to make an appointment! 970-484-1861

February Month-Long Events

Beat the Heat! Special Deal in February ONLY! Offered by Fort Collins Cat Rescue and Spay/Neuter Clinic in collaboration with Pet Smart Charities. Get your female cat fixed for only $20. Call 970-484-1861 to book your appointment, as space is limited.

It’s also National Pet Dental Health Month, focused on the addressing the significance of oral health care for your pets. Check out the post I did earlier this week on the importance of a regular dental health care routine.

Save the Date:

Saturday, March 1st

Rocky Mountain Raptor Program – New Volunteer Orientation

When: 10 a.m. – 11:15

Where: 720 East Vine Drive, Fort Collins, CO 80524

Cost: Free

Contact: Lisa Winta, lisa@rmrp.org or call 970-484-7756

The orientation is designed to be informational only and give you an overview of what is expected of you and what you can expect of the RMRP. We will also outline the next steps involved to progress in volunteer training at the RMRP. Everyone wishing to work in direct contact with the birds should attend this orientation.

If you have any upcoming events you want to tell me about, shoot me an email at katrina@tailsoffortcollins.com. Have an event that missed the post, shoot me an email anyway and I will share it on social media. Thanks for reading!

Helping Pets When their Humans are in Crisis

JakeLHS

Meet Jake, currently adoptable at LHS. He’s A Collie Smooth/German Shepherd, 7 years old.

In Northern Colorado we have great local non-profit animal organizations to help keep animals safe and find them good homes. What you may not know are all the ways non-profits like the Larimer Humane Society (LHS) support animals (and their humans) in “sticky situations” or in crisis. To learn more, I talked with Bill Porter, Captain of Animal Protection & Control to find out more about the other aspects of the LHS at work.

“Larimer Humane Society is like an animal jail, hospital, and foster home all in one,” says Porter. He explains how LHS does their best to keep the animal/human bond intact in a variety of stressful situations, including natural disasters such as floods or fires, down to more personal situations, like if an owner gets arrested or an animal happens to be in the car while the owner is in a traffic accident.

“First and foremost, we will keep the animal safe, take it to the vet if needed and then work with the owner to make sure we can reunite them in a safe environment,” adds Porter.

The Situation Determines the Level of Care

Porter explained to me there is no one defined policy at this time because each situation is unique, and LHS needs to base the level of care on the circumstances. So, I asked him to walk me through a few scenarios to share the “other” kind of animal care they provide.

Natural Disasters

Within the last few years, Northern Colorado has experienced extreme weather that has led to devastating fires and floods. In those moments when owners need to make very fast, educated decisions about how to manage their own safety, pets can sometimes get disconnected from them or lost in the panic of the situation. Quick evacuations can also leave animals in a dangerous area.

“In the case of the floods where people had a little time to prepare, LHS was able to provide dog and kitty daycare. People just needed us to watch their animals while they talked with FEMA, for example,” says Porter. “During the fire danger, we were busing animals out of the fire zone, as many people weren’t sure when they would be back to claim the animal or return to their home.”

“With the most recent fires, LHS took care of approximately 600 animals for displaced folks, including some small farm animals,” says Porter. “We coordinate with other local organizations to manage the large livestock, or they are often taken to the local fairgrounds by the sheriff to get them to safety and manage their care in one location.”

“We will hold onto the animal until people are allowed back in their homes. If people don’t have a home, they will hold onto animals for a few more days at no charge until they can find a temporary residence and reunite,” says Porter.

Savannah is a 5 years old domestic shorthair Tortie, available for adoption now.

Introducing Savannah, a 5 years old domestic shorthair Tortie.

Traffic Accident or Injury that Requires Hospital Care

Sometimes a person is taken to the hospital after a traffic accident or life-altering illness with no time to call friends or family, or there is simply no one around to care for the animal in the owner’s absence. If that happens LHS Animal Control takes the animal into protective custody.

“If someone has to go to the hospital after a traffic accident or something happens in the home (through no fault of their own), LHS will transport and hold onto the animal or animals for five days, at no charge to the owner. We do our best to try to get in touch with the owner as soon as possible and get the animal(s) to a friend of family member if possible, or arrange for a friend or family member to pick it up.

“The most common scenario is a traffic accident. A dog is with the passenger and they are taken to the hospital, so animal control is at the scene to take the animal into custody and examination by a vet. Surprisingly, most the time the animal is just fine, even though it’s scared,” says Porter.

It's a turtle named Ekaterina! How could I resist sharing her photo?

It’s a turtle named Ekaterina! How could I resist sharing her photo?

In Cases of Arrest and Criminal Activity

“In cases where someone is arrested, and the animal is home and no one is taking care of it, LHS Animal Control will take it in.

The level of care provided in this scenario is similar to protective custody. If someone gets arrested for whatever reason, LHS will hold onto the animal for five days, however, fees for animal care are not waived. “Once a person is out of jail they can come get the animal, or approve of someone who can pick up the animal while they are incarcerated,” says Porter. Porter also mentioned that if the pet owner can arrange for someone quickly, the animal can bypass the shelter and go into the trusted care of friends or family.

However, if someone is arrested for drunk driving with an animal in the vehicle, they can be charged with improper treatment of the animal.

In extreme cases like a meth house where dogs are posted outside to help protect the drugs or warn for foot traffic, LHS Animal Control will take in the animals to ensure they don’t harm themselves or others. Animals undergo vet care and a temperament checkup to determine their level of health and safety. “Owners may be charged with animal endangerment based on how they are housed. If inside the house and exposed to drugs, waste, chemicals, poor conditions, owners may be charged with improper treatment of animals,” says Porter.

“LHS is very careful to make sure they are not going to put an animal back into a bad situation, so they investigate and follow up with welfare checks, making sure it’s a habitable environment. There are times when someone is arrested and in jail for a long time with no alternative housing options for the pet so LHS will try to get the animal a good home, after a pet eval for health, temperament and behavior. If it passes, the animal will be neutered and placed up for adoption” says Porter.

Hoarding situations fall into this category. LHS also coordinates with other local organizations like Colorado Reptile Humane Society or Fort Collins Cat Rescue Spay and Neuter Clinic in hoarding cases,  for example, to make sure happy, healthy animals are adopted out to loving homes.

If you’ve had a personal experience or know someone who has received help from a non-profit organization in time of crisis, or adopted an animal that was part of a crisis situation, I would love to hear from you!

Critter Events for February 14th – February 21st

 

healeraussiemixAlfie

Happy Friday and a joyous Valentine’s Day to you! This week we have really cool events happening and some big ones heating up with ticket deadlines, so you better act fast! This week’s adorable adoptable is Alfie, a 1 year old Australian cattle dog mix. He’s looking for a new dedicated owner who would love to play and help him build his confidence around other humans and pets. For more details, you can read up on Alfie on the Animal House Rescue and Grooming site.

Friday February 14th

Happy Valentines’ Day! 

Farm School at Laughing Buck Farm

This is happening today! Feed the chickens, milk the goat, play in hay barn, work and play on the the farm! Fridays are open to kids of all ages. Age 3 and up can attend on their own, mamas are welcome to join their kiddos. Check the webpage for more detail.

Snag a limited edition W.O.L.F. Valentine package for making a $15 donation (or more) on Friday via their website.

Saturday, February 15th 

CSU Behavior Symposium 

Behavior Symposium is a community event held each year to provide animal behavior education and support for the public. This year we are focusing on behavioral issues faced everyday by pet owners and how to start addressing them in a positive and appropriate manner. Additionally, pet relinquishment and shelter training for adoption will be covered in the hopes that we can help more pets stay in their homes or get adopted from shelters and rescues. You can find out the whole schedule and other information and details on their Facebook page.

When: 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Where:  Pathology Building, CSU, Room 101, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80521

Cost: Suggested donation of $15, lunch is provided

Register: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/6WVQXXZ. Questions? Contact The Behavior Club at behaviorcsu@gmail.com

The Behavior Club is a veterinary student-run organization at Colorado State University. The club’s mission is to provide veterinary students with educational opportunities through lectures and hands-on experiences regarding animal behavior. The club does not focus on one particular species of animal, but rather provides behavior and training information for a variety of species including dogs, cats, horses, small ruminants, wildlife, pet birds, and small mammals.

Sunday, February 16th – 22nd is National Justice for Animals Week 

February 21st – 23rd

CSU Third Annual Equine Symposium 

Learn while interacting with fellow equine practitioners, veterinary technicians and veterinary students. The symposium is sponsored by Colorado State University’s Student Chapter of the American Association of Equine Practitioners. All proceeds support the education of CSU equine students. Lectures, case discussions and an optional wet lab.

Get your Tickets!

February 22nd Deadlines! 

Rocky Mountain Raptor Program’s Second Chance at Freedom 21st Annual Gala Dinner and Auction 

Second Chance at Freedom Gala Dinner and Auction Join RMRP staff, volunteers, and supporters in an elegant evening of fun to celebrate our work with birds of prey.  Our 21st Annual Auction will prove to be a night of excellent dining, great auction items, fun entertainment, and, of course, the birds!   If you would like to donate an item or be a sponsor, give us a call at 970-484-7756 or send an email to Judy Scherpelz at judy@rmrp.org. Check the website for more details.

When: 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Where: Fort Collins Hilton, 425 East Prospect Road, Fort Collins, CO 80525

Cost: Some advance sale tickets still available:  Feb. 1-17st:  $55 or $60 at the door.

Fort Collins Cat Rescue and Spay/Neuter Clinic’s 7th Annual Whisker and Wags Jubilee: Diamonds Are Furever 

Don’t miss the glitz and glamour of the Fort Collins Cat Rescue and Spay/Neuter Clinic’s largest annual fundraiser and the opportunity to dress up and don your diamonds! For more details on the event, including the silent auction, food and the art available for purchase, check out their website.

When: Event is March 1st, but registration deadline is February 22nd! Event starts at 5:30

Where: Marriott in Fort Collins, 350 East Horsetooth Road, Fort Collins

Cost: $65 per person

February Month-Long Events

Beat the Heat! Special Deal in February ONLY! Offered by Fort Collins Cat Rescue and Spay/Neuter Clinic in collaboration with Pet Smart Charities. Get your female cat fixed for only $20. Call 970-484-1861 to book your appointment, as space is limited.

It’s also National Pet Dental Health Month, focused on the addressing the significance of oral health care for your pets. Check out the post I did earlier this week on the importance of a regular dental health care routine.