Archive | March, 2014

Fort Collins Critter Events March 28th – April 4th

Briethecat

I’m excited it’s Friday, how about you? If you are ready to add in some fun critter events to the schedule, here you go! This week’s adoptable is sweet little 3 year old domestic short hair Brie. According to her profile she is wonderfully sweet and purrs endlessly. Sounds like a great cat to me and she is so interesting looking to boot! You can visit her at the Fort Collins Cat Rescue/Spay & Neuter Clinic. and she is current on all her shots.

Saturday March 29th 

Spring Fling Seminar Day with Charles Clarkson – The World of Birds - Fort Collins Audubon Society 

When: March 29th 8:30 a. – 4:30 p.m.

Where: Drake Center on Drake Road

Contact: Hildy Morgan at hildy.morgan@gmail.com or 970.223.3493

Dr. Charles Clarkson, professor of orni-thology, ecology, and conservation at Roger Williams University, will be the featured speaker, discussing how the biology of birds has baffled scientists for years, the science behind feathers and flight, survival: a year in the life of a bird, how birds cope with a changing planet, and what can I do? : The Power of One

Sunday, March 30th 

Animal House Rescue and Grooming Adoption Event

Ok, so this one is in Loveland, but if you are interested in getting connected with some adorable puppies, why not check it out, and get a beer at the same time?

When: 1 – 4 p.m.

Where: Verboten Brewery 1550 Taurus Ct, Loveland, CO 80537

Thursday, April 3rd

Family Farm Day at Laughing Buck Farm!

When: First Thursday of every month

Where: 3724 N County Road 13, Fort Collins, CO 80524

Cost: $1.00

Join us for only a buck to come out and get some farm fun: chase a chicken, hug a goat, talk to a pony, play in the hay barn, and just roam the farm with your kiddos. Adults are free with kid supervision. There will be goat milking at 11:30 and story at 12:30 in the orchard so bring a bagged lunch and enjoy the farm.

Friday April 4th 

Heritage Circle Luncheon hosted by the Larimer Humane Society 

When: 12 – 1:30 p.m.

Where: At the shelter 6317 Kyle Avenue, Fort Collins, CO 80525

Join us for an inspirational lunch and informative program to learn how you can leave a legacy for animals in need. This program will also include the latest news about our plans for a new shelter. For more information, call Christina at 970-530-2945, or emaildevelopment@larimerhumane.org.

Save the Date:

Saturday, April 5th 

Kitten season is here, which means that fostering cats is one of the best ways to help shelters manage the big influx of new arrivals. If you are interested in fostering, check out the training hosted by Fort Collins Cat Rescue and Spay/Neuter Clinic.

When: 6 – 7 p.m.

Where: 2321 E. Mulberry Street, Fort Collins

Free Art Afternoon for Kiddos to Celebrate Be Kind to Animals Week: Sponsored by Larimer Humane Society and Fort Collins Cat Rescue & Spay/Neuter Clinic

When: April 6th from 3 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Where: Art Lab, 239 Linden Street Fort Collins, 80524

Cost: Free, but you do have to sign up  http://vols.pt/BCCLfP. All you need to do is enter your email address, not register for an account and then you will get an automated response.

To commemorate “Be Kind to Animals Week” (May 5-11), young artists are encouraged to submit posters related to the theme “Love a Shelter Pet” by April 11. Larimer Humane Society and Fort Collins Cat Rescue and Spay/Neuter Clinic are hosting a free art afternoon at ArtLab Fort Collins where children ages K-5th grade and their families are invited to have some creative fun making posters for the contest while also learning about how to help shelter animals. Light refreshments will be served, and children may bring their own art supplies, but materials will also be made available.

Children do not have to attend the ArtLab event to enter the contest but can also submit posters they make at home or school. For complete entry guidelines contact either of the sponsor organizations to learn more. Posters must be dropped off by April 11 at Fort Collins Cat Rescue & Spay/Neuter Clinic (2321 E. Mulberry St. #1, Fort Collins) or the Loveland Cat Adoption & Resource Center (621 E. Eisenhower Blvd., Loveland).

Getting to Know the Colorado Reptile Humane Society

editediguana

Iguana’s always look like dinosaurs to me!

Reptiles have always been a bit mysterious to me with their dinosaur-like look, scaly skin and mesmerizing eyes. While working in WildKind, I got to spend time with lots of different reptiles including turtles, iguanas, bearded dragons and more, learning more about their behaviors and specific health needs. What I discovered is how delicate and special reptiles are because they haven’t been domesticated — and continue to live and behave as they have for hundreds of years. That makes them even cooler, but definitely a more non-traditional pet.

Now that the WildKind arm of Larimer Humane Society is closed, I was curious what organization handles local homeless reptiles, fostering them until they can find good homes. I stumbled upon The Colorado Reptile Humane Society (CORHS) located in Longmont, Colorado, and currently the only reptile humane society in the state. Clearly all the reptiles that need good homes can’t be managed by one small facility? Well, that is part of the problem, Colorado has only one.

editedbaskingturtles3

Couple of red-eared sliders hanging out.

What is Colorado Reptile Humane Society?

I was interested in learning more about COHRS; what they do, how they care for injured and relinquished reptiles and how they find them new loving homes while also providing a great community service unmatched by any other shelter.

Executive Director Ann Elizabeth Nash and Head Volunteer and Foster Care Coordinator Teri Moody were kind enough to talk with me about the unique loving work they do.

COHRS is well-equipped and run by great volunteers trained in specialized reptile care. The mission for CORHS is to work to improve the lives of reptiles and amphibians in captivity and in the wild through education and action. This year, Colorado Reptile Humane Society is celebrating 15 years of caring for and re-homeing reptiles.

The crazy part is that the idea behind the organization started out as a pet-sitting gig.

Nash was pet-sitting for a friend’s iguana and wanted to learn more about their care. Soon she started getting connected with more people struggling with iguana care and looking to rehome them. Nash took it as a sign to put something together to support her growing reptile family, and started a Colorado Reptile Rescue in Boulder.

In 2000 she moved to Longmont to expand the habitat for the animals, and in 2004 officially changed the name to the Colorado Reptile Humane Society. This shift helped change the perception that the intention was to only take injured or animals with dire needs, and instead, created an organization that also provides education, rehoming and other services for reptiles.

loneturtle

CORHS currently cares for:

  • Land and aquatic turtles
  • Small lizards
  • Tortoises
  • Snakes
  • Leopard geckos
  • Iguanas
  • Monitors
  • A few alligators and caymans (they ship to a sanctuary in Florida)

They coordinate with other humane societies to transfer animals to more suitable habitats if necessary, but CORHS is the only one specializing in reptiles.

BOA

Rosy Boa

Life at the Shelter

Nash very carefully manages her on-site reptile population. “At the shelter we control our numbers through internal caps that can comfortably fit in the space, the mix of species that can safely cohabitate and animals that can be adopted out in 9 – 12 months time,” says Nash. It’s how she keeps things safe and manageable for the staff and reptile guests.

“We are very right-sized for the number of volunteers we can recruit and the donations we receive — it’s perfect in all ways; space, money and vet care.”

“Another important part of our mission is to teach people the best way to care for a reptile to offer it a quality life, not just an existence. We advocate adult training sessions because reptile care is a bit too advanced for children to manage on their own. An agreement as a family to care for the reptile is best,” adds Nash.

Keeping the wheels of the shelter running starts with donations. “Sometimes large organizations will donate a portion of funds raised from events,” says Moody, head volunteer and foster care coordinator. Paper towels and garbage bags are great donation items (it’s too hard to donate produce), and donated equipment is one of the best ways to help. We can sell it to people who want to adopt or use it for foster programs,” says Moody. “Through the Foster Care Program, CORHS supplies the equipment –lights, heat, tanks and other necessities and training for that particular animal.”

As for the animals they take in, “sometimes people are having an issue with a reptile or don’t realize how much work and specialized care they require,” adds Moody. “We also receive animals confiscated during arrests or from people who have passed away or during natural disasters like the latest flood.”

Leopard Gecko

Leopard Gecko

Community Responsibility

Changes regarding reptile care need to be reflected and practiced by the community, and that starts with more extensive education about reptiles. “Reptiles are like different breeds of dogs or cats, and have natural traits you like or dislike. With reptiles, your enjoyment needs to come from their natural behaviors ( not lap animals or necessarily calm), and you need to find the type of reptile that matches your lifestyle,” says Nash.

She also told me it’s currently legal to buy and ship reptiles through the mail. This not only contributes to a population problem, but puts these animals in the hands of people that may not fully understand how to care for them and provide a habitat that works for the breed. Little to no regulation regarding sale or distribution has an impact on the community, and where those unwanted reptiles end up.

Sudan Plated Lizard

Sudan Plated Lizard

I asked Nash to reflect on what she would like to see after 15 years of caring for reptiles, knowing the challenges they face. “In some ways there are improvements, but very minimal ones. What are other shelters doing to learn to care for more these specialized animals? How are we really making sure the animals are being treated well? They may be alive, but what is their quality of life?”

Definitely all very important questions. What do you think? Are you for more regulations on the sale and education of reptiles before purchase through pet stores or shelters?

If you would like to visit the facility, CORHS is hosting an open house fundraiser on June 22nd. Be sure to visit the site for details. In the meantime, contact them about volunteer opportunities or donating.

 

Fort Collins Critter Events March 21st – March 28th

Foxy

This week we have some adoption events, vaccine clinics and a few really cool “Save the Date” events. This time of year it’s important to check on events regularly, as many have sign-up requirements that need to be completed earlier than the “day of”. This week’s adoptable is Foxy, and she is at Animal House Rescue and Grooming. This three- year-old Terrier Yorkshire Mix is smart, fun and full of energy, and  looking for an active adult home!

Saturday, March 22nd 

All Aboard Animal Rescue and Shelter Pet Adoption Event at The Pet Club 

When: 9 a.m. – 12

Where: Pet Club at 22226 E Harmony Road

They have an adoption event every Saturday that changes locations. Be sure to check their Facebook page for more details each week.

Low-Cost Vaccination Clinic for Fort Collins Cat Rescue Spay & Neuter Clinic 

When: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Where: 2321 E. Mulberry St., Unit 9, Fort Collins

Tuesday, March 25th 

Low-Cost Vaccination Clinic for Fort Collins Cat Rescue Spay & Neuter Clinic 

When: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Where: FCCRSNC Clinic, 2321 E. Mulberry St., Unit 9, Fort Collins

Wednesday, March 26th 

Registration opens for the 24th Annual Fire Hydrant 5!

Larimer Humane Society is pleased to present the 24th Annual Fire Hydrant 5, 5K Walk/Run & Pet Expo at Edora Park, Fort Collins. The event begins with a family-and dog-friendly 5K walk/run through Edora Park and its surrounding neighborhood, followed by the pet expo featuring over 50 booth venders catering to pet lovers, athletes, families, and more! The pet expo is also host to the 5K top finisher and top team awards as well as the popular pet contest showcase. Visit the site or call for more details: 970-530-2945

Save the Date:

Spring Fling Seminar Day with Charles Clarkson – The World of Birds – Fort Collins Audubon Society 

When: March 29th 8:30 a. – 4:30 p.m.

Where: Drake Center on Drake Road

Contact: Hildy Morgan at hildy.morgan@gmail.com or 970.223.3493

Dr. Charles Clarkson, professor of orni-thology, ecology, and conservation at Roger Williams University, will be the featured speaker, discussing how the biology of birds has baffled scientists for years, the science behind feathers and flight, survival: a year in the life of a bird, how birds cope with a changing planet, and what can I do?: the power of one.

Free Art Afternoon for Kiddos to Celebrate Be Kind to Animals Week: Sponsored by Larimer Humane Society and Fort Collins Cat Rescue & Spay/Neuter Clinic

When: April 6th from 3 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Where: Art Lab, 239 Linden Street Fort Collins, 80524

Cost: Free, but you do have to sign up  http://vols.pt/BCCLfP. All you need to do is enter your email address, not register for an account and then you will get an automated response.

To commemorate “Be Kind to Animals Week” (May 5-11), young artists are encouraged to submit posters related to the theme “Love a Shelter Pet” by April 11. Larimer Humane Society and Fort Collins Cat Rescue and Spay/Neuter Clinic are hosting a free art afternoon at ArtLab Fort Collins where children ages K-5th grade and their families are invited to have some creative fun making posters for the contest while also learning about how to help shelter animals. Light refreshments will be served, and children may bring their own art supplies, but materials will also be made available.

Children do not have to attend the ArtLab event to enter the contest but can also submit posters they make at home or school. For complete entry guidelines contact either of the sponsor organizations to learn more. Posters must be dropped off by April 11 at Fort Collins Cat Rescue & Spay/Neuter Clinic (2321 E. Mulberry St. #1, Fort Collins) or the Loveland Cat Adoption & Resource Center (621 E. Eisenhower Blvd., Loveland).

Pet Etiquette in Fort Collins: How Do we Rate?

groupdogsplaying

In a city like Fort Collins, pets are a large part of our lifestyle. They join us on trips, during a stroll through Old Town or to hang out with friends and family at social gatherings. Although dogs are the most mobile, cats are part of the mix when it comes to dealing with neighbors or guests in the home. And what about exotic pets that need delicate handling? Should friends and guests be interacting with them at all?

Creating clear boundaries as a pet owner and “admirer” is essential to handling situations when pets and people come together, but both sides don’t always agree on the rules of pet etiquette. That being said, what exactly ARE the rules of pet etiquette? What is appropriate for people to do or expect? Well, aside from the picking up after your pet kind of thing…

Bunnypets

Animals, Owners and Using Common Sense to Read the Room

Animals can be a bit unpredictable. Even the best trained animals have slips ups.

For example, my friend had us over for a holiday dinner, and I made Snickerdoodles from scratch. We left them on the table with the rest of the pot luck items, and a while later we hear a crash. I asked my friend if we should go check and see if the dog got anything off the table, and she immediately said, “He knows better than to do that, so it’s all good.” A few minutes later I wander into the kitchen for something else, and sure enough, he was gobbling down the last of my cookies. Not only was my friend totally surprised, but mortified because she is an excellent dog trainer.

This is a funny example, but it can also be a bit more dangerous if you aren’t mindful of your surroundings and reading clues. That means it’s up to you to read room and make the best choice. In my opinion and in my experience as a pet sitter, the animal and owner give you clear signals, if you pay attention.

Here are a few common scenarios I think can help people on both sides of the fence (pun intended) and support healthier human/animal interactions.

pet snake Mango on Irina Jordan's hands...

Man-handling someone’s animal while you are out and about in town or visiting a person’s home. Always ask an owner first if it’s OK to pet their animal, and watch for the animals’ reaction to see if they are OK with it too. After all, they are the one getting touched and you wouldn’t like it if someone started randomly groping you! Each pet is different, and needs to be approached differently to see if they are receptive.

kidswithpets

Mind your kiddos! Be sure children don’t get too close and startle a pet and vice versa – that can cause stress for everyone involved. This situation can be a bit more challenging when you are visiting a person’s home, but it’s important that someone supervise kiddos (especially young ones) because the rules that apply in your house with your pets, may not fly at friend’s house. It’s also a good idea to ask people about a pet’s disposition before you come to their home with children.

Managing how your pet interacts with other humans and pets. Don’t assume everyone you meet wants to connect with your pet, especially at common community events like fairs and farmer’s markets. What you think is cute other people may find annoying and invasive. I’ve known dogs that jump up on me while their owners are standing there and nothing is done to restrain them, aside from a verbal reprimand. As a short, petite person, when large dogs do this it’s a bit intimidating. As a defense, I usually gently knee a dog in the chest, but, it shouldn’t have to get to that point. Just know that is an acceptable reaction to get the dog to come down to all fours.

Pet interaction is obviously also a common issue in parks and with dogs off-leash. As the enforcement of leash laws for dogs becomes more restrictive in Fort Collins, it will be interesting to see how this impacts clashes. Dog parks can also be full of challenging behavior cases as the dogs run and do their thing, and not all owners are equally mindful. Do your best to check out the situation each time and see if it’s a park that will actually work for you and your dog before you let set them free.

catinleaves

Cats, neighbors and leash laws. Despite the fact we have a leash law for cats in Fort Collins, cats are still out and about in many neighborhoods. I’m fine with indoor/outdoor cats, but neighbors (especially with HOA’s and beautiful gardens are typically not). While I’m bummed my cats now have to stay indoors, I also think neighbors need to relax a bit when dealing with cats and their behaviors. Yes they sometimes dig into gardens, but there are also things you can do to keep them out. And who’s to say it’s definitely a cat and not a wild animal?

These common scenarios just scratch the surface of sharing life with other people and pets, but are common things that happen in a pet-friendly city. What do you think about how people and pets get along in Fort Collins? Are they courteous or clueless? What things drive you crazy? 

I also wanted to end this post saying that I’m so thrilled Oreo, official kitty of the Armstrong Hotel, has been reunited with his owners. He is an amazing cat I’m so glad you are all back safe and happy together! As for the people who took him, you clearly have no clue about pet etiquette or possess even a shred of common sense. You took an animal away from his safe home and abandoned them, risking their life and terrifying them to boot. Shame on you.

Photo credit: Jacob Feuer , Katie, Nataliya Ford, Greg Eichelberger 

Fort Collins Critter Events for March 14th – 21st

Figaro

Happy almost St. Patty’s Day! There are definitely some great pet specials to help celebrate during the weekend. Today’s featured green-eyed adoptable is Figaro, a domestic medium hair large adult male at the Fort Collins Cat Rescue & Spay/Neuter Clinic. He has lived with other cats, kids and dogs before and did well! He’s sweet, vocal and loves to be by your side. Figaro does need to be on a special hypoallergenic diet, but his  sensitive stomach seems to be completely manageable. He is a  member of the “Silver Whiskers Club”, which means the adoption fee is waived for the right home, and you can can get the special diet for a discounted price through the shelter for a year. So cute!

Saturday, March 15th

Cat Caravan Adoption Fair with the Fort Collins Cat Rescue & Spay/Neuter Clinic

When: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Where: Farm at Lee Martinez Park, 600 Sherwood Street, Fort Collins CO

Come celebrate St. Cat-rick’s Day! Off-site adoption event for kittens and cats. $10 adoption fees for adult cats 6-months or older. They are also sending kittens home with starter kits.

Natural Pet Marketplace in Windsor, Hosting Big Bones Canine Rescue

When: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Where: 1550 Main Street, Suite #130 Windsor, CO 80550 Phone: 970-587-7427

Sunday, March 16th 

Games to Play with your Dog: Presented by Ashley Foster of Complete K-9 and Sponsored by Larimer Animal People Partnership

When: 3 – 4:30 p.m.

Where: FRCC/Harmony Library

You are invited to come and learn with us and get some great ideas about how to positively interact with your pet in play. No pets please. This talk is limited to the human end of the leash. RSVP to y_hanning@yahoo.com.

Foster will cover the benefits of playing games:

  • Bonding with your pet
  • Mental Stimulation
  • Physical Benefits
  • Improves communication
  • Helps reinforce training
  • It’s FUN!

Wednesday, March 19th

Canine Health and Wellness Education, Feline Health and Wellness Education, Pet Care Professional Continuing Education

When: 6:30 – 7:30

Where: Loveland Public Library, 300 N. Adams

Cost: Free

This informative lecture will cover the following: What causes heart disease, signs in dogs and cats, management, prevention and crisis prevention.

Thursday, March 20th

Foster Home Training at the Fort Collins Cat Rescue & Spay/Neuter Clinic  

When: 7 pm – 8 pm

Where: FCCRSNC Shelter, 2321 E. Mulberry St. #1, Fort Collins

We’re recruiting volunteers to open their hearts and homes to abandoned cats and kittens in need! Apply online

Pet Specials!

March 14th – 17th at the Larimer Humane Society 

$5 adult cats and 1/2-priced adult dogs one year or older Friday through Monday! We have lots of mature pets with tons of love left to give. Visit us this weekend and it could just be your lucky day

If you have any upcoming events you want to tell me about, shoot me an email at katrina@tailsoffortcollins.com. Thanks for reading!