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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Taking The No-KIll Strategy With Feral Cats

           Photo of feral kitty by Ruth Fremson for the NY Times

This New York Times story gives all cat lovers something important to ponder: How should humans handle the expanding feral cat population, particularly in large urban areas? The solution appears to be down to two options, neither of which are terrific. One is the trap, spay/neuter, release strategy advocated by many animal rights groups like Alley Cat Allies. The idea is that true feral cats really have nowhere else to go but the streets because they are not socialized to humans. The best strategy then, is to unleash an army of volunteers to trap as many cats as possible, take them in for surgery and then release them back to their native colonies. While this option clearly will stop the exponential growth of cat colonies, it does nothing to prevent the cats from "obliterating wildlife", says a representative from the American Bird Conservancy. Statistical counts show that feral and even indoor/outdoor pet cats contribute to millions of backyard bird deaths each year.

And then there's the round 'em up and take 'em to a shelter strategy, which practically ensures that 70% or more will be euthanized. So what to do? We think the good news, at least for the cats, is that the trap, spay/neuter, release strategy is gaining popularity across the country. And in New York City, at least, there's currently about 5,500 or so volunteers ready to ensure that thousands of cats can no longer reproduce—and that is no easy task. We salute these dedicated volunteers in New York and across the country for their generous donation of time and resources to help permanently reduce the feral cat population.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

BlogPaws Wordless Wednesday Pet Blogger Hop!

We're still in the "20's"—21 days until the 2014 BlogPaws Pet Blogging and Social Media Conference that is...in stunning Lake Las Vegas. Check it out! And don't miss this adorable photo of a BlogPaws Community member's beloved pack—they seem to all know they're getting their picture taken...and published!

Meanwhile, back at the Ohio ranch, we managed to go on a hike over the weekend before it...snowed again yesterday!

But we're still waiting on warmer weather to arrive in our neck of the woods. What's the weather like where you live?

Now off to the BlogPaws Wordless Wednesday Pet Blogger Hop! Spring into action and meet some new blogging buddies!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Our Local Dog Shelter Under Investigation

Franklin County Ohio's $18 million dollar dog shelter. Photo courtesy of The Columbus Dispatch

I'm turning this post over to Parental Unit—she's blazing mad and not letting me anywhere near the keyboard!

Parental Unit here. Well, I just knew something was amiss at the Franklin County Dog Shelter and Adoption Center, and this petition for the county commissioners (who oversee the shelter) to do something about it confirms my suspicions...and goes beyond my worst fears. Late last week, a group of concerned citizens, armed with written complaints from shelter employees attended a commisiioners' meeting and demanded that the commissioners investigate their own employees' allegations of wrongdoing. If you read the complaints, you'll see that each complaint is incredibly articulate and well-documented.

I only wish I had known about this plan, because I would have been happy to attend and offer my own testimony (more on that in another post), but I will contact Elizabeth Lessner, a local restaurateur and pit bull advocate whose involvement in the animal rescue community and strong presence on social media led this charge.

Our local newspaper, the Columbus Dispatch, wrote an article about the allegations and the testimony offered at the commissioners' meeting that appears to give a fair, if superficial evaluation of the situation to date. However, it's not just the shelter's lead veterinarian that's under investigation, but the   director of the shelter, Joe Rock, who's oversight (and strange commentary) is being investigated.

I'll be writing more posts about this after I do a bit more investigating. And I will explain why I had reason to believe something was amiss (to put it gently) at the shelter...and why I am "blazing mad".  In the meantime, I'd love to hear your comments.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

A Multi-Talented Dog: Next Stop Broadway!

If this video doesn't make your Saturday, we don't know what will. We were waiting for this pooch to put on his dancin' shoes and head for the bright lights of Broadway! Can your dog play the piano and sing at the same time? 

Stay tuned tomorrow for something a lot more serious, but very important for those who care about what's going on behind the scenes in their community animal shelters.

Friday, April 11, 2014

The Dog's Guide To Outwitting Squirrels

              Illustration by Patricia Wall/ The New York Times

O.K., this guide was really written for humans by humorist, Bill Adler Jr., to keep those glorified rats squirrels from gorging on the birdseed he kindly leaves for his avian friends. This Q&A in yesterdays Times gives you a hint at the way Adler's brain works: "Squirrels have all day long to figure out how to break into your feeder," he says, so Adler's days are spent concocting ways to subvert these bushy-tailed thieves.

In his most recent book, Outwitting Squirrels: 101 cunning Strategies to Reduce Dramatically the Egregious Misappropriation of Seed from Your Birdfeeder by Squirrels, Adler devises even more ways to thwart his backyard nemesis—this is the third edition of the book, by the way—the first was published in 1988, so Adler has had a squirrel problem for quite awhile now.

Does this remind you of anyone you know? Every since my adoption day, I've spent countless hours successfully ridding my backyard and surrounding parks (heck, everywhere I go!) from those nasty varmints. I think Mr. Adler should interview me for the next edition of his book!

                                     Me hard at work...

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