Random Thoughts

7-19-12: A message from the cat:

Where’s the mouse on this thing??

I know I am only a cat, but there are a few things I feel I need to address regarding how we are viewed by some:

First of all, can you tell me the last time you took your kitty to see the vet? Was it when you brought kitty home and you haven’t been back since? You would be surprised. After all, don’t we deserve the same medical attention as Fido (which here’s hoping the dog is current on vaccinations, too).   Not that I love going to the vet, but the rabies vaccination is required by law for dogs and cats over a certain age. Vaccinations are not a one time thing. Most are an annual event.

Next, if you love us, why do you let us out of the house without a harness or ID? The Mason City Stray Animal Shelter is overflowing with lovely cats that have been trapped or picked up by the Animal Control Officer, without identification. Just so you know, the reclaim rate of cats is dismal, at best. If your kitty is missing, try checking there first- but better yet, don’t let us out, no matter how much we think we need to go out! There are many hazards outside, including cars, traps, dogs, inclement weather, angry neighbors, etc. Can you imagine your pet sitting in a trap in 90 degree heat, pouring rain, or below zero weather for hours on end? Or worse, becoming prey to some other free-roaming creature of the wild?

Please have me spayed or neutered!!  If you adopted from the Humane Society of North Iowa, this would not be an issue, but if you didn’t, this responsibility falls on you. This procedure makes us better, happier and healthier pets, not to mention prevents unwanted kittens!

Last but not least, for some reason, I often get the impression that people think cats are disposable, just because we are smart and independent (good looking, too, in my case). Please don’t impulse buy because of my cuteness, only to dump or return me later.  Think through pet ownership, before acting on it. We rely on you. And after all, don’t we meet you at the door when you come home? Or watch TV with you every evening? We are much less work than the dog (and smarter, too, but that is just my opinion!), fitting in well with your busy life. Please give us the life and love we deserve. Thanks for letting me vent. I feel a cat nap coming on, so I am signing off.  Meow!

6-20-12: What to do if you find a stray

About once a week we have people that call or show up with an animal they found as stray and don’t know what to do with it.  In some cases, we are able to help, in other cases, we are not. Here is a great guide from HSUS about what you should do (and what you should think about!) if you find a stray animal:  What to do if you find a stray

The BEST rule of thumb is to work with your local law enforcement agency or animal control first. They will refer you to us if necessary. Thank you!

5-2-12:  The difference between “adoption” and “free”

Recently,  a person asked why our cat adoption fees were so high (they range from $105-$115) and suggested we lower them in order to adopt our more cats.   She also stated that it made more sense to just get a “free” cat out of the newspaper.  I’m sure other people may have this same thought too so I thought I’d share my response here too.  This was my response:

Sarah-Our adoption fee covers all the veterinarian work we put into the animal (spay/neuter, rabies vaccination, etc…) If you get a “free” cat from the paper, then you have to get all that work done on your own and it costs WAY more than $105. Believe me, we checked!!

I hear this argument from a lot of folks though. And sometimes they will go out and get a “free” cat from the paper and then NOT get it spayed. A majority of the time, it eventually ends up pregnant (accidentally gets out of the house, neighbors cat sneaks over, etc…). Guess who gets called to take the kittens? The Humane Society of North Iowa! Then we end up taking care of the kittens that were the result of a person who didn’t want to invest $105 to rescue an altered shelter cat and instead wanted a “free” cat. It’s a very ugly cycle! 🙁

Lastly….when a person makes the commitment to adopt a pet into their lives (whether it’s from us or not) they need to do so with the understanding that it will cost them several hundreds dollars to provide proper care to that pet. Annual vet visits, proper nutrition and unforeseen expenses are something pet owners need to be prepared for. At the Humane Society of North Iowa, we feel that if you are not able to afford the adoption fee, you might not be able to afford the ongoing fees of pet ownership. Make sense?

Thanks for your comments and I hope that I’ve been able to shed some light on the subject and that when you are ready you will consider rescuing a shelter pet that is spayed/neutered so that you do not contribute to a burgeoning pet population!!! 🙂

Here’s some more information about adopted versus “free”: http://hsni.router12.net/?page_id=539 

4-24-12: Please don’t dump your pets!

The Humane Society of North Iowa is closed on Sundays and Mondays.  Yesterday (a Monday), someone “dumped” two kitties off on our front door anyway.  No kennel, no box, no leashes or collars.  Just dumped the cats and drove off!

Fortunately, one of our kennellers that was working inside just happened to see these poor kitties wandering around and was able to get them inside to safety.  (all we had to do was say “Here kitty kitty!”, so these are obviously friendly kitties!)

When the shelter is closed to the public and the front doors are locked, our kennel staff is busy in the back of the building with the shelter animals and are not usually out front and would not normally see an animal that has been dumped by the front door.  If you dump your pet off when we are closed and no one here sees it, heres what could happen:

  • if you dump your pet off in a box or kennel it could sit there overnight (or longer) until shelter staff sees the kennel or box.
  • Your pet is subjected to the elements and is without food and water during that time.
  • Your pet can become prey to the numerous predatory animals that reside in the wildlife habitat of South Birch Drive.
  • And, in the case of the two cats that were dumped yesterday with no kennel.  Had we not seen them right away, they would have most certainly wandered off and been left to fend for themselves in the wooded unfamiliar area along South Birch Drive.  If your intent was to help these cats by bringing them to the shelter, dumping them without a kennel was a significant risk to them!!  They were very lucky that we saw them and were able to get them in the building before they wandered off.

If you truly care about your pets, PLEASE don’t tie them our door or dump them in our yard!  We have solutions for you…you just need to call us and work with us!   Thank you!

9-8-11:  We are not a vet clinic!!

Sadly, it is a frequent occurrence that a person will show up at the Humane Society of North Iowa shelter with a sick, diseased or injured animal.  Sometimes it is a stray animal they found, often it is their own pet they cannot afford to provide care for.

The Humane Society of North Iowa does not have an on site veterinarian, nor do we have a veterinarian that provides free services to us.  We do not have the ability or knowledge to assess the seriousness of an animal’s injury or illness.  We do not have the funds to assist with medical care or euthanasia.

By bringing a sick or diseased animal to the shelter for help, you run the risk of spreading a serious illness throughout the shelter and jeopardizing the health of the other animals here.

If you have found an injured stray animal, please do not move it.  Call local law enforcement in your area and ask them for assistance.  If your own pet is injured, please call your veterinarian and discuss your treatment and payment options.