Monday, January 9, 2012

20 for '12

The good news is:  What we're lacking in numbers this week we make up in great triumphs.

Most exciting to animal care and adoption staff is the adoption of Salty and Pepper, ten-year-old sisters who'd been waiting for months to find a forever family. The couple who adopted them had been in to visit with all of our cats multiple times. In the end, they felt that this black-and-white duo had exactly the mellow personalities they were looking for. We couldn’t be more grateful!
Top: Pepper, Salty
Bottom: Salty and Pepper sit nicely for a treat from feline supervisor Kayla.

Chocolate Lab Kip went home with an older couple who was super excited about him. Cat Mansfield found his new family in JUST ONE DAY! Lovely feline lady Tofu had been returned by her adoptive family a month ago when the home environment just didn't prove the right match for her. She was adopted by a new family on Saturday, and we hope she's home to stay this time around.

We have multiple featured adoptees this week, because they all came from the same home.

Husky mix Posey, and cats Wendie, Trout, and Adrianna were four of 20 animals who came from a single household. The three cats were adopted before our photographer, Mountain Dog Photography, could even get photos of them!


Early in December, two town officials arrived at our doors with an emergency situation. A family had been evicted from their home, and the officials entered the premises to find stacks of crates inhabited by animals in the apartment. The animals had ample food and water, but--especially in the case of the cats, who were living, in some cases, three to a crate--not nearly sufficient living space. The town threatened to seize them. Fortunately, the owners agreed to sign the animals over with no cause for legal proceedings.

Under normal circumstances, we accept animals on an appointment-only basis. This helps us avoid overcrowding (and the spread of contagious disease that results), and makes it possible for animals to stay as long as they need to until getting adopted (we don't euthanize for length of stay). However, we're almost always at capacity, so suddenly receiving notice that we need to find room for 20 new animals immediately greatly stresses the system. Fortunately, a local veterinary hospital and dog kennel agreed to house the pets until we were able to make room.

Humane investigator JoAnn Nichols, feline supervisor Kayla Malzac, and shelter manger Allison Stark loaded up the HSCC vehicle with JoAnn's tubs of emergency investigation supplies. They had only two hours available to process the animals--which involved photographing each of them with a specific tag number--and documenting the living conditions they came from. JoAnn, Kayla, and Allie processed two dogs, three rabbits, one rat, two hamsters, and 12 cats that afternoon.


The cats had all been exposed to upper respiratory infection--the feline version of a common cold--which can spread like wildfire in a shelter environment. So they were given a single room to themselves at the shelter while we assessed them for adoption. Fortunately, most of the animals have lovely temperaments, which means they were given plenty of attention and affection. Because of their outgoing natures, they've been quick to leave the adoption floor, once made available! Aside from the four animals listed above, Lyndi the cat was adopted two weeks ago, the two hamsters found new homes in record time for smallies, one kitten was snatched up quickly, and one of the rabbits went home.


Hoarding situations are often like this: the owners love the animals, and want to do the best for them. But because they become overtaxed on space and resources, the animals' wellbeing is compromised. A family who can't make rent payments certainly can't afford spay/neuter surgeries. These cats may have been confined to crates simply to prevent breeding, as there's some evidence that small groups of cats were periodically given free time in the home. And in stark contrast to the lack of space, we did find lots and lots of food stored away for the animals. Our hearts go out to this family, who lost their home and companion animals in one fell swoop. But hopefully, just as the 20 animals were given fresh starts in far better circumstances, we hope this occurrence might afford the family the same kind of fresh start.

We currently have three more cats and two rabbits from this household available for adoption--and they're all very sweet. We're confident that each of these animals wil have a happy ending--homes in which they can run and play freely.

That's the good news this week!

Please don't forget to join us tomorrow night at The Scuffer steak and ale house! 15% of food and alcohol proceeds from the evening will be donated to the shelter. We'll see you there!


Director, Development & Outreach


nycindyloo said...

This is wonderful news that so many were adopted so soon from the hoarding situation. Thanks for the smiles!

Lois said...

Has Posie been adopted yet???

Humane Society of Chittenden County said...

Posey did go home on Saturday, Lois. Thanks for checking!