Monday, May 7, 2012

Strika Out at the Shelter

Happy May!

In explanation of the recent irregularity in updates, it's officially crazy time for us here at the shelter. This month alone our event schedule includes the annual rabies clinic (last weekend); the May Day benefit concert at the Monitor Barn in Richmond (this Friday); another restaurant night at the The Scuffer (date TBD); and a flurry of planning for our largest fundraiser of the year: the Walk for the Animals (June 10th!).

We've got exciting things happening on the adoption front, too. For example, starting tomorrow, May 8th, NorthCountry Federal Credit Union will kick off a creative new promotion to help get our animals adopted! Every Tuesday they'll post a featured animal of our choosing on their Facebook page. If the animal is adopted within two weeks, they'll donate $100 to the shelter! Needless to say, we love this idea.

With three weeks of adoptions to report, please bear with a couple of loooong lists (long lists of adoptees=good thing!):

Cats: Zack, Ella, Inka, Petunia, Honey, Lola, Nutmeg, Ozzy, Daphney, Moca, Jinx, Molly, Mary Anne, Callie, Bubby & Baby Girl together, Flapjack, Aurora, Princess, Casper, Strika, Mike and Sam found new homes. Wendy and Buffcat were reunited with their searching owners. And kittens Monty, Kaboodle, Friskee, Whiskas and Fancy were here for no more than two days.  

Dogs: Lou (Beagle), Ike (GSD), Scrappy (Terrier mix), Ginger (Golden), Jaeger (Lab), Wilbur (Lab), Zoey & Meisha (Silky Terriers), Stella (Lab), Zeus (Golden) and Charlie (Springer Spaniel mix) are enjoying the springtime with their new families.

Charlie is a great candidate for the featured adoptee because he came to us last December in a very sorry state. This two-year-old Springer Spaniel mix suffered from an extreme case of demodetic mange and allergies that left lesions, bald patches, and sores all over his body. 

Charlie before
Despite the severe discomfort he must have been in, Charlie was the sweetest dog you could ask for. Through a host of medications and treatments over five long months, our medical supervisor, Jen, was able to help this affectionate guy beat the mange and simultaneously get his allergies under control. Finally, last week, Charlie emerged all shiny, fresh and new to join the ranks of available dogs--fully displaying the happy-go-lucky, bright, goofy pup he was born to be!

Charlie after

Last Saturday, in the midst of our rabies clinic, Charlie danced out the front doors of the shelter with his new parents in tow. The couple beamed with with pride as we wished Charlie a wonderful future, and Charlie? That sparkling dog gave us a big ol' hound grin with those generous lips of his!

Fabulous news, but I'm not quite done yet. I also wanted to tell you about Strika the cat!

Strika is a one-year-old gray tiger kitty who was relinquished to the shelter with her litter of one-week-old kittens. When Jen checked Strika in, she specially noted that this cat wasn't just shy … she was terrified! For whatever reason, Strika seemed to be very undersocialized. And as you might imagine, a cat who's uber shy is much less likely to attract potential adopters.

Because Strika's kittens were so young, she and her brood went straight into foster care with one of our invaluable foster moms, Connie. Our feline supervisor, Kayla, crossed her fingers that Connie's care might help Strika gain confidence just as much as it did her kittens … and wouldn’t you know that Strika had a bit of an effect on Connie, too! The foster mom ended up falling in love with the young gray mama, and vowed that she would help Strika learn to trust people.

Nine weeks later, the kittens were spayed/neutered and ready to return to the shelter for their big debut on the adoption floor. As mentioned above, those kittens didn't have much time to get used to the shelter. They were whisked right into new homes! But what of Strika? Strika also never had to face the difficult task of adjusting to the shelter environment and meeting lots of new people every day. Because in the end, Connie just couldn't part with her. And when you consider that just last week Strika--who'd always been most comfortable in hiding--willingly approached Connie and asked her for pets … well … it's evident that this particular cat ended up in Connie's nurturing care for a reason. And why should she ever have to leave it?

Yep, foster parents make great differences in the lives of homeless animals--even when they don't adopt their charges! "Kitten season" (which is now mostly year round) will soon hit its peak, and we're always in need of more temporary homes for young kittens. Does this sound appealing to you? A "failed" foster mother myself (I adopted a singleton kitten I fostered), I can say that it's not for everyone! Aside from the obvious hazard of not being able to say goodbye, caring for youngsters who are very young and motherless, or who have health issues, can be quite time-consuming. And of course, the older they get, the more kittens tend to take over the home … But if you have the right living circumstances and a lifestyle that's conducive to raising kittens, please consider helping our mission in this very important way. Because when we run out of foster homes, the kittens have to remain at the shelter. And shelter life is far from optimal for babies who have weaker immune systems and need social development. A good way to start in exploring foster care is by reaching out to our feline supervisor, Kayla, with questions (

Okay, now I'm done. That's the good news this week. Enjoy the flowers!


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