Friday, March 25, 2011

Micky & Merl Getting Checked Out

Merl peeks around the desk in my office. 
He's not very happy to be here.
Micky likes being in the office.  He has
no problem cat-napping before his
appointment in the medical center.
Enough rambling about rambunctious little Charlotte. The older guys in the house need attention, too. And, not just cuddle-time; they need more veterinary care than Charlotte. Micky and Merl are hanging in my office today since both are going to be examined by Dr. Rosen later today. Nothing is wrong, just slowing down, getting older. And, neither Mick nor Merl can tell me what, if anything, ails them. So, Dr. Rosen will poke, prod and ask me lots of questions. "Are they eating?" Yes. "Are the throwing up?" Yes. "Which one?" Not sure, probably Merl. And, since I'm not as observant as I could be, Dr. Rosen will have to use other tools of the veterinary profession to investigate further. Both cats will have blood drawn. And both cats will probably have their urine checked. Neither cat will cooperate, both will have to be held down.  But, when it's over, I'll know if they need anything extra to keep them healthy so they feel up to keeping Charlotte in line.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Spring Kittens Grow Into Winter Cats

Chickory is a good mom
Shelters know spring has sprung a few weeks before the first crocus has bloomed.  Kittens -- a telltale sign of spring, summer and fall.  Our three lobby windows are filled kittens, including this litter and their mom.  Our cat room is just as packed -- with cats.  Kittens grow up to be cats.  Quickly.  In less than a year.  And, some of the cats in our cat room were here as kittens and then returned to us as full grown cats.  Sure, we would much rather have people return animals to us than discard them some other way.  But, I'd like to remind every potential adopter, every person who oogles at a kitten and implusively takes one --  or two -- home, that cats are not goldfish.  An indoor cat lives to to be 15 or more.   Potential adopters who are smitten with kittens may want to consider providing a MOM cat a forever home, or think about adopting a couple of our full-grown returned cats.  I'm reminded regularly, when Charlotte bites my ear at 2:00 a.m., that kittens may be entertaining, but they also like to be entertained at odd hours.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Caring Kids Create Crafts for Cats!

Atessa and Neeknaz test their fancy cat dancers with one playful kitty.
Say that five times fast -- Caring Kids Create Crafts for Cats! -- five times .   Neeknaz and Atessa are spending a week helping the animals at the League.   Through their school's minimester the friends have spent the week helping staff with administrative duties, learning about dog training, and socializing cats and dogs.  They also spend their mornings before their volunteer hours and their afternoons hours after their League time baking dog biscuits, designing and constructing cat dancers and catnip toys, and holding a bake sale to benefit the animals!   Their dedication and strong work ethic has made their week whiz by; staff -- and animals -- will miss them when they go back to a regular school day after spring break!  Thanks Neeknaz and Atessa.

Monday, March 14, 2011

A Busy Monday -- Pit Bull Spay/Neuter Day

Shawn and his buddy, Cocoa,
wait to check into the
free spay/neuter pit bull day
hosted on the second Monday
of every month.  Look at the smile
on that dog!

King, a kissy-face 8-month-old pit bull pup, plants a wet one on Sean's face as they wait to check into the clinic.  King is a lucky dog.  His guardian really cares!

Today is Albert Einstein's birthday.  It's also the League's monthly FREE pit bull spay-neuter day.  What does the League's pit bull spay-neuter day have in common with Albert Einstein?  They are both really, really smart -- Albert Einstein was a smart man with great ideas and spaying or neutering your animal companion is a smart idea.   Spaying or neutering your dog or cat is not only the right thing to do, but it shows that you know how much healthier your cat or dog will be post surgery.  That makes you really smart -- just like Einstein.  Spaying or neutering reduces or eliminates the possibility of reproductive system diseases.  It also reduces an animal's urge to roam, making him less likely to get lost, injured or become a victim of abuse.  And, it shows that your Einstein-like action is helping to end animal suffering.    It is estimated that there are 6-8 million homeless animals entering animal shelters every year.  That exorbitant number doesn't even begin to reflect all of the stray, feral and cast-off animals who never make it to a shelter.  Twenty-one pit bulls were spayed or neutered today at the League's FREE spay/neuter day.   None of those dogs will be contributing to the animal overpopulation crisis.  I'm sure that Albert Einstein would agree that those are some pretty smart people who took advantage of a pretty smart idea.  The next FREE spay/neuter day is set for Monday, April 11th. 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Cruelest Show on Earth -- Coming Soon, but for a Very Limited Stay

I began attending circus protests more than 25 years ago.  One circus after another rolled into D.C. and stayed, for what seemed like, forever.  Each  exploited wild animals all in the name of "entertainment."  In 1995 Newt Gingrich,  then speaker of the House, and other members of Congress celebrated the 175th anniversary of the Ringling Brothers Circus on the lawn of the Capitol.   I was there nearby along with a bus load of DCPS students.  We peacefully protested the mistreatment of circus animals.  Students wore shirts with SAVE -- Students Against Violent Entertainment -- emblazoned across their chests, waved posters depicting chained elephants and bears in tutus, and chanted "Ho Ho, Stop the Abuse, Ringling Brothers has got to GO". 

They went, but  after their run.  And, they came back.     Ringling Brothers comes to the area at the same time year after year.  They know, however, that they are definitely wearing out their welcome.  Ringling Brothers, with their Greatest Show On Earth signed traveling trailers filled with chained elephants and caged lions, tigers, and bears, and an assortment of  exotic animals pulls into town.  But, I know that their business has dropped off.  It used to be that that circus took up residence at  the D.C. Armory for two or more weeks.  This year they are advertising just nine performances over four days at the Verizon Center.  AND sales of those show tickets are heavily discounted through ticket brokers.  

People are getting it.  Young people especially.  The Birney Elementary School students who, in 1997, helped the Humane Society of the United States create the video, Behind the Big Top, The Real Life of Circus Animals, are now adults.  Those students who took their campaign against cruelty it to the streets for lawmakers, passersby and news crews to see are now adults.  Kids who have grown up watching Discovery and Nature videos are now adults, too.  And, these young adults know the truth,  and will NOT pay to watch animal abuse.  They are going to end it.   And, they may even be the ones passing  out leaflets depicting the truth about circus animals in front of the Verizon Center March 24 27.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

I am always amazed at how resilient animals are.  Why would a cat, who was confined and horribly mistreated in a laboratory, walk right out of the carrier and explore the exam room in a veterinary hospital?  Eyot, one of the cats rescued from the Professional Laboratory and Research Services, Inc. (PLRS) in Gates County, North Carolina in September and brought to the League, did just that.    On a recent trip to Friendship Hospital for Animals, Eyot walked in and out of her cage curiously exploring the exam room.  Most cats, including mine, try to blend in with the carrier rather than venture out of their safe enclosure.  Could Eyot's self confidence have anything to do with her former life?  Is it possible that she knew that her recent trip to the vet was all good, and that her kind caregiver would, of course, take her back home?    After all, Eyot, reports her adopter is the "queen of the house and into everything."
Less than 6 months ago more than  200 animals, including this stunning black and white beauty, were relinquished from the facility after the release of undercover videos and testimony documenting neglect and cruel conditions of the animals in their care.  (Read the Washington Examiner article about the rescue -- http://www.examiner.com/animal-welfare-in-washington-dc/from-research-labs-to-dogfighting-rings-warl-welcomes-abused-animals).