Archive for January 2016

Working Together

January 19, 2016

When it comes to the topic of animal rescue and re-homing, there are probably as many views on how to accomplish it as there are groups and shelters dedicated to that cause. Often times there are disagreements and sadly finger-pointing as to whom is doing the better job. Yet, everyone has, or should have, the same goal—to find new, hopefully forever, homes for animals that for whatever reason, and usually no fault of their own, are homeless. As a new year begins, I can’t help but wonder how much easier would be the task, and perhaps how many more animals would find new homes, if everyone worked together.

As one who tries to donate fairly often to the various groups by dropping off supplies in the donation bins, I have to say that it’s sometimes difficult to decide which is the more worthy recipient that month. When faced with six or seven bins, who needs the cans of cat food more? Who needs the cleaning supplies? It’s hard to know because most every rescue group or shelter faces the same challenges: the need to provide food, medical care, and housing for the animals, and raising the funds to do so. People are always very generous around the holidays, and it was good to see how many contributed to the Animal Control shelter’s needs at Christmas. Their duties are different from those of other rescue groups, and still the animals there need the same things as any others.

Becoming creative in how to keep the bills paid while promoting the animals themselves is a challenge, too, because people become bored if they see the same old same old, and so congratulations to everyone who works so tirelessly to come up with new ways to support the animals. I am wondering what it would be like to have several groups join together and brainstorm about new programs? Ways to promote spaying and neutering, ways to teach responsible pet ownership, and ways to keep pets in their homes when difficulties arise. Perhaps philosophies on pet rescue are different, but I have to think the desire to help the animals is pretty much the same. How much more could be accomplished if people with the same goals worked together to accomplish them?

I am not affiliated with any particular rescue group or shelter, but when our kids were young they volunteered and then worked at the Humane Society of Southwest Michigan. It was a great learning experience for them and us. If you have kids who love animals, perhaps they might want to look into the volunteer program at the shelter or any of the rescue groups. It’s a great way for them to learn skills in caring for animals as well as working well with people.

In the interest of supporting all rescue groups and shelters equally, I am always happy to announce any fund raisers, news, or activities here in the Pet Corner. If your group has something coming up, please email me at, and I’ll do my best to promote it. The column usually appears the third Saturday of the month, so keep that in mind when sending any information.

As winter finally settles in, please remember to make sure your pets are safe and warm, especially those that are normally kept outside. Dry shelter and bedding as well as fresh water are always a must, and when the temperatures dip into those single digits, dogs and cats, no matter how hardy, should be brought inside. They might think they want to be outside, but they’ll thank you for sparing them a night out in the cold.








Lost and Found

January 1, 2016

Source: Lost and Found

Lost and Found

January 1, 2016

The website for the Humane Society of the United States  ( has some excellent information about how and why pets get lost, and how they can often end up far away from their homes, making it even more difficult to find them. Cats get stuck up in trees and are afraid to make any noise. Dogs become disoriented, especially if they were maybe new in the home and in unfamiliar surroundings. Some are picked up by well-meaning folks who just want to save them from being struck by a car and are transported a distance away. If a pet does not have a collar with an I.D. tag or a microchip, there is no way to find the owner. Sometimes the person who found them will run a Found ad, but if they aren’t able to keep and care for the animal, it may well end up in a shelter. That is a better fate than running in the streets, but once again, if the owner can’t be located, that particular pet’s future may well be jeopardy.

At this busy time of year, pets can easily escape their house or yard and go missing. If this should happen to your pet, the best thing you can do is to become immediately proactive. Don’t hesitate to call local shelters, rescue groups, veterinarians, and animal control and report your pet missing along with giving them your contact information. Start talking to your neighbors, mail delivery persons, and any others who make regular visits to your neighborhood. Hand out flyers with a recent picture of your pet, if possible, and where you can be reached. Many pets manage to find their way home within a short time, but if this doesn’t happen, post notices at grocery store bulletin boards, veterinary offices, pet stores, and place an ad in a local newspaper. When describing your pet, leave out one identifying characteristic so that if someone finds him, you can use that to determine if it really is your pet. Use social media to reach out. Facebook and Twitter are two means of letting folks know you are searching for your missing pet.

Beware of pet recovery scams, especially anyone who wants money for the return of your pet. Most likely, they do not have your furry friend. Visit all nearby shelters, if at all possible, even if you’ve called them, to make certain your pet isn’t there. As long as your pet is still missing, call them frequently. Most importantly, don’t give up. Pets that have been missing for a very long time are often found and returned to their homes. We once had a small poodle escape our house and disappear for three weeks. She had recently been re-homed to us and was no doubt trying to get back to the people who could no longer keep her. Thankfully, Nikki still had a rabies tag on her collar, and when someone found her, they were able to locate the previous owners through the veterinary hospital listed on the tag. They then got in touch with us.

For more information and for lists of specific tips on finding lost dogs and cats, visit the Petfinder website at

We recently had to say goodbye to our elderly cat Spider. At 16 he had a good long life, but it’s never easy when the time comes and a decision must be made. It was a sad day, but I’m thankful we could be there for him and he is now in a better place. Rest in peace, old friend. The house isn’t quite the same without you.