Prison Dogs Need Homes

Have I talked about my human’s devotion to dogs who live in prison? I don’t really get it, but she really does love those dogs. She also loves the women who are inmates in the prison who take care of and train the dogs. She also loves her friend who created this program that saves dogs from the pound and gives women who’ve been in trouble the opportunity to train their way back to trustworthiness.

In short, our Robin thinks Paws in Prison at the Lockhart Correctional Facility is an amazing, life-changing opportunity for dogs, inmates, volunteers, and prison staff. Robin goes to the prison and helps the dogs with TTouch. She helps the inmates learn ways to reduce their dogs’ stress and increase their dogs’ openness to learning. She really doesn’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want the magic of Paws in Prison to continue on indefinitely, but it seems everybody isn’t as excited about it as Robin is.

The prison is operated for the state of Texas by a private company. One company has been running the place for years, but another company is taking over next month. The new company says it’s interested in the dog program, but they have not included the staff job of managing the dogs and trainers as one of the positions that will continue when the transition has taken place. (Yes, all the people who work in the prison now have to re-apply for jobs or get transferred to another facility that is still managed by the old company. Well, or end up without a job.)

Without the full-time oversight of a knowledgeable staff member, the current volunteers, who are animal professionals, think the results won’t be nearly as positive for dogs or inmates. The volunteers, people who have adopted dogs, people who have graduated from Paws in Prison, and other people who support the work of the program to change lives have a huge campaign going to persuade the new company to continue Paws in Prison with staff. They have a Facebook group, a petition for the Texas Board of Criminal Justice, and a fundraising campaign to demonstrate that the community cares enough about this program to ante up and pay ALL of the costs if need be (philanthropic donations have been funding all vet care, training of trainers, and gear for the dogs all along).

All of the dogs need to find homes by the middle of August. We are doing all we can to use our connections to help them find the families they are waiting for. I’ll introduce you to the four in the most need of a human to call their own. You can find out more about them and the other dogs who are still living at the prison with their inmate handlers by checking the Paws in Prison website. That’s where you’ll find out how to apply to adopt, too. (There is some support for transporting these dogs to the right adopter.)

Roger-june-2015Where Pets Are Found is running an ad featuring Roger, a dog Robin is especially fond of. Roger is a big guy with a happy face and lots of intelligence. He’s working on becoming a service dog and would make a super smart pet for a family that doesn’t need a service dog.

peanut-2015

 

 

 

And there’s little Peanut, who has never had a real home. The only home he knows is the prison.

 

 

LittleMan-2015Little Man doesn’t have an adoption in process and neither does Marco.

 

 

 

Marco-2015

 

 

 

Marco was found in our neighborhood and has an option of a foster home here, too.

But wouldn’t it be better to have a REAL home for all of them to go to before the end of August?

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Flood Relief

We tried to keep up with the spreadsheet about our Twitter pals in Texas, but we didn’t do such a great job of it. There are a LOT of cats and dogs and other pets tweeting in Texas!

flood-reliefOur human decided to help the pets and their people who were affected by the flooding of the Blanco and San Marcos Rivers more concretely. She got people around here to help her collect some food for dogs and cats and some kitty litter. Actually, there was enough stuff to overload a minivan, so she and her friend put the biggest, heaviest bags in another car and headed off to San Marcos to deliver what they had collected to a flood relief distribution center there.

 

Betty-Off-WhiteThey took Betty Off-White, the foster dog (who is  available for adoption and, thankfully, not living with us, but Robin likes her and helped rescue her a little) with them. It was a fun outing for her, and she got a Justaburger on the way home.

We really hope all those people and the pets are safe now and the rivers don’t flood anymore and their homes get cleaned out or rebuilt very soon.

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How are you after (during?) the floods?

Nutmeggy has our human and some other humans working on a database of Texas anipals. We have a lot of online friends around Texas and want to help make sure everyone is accounted for and getting help if needed.

If you are a member of the anipal community on Twitter who lives in Texas, please, comment and tell us how you are doing. Be sure to include your Twitter handle so we can make a note that we’ve been in touch.

If you’re wondering about someone, comment and be sure to give us the pal’s Twitter handle.

We are have just put the database on Google Drive. Anyone who has this link (Link has been updated 9 pm CDT 5/27/2015: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4I8rBQkPm9pQms1TFhTZV90ZFk/view?usp=sharing) can view the spreadsheet. We are thinking about making it possible for everyone to edit, but that seemed like it might not work.  We want to keep track of pals’ locations by city and note if folks have checked in after the flood. We’ll update with info that you all leave in comments here. You can tweet us at @CheshireK and @NutmegTorby and we’ll add to the info. If you think we need another category, please let us know! @Newtthecat’s mom started the spreadsheet. We’re carrying on her work.

 

We live in Seguin and are high and dry as of this writing. We do have algae growing on our back stoop, but that is a not anything to be worrying about.

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Adopt K.C. and Bring a LOT of Love Into Your Life!

KC-headshot-smlSeguin Animal Hospital is in the business of caring for animals, but they usually have someone to send an animal home with. In the case of K.C., a soulful gray and white kitty, however, these special animal doctors saved his life and fostered him for rehabilitation with no home to send him back to.

K.C. couldn’t walk, pee or poop when he met Dr. Tara Card, a veterinarian on the staff at SAH, but he could still love.

“His heart is what saved him,” said Tracy Sparks, a veterinary technician at SAH.

K.C.’s family had been taking good care of him, but the treatment he would need to relieve his constipation and blocked urination was way beyond their means. They didn’t want to put him to sleep, but they just didn’t have more options. Dr. Card saw something special in K.C., who is 5 years old. She asked if they would sign him over to her, so she could give him the life-saving care he needed.

“They were happy to sign him over because it meant his life,” said Dr. Bridget Feldhaus, who has worked along with Dr. Card to save K.C.

“Sometimes there’s a cat, a dog, a llama, you just have to fight for him,” Dr. Feldhaus said. “Dr. Card did the medical work. At first he couldn’t really get up, he was so constipated.”

K.C. didn’t use his hind legs because he had a back injury and had become obese as well. K.C.’s elimination is functioning again, although he will require constant vigilance throughout his life to keep it going. The muscles in K.C.’s back legs had atrophied from lack of use, but he is up and about now, moving all over in the back rooms of the animal hospital.

“Every day he walks more and more. The whole treatment area has become his home,” vet tech Tracy Sparks said. With his newly restored mobility, K.C. needs more space to move around in to stay on the road to a normal weight and good health.

The staff veterinarians and vet techs have all helped to rehabilitate him after his critical care. They get him walking to them for treats – only those that are approved on his diet, of course – and for petting.

kc-walk-smlDr. Feldhaus got down on his level and invited K.C. to come to her. K.C. started out confidently, fell down, got up, and made it to her hand for petting. “He has good function of his tail,” Dr. Feldhaus said, “He’s placing himself well. He loves going under cupboards. He’s lovely.”

K.C. purred as Dr. Feldhaus stroked him. “He’ll get mad if you stop! He loves everybody. He talks to everybody. You talk to him and he talks back,” she said.

He now weighs 21.6 pounds after losing 2 pounds since his arrival at SAH about a month ago. He will need to lose a few more pounds before he gets to his ideal weight. The vets have him on a weight management food that is available by prescription and helps him lose up to 1 or 2 percent of his body weight per week, a rate of weight loss that SAH staff veterinarian Dr. Deb Cunningham says is safe for cats.

The family that adopts KC will need to continue to feed him this food for weight loss and management after he gets closer to his ideal weight of about 15 pounds.

K.C. is thriving on this food and the loving care he has received from the staff veterinarians and veterinary technicians. K.C. also doesn’t mind taking medication.

KC-weigh-smlVet tech Tracy Sparks said, “He loves to weigh himself! And he likes to hold your hand while you feed him.”

Although the entire staff loves K.C., he needs to move into a home with people who will tend to his special needs in order to continue his amazing recovery. He has been living around dogs, and even some cats, and stays relaxed. He does well on the uncarpeted floor in the clinic. His delicate back and special needs mean that a home with small children isn’t a good match, but he’s pretty comfortable with dogs. And like his doctors say, he loves all people.

ARF – Animal Rescue Foundation is handling applications to adopt K.C. Just call or text 830-743-1017. Barbara can give you the details. ARF can support transport to the right family.

 

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The Winner Is……

reggie-food-puzzle-smlMeggy said Bleu would draw the winner of Texts From Mittens, but you’ll be surprised to hear that REGGIE stepped up to the task of picking the winner of our drawing.

DRUM ROLL PLEASE….

Wait! we don’t really like the sound of drums. I will quietly announce the name of the winner.

The winner is……

*whispers* Katie!

We will tell  Miss Angie Bailey Katie’s address, and she will drop a copy of the book in the mail to her for The Girl.

Reggie got really excited about picking names out of the food puzzle and unexpectedly drew a second winner. I will let Nutmeggy announce who our second winner is.

Meggy: My Spirit Sisfur LILY won our copy of TEXTS FROM MITTENS!!!!!! I’m not sure we have your address, Lily, so I’ll be asking you to send it along, so we can mail you our copy.

Thank you to everyone who left us a comment. I know we haven’t been posting much while Robin is on sabbatical, but she promises to tell you all about what she’s been up to soon. We have been enjoying having her around with us more, too. Maybe the biggest news is that Reggie and I can be in the same room, and I can even eat. I do shout at him from time to time still because I have to keep him on his toes.

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Mittens sent me a text.

Cheshire: Yes, that Mittens. Mittens from Catster.

 

Nutmeggy-Mittens-smlNutmeggy: Actually, Mittens sent US 101 PAGES of texts! It’s his NEW BOOK!!!! And I got to read it with Mom.

Cheshire: We all got to read the book Mittens sent us. I think you should read it too. In fact….

Nutmeggy: Cheshie gets to GIVE one of you a copy of 101 pages of TEXTS FROM MITTENS!!!!!

Cheshire: Meggy, shhhhhh. I had a plan for the announcement of the give-away.

Nutmeggy: I KNOW!!!!! You are going to put all the names of our Cuddle Family members who leave us a comment on this post in the food puzzle and let Bleu pull one out because he’s the BEST at getting kibbles out of the puzzle!

Cheshire: Oh my goodness. She’s so loud. I need a phone to text Robin, so Nutmeg won’t find out what I’m doing.

Nutmeggy: I need a phone to tell the WHOLE FAMILY about the book from Mittens! *runs off, tail high* CHEESES!!!!! DID YOU READ TEXTS FROM MITTENS yet???? You’ve got to read it! It’s FUNNY. Mom laughed really loud.

ck-mittens-laughing-smlCheshire: Texts from Mittens: A Cat Who Has an Unlimited Data Plan… and isn’t Afraid to Use Itby Angie Bailey (and Mittens!). Get the book and leave it somewhere for your human to read.

Remember to leave a comment by 11:59 p.m. central daylight time Saturday (March 21) to win a copy of the book for you and your human!

I’ll let you all know who won on Sunday.

 

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The Gray Dot

Bleu has grown so much that he is now as big as Reggie and a bit taller. Reggie is a black smoke cat and Bleu is jet black, and Bleu has the longest tail of anyone in the house, so theoretically, the humans should be able to tell the two of them apart. But they can’t.

Robin put a gray dot on Reggie’s back to help her out.

reggie-dot Bleu-back-sml

Seriously, Revolution took a little bit of Reggie’s fur, and Robin has found it a convenient way to tell them apart.

I can tell them apart, no matter what. I still yell at Reggie every now and then and I DO NOT WANT him on the bed when I’m there. However, Bleu is allowed to be there, and Reggie has tried out MY bed when I wasn’t around. I don’t really like that, but, well, what the heck. Maybe it’s time to let bygones become bygones.

Robin here: We have tried so many options for flea control for Reggie, and all have failed us in one way or another. He’s had injections, pills, Revolution, other topicals. Either his fur falls out or the remedy fails to prevent fleas from making their home in his fur. Ideally, we need to make a flea-free environment. This is a challenge in Texas with a catio especially.

We are open to all suggestions for cat-based and environment-based anti-flea solutions!

Bleu says this picture of him is not flattering and he wants another. Here he is with his brother Colby helping me with my research.
bleu-colby-research-sml

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Huck’s Hop

Huck turned up about 10 days ago holding his paw up and hopping on three legs. Robin was away playing with horses (where she pinched her left hand in a gate the same day Huck hurt his arm, and otherwise had an amazing time!), so U.H. was in charge. She waited to tell Robin about Huck’s apparent injury until she got home from her equine adventure.

Huck doesn’t like to go to the vet, which is putting it mildly. Actually, he has to be sedated for a vet to help him. U.H. and Robin decided to keep an eye on his arm – he was holding up his right front paw – in hope that he would just start walking normally and everything would be back to normal for him. The humans were concerned about him getting away from whatever he’d been engaged with when he got hurt, but the alternative of wrestling him into a carrier, where he would throw himself against the sides and have to have a tent put over his carrier with sedation medicine wasn’t more appealing.

After six days, Huck was still hopping on three legs, but he didn’t have any swelling and didn’t have any signs of infection. He still had scabs on his ears from the marks that told Robin his injury came from some kind of animal – animal conflict in the first place.

Robin didn’t know what to do, so she called one of her wonderful students, who has applied to veterinary school and has worked at vet clinics a lot (and even at the zoo!) and asked if she could come over. Robin thought Huck might let her student touch him because she has seen this student has a great rapport with cats.

Nope.

huck-paws Huck did the best he could, however, and extended his arms for the humans to examine from about 12 feet away.

Robin’s student got as good a look as she could and based on what she’s seen with other kitties, they decided to watch Huckie a little bit longer. She said he might have a muscle wound from a bite (kind of like Robin’s pinch from the horses’ gate!), a sprain, or even a hairline fracture in his forearm. Robin had TTouched him all over and he didn’t flinch, but TTouch is very, very gentle, and Huck really trusts Robin in the first place.

It was likely that the vet would tell the humans to keep Huck’s level of activity to a minimum, and he was doing a pretty good job of that already! They also might give him pain medication, but that might not be so good for a garden kitty.

While the humans were talking about him, Huck stayed right where he is in the picture, on the porch. That is, until one neighbor started her lawn mower, another neighbor turned on his leaf blower, and the UPS truck went by all at the same time.

Huck RAN!

The humans decided he would be able to get away if he needed to. They also saw that Huck was able to put weight on his front paw. And, they followed him around to the side of the house and saw that he was ok after his run.

Today, Huck is still hopping around most of the time, but he’s also putting his weight on his right paw and walking kind of normally. Robin says her hand still hurts a bit from the gate pinch, so it makes sense to her that Huck will need more time to heal completely.

We are glad he’s doing better and was able to avoid the trip to the vet this time.

 

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Beds and Blankets

The last month has been all about beds and blankets at our house. Robin is developing projects to use to teach young people how to sew and to, eventually, sell to build a fund for spay/neuter grants. She wants to sell cool beds, blankets, dog and cat clothes, and matching clothes for humans. We are the testers of all designs. Here are a few pictures. I left out the dog coats.

My job is keeping Robin’s bed warm while she’s making stuff.

Brie-blanket-sml becket-sml
Nutmeg-bites-bed-sml karma-sml
black-bed-sml Reggie-bleu
CK-pillows-small

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Our First Weekend In 2015

We are having a great weekend this year! I hope all our weekends in 2015 are this much fun. First, Robin and U.H. are doing things we can help with, like knitting and making cat beds. Especially making cat beds.

Brie helped Robin make the bottom of the first bed, but then he didn’t want to get in the bed. Becket got in the bed first and liked it very much. Cheddar and Reggie both fit in the bed that was made for ONE Becket. Bleu tried out the bed too, but Brie got in our big box and played on his own. That was the first day.

The second day, Robin made a bed for one smaller cat. Becket was the first to try out the small bed too. I like this bed. Cheddar watched Sparkle while she groomed herself on the porch, but then he got tired. Good thing the sun was out!

Brie-Pillow Reggie-Cheddar-Bed
Bleu-bed Brie-box
CK-puzzlebed Ched-Sparkle
Cheddar-sun

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