Tuesday, May 31, 2016

A Tail of Four Kitties

Steve and the fosters
Nearly a year ago, the Ark City Animal Control officer brought four tiny kittens to the shelter. There was no mother to be seen and the citizens who found them were concerned about their survival. They were taken in, determined to be about 10 days old, and sent to foster. I happened to be that foster. My husband, Steve, and I bottle-fed these babies and hand-raised them until they were old enough to eat on their own. We named them Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, and Slytherin. The wee kittens grew, were quickly eating on their own, and using a litter box just like the big kids. Soon it was time to find their furever homes.

Gryffindor, a sweet orange tabby, was adopted by Julia and Christopher Webb for their son Donovan. She was renamed Ginny and she and Donovan soon became best buddies. Julia says, “She has a beautiful trilling voice when she wants something. She sleeps with Donovan in his bunk at night and happily greets all visitors.” Ginny does suffer occasional seizures from an injury she suffered as a young kitten but, luckily, she has a wonderful family who has gotten her the veterinary care she needs and her seizures are well- controlled with medication.
Ginny and her boy, Donovan
Ravenclaw, a striking cream-colored girl with gorgeous blue eyes, and Hufflepuff (Caffy), a darling orange tabby with white, were adopted by Tracie Alcorn. “They are doing wonderfully! They’re so big now and still growing! They are both quite attached to my youngest daughter”, Tracie reports. “I really don’t know what we would do without our fur babies.”
Caffy, Ravenclaw, and Tracie's daughter
Steve and I kept Slytherin, a pretty white kitty with brown and gray spots, whom we renamed Narcissa. We hadn’t meant to keep one of the fosters but, after eating, all the kids would find various places to curl up and take a nap … except for Cissa. She was crafty and would come to Steve or me and want to sleep in our laps. How could we not keep her? She’s a bit of a trouble-maker and we often joke that we should have kept Hufflepuff. A Hufflepuff would never be so naughty! But we adore her and wouldn’t trade her for anything.

The humane society is fortunate to have many wonderful fosters, but we can always use more! Summer is kitten season and we have many, many litters of kittens. Please consider fostering for us! Bottle-feeding very young kittens is time consuming and not everyone is able to do that. However, we have many kittens that are 5-6 weeks old, eating on their own, and using a litter box. They cannot be vetted until they are eight weeks old, so they have to hang out at the shelter for weeks until they are ready to find their furever homes. Fosters who can take these litters home for just two or three weeks are invaluable to us and, most importantly, to the kittens!

I have a litter of four such kittens at my house now. As I write this one is curled up on my lap sleeping, one is tap-dancing on my desk, and two are frolicking behind me. Fostering is tons of fun and so rewarding, knowing that you’re helping these tiny lives. Also, fostered babies tend to become very social helping increase their chances of a successful adoption. While animals are in foster care the humane society will be responsible for all their needs – food, bedding, litter, medical care. All you’re out is a little space, a little time, and you get lots of love, laughs, and kitten cuddles in return. Contact us at the shelter or via private message on Facebook if you’d like to become a foster!

Diana Russell

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Truly Wonderful

One Monday morning in March, shelter staff arrived at work to find a note left by the Arkansas City Police Department stating that they had left us eleven dogs the previous night. Wait …. ELEVEN?? Yes, that was correct. The owner of the dogs had passed away leaving two adult, yellow labs and their nine puppies homeless. 

Two of Truly's puppies


The dogs were examined, vaccinated, and de-wormed as is customary when taking in new animals. They were placed on “stray hold” even though they weren’t technically strays. This hold is placed on all animals brought to us by anyone other than the owner to give owners time to reclaim them.

The following day we were contacted by Amanda Winkelman, the owner’s sister, who had now inherited the dogs. She had decided not to claim them and agreed to sign them over to us. The puppies were all of age to be vetted and made available for adoption. Amanda and her friends helped spread the word that they were at the CCHS and we soon had a great deal of interest in the beautiful pups. They were adopted out to their new furever families very quickly.

Truly, Ace, and Amanda
A short time later Amanda contacted us and said she had decided she just had to adopt Truly, the mother. Truly was very beloved by her brother and went everywhere with him. She felt adopting Truly and giving her a loving, furever home was a fitting memorial to him. But we had sad news to pass on to Amanda: Truly had tested positive for heartworms. Heartworm treatment is very costly and can run upward of $1,500. Many families just can’t take on that financial burden, but Amanda was not to be daunted! She spoke with her veterinarian and they made a treatment plan for Truly. On April 6, Amanda adopted Truly. Amanda says, “She has been doing amazing! I’m so glad she was able to join our family. She has been the best thing for Ace (the family’s other dog). They play all the time. She loves playing fetch, especially with my daughter, Jessalyn.”

Ace and Truly

Truly is a sweet-tempered, cheerful girl and we’re so happy that her story, which contained such tragedy, had a happy ending!

Monday, May 2, 2016

2016 Wine Tasting a Success!

Not only was the Alice In Wonderland--A Tea Pawty Annual Tasting and Auction Benefit a lot of fun, but it also made over $15,000 for the shelter! A huge thank you goes out to our donors, sponsors, volunteers, board members, staff, and guests who made this success possible!