THANX - to all the animal rescuers and Foster homes!!!

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paintponylvr

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Just have to say THANX to anyone who gives of their time, patience, love and finances to either foster or adopt rescued animals!!

********** VERY LONG **********

I now work for a low cost spay/neuter clinic. On one doctor days ( usually - 2/week) - we schedule 35 spays and neuters - spread between cats and dogs. On 2 doctor days (usually 2/week) - we schedule 60 animals. We are open 4 days a week. We don't always get that many animals on a given day - they HAVE to be at the clinic by 8 (and we take them in until 8:30. Car trouble, oversleeping, blocked highways & traffic, etc have made us turn away owners who have arrived later) so that they can each be TPR'd and pre-meded. However, we've had several times now when we've had extras simply because we work with so many rescue groups and even individuals that trap cats in wild animal traps and bring them in as "ferals". I believe we are currently working with 9 counties BUT also have several individuals in 3 different states that schedule appointments now and come in... One will stay 2 overnights in a hotel to get the dogs that she brings up taken care of before returning home to SC.

The county that this service resides in also has a program that allows for folks that are on financial assistance (WIC, Foodstamps, Medicaid or Sect 8 housing) to get their applications pre-approved and get one to several spay/neuters done at no charge. Several of the other counties around us are now participating - and can get even our low cost spay/neuters done for less with a co-pay (our charges - feline n - $35, feline s - $50. Canines - under 75 lbs - $65. Over 75 lbs - $130). Rabies vaccinations can be given for $7 (only to animals being spayed/neutered), Home Again micro-chip is $20 (extras thru the HA has to be paid for thru them). We have fund raisers and lots of donations (and of course, we seek more). We have several groups that don't actually rescue or pay for the animals but regularly make trips to communities and offer to TRANSPORT the animals for the owners to our clinic. They line up the appointments and then request those numbers from us. It's just plain amazing!

Amazing what some of these groups do, amazing the number of cats and dogs out there that need to be neutered or spayed (WOW), amazing the number of folks who get peeved because we are ALWAYS booked out and with 3 people answering phones still rarely get it answered when it rings but instead when we check the vm box(s) and then call everyone back (mainly what I was hired for). Amazing the number of people that tell off the person either answering the phone or returning a call to schedule an appointment.

I have owned animals all my life. Mom says that our trusty dachshund boy kept me company as I toddled my way into a Florida swamp and when folks were hunting me, he barked to give location. We always had dogs and cats under foot - only once do i remember having just one cat and one dog (for a 1 year period). We usually had indoor as well as outdoor animals. Guess we did things "right" or had the "best" pets - I don't remember problems with spraying by cats or dogs (but then my mom was a clean freak, sooooo????). Litter boxes, feeding, watering, training, grooming, cleaning the yards and walking were all my sisters' and my responsibility starting as early as 5 years of age... Even when my hubby and I were both active duty overseas, once we moved out of the barracks, we had a cat together (one year before our 1st daughter arrived). Seemed like we hadn't been back in the states long, and we had a pup given to us that our closest army friends' brought back from GE. She was an "oops" - out of their papered "Wulfspitz" by a local Lab... Blaze could fit in my palm at 5 weeks of age, was spayed and loved riding in our truck out to the ponies. She lived in doors, she lived out doors, she rode with me to MT when the girls were tiny and she rode with all of us back to NC when we came back. While on heart worm preventative she developed heart worms (badly) and was treated and was good to go. Started back on preventative and 2 yrs later was again diagnosed with heart worms. This time, we didn't treat (1 - couldn't afford another go-round of $1,000 +. 2 - I was pretty upset w/ the cost of the preventative vs the fact she came down w/ it again. 3 - she was now an older dog and it was felt better to live as she was.) She lived w/ us another several years, then when she wasn't doing well, we decided it was the day. Our vet did the deed at the barn (to plots over) and we carried her home and laid her out to measure for her grave which my hubby and I took turns digging. When the girls' arrived home from school, she was buried and a "service" was held for her. Her partner at the time was most unhappy and would lay on her grave. At first we were able to coax her away to sleep in the house and to eat, but gradually, that went away and w/i a week she too had passed - while sleeping on her buddies' grave site w/ the newly sprouted flowers....

Anyhow - we weren't perfect. We didn't always spay our dogs/cats. We DID raise a few litters of puppies and kittens - some planned for ahead of time and owners found before birth and others (we've owned pedigreed and well bred/shown dogs as well as cats over the years) ... well we kept some and found homes for the rest. BUT most of the time, we DID have both males and females fixed. I have had most of my colts (ponies and horses) gelded. Everyone happy!

This job is totally EYE OPENING.

You see, the local papers don't have many ads for dogs or cats. Even when I've specifically gone to a shelter and looked (when they are open, which sometimes seems to be difficult in our area!), there really haven't been many (it's been a few years since I last even tried to go). When I worked for the web site design company, we did the site for the county animal shelter. Though they had the capability, they rarely had any pics of dogs and cats available - so I thought they rarely had any! Craigs list, in the past, really hasn't had that many listed... So I hadn't given it any thought. We've always managed to be in cats and dogs - simply because working for an equine mobile vet for years, I would be offered cats/dogs occasionally and usually when we were ready to take them on. They come, they stay until death do us part! In the last 10 years, just about all have gotten altered - however we did raise three litters. All were those, OMG she got out, moments at just the wrong time. The first litter of dogs - were a purebred but not papered. They all sold - however 2 had problems and I took them both back and eventually found them both different homes (I returned money to original purchasers & didn't charge new homes). The 2nd litter was a bit different. 1/2 beagles, even in our hunting area, are hard to place (and I DID NOT want them - had I known I could have had her spayed while pregnant, we'd never had had those 5 pups). The first 4 actually found homes w/o too many problems and keeping contact w/ the new owners found that they were all happy. I lost touch w/ all of them much faster than I've ever lost touch w/ new pony owners but they were all happy the last times I spoke w/ each of them. The 5th stayed w/ us. I wasn't really happy - but I started working with her. Had just discovered that she liked riding in the truck with me, she was quickly learning sit, stay, heel and come PLUS I'd just gotten a spay appointment set for her (almost a month out, but hey!) when our youngest came home and said she'd found a new owner for her. Well, of course, she'd already weasled into my heart, so a few tears were shed as she went to her new home (w/ all the new "toys" I'd gotten for her - sucker that I am!!)... This last litter of kittens was also different - only 1 found a home. Every time I offered the kittens (all boys!) to anyone, they said "...I've got 3 more you can have". HUH??? Wow, where did all the cats come from all of a sudden?? (duh) Well, the 3 "cat boys" got done and the 4th went home w/ Sierra (she took 2 cats and 1 dog to her apartment and brought them all back)... Turns out the last "cat boy" has only one descended testicle and in December when he's 16 months old, he'll have the cryptorcid surgery. Then all of our cats and dogs will be altered and happy and we will be good to go until we are ready for more...

I had been hearing of rescue groups. I've even gone out to many different pages for various types or breeds that I have the most interest in. While our middle daughter was showing dogs with a friend, I became a transporter - sometimes picking up dogs from someone and transporting them to a picked site several 100 miles along where the next transporter came into contact. Was fun, sometimes I got reimbursed gas money, sometimes not. That's slowly changed - haven't transported a dog in a couple of years now. I've always been too full to foster more (though it surprises me to then talk to other fosters and find out just how many dogs/cats they have!), but that's ok. Right now, our house and property is very full!

But again, I was soooo surprised when I started working at the clinic and suddenly all these dogs and cats have come out of the woodwork, so to speak. Some of these folks are elderly, some are young and single but "want to do right". Others are just overwhelmed by cats and dogs that "...just ke'p havin' tham thar younguns!!...". It's interesting, tiring, frustrating and sometimes downright frightening to field all these calls 4 days a week. One day last week, I had a call asking what we charged to spay a rabbit and not two hours later was asked how many rats we could neuter at one time. Never a dull moment, even if it is just "repetition, repetition, repetition"! I have also assisted in intake of dogs/cats, prepping for surgery, cleaning the "cages" between the surgery and return to the "cage", worked with them during recovery, handled returning the pet to his owner, washing/drying/folding the constant laundry, stocking both the prep areas and the surgery room and the ever present clean-up at the end of the day. It's amazing to me to return home and to be so mentally exhausted as to want to go right to bed! But my ponies and our own dogs and cats keep me grounded, somewhat, there.

Hmmm, guess I needed to vent a bit. This week has been very difficult - clients have shouted & screamed at us, cried over their pets' "ouchies" both while bringing them for surgery and while picking them back up, whined about not being able to get here on time and gone into raging tirades over locked doors & mixed up dates... I have discovered that this clinic could sure use some regular volunteers - especially on Wednesdays & Thursdays or maybe another employee or two (don't know if that's possible). The Halloween Fund raiser was fun - I think I was the only person not in a costume!

Again, I want to say thank you to all the folks who are able to adopt and foster animals. BLESS ALL THE VOLUNTEERS! I suppose I should include everyone - I recently heard of someone who is fostering two pigs that came from pretty deplorable conditions... (sorry, couldn't foster pigs. Just found someone who could butcher those! Mr. ham and mrs porkchop would be in my freezer.)
 

chandab

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Wow!

I'm not a vet, nor anything related, but gotta share a vet story from one of our vets (the one down in Wolf Point, I know you know the area and how it is). A lady called wanting their pet fixed (don't recall whether dog or cat), assistant told them the cost for neutering and spaying (spaying costing more of course), lady wanted her female pet neutered because its cheaper, they pretty much argued on the phone for over 15 minutes over the difference between spaying and neutering and that females are spayed, but she wanted neutering because it cheaper. [Vet and her husband tell the story much better, and had us rolling.]
 

paintponylvr

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What a great story (gave me a GREAT LAUGH!!) and I had something similar happen today...

Well, not quite...

The woman kept saying the "kitty" needed to be neutered when she called. I didn't think anything of it (I've gotten used to gender specific names being swapped about) and didn't ASK if the "kitty" was MALE OR FEMALE... So I scheduled the "kitty" for a neuter today - which I had appointments for. Spays for cats - all booked until after the 2nd of December (& I have a waiting list as I don't have the scheduling open after Thanksgiving yet)... Owner was there with "kitty" - only when checked the "kitty" was a GIRL not a BOY - so we couldn't do HER. We only had one doctor and we'd overscheduled the girls - and the others had arrived first. Vet was upset about the overscheduling (when have too many girls, hands "fall off" after surgery & vet can't do work the next day - took me a little bit to understand this concept until I stood and watched several surgeries and watched the vets' hands - before, during and after) and owner was upset both that her "boy" was a "girl" and that she couldn't be done. WHEW!!
 

Miniv

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I'm afraid I'm a bit of a NAG on facebook regarding rescuing/adopting/fostering.

We began by adopting at our local shelter, both dogs and cats years ago. Then, we discovered how rewarding adopting a senior was. We now always try to have at least one senior from the shelter or a rescue.

The next thing that happened was my daughter and I began volunteering at the shelter. This has recently led to our fostering. Since last summer we have fostered two litters of puppies and currently have 7 kittens. We even fostered a rabbit...almost forgot that. ALL the puppies have been adopted! And two of the kittens have someone waiting for them once they are ready. Our shelter LOVES the fact that we have a spare bathroom where we can keep all these little ones. (Our lead foster coordinator has a spare bedroom and a heated shop area.)

We also have a very senior Pomeranian who is half blind, going deaf, and lame who are fostering for probably the remainder of his life. Thankfully our own six dogs are all great about accepting our fosters......and the kittens are kept separate. Little Monty, the old Pom, spends most of his time in front of our wood stove.

Oh! And we have fostered one mini for Chances.

This has all been very rewarding for the entire family. If anyone has a space for at least one extra I would encourage you to consider it. Evaluate your home and visit with your shelter. There is a BIG need out there.

End of my nag....hahaha...
 

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